John's Feed
Jun 3, 2015

“No way” Qatar will lose 2022 World Cup – foreign minister

PARIS, June 3 (Reuters) – Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah said on Wednesday there was “no way” his country would be stripped of its right to host the 2022 World Cup, accusing Qatar’s critics of an anti-Arab campaign.

“It is very difficult for some to digest that an Arab Islamic country has this tournament, as if this right can’t be for an Arab state,” he told Reuters in an interview in Paris a day after FIFA President Sepp Blatter resigned.

Jun 3, 2015

Qatar says ‘prejudice and racism’ behind criticism of 2022 World Cup

PARIS/DOHA (Reuters) – Qatar said on Wednesday there was no way it would be stripped of the right to host the World Cup despite the corruption scandal surrounding FIFA, dismissing a “bashing campaign” of criticism of its 2022 bid as anti-Arab prejudice.

Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah said Qatar would one day show “who is behind this campaign against Qatar”, suggesting the country was being unfairly targeted over allegations of graft in the vote that won it the Cup, and of abuse of migrant workers.

Jun 3, 2015

Allies back Iraq plan against ISIS, Baghdad seeks more help

PARIS (Reuters) – Western and Arab states carrying out air strikes on Islamic State fighters backed on Tuesday Iraq’s plan to retake territory from the jihadist movement after being accused by the Iraqi premier of not doing enough to help Baghdad push back the insurgents.

Around 20 coalition ministers met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Paris, in part to persuade his Shi’ite Muslim-led government to repair relations with Iraq’s Sunni minority to strengthen its campaign against the Sunni Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

Jun 2, 2015

Allies back Iraq plan against Islamic State, Baghdad calls for more help

PARIS (Reuters) – Western and Arab states carrying out air strikes on Islamic State backed Iraq’s plan on Tuesday to retake territory from the jihadist movement after being accused by the Iraqi premier of not doing enough to help Baghdad roll back the insurgents.

Around 20 coalition ministers met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Paris in part to persuade his Shi’ite Muslim-led government to repair relations with Iraq’s Sunni minority to strengthen its campaign against the Sunni Islamic State.

Jun 2, 2015

Sink or sell? Russia spat leaves France with warships to spare

PARIS (Reuters) – For sale: two French-built helicopter carriers, tested by Russians. Buy now for only 1.2 billion euros($1.33 billion). Shipping extra.

Tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine have blocked a deal in which Moscow was to buy the ships, leaving Paris trying to negotiate a face-saving compromise and work out CAwhat to do with two unwanted warships.

Jun 2, 2015

Iraq PM says allies not doing enough to counter Islamic State

PARIS (Reuters) – Iraq’s prime minister on Tuesday accused the international coalition fighting Islamic State of not doing enough to tackle the group, and said important members such as Saudi Arabia are not curbing the flow of foreign fighters to his country.

Western and Middle Eastern countries in the coalition are meeting this week in Paris. Part of their agenda is to persuade the Iraqi government to repair its relationship with Iraq’s Sunni minority.

Jun 2, 2015

Anti-Islamic State allies to press Iraq to court Sunni minority

PARIS (Reuters) – Ministers from Western and Middle Eastern countries fighting Islamic State will tell Iraq on Tuesday to be more inclusive of its Sunni minority as they reassess their strategy against the jihadists after major setbacks.

The meeting in Paris, which about 20 ministers from countries including Saudi Arabia and Turkey will attend, will focus on helping Iraq reverse its biggest military defeat in nearly a year – the fall of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, just 90 km (55 miles) west of Baghdad.

May 28, 2015

North Korean nuclear, missile experts visit Iran-dissidents

PARIS, May 28 (Reuters) – An exiled Iranian opposition group
said on Thursday that a delegation of North Korean nuclear and
missile experts visited a military site near Tehran in April
amid talks between world powers and Iran over its nuclear
programme.

The dissident National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
exposed Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy
water facility at Arak in 2002. Analysts say it has a mixed
record and a clear political agenda.

May 28, 2015

French foreign minister to visit Israel, Palestinian territories as part of efforts to revive peace talks

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s foreign minister said on Thursday he would travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories in June, aiming to press ahead in getting an international consensus for a U.N. Security Council resolution that would set parameters for peace talks.

“We are for a two-state solution. We need to ensure Israel’s security that’s obvious. There is no peace and security without justice for the Palestinians, but let’s be frank justice hasn’t been given to the Palestinians,” Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio.

May 28, 2015

Iran, North Korea forging ballistic, nuclear ties: dissidents

PARIS (Reuters) – An exiled Iranian opposition group said on Thursday a delegation of North Korean experts in nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles visited a military site near Tehran in April amid talks between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program.

The dissident National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) exposed Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water facility at Arak in 2002. But analysts say it has a mixed track record and a clear political agenda. Iran says allegations of nuclear bomb research are baseless and forged by its enemies.