Showing posts with label FOREIGN POLITICS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FOREIGN POLITICS. Show all posts

Sultan of Oman passes away at 79 without an heir after ruling for 50 years, raising fears of a bloody takeover

The Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said Al Said has died aged 79, it was announced last night - with his passing without an heir or designated successor creating fresh uncertainty in an unstable Middle East after a reign lasting half a century.

'With great sorrow and deep sadness... the royal court mourns His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who passed away on Friday,' a court statement said.

Three days of mourning will now be marked for the reclusive British-educated leader, who transformed the former Arabian Peninsula backwater into a modern state while shielding it from much of the region's turmoil by his moderate approach to foreign policy. 

His death, reportedly from colon cancer, comes amid heightened tension caused by the continued fallout from the death of Iranian general Qassem Solomeini, whose killing in an American drone strike has placed the region on the brink of war.

Al Said seized power in a 1970 palace coup and pulled his Arabian sultanate into modernity while carefully balancing diplomatic ties between Iran and the US.

The state-run Oman News Agency announced his death late last night on its official Twitter account.

The sultan was believed to have been in poor health and traveled to Belgium for what the court described as a medical checkup last month. The royal court declared three days of mourning.

The news agency mourned the death of the Sultan and praised the 'towering renaissance' he had presided over. It said his 'balanced policy' of mediating between rival camps in a volatile region had earned the world's respect.

The British-educated, reclusive sultan reformed a nation that was home to only three schools and harsh laws banning electricity, radios, eyeglasses and even umbrellas when he took the throne.

Now there are fears that a bloody takeover might occur as he died without a heir.

Trump wades in to British Monarchy's royal fallout

Donald Trump waded into the British monarchy's royal fallout on Friday, expressing his sympathy for Queen Elizabeth II and calling Harry and Meghan's decision to step back from royal duties 'sad'.

Speaking on Fox News' 'The Ingraham Angle', the President voiced his disappointment at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's bombshell announcement Wednesday that they're quitting public life and will now work to become financially independent from the Royal Family.

When asked if he had any advice for how to deal with the 'rogue royals', Trump replied: 'I think it’s sad. I do. I think it’s sad. She’s a great woman,' he said, appearing to reference Queen Elizabeth. 'She’s never made a mistake if you look. I mean, she’s had like a flawless time.'

Host Laura Ingraham then asked Trump if he believed Meghan and Harry should return to Buckingham Palace. Trump insisted he didn't 'want to get into the whole thing', but said: 'I just have such respect for the Queen, I don’t think this should be happening to her.'

Iran ADMITS shooting down Ukrainian plane that killed all 176 on board

Iranian state TV, citing a military statement, says the country 'unintentionally' shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 aboard, after mistaking the aircraft for a hostile, enemy target.

The statement came Saturday morning, and blamed 'human error' for shooting down the plane on Tuesday.

Specifically, Iranian officials says the aircraft 'took the flying posture and altitude of an enemy target' as it neared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps base and attending personal didn't recognize it as a passenger plane.

'Under these circumstances, because of human error, [the plane] came under fire,' the statement read, according to the New York Times.

Following the grave mistake, Iran's government have offered an apology to families.

The jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at U.S. forces.

Trump sends Kim Jong Un birthday wishes

President Donald Trump has sent a happy birthday message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea’s National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong said on Friday.

Chung, who met Trump in Washington this week, told reporters that he was given a message to pass to North Korea and it was delivered on Thursday.

Upon arrival at the Incheon airport, Chung said, “the day we met was Kim Jong Un’s birthday and President Trump remembered this and asked me to deliver the message”.

Kim Jong Un who succeeded his father in 2011, was 36 years old on 8 January.

Iran Soleimani killing: US denies Iraq pullout amid letter confusion

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper has denied US troops are pulling out of Iraq, after a letter from a US general there suggested a withdrawal.

The letter said the US would be "repositioning forces in the coming days and weeks" after Iraqi MPs had called for them to leave. Mr Esper said there had been "no decision whatsoever to leave".

The confusion came amid threats to American forces after the US killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.

He died in a US drone strike in Baghdad on Friday on the orders of Mr Trump. The killing has sharply increased regional tensions, with Iran threatening "severe revenge".

White House Hires Mandalorian To Protect Baby Trump From Iranian Bounty Hunters

We can no longer “keep track” of Trump’s tweets – Turkish President, Erdogan

 We can no longer ?keep track? of Trump?s tweets ? Turkish President, Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he could no longer “keep track” of the tweets by his US counterpart Donald Trump as tensions mount over Ankara’s operation against Kurdish militants in Syria.

“When we take a look at Mr Trump’s Twitter posts, we can no longer follow them. We cannot keep track,” Erdogan told Turkish journalists aboard a plane returning from Baku, in comments carried by the Hurriyet daily.  

Turkey last week began an operation to drive back Syrian Kurdish militants from northern Syria after the US pulled 1,000 troops out of the area. The withdrawal was seen as a green light from the White House for the Turkish offensive.  But facing a massive backlash at home, Trump later issued a series of conflicting statements, at times threatening Ankara, and at others, suggesting the US had no role in the fight between Turkey and Kurdish militants.

In his interview with the Turkish journalists, Erdogan also shared an anecdote from his telephone call with Trump this week. “I told Trump: ‘You get very angry with the media from time to time. You are now under their influence. Don’t listen to them, you are a strong leader. This does not befit a strong leader’,” he said, according to the Yeni Safak daily.