US meddling in Gulf issues flayed by GCC

Updated 11 July 2014

US meddling in Gulf issues flayed by GCC

The US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor has been slammed by GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani, for his interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs.
Al-Zayani voiced his “dismay” over the attitude of Tom Malinowski, who met with only one segment of political society during his official tour of duty to Bahrain this week.
“This kind of interference in the GCC’s domestic affairs is a violation of diplomatic norms and the principles of good neighborliness,” said Al-Zayani in a statement.
GCC officials said that safeguarding Bahrainis' rights is the responsibility of its leaders, who have promoted “security and stability” across Bahrain.
Referring to this political episode that has caught the attention of local and international media, Al-Zayani said: “The US diplomat’s holding meetings with representatives of a certain political segment, excluding other major components of Bahraini community … is deemed a form of interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs.”
Al-Zayani added: “This attitude will not help build confidence among Bahrainis on the US stance toward Bahrain’s crisis nor will it support its positive reform process.”
The US official was ordered to leave Bahrain on Monday after meeting with members of the leading Shiite opposition group.
Malinowski, who arrived in Bahrain on Sunday for a three-day trip, did not meet political and social workers currently supporting the Bahraini leadership.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the Bahraini government “is well aware that US government officials routinely meet with officially recognized political societies.”
Psaki said “Malinowski is on a visit to reaffirm and strengthen our bilateral ties and to support King Hamad’s reforms and reconciliation efforts at an important time, particularly given events elsewhere in the region.”
The visit of the US official was coordinated far in advance and warmly welcomed and encouraged by the government of Bahrain, said Psaki.
Despite the diplomatic tiff, Bahrain provided assurances that ties with the US remain sound. “The government of Bahrain asserts that this should not in any way affect the two countries’ relationship of mutual interest,” according to a statement.

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 16 September 2019

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.


Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.

Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 


Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.