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Syria Opens ‘National Dialogue’ with Opposition Absent
July 11, 2011
PMDAMASCUS - Syria opened a 'national dialogue' on Sunday that it hailed as a step towards multi-party democracy after five decades of Baath party rule, but its credibility was undermined by an opposition boycott. Some 200 delegates, including independent MPs and members of the ...
SAARC Nations Face Common Challenges: Singh
July 10, 2011
NEW DELHI - Countries in South Asia face common challenges of mass poverty, unemployment, lack of adequate health care, illiteracy and environmental degradation, said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said. In the opening session of the Fifth Conference of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Speakers and ...
US, Iraq Negotiating Possible Post-2011 US Force
July 09, 2011
WASHINGTON — The United States and Iraq are negotiating the possibility of keeping some US forces in the country beyond a December 31 deadline for withdrawal, the US military's top officer said Thursday. "The negotiations are ongoing and it's hard," Admiral Mike Mullen told reporters at a Pentagon Press Association ...
Russia Concerned About Militants’ Use of Internet
July 07, 2011
MOSCOW - Russia's top security official warned on Wednesday that Islamist militants were increasingly using the Internet to fight for the "minds and hearts" of disillusioned youths, Russian media reported.
Federal Security Service (FSB) director Alexander Bortnikov emphasized the importance of countering the use of the Internet to lure ...
Libya denies Russia report Gaddafi seeking way out
July 06, 2011
Muammar Gaddafi is sounding out the possibility of handing over power, a Russian newspaper said on Tuesday, but the Libyan government denied it was in talks about the veteran leader stepping....
Libya, Missile Defense Hinder NATO Ties: Russia
July 05, 2011
SOCHI, Russia— Differences over the war in Libya and missile defense plans are hindering efforts to build a strategic partnership between NATO and Russia, Russia's foreign minister said Monday.
"The dialogue is not proceeding as easily as we expected after the Lisbon summit," Sergey Lavrov said, referring to the meeting ...
Turkish Airlines has been Named “Best Airline in Europe”
July 05, 2011
KABUL - Turkish Airlines has been also named as the winner of the categories, "Best Premium Economy Seats" and "Best Airline in Southern Europe" by Skytrax. According to the results of the evaluation 2011, Turkish Airlines has been chosen as the winner of the 3 categories by Skytrax which is a ...
Iran Exports $2 Bln Worth of Petrochemicals
July 04, 2011
TEHRAN - The Director of National Iranian Petrochemical Company (NIPC) Abdolhossein Bayat said that Iran exported 2 billion U.S. dollars worth of petrochemical products in two-month period from March 21 to May 20, the local Press TV reported Sunday. Bayat said 2.8 million tons of petrochemical products were exported in that period, said the...
Arab Uprisings are Opportunity for Democracy: Clinton
July 03, 2011
MADRID - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the Arab Spring Uprisings represent a true opportunity for democracy in the Arab region, noting the need for international support of these changes.
The remark was made during a meeting on Saturday between Clinton and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who both, ...
Islamic Terrorism Still A Threat: Germany
July 02, 2011
BERLIN — Germany's top security official said Friday that the terrorist threat to the country hasn't decreased and the number of radicals continues to grow, even with the death of Osama bin Laden. Security officials saw no reason to lower Germany's threat level following the death of the al-Qaida leader, said Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, presenting the annual report by Germany's domestic intelligence...
Gul Designates Erdogan to Form New Government
June 30, 2011
ANKARA - Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday designated Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is also the chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), to form the new government, said a presidential statement. The statement issued by the Presidential Press Office said that Gul ...
Cameron to Urge Rethinks on Strikes
June 29, 2011
LONDON - British Prime Minister David Cameron was calling Tuesday on public sector unions to halt planned industrial action and accept that their pension packages are unsustainable and must be reformed. The Prime Minister was insisting the present arrangements are "not fair to the taxpayer" two days before a mass walkout of ...
Military Action Won’t Solve Libyan Crisis: China
June 28, 2011
LONDON – Military action alone won't resolve the Libyan crisis, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday in a warning to nations conducting the NATO-led air campaign in Libya. Following talks in London with British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Chinese leader said his nation backed attempts to reach a political solution over ...
ASEAN-China Youth Leaders to Form Association
June 27, 2011
PHNOM PENH - The youth leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China (ASEAN-China) on said he will establish an ASEAN-China Youths' Association aimed at building closer relations and cooperation and sharing experience.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of a two-day ASEAN-China youth leaders symposium on Sunday, Sok Theavuth, youth leader of Cambodia,...
Kadhafi to Stay Out of Libya Peace Talks: AU Panel
June 27, 2011
RETORIA – African leaders welcomed Sunday Moamer Kadhafi's decision to stay out of negotiations to end Libya's four-month conflict, as battles raged between the regime and rebels near Tripoli.
Multiple rocket and heavy machine gunfire was heard on the plains below the rebel enclave in the Nafusa Mountains, southwest of...
Egypt will Not Need IMF, World Bank Funds: FM
June 26, 2011
CAIRO – Egypt will not borrow from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund after revising its budget and cutting the forecast deficit, even though a loan had been agreed, Finance Minister Samir Radwan said Saturday. The 2011/12 deficit in the first draft budget was forecast at 11 percent of gross domestic product, but was revised to 8.6 percent...
Russian Billionaire Challenges Putin Party
June 26, 2011
MOSCOW – Billionaire oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov Saturday won the leadership of a Russian pro-reform party, setting the goal of challenging the dominance of Vladimir Putin's ruling faction United Russia.
Delegates elected Prokhorov unopposed as the new leader of the Pravoe Delo (Just Cause) party at an extraordinary congress in Moscow marked by bold ambitions the businessman would turn it into a...
