TRAPANI, Italy (Reuters) – The brass band played, the flags waved and Western generals delivered speeches brimming with resolve as NATO began big war games in the central Mediterranean this week.
But the military display seemed faintly unreal while Russian warplanes were bombing Syrian rebels a few hundred kilometres (miles) to the east in a coordinated action with President Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
TRAPANI, Italy, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The brass band played,
the flags waved and Western generals delivered speeches brimming
with resolve as NATO began big war games in the central
Mediterranean this week.
But the military display seemed faintly unreal while Russian
warplanes were bombing Syrian rebels a few hundred kilometres
(miles) to the east in a coordinated action with President
Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
TRAPANI, Italy (Reuters) – Germany, Turkey and Italy are set to keep their deployments in Afghanistan at current levels, senior NATO officials said on Monday after the U.S. government decided to prolong its 14-year-old military presence there.
The Taliban’s brief takeover of a provincial capital has raised concern about the strength of Afghan state forces and both the United States and its NATO allies now say events, rather than timetables, must dictate gradual troop reductions.
TRAPANI, Italy (Reuters) – NATO and its allies opened their largest military exercise in more than a decade on Monday, choosing the central Mediterranean to showcase strengths that face threats from Russia’s growing military presence from the Baltics to Syria.
As planes flew over a gala ceremony for NATO’s military and political leaders at an air base in southern Italy, Russia’s resurgence was the central topic of concern, pushing NATO to embark on its biggest modernization since the Cold War.
NEW YORK/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States and the European Union both took formal legal steps on Sunday that will lift sanctions once Iran meets the conditions tied to a landmark nuclear agreement with major world powers.
The legal acts have no immediate effect but cement a process that began with a deal reached in July to end sanctions against Iran in exchange for curbs on a program that the West suspected was aimed at developing a nuclear bomb.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union on Sunday published legal acts that open the way for the bloc to lift sanctions if Tehran meets the conditions tied to a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.
The legal acts have no immediate effect but cement a process agreed between six world powers and Iran in July to lift sanctions in return for Iran accepting curbs on a nuclear program that the West suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb. Tehran has always denied seeking nuclear arms.
BRUSSELS, Oct 18 (Reuters) – NATO and its allies will open
their biggest military exercise in more than a decade on Monday
in a show of strength in the central Mediterranean that takes
place as Russia seeks to reassert itself across the water in the
While the exercises were planned long before Russia’s
build-up in Syria and are independent of events, the escalation
of conflicts across North Africa and the Middle East are
challenging NATO to react to multiple threats on its borders.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European lawmakers allied with German Chancellor Angela Merkel say they will not accept David Cameron’s renegotiation of EU membership at any price, warning on Thursday that Britain has more to lose by leaving.
On the day Cameron told impatient fellow leaders in Brussels that he would end their wait and deliver detailed demands early next month, it was a reminder of tough talking ahead that Cameron’s says will be “bloody hard work”.
MINSK/LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Belarus’s election fell short of democratic standards, monitors said on Monday after President Alexander Lukashenko won a fifth term, but Europe still looked set to ease sanctions as France and Germany welcomed a lack of political repression.
Moves by Lukashenko, including the pardoning of six opposition figures before the election, suggest Lukashenko could be seeking to improve his image abroad to rely less on his ally Russia, which is under Western sanctions due to the Ukraine conflict.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers will condemn on Monday Russia’s air strikes on Western-backed rebels in Syria and warn they risk prolonging the conflict, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.
Seeking a common front in their criticism of Russia’s dramatic involvement in the civil war, EU foreign ministers will add their voice to concerns from Western governments that Moscow’s air strikes are designed to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, not target Islamic State militants alone.