Albanian police arrest Russian Daesh ‘fighter’

R.M. left Russia to join Daesh fighters in Syria in 2013. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 July 2019
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Albanian police arrest Russian Daesh ‘fighter’

  • The man immigrated to Syria in 2013 to fight for Daesh
  • He entered Albania illegally after a Russian court ruled in 2015 that he should be arrested

TIRANA: A Russian national accused of fighting for Daesh against Syrian government forces was arrested in Albania and will be extradited to Russia, Albanian police said on Friday.
Police said the 34-year-old man, identified as R.M., who was born in and a resident of Norilsk in Russia, entered Albania illegally after a court in Russia’s Chechen Republic ruled in April 2015 he should be arrested for being part of a terrorist group.
“In June 2013, this citizen left Russia for Syria, joined the illegal armed group named ‘Islamic State’ and was an active participant in fighting against government forces in Syria,” a police statement said.
It added NATO member Albania’s anti-terror unit had spent several months locating and identifying the Russian national wanted by Interpol Moscow. Increasing numbers of Russian and Ukrainian citizens visit Albania during the summer holidays.


Khan’s visit opens ‘new chapter’ in ties with US, says minister

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hold a meeting in Washington, DC. (AFP)
Updated 49 min 49 sec ago
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Khan’s visit opens ‘new chapter’ in ties with US, says minister

  • Analysts believe Bajwa will play a key role in behind-the-scenes discussions, with the military looking to persuade Washington to restore aid and cooperation

ISLAMABAD: A “new chapter” had been opened in ties between the US and Pakistan, said Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday, a day after US President Donald Trump welcomed Pakistani Premier Imran Khan to the White House to mend relations and seek help in ending the 18-year-old war in neighboring Afghanistan.
Seated next to Khan in the Oval Office on Monday, Trump spoke about improving trade with Pakistan and said he expected Khan would help to negotiate peace in Afghanistan so that US troops could come home.
“We have seen a new beginning; a new chapter is being opened,” Qureshi said at a press conference in Washington. “We should take this positively and hope that things will get better,” he said, adding that Pakistan was focused on “economic diplomacy” and wanted to boost trade with the US.
“The world looks at economics and looks for ways to cater to its own economic needs, so we will try that we also move forward in that direction,” Qureshi said, adding that Trump had accepted Khan’s invitation to visit Pakistan.
During Monday’s meeting, Trump spoke of possibly restoring $1.3 billion in American aid that he had cut last year. Both the leaders also discussed ways to boost bilateral trade as President Trump said the US was willing to invest more in Pakistan and wanted to expand trade by up to 20 times.
Trump also said bilateral relations had improved in recent months. “To be honest, we have a better relationship with Pakistan right now than we did when we were paying the money,” he said, referring to last year’s decision to suspend US security assistance to Pakistan to compel it to crack down on militants.
The comments were a far cry from last year when Trump had complained on Twitter that the Pakistanis “have given us nothing but lies & deceit” and “give safe haven” to militants. Pakistan has denied the accusations.
Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, who accompanied Khan to Washington, also met the top American military officer, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.

Analysts believe Bajwa will play a key role in behind-the-scenes discussions, with the military looking to persuade Washington to restore aid and cooperation.

Commenting on the Khan-Trump meeting, foreign affairs expert Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi said both sides wanted to improve the bilateral relationship through a new framework, the details of which would be settled in the next few months through meetings between officials of the two governments.
“American support to Pakistan will depend on two things, to what extent Pakistan is willing to facilitate agreement with the [Afghan] Taliban and the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, and secondly if Pakistan continues action against militants on its soil,” Askari said.
“Pakistan’s military to military and civilian government’s relationship with the US will improve manifold in the coming months if we stop pursuing a dual-track approach,” Rizvi said, referring to accusations in the past that Pakistan was selective in its crackdown on terrorists.
After a one-on-one meeting with Khan, President Trump said he could win the Afghan war in just 10 days by wiping out Afghanistan but did not want to kill 10 million people.
“There is no military solution in Afghanistan,” Khan said in agreement. “If you go all-out military, there would be millions and millions of people who would die.”
“I think Pakistan is going to do a lot (with respect to Afghanistan),” Trump said. “I really do. I think Pakistan is going to make a big difference.”