Top adviser to Iran’s Khamenei says meeting with Putin was ‘very constructive’

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, shakes hands with Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Updated 12 July 2018
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Top adviser to Iran’s Khamenei says meeting with Putin was ‘very constructive’

  • The top adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Russia is important strategic partner
  • Supreme leader's adviser says Russia is prepared to invest in Iran’s oil sector

ANKARA: The top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday had been “very constructive and friendly” and that Moscow would invest in the Iranian oil sector.
“Our leader (Khamenei) values improving ties with Russia as a strategic partner ... This path will continue ... Russia is prepared to invest in Iran’s oil sector,” the adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, told Iranian state television from Moscow.
“Iran and Russia will continue to cooperate in Syria,” he added. The two countries support President Bashar Assad’s forces in the Syrian civil war.


Libya rejects EU plans for migrant centers on its territory

Updated 8 min 53 sec ago
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Libya rejects EU plans for migrant centers on its territory

  • Italy last month proposed reception and identification centers for migrant processing in Africa
  • The UN Migration Agency said 51,782 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 18 July

BERLIN: Libya rejects a European Union’s plan to establish migrant centers there to stop asylum seekers arriving in western Europe and it will not be swayed by financial inducements, Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj said.
Italy last month proposed reception and identification centers for migrant processing in Africa as a means of resolve divisions among European governments over how to handle an influx of more than 1 million migrants since 2015.
Libya is a main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe often on flimsy inflatable boats provided by smugglers that often spring leaks or break down.
“We are absolutely opposed to Europe officially wanting us to accommodate illegal immigrants the EU does not want to take in,” Sarraj told German mass-selling daily Bild in an interview published on Friday.
He dismissed accusations that Libya’s coast guard has shot at aid workers trying to rescue migrants.
“We save hundreds of people off the coast of Libya every day — our ships are constantly on the move,” he said, adding that Libya was being left to rescue migrants from the Mediterranean alone and needed more technical and financial support.
The UN Migration Agency said 51,782 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 18 July. That total compares to 110,189 at this time last year and 244,722 at this time in 2016. The death toll to date this year is 1,490 it said.