Twitter
Print

Viber

Email

The mission said the Taliban was responsible for half of those casualties. The violence came just before the much-delayed peace talks aimed at ending the 18-year war. No matter what tactics they employ to derail the peace process, they cannot be allowed to succeed”, the mission said, and urged the Taliban and Afghan authorities not to target civilians and push on with efforts to de-escalate the conflict ahead of upcoming talks. Violence dropped in the run-up to the signing of a deal between the US and the Taliban in February. The UN said it believes the fighting aims to derail the peace talks between the government and the Taliban. “There are spoilers who do not wish to see an end to war. “In the first six months of 2020, preliminary figures indicate more than 800 civilians were killed and injured in deliberate attacks against civilians”, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said Thursday. The United Nations said that more than 800 people have been killed or wounded in “deliberate attacks” targeting civilians in Afghanistan during the first half of the year. However, after a three-day ceasefire in May, attacks have since been increasing across the country.

EPA-EFE/HEDAYATULLAH AMID

Afghan security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack, which targeted a convoy of Ministry of Interior Affairs advisors, in Kabul, Afghanistan, 13 November 2019. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>UN concerned Afghan violence aimed at derailing peace talks

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa07992102 Afghan security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack, which targeted a convoy of Ministry of Interior Affairs advisors, in Kabul, Afghanistan, 13 November 2019. According to the media at least seven people were killed and 18 others wounded in the blast. According to the media at least seven people were killed and 18 others wounded in the blast. EPA-EFE/HEDAYATULLAH AMID

Linkedin

WhatsApp

Facebook

According to the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan, during the conversation, the parties discussed the possibility of developing partnerships in priority areas, including financing and investment. According to the British Embassy, ​​the document contributes to the further development of interstate trade relations with the support of the Department of guaranteeing export loans (UK Export Finance). Britain’s Ambassador to Turkmenistan Hugh Philpott and Turkmen Minister of Finance and Economy Ezizgeldy Annamuhamedov signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Turkmenistan and UK governments on the development of sustainable economic cooperation, the website Chronicle of Turkmenistan reported on July 3.

WhatsApp
FOREIGN MINISTRY OF TURKMENISTAN style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Turkmenistan, UK sign MoU on economic cooperation

By New Europe online/KB

Turkmenistan and the United kingdom have signed a memorandum on economic cooperation.
Print

Twitter

Viber

Facebook
Email

Linkedin

Email

in Moscow, Russia, 24 June 2020. in Moscow, Russia, 24 June 2020. EPA-EFE/VLADIMIR PESNYA / HOST PHOTO AGENCY / POOL MANDATORY CREDIT style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Russian court convicts expert for ‘treason’ for giving German firm info about mercenary groups

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08505857 Russian MSTA-SM self-propelled howitzers on Red Square in Moscow during the military parade to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in World War II. The military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in the World War II takes place in the Red Square on 24 June 2020, as the traditional troops parade as part of the Victory Day Parade which is annually held on 09 May, was cancelled due to Covid-19 epidemic in Russia. The military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in the World War II takes place in the Red Square on 24 June 2020, as the traditional troops parade as part of the Victory Day Parade which is annually held on 09 May, was cancelled due to Covid-19 epidemic in Russia. EPA-EFE/VLADIMIR PESNYA / HOST PHOTO AGENCY / POOL MANDATORY CREDIT

Russian MSTA-SM self-propelled howitzers on Red Square in Moscow during the military parade to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in World War II.

Linkedin
Viber
Print
Facebook
Twitter

The trial was held behind closed doors. Vladimir Neyelov was arrested in 2018. In recent years, Moscow has charged with treason several Russian experts, scientists and academics. Moscow, however, said that any Russian mercenaries there do not represent the Russian state’s interests. Prior to his arrest, Neyelov had written about private military contractors and worked for two think tanks. The United States has recently accused Russia for using private military contractors in Libya to conceal its role in the war. The court did not name the German company. He had admitted to selling information about how the Federal Security Service trains its staff, the court said, adding however, that he did not consider the data classified. He was convicted for selling secrets about mercenary groups to a German consulting firm. He was often quoted in the media speaking about the Vagner security group, which has sent mercenaries to Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and other countries. A Russian court on Thursday jailed a Russian think-tank expert specialising in military affairs to seven years for treason.

