Taliban wins backing for aid at Moscow talks, with regional powers saying US and allies should pay - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان
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Taliban wins backing for aid at Moscow talks, with regional powers saying US and allies should pay

Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran and five formerly Soviet Central Asian states joined the Taliban in calling for the UN to convene such a conference as soon as possible to help rebuild the country.They said it should take place “with the understanding, of course, that the main burden…should be borne by the forces whose military…

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Taliban wins backing for aid at Moscow talks, with regional powers saying US and allies should pay

Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran and five formerly Soviet Central Asian states joined the Taliban in calling for the UN to convene such a conference as soon as possible to help rebuild the country.They said it should take place “with the understanding, of course, that the main burden…should be borne by the forces whose military contingents have been present in this country over the past 20 years.”That was a pointed reference to the United States and its allies, who invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks and whose abrupt withdrawal paved the way for the Islamist Taliban to seize back control of the country in August.Washington chose not to attend the talks, citing technical reasons, but has said it may join future rounds.Russia has led the calls for international aid, conscious that any spillover of conflict from Afghanistan could threaten regional stability.”Nobody is interested in the complete paralysis of an entire state, which borders, among other things, the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States),” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.The Taliban’s resurgence has stirred international fears of a return to their hardline form of Islamist rule in the 1990s, when they hosted Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda movement and carried out egregious human rights violations, including public stonings and the marginalization of women at work and in schools.Since returning to power, the Taliban say they have moved as quickly as possible on opening up their government and guaranteeing rights to women, and that they do not represent a threat to any other country.”Afghanistan will never allow its soil to be used as a base for anyone to threaten the security of another country,” Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said.Abdul Salam Hanafi, the deputy prime minister who led the delegation, said: “Isolating Afghanistan is in no one’s interests.”While governments around the world, including Russia, have declined to give official recognition to the Taliban government, the communique recognized the “new reality” of their ascent to power.Seeking influenceRussia’s initiative in hosting the talks is part of an effort to boost its influence in the region after the US pullout. Its main fear is the risk of instability in Central Asia, and possible migrant flows and Islamist militant activity directed from Afghanistan.The concerns have intensified after a series of attacks by the Afghan affiliate of Islamic State — dubbed Islamic State in Khorasan Province after an ancient name for the region — on mosques and other targets that have killed hundreds of people.Russia fought its own disastrous war in Afghanistan in the 1980s and has close military and political ties with former Soviet Central Asian republics that border Afghanistan.As well as saying no militant groups will be able to operate from Afghanistan, the Taliban have said they will safeguard the rights of women and minorities. But many women and girls have been prevented from going to work or school, and the interim cabinet includes only men.

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US Navy seized Iranian petroleum products and hundreds of missiles from vessels in Arabian Sea

The weapons, the department said in the Tuesday release, were seized by the US during “routine maritime security operations.”Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps organized the shipments of weapons, which were bound for Houthi militias in Yemen, the Justice Department said. The petroleum was taken from “four foreign-flagged tankers in or around the Arabian Sea while…

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US Navy seized Iranian petroleum products and hundreds of missiles from vessels in Arabian Sea

The weapons, the department said in the Tuesday release, were seized by the US during “routine maritime security operations.”Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps organized the shipments of weapons, which were bound for Houthi militias in Yemen, the Justice Department said. The petroleum was taken from “four foreign-flagged tankers in or around the Arabian Sea while en route to Venezuela,” according to the release.US Navy Central Command seized the weapons from two “flagless vessels” in the Arabian Sea on two occasions: November 25, 2019, and February 9, 2020.”These successful forfeiture actions are a product of the U.S. government’s coordinated efforts to enforce U.S. sanctions against the IRGC and the Iranian regime,” the release stated.Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division added that “the actions of the United States in these two cases strike a resounding blow to the Government of Iran and to the criminal networks supporting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”The weapons included “171 guided anti-tank missiles, eight surface-to-air missiles, land attack cruise missile components, anti-ship cruise missile components, thermal weapon optics and other components for missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles,” or drones, the release aid. The US obtained three type “358” surface-to-air missiles and 150 “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles in the 2020 weapons seizure.The Justice Department forfeited the weapons through the US District Court for the District of Columbia. The court upheld the department’s findings, agreeing the weapons were part of an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps trafficking network “designed to distribute illicit weapons to the Houthi movement in Yemen,” the release said.The petroleum products were seized because the US government believed they originated in Iran and their sale would benefit the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an Iranian entity sanctioned by the US, the government alleged in a complaint filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on July 2, 2020.The court, on October 1, 2021, agreed with the government, finding that the petroleum and its potential sale would benefit the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the release said.

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Ukraine’s defense minister warns there will be a ‘bloody massacre’ if Russia invades

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Ukraine’s defense minister warns there will be a ‘bloody massacre’ if Russia invades

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Harris condemns Russian test of anti-satellite weapon at Biden administration’s first space council meeting

The National Space Council was resurrected during the Trump administration to streamline and synchronize space priorities and policies across the federal government, and it was retained by the Biden administration. Space has proved to be one of the few areas where the Biden administration has maintained most of the policies of the previous administration –…

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Harris condemns Russian test of anti-satellite weapon at Biden administration’s first space council meeting

The National Space Council was resurrected during the Trump administration to streamline and synchronize space priorities and policies across the federal government, and it was retained by the Biden administration. Space has proved to be one of the few areas where the Biden administration has maintained most of the policies of the previous administration — from supporting the Space Force to NASA’s new Artemis program, which aims to return American astronauts to the moon by the middle of this decade.At Wednesday’s meeting, Harris applauded the Artemis Accords and said the US government must work to expand the number of signatories. Thirteen nations have signed on, and Harris says France and Mexico have indicated they will bring that number up to 15. The United States’ two greatest adversaries in space — China and Russia — have not signed on to the accords. The Artemis Accords are an international agreement designed to provide a framework for the peaceful exploration of the moon and Mars. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman described the accords as “this generation’s commitment to the Outer Space Treaty,” the landmark 1967 space law that remains in effect to this day.While the first meeting of the National Space Council under Harris’ leadership offered a window into the administration’s space policies and priorities, it produced only an outline to guide the council’s efforts. In addition to promoting the rapid development of rules and norms to govern space, the United States Space Priorities Framework is focused on utilizing space to combat climate change and enhancing STEM education.Those final two priorities are far more prominent for the Biden administration than the previous one, and they were reflected in an executive order signed Wednesday by President Joe Biden. The order added five members to the National Space Council: the secretaries of education, labor, agriculture and interior, as well as the national climate adviser. “I believe we have a responsibility to also look to our home planet,” Harris said. “While exploration of space defined the 20th century, the opportunity of space must guide our work in the 21st.”

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