IAEA Seeks Enhanced Role in Nuclear Safety
June 25, 2011
VIENNA - Member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Friday highlighted the need to strengthen the agency's role in nuclear safety issues.
"The IAEA plays a central role and is the appropriate international focal point for strengthening the global nuclear safety framework," said a summary statement from an IAEA ministerial...
57 Al-Qaida Militants Escape Prison in South Yemen
June 23, 2011
SANAA, Yemen – Dozens of al-Qaida militants battled their way out of prison Wednesday in the latest sign that Yemen's political upheaval has emboldened them to challenge authorities in the countries nearly lawless south, security officials...
Clinton Backs Saudi Women’s Call for Right to Drive
June 22, 2011
ASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday publicly threw her support behind a campaign by Saudi women to lift a ban on female driving in the ultra conservative, oil-rich kingdom.
"What these women are doing is brave, and what they are seeking is right," Clinton said, ending what officials here had called ...
Iran Arrests 4 Members of Jundollah Group
June 22, 2011
TEHRAN - Iranian security forces have arrested four members of the "terrorist" Jundollah (God's soldiers) group along Iran's borders in the Southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan province, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Tuesday. "Four terrorists, who wanted to infiltrate into Iran, were arrested at Sistan...
Iran Invites UN Atom Chief to See Its Nuclear Sites
June 22, 2011
VIENNA – Iran's nuclear energy chief said on Tuesday he had held "very good" and "transparent" talks with the head of the U.N. atomic agency and had invited him to visit the Islamic state's nuclear facilities.
The rare meeting in Vienna between Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani and Director General Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency...
Human Trafficking for Labor Exploitation is Modern-Day Slavery: OSCE
June 21, 2011
VIENNA – Human trafficking for labor exploitation is a new form of slavery that occurs on a massive scale, the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, said today at an OSCE-hosted conference that highlights how decent work and social justice can prevent...
Iran to Link Nuclear Plant to Grid ‘in August’
June 20, 2011
TEHRAN – Iran's first nuclear power plant, built by Russia, is to be connected to the national grid in early August, the Iranian ambassador to Moscow, Reza Sajjadi, said in media reports on Sunday.
"Russian officials announced that they are ready to inaugurate the (Bushehr) plant and connect its electricity to the national grid...
Pakistan Suffers US$ 67.93 Bln Losses Due to Operation against Terrorists
June 20, 2011
ISLAMABAD –Pakistan’s economy has suffered direct and indirect losses upto US $67.93 billion due its role as a frontline state in operations against terrorists, miscreants and militants since 2001 besides causing damage to its social fabric. According to Pakistan Economic Survey 2010-11, the events that transpired after 9/11...
Yemeni Clerics Call for Presidential Elections
June 19, 2011
SANA - More than 100 influential religious clerics and tribal leaders are calling for presidential elections within 60 days in Yemen and the ouster of the President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh is undergoing medical treatment in Saudi Arabia after being wounded in an attack on his palace earlier this month. A ruling party official said Friday that Saleh intends to return to Yemen within days, but the...
UN Meets to Mull Climate Change Quick-Fix Options
June 19, 2011
ONN – On the heels of another halting round of talks on climate change, UN scientists this week will review quick-fix options for beating back the threat of global warming that rely on technology rather than political wrangling. Experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), meeting for three days from Monday in the Peruvian capital Lima, will ponder "geo-engineering" solutions designed to cool the...
Ban Nominated to Top UN Post for Second Term
June 18, 2011
UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council on Friday "adopted by acclamation" a resolution to nominate incumbent UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for a second five-year term, the Council president told reporters here. Noel Nelson Messone, Gabon's UN ambassador whose country holds the rotating Council presidency for the month of June, made the...
SCO Pledges Cooperation in Trade, Counter-Terrorism, Touches on Libya
June 16, 2011
ASTANA - The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Wednesday said its member states will focus on cooperation in trade and counter-terrorism, calling for an end to the Libyan crisis.
The SCO heads of state made the remarks in a declaration signed in the Kazakh capital of Astana on the organization's 10th...
S. Korea, NATO to Discuss Security Challenges
June 15, 2011
SEOUL - South Korea and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are scheduled to hold a meeting Tuesday over security cooperation, the foreign ministry here said Tuesday.
The fourth annual consultations at NATO Headquarters in Brussels will address a range of security issues of mutual concern, including South...
Africa Must Abandon Gadhafi: Clinton
June 14, 2011
>ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – The nations of Africa should sever all links with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi despite his long support and patronage for many African leaders, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday as she warned that without broad social, economic and political reforms Africa will face the same kind of...
Erdogan Vows to Seek Compromise on Constitution
June 14, 2011
ANKARA – Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to seek compromise with the opposition after his party won a thumping election victory but fell short of the majority needed to overhaul the constitution.
The Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) won 49.9 percent of the vote in Sunday's polls, according to unofficial ...
Turkey ruling party wins election with reduced majority
June 13, 2011
Near-complete results from Turkey's election show the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a third term. With 99% of ballots counted the AKP had 50% of the vote, which local media said translated to 326 seats in parliament. But that would be 41 seats short of the two-thirds majority needed to amend the...
Nuclear Disarmament Conference, Calls for “Practical Mechanisms”
June 13, 2011
TEHRAN - Iran kicked off the second International Nuclear Disarmament Conference in Tehran on Sunday, calling for practical mechanisms to the issue of nuclear disarmament.
Addressing the opening ceremony of an international nuclear disarmament conference in Tehran on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said the conference is aimed at developing some...
Turkey Concerned Over Developments in Syria: Erdogan
June 12, 2011
ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was concerned over the escalating violence against civilians in Syria amid anti-government protests.
In an interview with Turkish NTV channel late Friday, Erdogan said: "Developments in Syria is very much...