WhatsApp

Print

Viber

WhatsApp

EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Sweden says Iran agrees to compensate families from downing of Ukrainian airliner

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08111783 One of the engine of the plane lies among the wreckage after an Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 carrying 176 people crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran, killing everyone on board, in Shahriar, Iran, 08 January 2020. EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

One of the engine of the plane lies among the wreckage after an Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 carrying 176 people crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran, killing everyone on board, in Shahriar, Iran, 08 January 2020.
Email

Twitter
Later, Iran admitted that its forces accidentally shot down the plane. Sweden said Thursday that Iran has agreed to compensate the families of the victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane that was shot down minutes after takeoff from Tehran in January and killed all 176 people on board. Iranian forces had been on high alert at the time of the tragedy, which came hours after Iran launched missile strikes on an Iraqi military base housing US troops. “We have signed an agreement of mutual understanding that we will now negotiate with Iran about amends, compensation to the victims’ next of kin”, Sweden’s foreign minister Ann Linde said, adding that a deal had been reached after negotiations with Iran and the countries with citizens among the victims. It is still unclear what sums would be paid out. The strikes were in retaliation to the US drone killing of a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani. The victims included Iranian-Canadians, but there were also citizens from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan and Ukraine.
Linkedin

Facebook

Facebook

Linkedin
Email
Viber
WhatsApp

Twitter
Print

Members of the German Bundestag question German government on regular basis. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Merkel warns EU must prepare for no-deal Brexit

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epaselect epa08520328 German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a question and answer session of the German parliament ‘Bundestag’ in Berlin, Germany, 01 July 2020. EPA-EFE/HAYOUNG JEON EPA-EFE/HAYOUNG JEON

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a question and answer session of the German parliament 'Bundestag' in Berlin, Germany, 01 July 2020.
“I will keep pushing for a good solution, but the EU and Germany, too, must and should prepare for the case that an agreement is not reached,” she added. EU and UK kick-started on Monday five rounds of intense negotiations, in a bid to achieve a comprehensive trade deal on the limited time left, with the transition period scheduled to come to an end on December 31. “Progress in talks is, to put it cautiously, very limited,” the German leader told the Bundestag on Wednesday. The European Union must prepare for a no-deal scenario in post-Brexit talks with the EU, as the two sides have made “limited progress” in their negotiations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned.   The deadlines fall within Germany’s six-month EU Council Presidency, which it assumed on Wednesday. The Union has said that October 31 is the latest date that a deal can be achieved, if the UK is to ratify the deal by the end of the year. “We have agreed with Britain to speed up the talks in order to seal a deal in the autumn that must be ratified by the end of the year,” Merkel said, noting, however, that both Germany and the EU “must be prepared … for the possibility that a deal doesn’t materialise”. Earlier in June, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had urged the EU to “put a tiger in the tank” of the talks, saying that he doesn’t think the two sides are actually “that far apart.”
“There is no reason why we shouldn’t get this done in July,”  the British PM had said.

Twitter
Print
Facebook
Email

It has lifted many of its restrictions, but in recent days, the number of infections has started to rise. The country has so far had 31,967 infections and 1,686 deaths from the disease. Switzerland on Thursday said that, from July 6, travellers from 29 countries will have to go into self-isolation as a measure aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. It added that the list will be continually reviewed. Switzerland’s borders with Italy, Austria, Germany and France are open. Unrestricted travel has been allowed between Switzerland and all the other Schengen members. Countries with a high risk of infection include the United States, Sweden, Brazil and Russia, as well as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Serbia. The government said that, visitors from the countries which are on the high-risk list will have to notify the authorities on arrival and go into quarantine for 10 days.

Linkedin

style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Swiss restrict entry from 29 countries to prevent coronavirus spread

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08486270 Cars queue at the border station Chiasso Strada between Switzerland and Italy, in Chiasso, Switzerland, 15 June 2020. Switzerland reopened its borders to the EU neighbouring countries after the coronavirus lockdown with closed borders and travelling restrictions. EPA-EFE/Elia Bianchi

Cars queue at the border station Chiasso Strada between Switzerland and Italy, in Chiasso, Switzerland, 15 June 2020. Switzerland reopened its borders to the EU neighbouring countries after the coronavirus lockdown with closed borders and travelling restrictions. EPA-EFE/Elia Bianchi

WhatsApp

Viber

Viber

Print
Email

WhatsApp

Twitter

EPA-EFE/WU HONG

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian speaks during a daily media briefing in Beijing, China, 13 May 2020. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Beijing demands some US media submit information about China operations

