18 November 2020 Military News
- Pentagon Formally Announces Troop Reductions In Iraq, Afghanistan By Mid-January RFE/RL Gandhara 18 Nov 2020 -- The United States will significantly cut its troop presence in Afghanistan by January 15, just days before President Donald Trump leaves office in a move that could tie the hands of his successor, Joe Biden.
- Pentagon confirms troops drawdown plan in Afghanistan, Iraq People's Daily 18 Nov 2020 -- The Pentagon on Tuesday confirmed that U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq will be reduced to 2,500 level respectively by mid-January 2021.
- Ahead Of Key Donors' Conference, Amnesty Says Afghanistan At 'Critical Moment' RFE/RL Gandhara 18 Nov 2020 -- Ahead of a donors' conference on Afghanistan next week, Amnesty International is urging the international community to remain "fully committed" to protecting human rights in the war-torn country and building on its "significant yet fragile human rights gains."
- Pakistan PM To Visit Afghanistan For First Time On November 19 RFE/RL Gandhara 18 Nov 2020 -- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will embark on a one-day visit to neighboring Afghanistan on November 19, his first visit to Kabul since becoming prime minister in August 2018.
- Mixed Reactions Follow U.S. Announcement On Troop Cuts In Afghanistan RFE/RL Gandhara 18 Nov 2020 -- Washington's announcement that the United States will slash troop levels in Afghanistan to their lowest in nearly 20 years has been met with mixed reactions over whether a premature departure could embolden extremist groups or ease tensions.
- COVID-19, Insecurity Slow Afghan Refugee Returns From Pakistan and Iran VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- The U.N. refugee agency reports the COVID-19 pandemic, violence and insecurity in Afghanistan have discouraged Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran from returning to the homes they fled many years ago.
- Trump may withdraw troops from Somalia as part of global pullback Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- Outgoing US President Donald Trump may withdraw nearly all American forces from Somalia, following his decision to reduce the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan before president-elect Joe Biden takes over in January.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Acting SECDEF Announces OSD Changes at Fort Bragg, NC DoD 18 Nov 2020 -- Acting Secretary Of Defense Christopher C. Miller; Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Acting Under Secretary Of Defense For Intelligence And Security
- Special Operations Leader to Report Directly to Acting Defense Secretary DoD News 18 Nov 2020 -- The Defense Department today started the process of elevating special operations forces on par with military departments per authority from the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, according to the acting defense secretary.
- Joint Artificial Intelligence Center Has Substantially Grown To Aid The Warfighter DoD News 18 Nov 2020 -- It was just two years ago when the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center was created to grab the transformative potential of artificial intelligence technology for the benefit of America's national security, and it has grown substantially from humble beginnings.
- DOD Prioritizes December Launch of 'Trusted Capital Marketplace' DoD News 18 Nov 2020 -- While plans are underway for a change in administration, officials within the Defense Department still have several goals they'd like to achieve. Among those is implementation of the "Trusted Capital Marketplace," the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment said.
- II MEF Marines conclude MEFEX 21.1 USMC News 18 Nov 2020 -- II MEF concluded Marine Expeditionary Force Exercise 21.1, which took place across the east coast at Fort Drum, New York; Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia; and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, November 13.
- 53rd WEG hosts simultaneous WSEPs in Florida, Utah US Air Force 18 Nov 2020 -- The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group hosted both Weapons System Evaluation Program East and West from Nov. 2-13. The evaluations included more than 86 aircraft participating at two installations, Tyndall Air Force Base and Hill AFB, Utah, in live-fire air-to-air and air-to-ground evaluations.
- Space Force to Remain 'Lean, Agile, Fast' DoD News 18 Nov 2020 -- Space Force Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, chief of space operations, spoke today about the Space Force at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference.
- Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană: NATO is preparing for the unexpected NATO 18 Nov 2020 -- Speaking at the Warsaw Security Forum on Wednesday (18 November), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană said that as NATO looks to the next decade and beyond, it needs to accelerate
- Chinese peacekeepers to Mali change barracks into oasis PLA Daily 18 Nov 2020 -- The 8th Chinese peacekeeping engineer contingent to Mali passed the environmental inspection on November 16th, local time.
- Army aviation brigade uses drones to guide helicopter missile strike PLA Daily 18 Nov 2020 -- A drone was used to guide a helicopter to conduct beyond visual range (BVR) strike at sea during a live-fire drill by an army aviation brigade under the PLA 71st Group Army recently. All targets were accurately hit under the harsh conditions of dense fog.
