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UN rejects U.S. bid to extend Iran arms embargo

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Iraqi court issues arrest warrant against U.S. president, Trump

…As Britain marks 75 years since Japan’s defeat in World War II***

The United Nations Security Council on Friday rejected a proposal by the United States that sought indefinite extension of an arms embargo on Iran.

Amb. Dian Djani, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN and President of the council for August, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the council’s meeting on the issue.

Djani said China and Russia, two veto power holders in the 15-member council, voted against the US-sponsored resolution, while 11 countries, including the United Kingdom, France and Germany, abstained.

“Only two countries, the U.S. itself and the Dominican Republic, voted in favour,” he said.

The weapons ban is due to expire in October under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

In a statement after the meeting, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Zhang Jun, said the result of the voting showed that “unilateralism receives no support and bullying will fail’’.

Germany said it abstained because it was clear from the beginning that the proposal would fail due to opposition from China and Russia.

While noting that it shared concerns about the forthcoming expiration of the ban, it said more time was needed to find a common ground on the issue.

The Permanent Representative of U.S. to the UN, Amb. Kelly Craft, said her country would stop at nothing to extend the arms embargo.

Also read: Israel’s historic peace deal with UAE could be just the beginning

Her Iranian counterpart, Amb. Majid Ravanchi, warned the U.S. against any further move for sanctions against his country.

“Imposition of any sanctions or restrictions on Iran by the Security Council will be met severely by Iran and our options are not limited.

“An the United States and any entity which may assist it or acquiesce in its illegal behaviour will bear the full responsibility,” Ravanchi said in a statement.

Also reacting, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, described the Security Council’s decision as “inexcusable’’, saying it had failed in its primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security.

“The United Nations Security Council is charged with the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. It failed today to uphold its fundamental mission set.

“It rejected a reasonable resolution to extend the 13-year old arms embargo on Iran and paved the way for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell conventional weapons without specific UN restrictions in place for the first time in over a decade.

“The Security Council’s failure to act decisively in defense of international peace and security is inexcusable,’’ he said.

In a statement, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin proposed a summit with the U.S. and other parties to the Iran nuclear deal to avoid further “confrontation and escalation” at the United Nations over Iran.

In another development, Britain was on Saturday set to observe the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Japan in World War II, with many events held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Japan (VJ) Day include a fly-past by jets from Britain’s Red Arrows air force display team over the capitals of the four nations in the United Kingdom – Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London.

VJ Day marks 75 years since Japan surrendered to the Allied forces, ending hostilities.

A formal surrender ceremony was held on Sept. 2 on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Fighting in the Asia-Pacific had continued for several months after the defeat of Nazi Germany – Japan’s ally – in May 1945.

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife, Camilla, are on Saturday to attend a VJ Day national service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Some war veterans are also to be present at the televised event.

The couple are at 11.00 a.m. (1000 GMT) to lead a national two-minute silence and review a fly-past by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Britain’s Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and father of Charles, is also expected to appear on screen.

Philip, 99, was present in Tokyo Bay in 1945.

Fighting in Europe ended in May 1945.

This is commemorated on May 8, Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

Many VE Day events across Europe were cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

The Imperial War Museums are also to release war-time testimonies under the headline “Voices of War” and have published historic photos and films.

 

 

dpa

 

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U.S. strikes 2 targets in Syria in response to ‘continued attacks’

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The U.S. military struck two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to “continued attacks” against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon said on Sunday.

The strikes were conducted against a training facility in Abu Kamal and a safe house in Mayadin in the eastern governorate of Deir Ezzor, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a brief statement.

The U.S. struck similar targets in eastern Syria in October and earlier in November.

Pro-Iranian militias have intensified their attacks on U.S. military bases in Syria and Iraq in recent weeks as a response to the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.

The security situation in the entire region has been particularly tense since Oct. 7, when Hamas militants staged deadly attacks in southern Israel.

Israel is responding with an overwhelming air and ground offensive in Gaza.

As a deterrent, the U.S. has moved more weapons systems, warships and air squadrons to the Eastern Mediterranean, and is deploying several hundred troops to the Middle East to support US units there.

