US Senate lets $300m arms sale to Bahrain proceed

Senate Democrat Bob Menendez said Bahrain’s “willingness to host our naval forces also places Bahrain at greater risk from attack from Iran and terrorist groups seeking to do harm to the United States.” (AFP)
Updated 17 November 2018
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US Senate lets $300m arms sale to Bahrain proceed

  • Critics of the bill warned that punishment of Bahrain would be misplaced, especially as 7,800 US military personnel are deployed there on a base that hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet

WASHINGTON: The US Senate has rejected a long-shot effort to block $300 million in arms sales to Bahrain, as the bill’s opponents stressed the island nation was a critical ally hosting an American naval base.
The effort, led by Republican Senator Rand Paul, failed as the US Senate voted 77 to 21 to table the measure, essentially killing it.
Critics of the bill warned that punishment of Bahrain would be misplaced, especially as 7,800 US military personnel are deployed there on a base that hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which helps protect American interests in the region. Bahrain is strategically located between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Senate Democrat Bob Menendez said Bahrain’s “willingness to host our naval forces also places Bahrain at greater risk from attack from Iran and terrorist groups seeking to do harm to the United States.”
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the committee chairman, said Bahrain is home to a naval base with 7,800 US service members protecting American interests and serving as a buffer against the Iranian regime.
He said that blocking an arms sale to an ally over “something that has nothing to do with them, but has something to do with another country is not a pragmatic, nor a sensible step.”


EU agency: More Iranian, Turkish citizens seeking asylum

Updated 11 December 2018
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EU agency: More Iranian, Turkish citizens seeking asylum

  • 3,170 Iranians applied for asylum in the EU in October, the highest number for more than two years
  • October saw a record 2,880 asylum applications lodged by Turkish citizens

BRUSSELS: The European Union’s asylum office says people from Iran and Turkey are increasingly applying for international protection throughout the EU.
EASO said Tuesday that “Iran and Turkey have both been among the top five countries of origin over the past few months.”
It says that 3,170 Iranians applied for asylum in the EU in October, the highest number for more than two years. More than one in three Iranian applicants received protection in the past six months.
October saw a record 2,880 asylum applications lodged by Turkish citizens. Over the past six months, around 44 percent of Turkish applicants were granted refugee status.
EASO says more than 60,500 people applied for asylum in October, the highest monthly figure this year. Most were nationals of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.