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SCO not to be a part of NATO: Russia

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timesofindia.indiatimes.com
timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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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Russian President Vladimir Putin proposes development of Robotic Weapons in the country

"These systems could radically change the spectrum of weaponry for the general purpose forces," Putin advised

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Fighter plane (representational image), Pixabay

Russia, Jan 27, 2017: Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed the development of robotic weapons by his country’s arms companies to radically change the entire arms system for the conventional armed forces.

During a meeting of the Russian military-industrial commission, Putin explained that the development of autonomous robotic systems is very important in the future, Efe news reported on Thursday.

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“These systems could radically change the spectrum of weaponry for the general purpose forces,” he advised.

The Russian leader pointed out that this development must take into consideration “the clear understanding of the potential conflicts’ nature and mainstream trends in the development of armed forces both globally and domestically.”

In the midst of what seems to be a return to the Cold War between Russia and the West, at least until US President Donald Trump came to power, Russia and NATO have strengthened their military presence on the borders between this country and Eastern Europe.

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Some European countries, especially Poland and the three Baltic republics, consider that their security is threatened by the Kremlin’s decision to annexe the Crimean peninsula and support pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. (IANS)

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Taliban launches overnight and pre-dawn assaults on 2 districts in Afghanistan, captures one of them

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said it has taken control of the entire district of Khan Abad in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan

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Taliban Fighters. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Taliban forces launched overnight and pre-dawn assaults on two districts in eastern and northern Afghanistan, capturing one of them, say Afghan officials and insurgent sources.

Local police commander Munir Himat told VOA hundreds of Taliban insurgents staged a pre-dawn assault on Hesarak in eastern Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan, but that security forces with the support of airstrikes pushed them back, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. He reported fighting was still taking place in parts of the district.

Afghan officials also confirmed the fall of Khan Abad district in northern Kunduz province to the Taliban in overnight fighting and say heavy fighting is taking place in the nearby Aliabad district.

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Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid says it has taken control of the entire district of Khan Abad in northern Kunduz province and has released video of Afghan soldiers insurgents captured before the important territorial victory.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. Image source: www.pakistantoday.com.pk
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. Image source: www.pakistantoday.com.pk

The fall of the Khan Abad district after days of heavy clashes would bring the Islamist insurgent group close enough to threaten the strategically important provincial capital also named Kunduz that was briefly overrun by the Taliban during last year’s fighting.

Significance of Kunduz

Kunduz’s fall to the Taliban in September of 2015 had dealt a blow to authorities and Afghanistan’s international backers because this was the first major urban centre the insurgents captured after NATO withdrew its combat forces from the country.

“Kunduz is currently the most vulnerable province in the Afghan North. Since the provincial capital fell last year, Kunduz has seen more Taliban attacks on district centres than any other province in the country,” according to Kabul-based independent Afghanistan Analysts Network.

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The insurgents recently captured a district in the neighbouring Baghlan province to expand their influence in the area in a bid to threaten Afghanistan’s crucial ring road, which circles the country. Observers say the Taliban appears to be trying to cut off of the road to restrict Kabul’s access to the northern provinces

US airstrikes

Meanwhile, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General David Golden revealed this past week that B-52 strategic bombers have carried out airstrikes against targets in Afghanistan for the first time in a decade, underscoring the intensity of the fighting.

According to a statement, U.S. warplanes have flown more than 800 sorties and conducted more than 140 strikes in the country since U.S. President Barack Obama ordered in June that air power be used more proactively in Afghanistan.

Critics say that recent security gains by Afghan forces across the country have been overshadowed by the Taliban’s recent battlefield victories.

The insurgent group has overrun several districts in Afghanistan’s largest province of Helmand and fighting there has most recently been taking place near the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.

The Taliban’s steady advances in the poppy-growing province, which borders Pakistan, have come despite increased in American airstrikes in the area. (VOA)

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Donald Trump says Declare War against ISIS

During a phone interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, Trump said he would be prepared to declare war on unspecified terrorists and commit NATO troops in a “world war.”

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Donald Trump speaks over Nice Attack. Image Source: Getty Images
  • During a phone interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, Trump said he would be prepared to declare war on unspecified terrorists and commit NATO troops in a “world war”
  • On Thursday night, a man driving a truck plowed through a large crowd of people celebrating France’s Bastille Day in Nice, killing 80 people and wounding dozens of others
  • French President Francois Hollande said in a national address Friday morning he was positive the attack was deliberate

July 14,2016(Thursday):Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responded to the terrorist attack in France Thursday night by saying if he were president, he would ask for a formal declaration of war from Congress against the Islamic State group.

During a phone interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, Trump said he would be prepared to declare war on unspecified terrorists and commit NATO troops in a “world war.”

Donald Trump ready to fight against terrorism. Image Source: AP
Donald Trump ready to fight against terrorism. Image Source: AP

“This is war. If you look at it, this is war coming from all different parts. And, frankly, it’s war and we’re dealing with people without uniforms. In the old days, we would have uniforms. You would know who you’re fighting,” he said.

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O’Reilly then asked Trump if NATO troops should be involved in a ground and air war against the terrorists, and Trump said he “would be just fine” with that.

Hillary Clinton was later asked about Trump’s comments by Anderson Cooper on CNN and she responded by agreeing that we are at war with the terrorists, but cautioned against a ground war with IS.

Hillary Clinton offers silent prayers to victims. Image Source: AP
Hillary Clinton offers silent prayers to victims. Image Source: AP

“I think it is clear we are at war with these terrorist groups and what they represent. It is a different kind of war and we need to be smart about how we wage it and win it. So I think we need to look at all possible approaches to doing just that,” she said.

Cooper pressed Clinton on who, exactly, we are at war with and she said, “We are at war against radical jihadists who use Islam to recruit and radicalize others in order to pursue their evil agenda.”

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“It’s not so important what we call these people as to what we do about them,” she added.

On Thursday night, a man driving a truck plowed through a large crowd of people celebrating France’s Bastille Day in Nice, killing 80 people and wounding dozens of others.

Nice attack, France. Image Source: www.nbcnews.com
Nice attack, France. Image Source: www.nbcnews.com

French President Francois Hollande said in a national address Friday morning he was positive the attack was deliberate.

“There’s no denying the terrorist nature of this attack of yet again the most extreme form of violence,” Hollande said.

Francois Hollande: President of France. Image Source: AP
Francois Hollande: President of France. Image Source: AP

Trump also cancelled a news conference he had scheduled for Friday morning to announce his choice for a vice-presidential running mate.

“In light of the horrible attack in Nice, France, I have postponed tomorrow’s news conference concerning my vice presidential announcement,” Trump said in a tweet. (VOA)

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