- Jieyang city in Guangdong reconstructs provincial road for combat readiness PLA Daily 18 Nov 2020 -- Recently a brigade of the PLA Navy organized an emergency response drill, with an airborne battalion quickly arriving at the designated area. The whole process is smooth and efficient. "The dispatch time is 15 percent faster compared with the past," said Huang Jianghong, the battalion commander at the scene.
- China Condemns Historic Australia-Japan Defense Pact VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- Australia and Japan have agreed on a historic defense pact that would allow both countries to strengthen military ties in the face of rising tensions with China.
- Pilot of missing F-16 likely suffered spatial disorientation: Air Force CNA 18 Nov 2020 -- The disappearance of an F-16 fighter from radar screens Tuesday night was mostly likely the result of spatial disorientation on the part of the pilot, Air Force Commander Hsiung Hou-chi (熊厚基) said Wednesday.
- Taiwan grounds fleet of US-made F-16s after jet vanishes Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- Taiwan has grounded its F-16 fleet after one of the US-made jets vanished minutes after taking off from an air base on the east coast of the self-ruled island.
- Taiwan Grounds F-16 Fleet After Two Accidents Amid Heightened Tensions With China Sputnik 18 Nov 2020 -- Taiwan's US-built F-16A fighter is thought to have crashed into the sea after the island's air force said on Tuesday that the jet had disappeared from radar screen two minutes after taking off from an airbase in Hualien on the east coast of the island. The incident was the second loss of an F-16 fighter jet in less than a month.
- Indian Army Sets Up Modern Habitat for Troops in Ladakh Amid Stand-Off with China - Video Sputnik 18 Nov 2020 -- India has been making vigorous attempts to provide logistical support to its forward deployed soldiers. Recently, it imported more than 15,000 items of specialised winter clothing from the US, with the emergency supply made by activating the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (LEMOA).
- South Korea to Spend 80% of Military Budget on Purchase of National Weapons, Reports Suggest Sputnik 18 Nov 2020 -- Defence Minister Suh Wook promised that more than 80% of South Korea's military budget, which is estimated at $90 billion, would be spent by the armed forces in the next five years on locally made weapons and equipment, as South Korea pursues an import substitution policy, local media reported on Wednesday.
- Statement From Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller on UK Announcement of Largest Military Investment in 30 Years DoD 18 Nov 2020
- Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention - 18th Meeting of State Parties: UK statement UK FCDO 18 Nov 2020 -- Aidan Liddle, UK Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament delivered this statement under agenda iteam 9(b) - Clearing mined areas and mine risk education and reduction: conclusions and recommendations related to the mandate of the committee on article 5 implementation
- UK to Raise Defense Spending by $21.9 Billion in 4 Years, Prime Minister's Draft Speech States Sputnik 18 Nov 2020 -- The UK defense budget will be increased by 16.5 billion pounds ($21.9 billion) over the next four years, as part of a government plan to invest in next-generation military capability amid the COVID-19 pandemic. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the move in Parliament on Thursday.
- Defence Secretary's speech at the Defence Space Conference 2020 UK MOD 18 Nov 2020 -- Defence Secretary Ben Wallace talks about transforming in the new Space Age.
- Remarks by Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich at the Second Annual Partnership to Combat Human Rights Abuse and Corruption US Treasury 18 Nov 2020
- Senior State Department Officials Briefing to Traveling Press US Dept. of State 18 Nov 2020
- 18 November 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 18 Nov 2020
- The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of Bomb-Laden UAV Launched by Terrorist, Iran-Backed Houthi Militia Toward the Kingdom SPA 18 Nov 2020 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki
- Syria intercepts Israeli aggression over Damascus; casualties reported Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- Syrian media say the country's air defenses have confronted an Israeli aggression over the capital Damascus, also reporting a number of casualties.
- Israel Strikes Syrian, Iranian Forces In Syria RFE/RL 18 Nov 2020 -- Israel said it launched air strikes against a number of Syrian army and Iranian Quds Force targets in Syria on November 19 after roadside bombs were uncovered along the frontier in the Israeli-held Golan Heights.
- Israel Launches Retaliatory Airstrikes in Syria VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- The Israeli military said Wednesday it carried out airstrikes against Syrian and Iranian targets inside of Syria in response to what it said were explosive devices placed along the border in the Golan Heights.