U.S. President Joe Biden had ordered Sunday’s action to make it clear that the U.S. was defending itself, its personnel, and its interests, Austin stressed.

The U.S. is prepared to take further necessary measures to protect its own people and interests.

  • dpa
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Russia writes off $23bn debt for Africa – Putin

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Russia sends almost 12m tons of grain to Africa says Putin

…Pledges additional $90 million***

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, says the Russian Government has written off $23 billion debt burden of African countries.

Putin spoke at the plenary session of the ongoing second Russia–Africa Summit 2023 held from July 27 to July 28.

He said Moscow would allocate an additional $90 million for these purposes.

Putin said Russia was advocating the expansion of representation of African countries in the UN Security Council and other UN structures.

“Russia and Africa strive to develop cooperation in all areas and strengthen ‘honest, open, constructive’ partnership.

“Russia will also assist in opening new African embassies and consulates in Russia,” he said.

According to him, the reopening of embassies in Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea is going as planned.

He said sovereignty was “not a one-time achieved state,” and it must be constantly protected.

Putin also offered assistance to Africa in countering threats such as terrorism, piracy, and transnational crimes adding that it would continue to train personnel from African countries.

He assured that Russian businesses have a lot to offer partners from Africa.

Putin said transition to national currencies and the establishment of transport and logistics chains would contribute to the increase in mutual trade turnover.

“Russia is ready to provide trade preferences to Africa, support the creation of modern production sectors, agricultural sector, and provide assistance through relevant international structures and agencies.

“Russia will always be a responsible international supplier of agricultural products,” he said.

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U.S. Coastguard Finds ‘debris field’ Near Missing Vessel

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A “debris field” has been discovered within the search area for the missing Titan submersible, the U.S. Coastguard (USCG) said on Thursday.

The agency said a remotely-operated vehicle made the discovery near the wreckage of the Titanic on Thursday.

The hunt for the missing deep-sea vessel is still an “active search and rescue” mission after it lost communication on Sunday.

The vessel was about 700 kilometres south of St John’s, Newfoundland, during a voyage to the Titanic shipwreck off the coast of Canada.

Coastguard officials said they were “evaluating the information” following Thursday’s debris discovery.

A press conference will be held at the Coastguard base in Boston to “discuss the findings” at 8pm (1900 GMT).

Rear Admiral John Mauger, the first Coastguard district commander, and Captain Jamie Frederick, first Coastguard district response coordinator, will lead the press conference.

Founding member of the Board of Trustees of The Explorers Club, Hamish Harding, was on board the undersea craft, alongside UK-based businessman Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, and OceanGate’s chief executive and founder Stockton Rush, as well as French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

The USCG said the ROV that made the discovery was from the Canadian Horizon Arctic ship – with the debris being found on the sea floor near the Titanic wreckage.

Assistance from the Royal Air Force (RAF) is due to arrive in St John’s on Thursday after it confirmed a request was received overnight for help with the movement of additional commercial equipment.

Two RAF planes, a C-17 Globemaster and A400 Atlas, departed RAF Lossiemouth in north-east Scotland on Thursday.

A British submariner and equipment from a UK firm have been sent to help the search at the request of the U.S. Coastguard, Downing Street said.

Royal Navy submariner Lieutenant Commander Richard Kantharia, who was on exchange with the U.S. Navy, has been seconded to the search and rescue team.

OceanGate Expeditions estimated the oxygen supply on the 6.7 metre-long vessel would last 96 hours, giving rescuers a deadline of around midday on Thursday.

Experts said the chances of finding the sub and rescuing those inside were diminishing.

Former Royal Navy submarine captain Ryan Ramsey told the PA news agency: “The outlook is bleak, that’s the only word for it as this tragic event unfolds and almost the closing stages of where this changes from rescue to a salvage mission.”

The Titan is believed to be about 900 miles east and 400 miles south of Newfoundland.

It is not known how deep the vessel is, with the seabed being around 3,800 metres from the surface. 

– dpa

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