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08418561 Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian speaks during a daily media briefing in Beijing, China, 13 May 2020. EPA-EFE/WU HONG

Beijing said the move was a response to Washington’s actions. In March, China expelled 13 journalists from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. The United States and China have been engaged in a series of retaliatory actions involving journalists in recent months, amid tensions over the coronavirus pandemic. Associated Press, National Public Radio, CBS and United Press International were asked to submit the requested information in writing within seven days, ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said. In February, due to propaganda concerns, the US designated as foreign missions five Chinese state media organizations – the Xinhua news agency, the China Global Television Network, China Radio International, the distributors of the official People’s Daily and English-language China Daily. In June, the US said it would start treating another four major Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies. China’s foreign ministry said Wednesday that the government has asked some US media news agencies to submit information about their operations in China.

Linkedin

Facebook

Print
In May, the country’s GDP contracted 2.2% in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2019, and the economy entered a recession. Germany has 83 million inhabitants. In seasonally adjusted terms, unemployment was up to 6.4% from 6.3% in May, while in March, it stood at 5%. The federal labor agency said that 2.85 million people were registered as unemployed. Germany started easing the coronavirus restrictions in late April. However, the rise was slower than in the previous two months thanks to the government’s coronavirus aid programmes. Germany’s unemployment rate rose in June, official figures showed Wednesday. The unadjusted jobless rate rose to 6.2% from 6.1% in May. On Wednesday, the labor agency said that it paid out 60% of the salary for 6.83 million furloughed employees in April. It paid out to 2.49 million in people in March, and just to 133,000 in February. In March, it stood at 5.1%.
WhatsApp

Viber
Email

EPA-EFE/MAURITZ ANTIN

A general view of the downtown Frankfurt, with the financial district high-rise buildings at centre on the background and the new constructed old town at bottom right, Frankfurt, Germany, 03 March 2020 (reissued 15 May 2020). According to data from the Federal Statistics Office, Germany's economy has shrunk for two consecutive quarters of the year, pushing the country into a recession. According to data from the Federal Statistics Office, Germany’s economy has shrunk for two consecutive quarters of the year, pushing the country into a recession. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>German jobless rate edges up in June, millions on furlough

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08423865 (FILE) – A general view of the downtown Frankfurt, with the financial district high-rise buildings at centre on the background and the new constructed old town at bottom right, Frankfurt, Germany, 03 March 2020 (reissued 15 May 2020). EPA-EFE/MAURITZ ANTIN

Twitter

Facebook
Linkedin

Viber

EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

Viktor Babariko, a candidate in Belarus' 2020 presidential elections and the former head of Belgazprombank, addresses reporters during a press conference in Minsk, Belarus, 11 June 2020. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Potential Belarusian presidential challenger remanded in custody

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08478967 Viktor Babariko, a candidate in Belarus’ 2020 presidential elections and the former head of Belgazprombank, addresses reporters during a press conference in Minsk, Belarus, 11 June 2020. The presidential campaign has kicked off in Belarus, with the election scheduled for 09 August 2020. The presidential campaign has kicked off in Belarus, with the election scheduled for 09 August 2020. EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH
Facebook

Linkedin

Babariko’s election campaign said it collected nearly 435,000 signatures, much more than the minimum of 100,000 required for candidacy. The court upheld the pretrial detention of Babariko, who is charged with financial crimes, his lawyer said. A Belarusian court has remanded in custody Viktor Babariko, a potential opponent of president Alexander Lukashenko in the upcoming election. Lukashenko, who has led the country since 1994, earlier announced that he is running for his sixth term in the August 9 presidential election. Several opposition bloggers, including opposition leader Nikolai Statkevich, have been sentenced to 15 days in jail, following protests against Lukashenko’s seeking of another term. He was arrested last month together with his son Eduard and 15 executives as part of a tax evasion and money-laundering probe. The commission added that Lukashenko collected 1,939,572 signatures, nearly three times more than all other five candidates allowed to run against him combined. The rights watchdog, Amnesty International, said it believes that “Viktor and Eduard Babariko are prisoners of conscience, prosecuted solely for the peaceful expression of their political opinions”. Babariko stepped down as CEO to the Russian-owned Belgazprombank to run against Lukashenko. Babariko said the arrests are politically motivated. However, the Central Election Commission said that he received only 165,744 signatures, a day after election authorities rejected tens of thousands of signatures he and other opposition candidates had collected. Belarusian authorities took control of the bank.
Twitter
WhatsApp