- Iraqi military says four rockets struck Baghdad's Green Zone Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- The Iraqi military says four rockets have targeted the Green Zone in the capital Baghdad, an area that houses government buildings and foreign missions, including the US embassy.
- Apparent Rocket Attack Against US Embassy in Baghdad Ratchets Up Iraq Tensions VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- A rocket attack by pro-Iranian militia appeared to target the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad's Green Zone overnight. The attack has ratcheted up tensions between the U.S. and Iraq, just as the two countries announced the withdrawal of 500 more U.S. soldiers from Iraq.
- Armenia's prime minister unveils action plan amid pressure after Karabakh peace deal Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has unveiled an action plan amid pressure to resign over a 'disastrous' handling of the conflict with Azerbaijan.
- Turkish parliament approves deployment of troops in Azerbaijan People's Daily 18 Nov 2020 -- The Turkish Parliament Tuesday passed a motion to allow the deployment of Turkish troops in Azerbaijan for monitoring a cease-fire agreement over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
- UN to set up temporary peacekeeping bases in region of South Sudan People's Daily 18 Nov 2020 -- The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said on Tuesday it plans to set up temporary peacekeeping bases in the Jonglei region to help end inter-ethnic skirmishes.
- Violence, insecurity continues to plague South Sudan communities UN News 18 Nov 2020 -- Over 1,000 people have been killed and more than 400 abducted in the past six months in intercommunal violence in South Sudan, amid fears that tensions may worsen with the onset of the dry season, the UN envoy for the country has said.
- UN officials assess needs at camps for refugees from Ethiopia's Tigray region UN News 18 Nov 2020 -- Senior UN officials have conducted a two-day mission to southeastern Sudan, where some 30,000 Ethiopians have found refuge after fleeing ongoing fighting between national and regional forces in Tigray province, the world body reported on Wednesday.
- Warring Sides in Ethiopia Both Claim They Are Winning VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- Ethiopia predicted Wednesday it would soon defeat the Tigray People's Liberation Front in the country's northern region while the TPLF maintained it had secured military victories in a two-week war that threatened to further destabilize the Horn of Africa.
- Sudanese Opposition Leaders Pledge Commitment to Peace Deal VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- Sudanese rebel leaders who returned to Khartoum this week said they are fully committed to implementing a new peace agreement with the government in good faith.
- Security Tightened in Cameroon's Capital After Bombing Attacks VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- Cameroon authorities have deployed troops in the capital Yaoundé to fish out armed men they say are trying to destabilize the government. Several bombs have exploded in Yaounde over the past two months, injuring at least 22 people. Some officials are implying that opposition parties are behind the attacks.
- Ministerial statement on settlements in Givat HaMatos UK FCDO 18 Nov 2020 -- Statement from Minister Cleverly on Israel's decision to advance the construction of settlement buildings in Givat HaMatos
- Putting the needs and security of Israelis and Palestinians first UK FCDO 18 Nov 2020 -- Statement by Ambassador Jonathan Allen, UK Chargé d'Affaires to the UN, at the Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East
- Secretary Pompeo's Trilateral Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani US Dept. of State 18 Nov 2020
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani Before Their Meeting US Dept. of State 18 Nov 2020
- Pompeo Touts Normalization of Ties Between Israel, Bahrain VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated America's support for the normalization of relations between Israel and Bahrain during talks Wednesday between the two nations in Jerusalem.
- Biden Says Battle Against Coronavirus Needs Commander in Chief VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday declared that the battle against COVID-19 "is like going to war. You need a commander in chief."
- Biden team says transition delay hurts plans on COVID-19 Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- The members of President-elect Joe Biden's coronavirus advisory board have warned that the administration's refusal to allow the transition would hurt their anti-COVID plans in different ways.
- Trump fires U.S. top cybersecurity official over election security statement People's Daily 18 Nov 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that Chris Krebs has been terminated as director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) over the official's recent statement on the security of the 2020 presidential election.
- Trump Fires Security Chief Who Said 2020 Vote Was 'Most Secure' in US History VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- Barely two weeks after the polls closed in an election he is now projected to lose, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to fire the official responsible for spearheading efforts to secure the vote.
- US drops drug case against ex-Mexican defense minister, allows inquiry at home Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- The United States has decided to drop drug trafficking charges against a Mexican ex-defense minister in US custody, allowing his prosecution in his home country, due to "sensitive" foreign policy considerations.
