Putin to meet with Israeli PM, Iranian official in Moscow

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech as he attends the International Cybersecurity Congress in Moscow, Russia July 6, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 11 July 2018
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Putin to meet with Israeli PM, Iranian official in Moscow

  • Netanyahu said before boarding a flight to Moscow that he would have a “very important meeting” with Putin
  • A senior Iranian adviser traveled to Moscow on Wednesday for a meeting with Putin

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold separate meetings with the Israeli prime minister and a senior Iranian official before his summit with US President Donald Trump next week.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before boarding a flight to Moscow that he would have a “very important meeting” with Putin on Wednesday to “discuss Syria, Iran and Israel’s security needs.”
Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also traveled to Moscow on Wednesday for a meeting with Putin.
Both the United States and Israel are concerned about Iran’s growing military presence in Syria, where it has provided crucial aid to President Bashar Assad’s forces. Russia, another key ally of Assad, has said it is unrealistic to expect Iran to fully withdraw from the country.


Afghanistan’s vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to return home from exile

Updated 22 July 2018
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Afghanistan’s vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to return home from exile

  • Dostum’s return follows nearly three weeks of mass protests in northern Afghanistan
  • The protests were a major headache for the government amid increased attacks by the Taliban and Daesh

KABUL: Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, who was exiled by President Ashraf Ghani’s government over allegations of sexual abuse, returned home on Sunday to rapturous reception from supporters and is set to resume his duties as normal.
Dostum’s return follows nearly three weeks of mass protests in northern Afghanistan by his ethnic Uzbek supporters, who blocked several border crossings and government institutions, and threatened to boycott the long-delayed October elections.
The protests were a major headache for the government amid increased attacks by the Taliban and Daesh in the north recently.
Dostum’s supporters accuse Ghani of having sidelined him. The protests were triggered by the arrest of Nizamuddin Qaisari, a senior commander and Dostum loyalist accused of severe human rights abuses and threatening to kill provincial officials.
In a video, government troops were seen beating Qaisari’s handcuffed guards during his arrest, stoking further anger.
Haroon Chakansuri, a spokesman for Ghani, said Dostum had gone to Turkey for nearly 14 months for unspecified medical treatment, and would return home on a chartered aircraft on Sunday and be given an official reception.
Accusations that Dostum had ordered his guards to sexually abuse and torture political rival Ahmad Eschi will be handled independently by the courts, Chakansuri said. Dostum supporters say the allegations about Eschi are a conspiracy.
Ghani picked Dostum, the self-proclaimed leader of ethnic Uzbeks, as his running mate in the 2014 elections.
Ghani last year blocked Dostum’s return from exile when he tried to fly home to form an opposition alliance including senior government members.
The ethnic Uzbek vote is essential for any candidate in the presidential elections slated for next year. Ghani has said he will stand for office again.