Romanian expatriates stage anti-govt protest in Bucharest

Romanian police spray protesters with pepper spray in front of government offices in Bucharest. (AFP)
Updated 10 August 2018
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Romanian expatriates stage anti-govt protest in Bucharest

  • More than 1,000 protesters waving Romanian and European Union flags, booed and yelled Justice, not corruption!
  • Many of the estimated 3 million Romanians living abroad say they left because of corruption, low wages and lack of opportunities

BUCHAREST, Romania: Romanians who live abroad flocked to an anti-government protest in Bucharest on Friday, urging the left-wing government to resign and call an early election.
The expatriates, some of whom drove across Europe to attend the demonstration, are angry about how Romania is governed. Many of the estimated 3 million Romanians living abroad say they left because of corruption, low wages and lack of opportunities.
More than 1,000 protesters waved Romanian and European Union flags, booed and yelled “Justice, not corruption!” outside government offices in the capital.
Protesters briefly scuffled with riot police when they tried to break through a police line guarding the government offices. At least one man was detained.
The protests were to continue into Friday evening.
Since the Social Democrats won power in 2016, Romanians have regularly protested government moves to put in new laws that critics say weaken the nation’s fight against corruption.


Russia says Taliban will attend Afghanistan talks in Moscow

Updated 21 August 2018
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Russia says Taliban will attend Afghanistan talks in Moscow

MOSCOW: Russia's foreign minister said on Tuesday the Taliban have accepted an invitation to attend talks on Afghanistan in Moscow.

Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia has invited the Taliban to the Sept. 4 talks and received a positive response, voicing hope for “productive” negotiations, AP reported.

Lavrov reaffirmed that Russia's contacts with the Taliban aimed to ensure the safety of Russian citizens in Afghanistan and encourage the Taliban to abandon hostilities and engage in a dialogue with the government.

Foreign Ministry official Zamir Kabulov was cited by Interfax on Monday as saying Moscow had invited the Taliban, which is banned in Russia and considered a terrorist organisation.

Many of the Taliban's leadership were former Mujahideen fighters who battled the Soviet Union after its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 until a humiliating 

Russia's Foreign Ministry also strongly rejected the claim by Afghan Ambassador to Moscow, Abdul Qayyum Kochai, who said that Russia hopes to use the Taliban to combat the Daesh. 

It hailed the Afghan government's offer of a holiday cease-fire, adding that the Taliban's apparent rejection of it is regrettable.

Abdul Kayum Kuchai, Afghanistan's ambassador in Moscow, welcomed the Taliban's involvement in the talks, the RIA news agency reported.

Russia conducted international talks on Afghanistan in April last year, but the United States did not attend.

In Kabul on Tuesday, an hours-long attack came to an ened when two militants were killed in a clearance operation, the military said.