NATO chief says allies keen to avoid arms race with Russia

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Oslo, Norway, Friday Feb. 1, 2019, after the US withdrawal from landmark INF treaty. (AP)
Updated 13 February 2019
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NATO chief says allies keen to avoid arms race with Russia

  • On Feb. 2, Washington launched the six-month process for leaving the INF treaty
  • Russia denies violating the 1987 treaty and says it is pulling out, too

BRUSSELS: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance is studying options to deal with what it insists are Russian violations of a key missile treaty but that it wants to avoid sparking any arms race.
Speaking at NATO headquarters Wednesday, where defense ministers are discussing the future of the imperiled Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, Stoltenberg said: “This is very serious. We will take our time.”
On Feb. 2, Washington launched the six-month process for leaving the INF, insisting that a new Russia missile system breaks the pact’s range requirements. Russia denies violating the 1987 treaty and says it is pulling out, too.
Stoltenberg says NATO has many options but that its response “will be measured and it will be defensive because we don’t want a new arms race.”


Iran looks to Pakistan for mediation

Updated 25 May 2019
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Iran looks to Pakistan for mediation

  • Zarif started a two-day visit to Islamabad

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi assured his visiting Iranian counterpart on Friday that Islamabad would continue its efforts to ensure peace in the region, the Pakistani Foreign Office said. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif arrived in Pakistan to seek mediation amid heightened tensions between the Islamic Republic and the US.

Zarif started a two-day visit to Islamabad, ahead of next week’s emergency Arab League meeting. “Tensions in the region are in no one’s interest,” Qureshi said, promising that Islamabad would continue its efforts for peace in the region. AN