Tag Archives: foreign

U.S., Taliban aim to firm up date for foreign force exit from Afghanistan

U.S., Taliban aim to firm up date for foreign force exit from AfghanistanUpcoming peace talks between the United States and the Taliban will focus on working out a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops from Afghanistan and on a Taliban guarantee militants won’t plot attacks from Afghan soil, sources said on Monday. A seventh round of talks between the warring sides begins on Saturday in Qatar’s capital of Doha, where U.S. and Taliban negotiators have been trying to hammer out a deal to end to the 18-year-long war since October. “Once the timetable for foreign force withdrawal is announced, then talks will automatically enter the next stage,” said Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha.



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UK foreign minister Hunt says cannot envisage joining U.S.-led war with Iran

UK foreign minister Hunt says cannot envisage joining U.S.-led war with IranBritain does not expect the United States to request that the United Kingdom joins a war with Iran and London would be unlikely to agree to join such a conflict, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Tuesday. “The U.S. is our closest ally, we talk to them the whole time, we consider any requests that they say carefully, but I cannot envisage any situation where they request or we agree to any moves to go to war,” Hunt told parliament.



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Pompeo tries rallying foreign leaders in alleged oil attacks

Pompeo tries rallying foreign leaders in alleged oil attacksSecretary of State Mike Pompeo is working the phones to convince wary leaders in Asia and Europe that Iran was behind alleged attacks on shipping in a key Middle East oil route — and that it’s a problem for the whole international community to deal with, not just the United States. While calling U.S. evidence “unmistakable” that Iran was to blame for alleged attacks on two oil tankers last week near the Strait of Hormuz, Pompeo was emphasizing international diplomacy over any possible new U.S. military response in appearances on Sunday news shows. “We are going to work to build out a set of countries that have deep vested interest in keeping that strait open to help us do that,” Pompeo said.



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Pompeo tries rallying foreign leaders in alleged oil attacks

Pompeo tries rallying foreign leaders in alleged oil attacksSecretary of State Mike Pompeo is reaching out to wary foreign leaders to frame alleged Iranian attacks in a Middle East oil shipping route as a problem for the world at large, especially for Asian countries vitally dependent on that oil. Pompeo, in a series of Sunday television interviews, emphasized the U.S. international outreach in the wake of what the U.S. says were Iranian attacks Thursday on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz . The world needs to unite,” Pompeo said.



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Iranian Foreign Minister Proposes a Prisoner Swap With the U.S.

Iranian Foreign Minister Proposes a Prisoner Swap With the U.S."Let's have an exchange. I'm ready to do it," he said.



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Iran foreign minister offers prisoner swap deal for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Iran foreign minister offers prisoner swap deal for Nazanin Zaghari-RatcliffeIran’s foreign minister has offered a prisoner exchange of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and an Iranian woman held in Australia on “phony charges”. Mohammed Javad Zarif, speaking at an event held by the Asia Society in New York on Wednesday, said the proposal was made to the US six months ago but he was now making it public. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, a British-Iranian who has been held in prison in Tehran on spying charges since 2016, was last month granted diplomatic protection by the UK government in an attempt to secure her release, with little effect. “We have an Iranian lady in Australia who gave birth in prison after she was arrested on an extradition request from the United States because she was responsible as a translator in the purchase of transmission equipment for (an) Iranian broadcasting company,” Mr Zarif said. While he did not name the woman, it is believed he was referring to Negar Ghodskani, who has been detained in Australia since 2017 on a charge of “conspiracy to export US-origin technology to Iran without the required licenses.” Video of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's arrest shown on Iranian state TV “She’s been lingering in an Australian jail for two years. We hear about Nazanin and her child. I feel sorry for them and I’ve done my best to help, but nobody talks about this lady in Australia whose child is growing up apart from its mother.” Mr Zarif said he “had the authority” to negotiate such a deal, adding that it should also include other Iranian nationals held on sanctions violation charges in the US: “I put this offer on the table publicly now. Exchange them. “We believe that their charges are phony. The United States believes charges against those in prison in Iran are phony.” He claimed he has not received an answer from the US administration after floating the idea six months ago. The comments mark the first public suggestion from the Iranian government that it would be willing to use Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was working at the Thomson Reuters Foundation at the time of her arrest, as diplomatic leverage. The issue of the mother-of-one’s citizenship has created an impasse between the two countries as Iran does not recognise dual nationality. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, from Hampstead, north London, has complained of being denied access to medical care at Evin prison, going on a hunger strike earlier this year in protest. Her husband, Richard, said he was surprised by Mr Zarif's offer and that the UK government gave her protection precisely to protect her from being used as leverage. Mr Zarif, seen as a moderate inside the conservative Islamic Republic, also discussed Washington’s announcement on Monday that it would sanction all countries that buy Iranian oil, in a move meant to squeeze Iran's main source of revenue. Oil prices have hit their highest level since November, with the decision further tightening global supply. “(President Donald) Trump thinks he can bring us to our knees, but he is mistaken,” Mr Zarif warned. "We believe that Iran will continue to sell its oil. We will continue to find buyers for our oil and we will continue to use the Strait of Hormuz as a safe transit passage for the sale of our oil," he told the event in New York. "If the United States takes the crazy measure of trying to prevent us from doing that then it should be prepared for the consequences." He ended by saying that "it's not a crisis yet, but it's a dangerous situation. "Accidents, plotted accidents are possible."