Print

Email

Twitter

As Germany takes over the rotating EU presidency from Croatia, the EEB has released a Dozen Demands to enable the EU to build a sustainable and healthy future, the EEB said in a press release. It also involves setting in motion a just transition towards a sustainable and resilient Europe, as well as leveraging all the financial means at the EU’s disposal, from the European Green Deal to the COVID-19 recovery package. “Overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring the rapid economic and social reconstruction of Europe will form the focus of the trio presidency,” the leaders of the three countries said in a joint statement.   Other focuses include building a more innovative, sustainable and fair EU. Ahead of its presidency, the German government released the broad outlines of its presidency’s work programme. “The response to the Corona crisis will be a core element of the German presidency,” EEB Secretary General Jeremy Wates said. Blueprint for green action
According to the EEB, rather than viewing the coronavirus and environmental challenges we face as distinct crises, it is vital that the German, Portuguese and Slovenian presidencies recognise and act on them as intricately and intimately interrelated problems and tackle them simultaneously and cohesively. Germany, the largest EU country in terms of both population and economy and one of the Union’s founding member states, is well-positioned to drive an ambitious agenda for change, the EEB said, reminding that Germany kicks off a trio of coordinated presidencies that will stretch over 18 months and includes Portugal and Slovenia. “We cannot simply go back to business as usual and continue a system that over-exploits the planet without regard for the consequences,” Wates reiterated. It has shown that we can and must do things differently,” he added. Towards that end and as part of its regular tracking of EU presidencies, the EEB has released its blueprint for joined-up green action by the presidency trio which covers 12 key demands. “However, the pandemic has not in any way reduced the urgency of tackling the multiple environmental crises that we were already facing – if anything, it has shown that we need to step up the pace and put the green transition at the heart of the recovery process. Top of the agenda is overcoming the socioeconomic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. The coronavirus crisis is not an excuse to delay environmental action but a reason to accelerate it and scale it up, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations, said on July 1. According to the EEB, the Dozen Demands include addressing not only the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic but also tackling the climate emergency, reversing the alarming loss of biodiversity and creating a non-toxic environment, not least because pollution can weaken people’s immune systems.
style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Germany’s EU presidency faces climate, biodiversity emergencies

By New Europe Online/KG

epaselect epa08520802 Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman (L) hands over the ceremonial staff to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (R) during the EU presidency transfer ceremony at Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 01 July 2020. The two diplomats held the symbolic transfer following a meeting at the German Foreign Ministry. On that occasion, the EEB has released a Dozen Demands to enable the EU to build a sustainable and healthy future. EPA-EFE/OMER MESSINGER Germany will take over the EU Council Presidency on July 1, 2020, for a period of six months. EPA-EFE/OMER MESSINGER

Croatia handed over the EU Presidency to Germany on July 1, 2020.

Facebook
Email
Print

Viber

Linkedin
WhatsApp

Facebook
Linkedin

Email

The German battery manufacturer receives IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) funding to further develop its lithium-ion technology for robotics and e-mobility applications. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU approves Hungarian investment aid to Toray’s lithium-ion BSF plant

By New Europe Online/KG

epa08517408 An employee operates a machine at the Varta battery factory in Ellwangen, Germany, 30 June 2020. EPA-EFE/PHILIPP GUELLAND

An employee operates a machine at a battery factory in Germany. EPA-EFE/PHILIPP GUELLAND/FILE PICTURE
Print
The aid will contribute to the region’s development whilst preserving competition, the Commission said, adding that the €46.5 million investment aid granted by Hungary will support Toray’s €397 million investment in a new production plant for lithium-ion battery separator films (BSF) in the Közép-Dunántúl region of Hungary. Hungary’s €46.5 million investment aid to the chemical company Toray for a new battery separator film plant in the Közép-Dunántúl region in Central Transdanubia is in line with EU State aid rules, the European Commission said on July 2. BSF are a key component of lithium-ion batteries, used in consumer electronics, energy storage systems and electric vehicles. The Commission said that without the public funding, the project would not have been carried out in Hungary or any other EU country; the aid is limited to the minimum necessary to trigger the investment in Hungary; the investment aid will contribute to job creation as well as to the economic development and to the competitiveness of a disadvantaged region. The production plant is located in Közép-Dunántúl, an area eligible for regional aid under a treaty on the functioning of the EU. It will be Toray’s first plant for the production of BSF in Europe. The Commission concluded that the positive effects of the project on regional development clearly outweigh any distortion of competition brought about by the State aid. The project, which started in 2019 and is planned to be completed in 2023, is expected to create nearly 200 direct jobs. The Commission said it assessed the aid measure under the Guidelines on Regional State Aid for 2014-2020, which enable Member States to support economic development and employment in the EU’s less developed regions and to foster regional cohesion in the Single Market. They function as the separator of the two major building blocks of a battery, preventing short circuits while allowing the movements of ions.