- Ebola Outbreak in DR Congo's Equateur Province is Over VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- The World Health Organization has officially declared an end to the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo's Equateur Province, nearly six months after the first cases were reported.
- Latest Ebola outbreak in DR Congo is declared over, with lessons for COVID-19 UN News 18 Nov 2020 -- An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is over, the government announced on Wednesday, after a five-month response supported by the UN's World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners.
- Canadian Intelligence Agency Claims China, Russia Pose Greatest State-Sponsored Cyber Threat Sputnik 18 Nov 2020 -- China, Russia, Iran and North Korea pose the greatest cybersecurity threat to Canada, a division of the country's Communications Security Establishment (CSE) intelligence agency said in a Wednesday report.
- Extortion, bio-warfare and terrorism: Extremists are exploiting the pandemic, says UN report UN News 18 Nov 2020 -- Criminals and violent extremists are exploiting the pandemic to build their support networks, undermine trust in government and even weaponize the virus, according to a research report published on Wednesday by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).
- Mayor Of Siberian City Arrested On Corruption Charge Suspended From Post RFE/RL 18 Nov 2020 -- A court has ruled that the mayor of the Siberian city of Tomsk, Ivan Klyain, must be suspended from his post after being arrested last week on suspicion of abuse of office.
- Russian Lawmaker Proposes Bills To Further Restrict Rights Of Protesters RFE/RL 18 Nov 2020 -- A Russian lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party has proposed two pieces of legislation that would further restrict citizens' rights to assembly.
- Russian Lawmakers Submit New Bill on Foreign Agents to Lower Chamber Sputnik 18 Nov 2020 -- Russian lawmakers have submitted a bill to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, proposing to label individuals as foreign agents if they engage in politics while being funded from abroad.
- Former Army Green Beret Pleads Guilty to Russian Espionage Conspiracy US Dept. of Justice 18 Nov 2020 -- A former Army Green Beret pleaded guilty today to conspiring with Russian intelligence operatives to provide them with United States national defense information.
- Former US Army Officer Pleads Guilty of Spying for Russia VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- A former U.S. Army Special Forces officer pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of providing sensitive military information to Russian intelligence agents.
- Former Raytheon Engineer Sentenced for Exporting Sensitive Military Related Technology to China US Dept. of Justice 18 Nov 2020 -- Today, Wei Sun, 49, a Chinese national and naturalized citizen of the United States, was sentenced to 38 months in prison by District Court Judge Rosemary Marquez. Sun previously pleaded guilty to one felony count of violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on November 18, 2020 PRC MofA 18 Nov 2020
- Joint Statement on Hong Kong US Dept. of State 18 Nov 2020 -- The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
- Three Ex-Hong Kong Lawmakers Arrested for Protests in Legislative Chamber VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- Three former pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmakers were arrested Wednesday for disrupting legislative proceedings earlier this year.
- Hong Kong Police Arrest Three Former Democratic Lawmakers Radio Free Asia 18 Nov 2020 -- Police in Hong Kong on Wednesday arrested three former pro-democracy lawmakers in connection with protests they carried out in the Legislative Council (LegCo) earlier this year.
- 3 former lawmakers arrested in Hong Kong for attempting to harm others Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- Three former lawmakers have been arrested in Hong Kong for attempting to cause harm to others during incidents inside the semi-autonomous Chinese city's legislature building earlier this year.
- UPDATE: 3 HK ex-lawmakers arrested, charged and set to appear in court: police Global Times 18 Nov 2020 -- Three Hong Kong former lawmakers - Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Ted Hui Chi-fung and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen - who were arrested by local police on Wednesday morning, have been charged and will appear in court on Thursday, according to the statement the Hong Kong police sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.
- Aksu Internment Camp Was Former Hospital, Raising Fears Uyghur Detainees Are Used in Organ Trade Radio Free Asia 18 Nov 2020 -- A hospital for infectious diseases in Aksu (in Chinese, Akesu), in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), has been turned into an internment camp as part of what some experts believe could be a system for harvesting organs from detainees.
- In Bid to Rely Less on US, China Firms Stockpile Taiwan Tech Hardware VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- Regional analysts say Taiwan's recent surge in exports despite a global economic downturn is most likely due to an increase in orders from Chinese tech firms that hope to depend less on the United States in the wake of trade and regulatory disputes.