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Five Britons killed in Sri Lanka terror attacks which left more than 200 dead, foreign ministry confirms

Five Britons killed in Sri Lanka terror attacks which left more than 200 dead, foreign ministry confirmsFive Britons have been killed in the Sri Lankan terror attacks which left more than 200 people dead, the country’s foreign ministry has confirmed. James Dauris, the UK's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, who visited some of the injured Britons in hospital, earlier today condemned the "deplorable violence" as he urged people in Sri Lanka to get in touch with members of their family to let them know they were safe. The country’s foreign ministry said the nationalities of 11 foreigners killed in the Easter Sunday blasts have been verified. It was confirmed that three Britons and two people holding joint US and British citizenship were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks after a series of explosions which ripped through churches and luxury hotels. Sri Lanka attacks – Locator map Three Indians, one Portuguese national, two Turkish nationals were killed while a further nine foreigners were also reported missing. A Dutch national and a Chinese national also have been reported among the victims. The Easter attacks mark the worst bloodshed Sri Lanka has seen since its brutal civil war ended a decade ago. The authorities said 207 were killed and 450 injured in the attacks, most of which were being blamed on suspected suicide bombers. No one has taken responsibility for the killings, but officials say seven suspects have been arrested. pic gallery News of the death of the British nationals came as the first victims of the Easter bombings were named as a TV chef and her daughter, Nisanga. Shantha Mayadunne had been staying at the Shangri-La hotel in the capital Colombo which was one of four hotels bombed this morning. Her daughter had posted a photo of the family in the hotel shortly before the explosion with the caption, 'Easter breakfast with my family'. Six nearly simultaneous explosions at churches and hotels killed scores of people in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa. Hours later there were further explosions in Dehiwala and Dematagoda on the outskirts of Colombo. In Colombo, St Anthony's Shrine and the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels were targeted in the first wave of explosions. Other blasts were reported at St Sebastian's Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, and at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa. Mr Dauris said: "I've been speaking this afternoon with Brits in hospital who have been affected by today's senseless attacks. "My team's and my thoughts go out to all those people who are suffering as a result of the deplorable violence Sri Lanka has witnessed this Easter Sunday." Prime Minister, Theresa May said the Easter Sunday massacre was "truly appalling" and "no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear".



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US labels elite Iran force a foreign terrorist organization

US labels elite Iran force a foreign terrorist organizationWASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Monday designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization, an unprecedented declaration against a foreign government that may prompt retaliation and make it harder for American diplomats and military officers to work with allies in the region.



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U.S. seeks 'quagmire' with Iran in designating IRGC as terrorist group: Iran foreign minister

U.S. seeks 'quagmire' with Iran in designating IRGC as terrorist group: Iran foreign ministerIran’s foreign minister said on Sunday U.S. officials aiming to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist group want to “drag the U.S. into a quagmire” on behalf of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “#NetanyahuFirsters who have long agitated for FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organisaton) of the IRGC fully understand its consequences for US forces in the region.



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U.S. designates Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps foreign terror group

U.S. designates Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps foreign terror groupTrump administration calls Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist group, the first time Washington has described a foreign military this way.



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