Twitter

WhatsApp

Viber

WhatsApp
Twitter

Linkedin
The Paks Nuclear Power Plant is the first and only operating nuclear power station in Hungary. EPA-EFE/TAMAS SOKI HUNGARY OUT

A reactor's internal equipments of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant's training reactor in Paks, Hungary, June 25, 2019. EPA-EFE/TAMAS SOKI/FILE PICTURE Altogether, its four reactors produce 35 to 40 percent of Hungary’s electricity production. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Paks-2 nuke plant licence submitted to Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority

By New Europe Online/KG

epa07672734 A reactor’s internal equipments of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant’s training reactor in Paks, Hungary, 25 June 2019.

Facebook
Print

“Submission of the 283,000 pages license documentation is so far the biggest milestone in the construction of the new units,” said János Süli, minister without portfolio in charge of the design, construction and commissioning of the two new units of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant. The HAEA has 12 months to review the implementation license application, which it may extend by 3 months.   Paks II Nuclear Power Plant is built on the basis of the Russian-Hungarian intergovernmental agreement signed on January 14, 2014, by the general contractor ASE Group, a subsidiary of Rosatom. The construction licence application for building two new VVER-1200 3+ generation nuclear power plant units at the Paks II Nuclear Power Plant in Hungary was submitted to the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) on June 30, Russia’s state nuclear power corporation Rosatom said in a press release. Based on the decision of the European Commission, the application for authorisation of earthworks may be submitted to the Hungarian nuclear authority three months after the current submission of the implementation license application, the press release read. “The prepared documentation is proof that the new units planned in Paks are in conformity with Hungarian and European rules and safety requirements in all respects. “We have done an enormous amount of work in preparing the application documentation with our Hungarian partners. In addition to the active safety systems requiring energy supply, the new units will also be equipped with passive safety systems capable of performing functions without human or technical intervention,” Süli added. Safety was of key importance in the design of the Paks II Nuclear Power Plant. The Hungarian nuclear authority will also cooperate with foreign experts in the assessment of the implementation license application through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Construction of the new Hungarian nuclear power plant units confirms the growing role of nuclear energy in carbon-free energy production and fulfilment of the climate protection targets,” Likhachev said. Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev hailed the application as a very important stage in preparing the construction of the Paks II Nuclear Power Plant, noting that a modern 3+ generation nuclear power plant was successfully completed. The two VVER-1200 type units are implemented within the framework of international cooperation. Equipment of the turbine engine room is supplied by GE, while instrumentation and control are supplied by the consortium of Framatome of France and Siemens of Germany.
Email

Viber

Print

Email

WhatsApp

Linkedin
Viber

style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Turkey to rule on converting Hagia Sophia into mosque

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08100418 View of Hagia Sophia Museum reflected in a fountain’s pool in Istanbul, Turkey, 03 January 2020. EPA-EFE/SEDAT SUNA

View of Hagia Sophia Museum reflected in a fountain's pool in Istanbul, Turkey, 03 January 2020. EPA-EFE/SEDAT SUNA

