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SCO not to be a part of NATO: Russia

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Moscow: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) does not intend to become an analogue of NATO, despite the upcoming inclusion of new members, in particular India and Pakistan, according to chief of Russia’s presidential administration, Sergei Ivanov.

“As for the SCO, as the Russian president talked about this, a very important procedure will be started — the beginning of inclusion of two such large countries as India and Pakistan,” TASS news agency quoted Ivanov as saying on Monday.

“Both of them are nuclear, although SCO is not NATO, I would like to emphasise, and is not going to become NATO,” he added.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is an inter-governmental military alliance, constituting 28 member states across North America and Europe.

Ivanov said that the SCO was primarily a regional economic organisation. “Now it is regional taking into account,  China and India. That is quite the region,” Ivanov said, adding, “Essentially, it is a global organisation, of course.”

Ivanov said, “The world really needs a new modern polycentric architecture”.  “BRICS is actively discussing it… not only when getting together,” he added.

The chief of Russia’s presidential administration pointed out that for the three consecutive years, leaders of BRICS member states — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — gather before the G20 summit. “The BRICS five gathers and discusses what it will do in the framework of the summit of the 20,” he said.

Ivanov did not agree with the assumption that the world is on the threshold of a new Yalta conference, which established the post-World War II world order. “Yalta-2 cannot be done, if it is not what our Western partners really want,” he said.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation brings together Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status, while Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.

(IANS)

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Twin Bomb Attacks in Afghanistan’s Kabul Kills 25 , IS Takes Responsibility

Afghanistan has seen a spate of attacks this year. Last week, six people, including two Afghan soldiers, were killed when a car bomb exploded in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

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At least 25 people, including eight journalists, were killed in a coordinated double suicide bombing in the Afghan capital on Monday, according to government officials. The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

A militant on a motorbike carried out the first explosion at 8 a.m. in the Shashdarak area in Police District 9 which houses the offices of Afghanistan’s intelligence service, the Defence Ministry, NATO and a number of foreign embassies, prompting journalists to rush to the scene, the Afghan media reported.

A second explosion took place about 20 minutes later as a second attacker, disguised as a cameraman, detonated explosives at the site of the initial blast, targeting journalists and rescue workers at the scene, said Kabul police chief Daoud Amin.

A militant on a motorbike carried out the first explosion at 8 a.m. in the Shashdarak area in Police District 9 which houses the offices of Afghanistan's intelligence service, the Defence Ministry, NATO and a number of foreign embassies, prompting journalists to rush to the scene, the Afghan media reported.
Kabul Blast, IANS

Eight journalists and four police officers were among the dead, Interior Ministry spokesperson Najib Danish told the BBC. French news agency Agence France Presse confirmed that its photographer Shah Marai was among the dead.

Forty-nine people were injured in the two explosions and were taken to hospitals, Tolo News cited the Interior Ministry as saying.

The Islamic State claimed the bombings in a statement released through its news agency Amaq. The militant group said the intelligence services headquarters had been the target.

Afghan President Asharf Ghani condemned the twin blasts. “Attacks targeting innocent civilians, worshippers inside the mosques, national and democratic processes, reporters and freedom of speech all are war crimes,” according to a statement released by the Presidential Palace.

US Ambassador John Bass tweeted: “I condemn today’s terrible Kabul attack (and) reaffirm our commitment (to) stand with the Afghan people in their fight for peace (and) security across Afghanistan. We mourn for those murdered, including the brave journalists who stand for truth in the face of violence.”

Also Read: Merkel, Macron and May decide to defend EU’s interests

Afghanistan has seen a spate of attacks this year. Last week, six people, including two Afghan soldiers, were killed when a car bomb exploded in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

On April 22, an Islamic State suicide bomber attacked a voter registration centre in Kabul, killing 60 people.

In March, 31 people were killed during the Persian new year celebrations in an Islamic State attack near a Shia shrine in Kabul. (IANS)

 

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