Russia considers Turkey’s possible military operation in Syria unwise as it could escalate and destabilise the situation, the RIA news agency cited Russia’s Syria envoy Alexander Lavrentyev as saying on Wednesday.
Lavrentyev also said Moscow no longer considered Geneva a suitable venue for talks between Syrians, according to the TASS agency.
The Russian envoy was in Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan on Wednesday for talks with Turkey, Iran, and the Syrian government and rebels.
Ankara says it must act in Syria because Washington and Moscow broke promises to push the predominantly Kurdish group YPG 30 km (18 miles) from the border after a 2019 Turkish offensive, and says attacks from YPG-controlled areas have increased.
Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan says party will quit all assemblies
Pakistan’s former prime minister and leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan announced late Saturday that his party has decided to quit all legislative assemblies in the country in a bid to force the incumbent rulers to announce early elections.
Pakistan’s Express Tribune reportedthat Khan, 70, said he discussed the matter of stepping down from all legislative assemblies with the chief ministers and the final decision will be announced after the party’s parliamentary party meeting.
“Instead of causing harm to our country, it is better to leave this corrupt system,” he said.
Khan also said that the party’s long march to Islamabad will also stop as he does not want chaos and anarchy to grip the country.
“They [the government] cannot afford the Islamabad march… they cannot stop millions from entering Islamabad. We could have created a Sri Lanka-like situation,” he said, addressing his party’s gathering in Rawalpindi on Saturday.
“If riots take place then things will get out of everyone’s hands. I tried my best not to take any step which could create chaos in the country,” he added.
“Today I am deciding against marching on Islamabad because we don’t want to spread anarchy in the country,” he announced. “We will not remain part of this corrupt system. We have decided to quit all legislative assemblies.”
This comes after Khan was shot in the leg at a rally earlier this month.
Kim Jong Un says N. Korea aims to have the world’s strongest nuclear force
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country’s intends to have the world’s most powerful nuclear force as he promoted dozens of military officers involved in the recent launch of a new ballistic missile, state media reported on Sunday.
The announcement comes after Kim inspected a Nov. 18 test of the Hwasong-17, North Korea’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and pledged to counter what he called US nuclear threats, Reuters reported.
North Korea’s “ultimate goal is to possess the world’s most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century,” Kim said in the order promoting the officers, adding that building up the country’s nuclear capabilities would reliably protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people.
He described the Hwasong-17 as the “world’s strongest strategic weapon” and said it demonstrated North Korea’s resolve and ability to eventually build the world’s strongest army, read the report.
According to Reuters North Korean scientists have made a “wonderful leap forward in the development of the technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles,” and were expected to expand and strengthen the country’s nuclear deterrent capabilities at an extraordinarily rapid pace, Kim was also quoted as saying.
Kim was pictured in photos posing with scientists, engineers and military officials involved in the test.
According to state media, those workers pledged to defend the “absolute authority” of the party and Kim, and vowed that “our missiles will fly vigorously only in the direction indicated” by Kim.
Capable of reaching the US mainland, the launch of the Hwasong-17 prompted the United States to call for a United Nations Security Council presidential statement to hold North Korea accountable for its missile tests, which are banned by Security Council resolutions, read the report.
State media also showed Kim Jong Un’s daughter accompanying him as he reviewed the officers. Her unexpected first appearance at the Hwasong-17 test has raised the prospect that leadership of the totalitarian state could pass to a fourth generation of Kims.
North Korea’s powerful Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly awarded the Hwasong-17 missile the title of “DPRK Hero and Gold Star Medal and Order of National Flag 1st Class”, state news agency KCNA reported in another statement, using the initials of the country’s official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“(The missile) clearly proved before the world that the DPRK is a full-fledged nuclear power capable of standing against the nuclear supremacy of the U.S. imperialists and fully demonstrated its might as the most powerful ICBM state,” KCNA said.
Death toll from Indonesian earthquake rises to 310
The death toll from this week’s earthquake that shook Indonesia’s main island of Java has risen to 310, the country’s national disaster mitigation agency said on Friday.
Monday’s earthquake triggered landslides, collapsed roofs and walls and buried victims in mounds of earth.
The agency’s chief Suharyanto, who goes by one name, said 24 people are still missing in the West Java town of Cianjur.
On Wednesday, a six-year-old boy, Azka, was rescued alive from the rubble – a rescue that was described as a “miracle” after he survived more than two days without food or water.
Heavy rain and potentially deadly aftershocks have hampered the rescue effort.
Henri Alfiandi, head of the national search and rescue agency, told RTE: “The problems are the unstable soil, the thickness of the landslide pile aggravated by continuous rain, and the concerns of aftershocks.”
He said the emergency period for the search and rescue effort would last a week until Monday and authorities would evaluate if it needed to be extended if all the missing had not been found.
Many of those killed in the quake were children, some in classes at school, according to officials.
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