Twitter
Facebook

Before becoming a museum, Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine-era Greek Patriarchal cathedral, built in the sixth century, was transformed into an Ottoman mosque after the conquest of the back-then city of Constantinople by Mehmet the Conquerer in 1453. Erdogan’s plans have prompted international criticism, with Greece speaking out against the conversion, and accusing Turkey of reviving “fanatical nationalist and religious sentiment”. “Start works for Hagia Sophia, we will assess and talk about it,” Erdogan told the AKP members during a Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in early June, Hurriyet Daily News reported, quoting anonymous sources. Erdogan has stated that converting the Hagia Sophia into a museum was a “very big mistake”, while its predesignation as a mosque was part of the Turkish President’s pre-election campaign, as popular demand was growing sharper. Turkey’s Council of State would rule on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s request to annul the 1934 decree that converted Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum. Erdogan has reportedly instructed government officials to conduct a comprehensive study on how to change the status of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, currently a museum, into a mosque. On Thursday morning, Turkey’s highest administrative body completed the hearing on whether Hagia Sophia, the 1,500 year old UNESCO heritage museum in Istanbul should be converted into a mosque, with a written verdict expected within 15 days. Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni strongly insisted that there can be no change to the UNESCO World Heritage site, without the approval of the body’s intergovernmental committee. On June 5, Imams recited verses of the Quran inside Hagia Sophia, on the 567th anniversary of the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans. The move was also heavily criticised by the US, with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying that “the United States views a change in the status of the Hagia Sophia as diminishing the legacy of this remarkable building and its unsurpassed ability, – so rare in the modern world – to serve humanity as a much-needed bridge between those of differing faith traditions and cultures”. The US government also urged Turkey to continue to maintain the Hagia Sophia as a museum, “as an exemplar of its commitment to respect the faith traditions and diverse history that contributed to the Republic of Turkey,” and to ensure the site remains accessible to all.

Print

style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>UK will ditch travel quarantine for 75 countries

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08472597 Social distancing signage at Heathrow Airport, London Britain, 08 June 2020. EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER

Social distancing signage at Heathrow Airport, London Britain, 08 June 2020. Those arriving into the UK must provide details of where they are staying and must stay home self isolating for 14 days. Those arriving into the UK must provide details of where they are staying and must stay home self isolating for 14 days. The British government has introduced new quarantine rules for travellers arriving from overseas. EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER The British government has introduced new quarantine rules for travellers arriving from overseas.

Twitter

Clearly we want to get the tourism sector back on its feet as quickly as we can and I’m sure that we will be able to give good news in the near future”, said Simon Clarke, a junior housing, communities and local government minister. “We will provide this announcement as soon as it is safe. On Friday, Britain said it would end the quarantine period for people arriving from countries such as France, Greece and Spain. We will be talking further about this this week. The government would reportedly shortly lift a ban on non-essential travel to nearly all EU destinations, the British territories including Bermuda and Gibraltar, and Turkey, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. The United Kingdom will end the coronavirus quarantine rules for those arriving from 75 countries so that people can go on holiday, British media reported. In May, just as many European countries started to open up again, the UK introduced a 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving from abroad.
Linkedin

Facebook
WhatsApp
Viber

Email

Tensions between Paris and Ankara have escalated further after Turkish warships were allegedly aggressive towards France’s Courbet battleship, operwation in the NATO Sea Guardian operation. In a letter sent to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the French Ambassador to NATO, Muriel Domenach, communicated the decision, stressing that France had made four demands to clarify the role of the NATO Sea Guardian operation, including its cooperation with an EU’s new Libya arms embargo mission in the Mediterranean. The two countries have also been at loggerheads over the Libya conflict, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying, earlier in the week, that Turkey is bearing “criminal responsibility” for the situation in Libya, accusing the country of “massively importing” jihadists from Syria. France has frequently reiterated its position that it is not taking sides in Libya, saying, however, that Turkey endangered European security by sending Syrian fighters to Libya. Turkey backs the Tripoli-based GNA led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, with whom the country signed in 2019 two agreements on security and military cooperation and restriction of marine jurisdictions. Turkey has dismissed the claims as “groundless”. Ankara’s accusations came a few days after France called for talks among NATO allies on what it described as Turkey’s increasingly “aggressive” role in Libya, which was thwarting efforts to secure a ceasefire. The statement followed an accusation by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, that France is deepening the crisis in Libya by supporting the General Khalifa Haftar against the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). In his letter, Domenach said a NATO report into the bilateral incident, “did not establish the facts,” according to the French newspaper L’Opinion. France has suspended its involvement in a NATO naval mission in the Mediterranean, following the outcome of a probe into an incident between French and Turkish warships, an official at the Arms Forces Ministry said on Wednesday.
Facebook

WhatsApp

Print

Viber

Twitter
Linkedin

EPA-EFE/Toms Kalnins EPA-EFE/Toms Kalnins

The flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Tapa Army base, Estonia, 02 April 2019. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>France suspends its role in NATO naval mission over tensions with Turkey

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa07480726 The flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Tapa Army base, Estonia, 02 April 2019.

Email