- Internal Woes Thwarting China's Global Ambitions, Reports Say VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- The U.S. State Department and American lawmakers in the Senate are outlining the risks and opportunities in Washington's relationship with China in two new reports.
- Xi calls for efforts to make world a better place for everyone PLA Daily 18 Nov 2020 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping Tuesday called on BRICS countries to keep people's welfare close to heart, pursue the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, and make the world a better place for everyone through concrete actions.
- Full Text: Remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping at 12th BRICS Summit PLA Daily 18 Nov 2020 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday addressed the 12th BRICS Summit in Beijing via video link.
- China Pushes Xi Jinping Thought as Part of College Education VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- As Chinese leader Xi Jinping continues to consolidate power, the Chinese Communist Party is working to include more of his writings and opinions as a mandatory part of country's university curriculum.
- Taiwan, U.S. hold talks on overseas infrastructure finance CNA 18 Nov 2020 -- Taiwan and the United States held talks in Washington Tuesday on plans to jointly invest in overseas infrastructure, in the first of several meetings scheduled this week to discuss economic issues, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
- Taiwan Affairs Office indirectly confirms blacklisting 'diehard Taiwan secessionists' Global Times 18 Nov 2020 -- The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council on Wednesday indirectly confirmed that the mainland is formulating a blacklist of "diehard Taiwan secessionists," after Hong Kong media revealed the news recently.
- Iran's Sanctioned Shipping Line Runs Network of Hong Kong Companies Radio Free Asia 18 Nov 2020 -- Iranian state shipping routes are continuing to evade U.S. sanctions by operating via a complex network of companies and subsidiaries registered in Hong Kong, dozens of which are traceable to a purported individual in Shanghai named on publicly available records as Shen Yong, a recent RFA investigation has revealed.
- IAEA Confirms Reports That Iran Has Been Operating Nuclear Centrifuges VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- The United Nations' atomic watchdog agency has confirmed reports that Iran has begun operating centrifuges installed at an underground site but says the country's overall uranium-enriching capabilities have not significantly increased.
- Iran confirms feeding UF6 into advanced IR-2m centrifuges at Natanz facility Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- Iran confirms it has fed UF6 into the recently installed cascade of advanced IR-2m centrifuges at Natanz facility.
- UN Watchdog Says Iran Has Again Breached Nuclear Deal With Step To Fire Up Centrifuges RFE/RL 18 Nov 2020 -- The UN's atomic watchdog says Iran has again breached its nuclear deal with major powers by firing up advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges installed underground at its Natanz site.
- Nuclear Watchdog: Uranium Enrichment Hike at Iran's Advanced Centrifuges in Natanz 'Insignificant' Sputnik 18 Nov 2020 -- The increase in the uranium enrichment level in advanced centrifuges at Iran's underground nuclear facility in Natanz is not significantly different from what the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) knew last about it, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said on Wednesday.
- Iran denies natural gas network was target of cyber attack Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- Iranian Oil Ministry officials have denied rumors that the country's gas transfer network came under a cyber attack in recent days.
- In New Iran Sanctions, US Targets Khamenei-Controlled Foundation VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- The United States on Wednesday imposed new sanctions on Iran, specifically targeting an organization founded by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
- Treasury Targets Vast Supreme Leader Patronage Network and Iran's Minister of Intelligence US Treasury 18 Nov 2020 -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today against a key patronage network for the Supreme Leader of Iran, the Islamic Revolution Mostazafan Foundation (Bonyad Mostazafan, or the Foundation), an immense conglomerate of some 160 holdings in key sectors of Iran's economy, including finance, energy, construction, and mining.
- The Importance of Sanctions on Iran US Dept. of State 18 Nov 2020 -- The Maximum Pressure campaign against the Iranian regime continues to be extraordinarily effective. Today, Iran's economy faces a currency crisis, mounting public debt, and rising inflation.
- Incoming US administration will need to change Iran approach: Rouhani Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani says current developments indicate that the new US administration would need to switch from a posture of threats against Iran to one of seeking opportunities with the country.
- Zarif: Biden can swiftly lift Iran sanctions via three executive orders Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is ready to resume its commitments under the 2015 nuclear accord if the US stops violations of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the deal and lifts its sanctions, adding that president-elect Joe Biden can do so through "three executive orders" once settled in the White House.
- Iranian FM Says Tehran Willing To Fully Comply With Nuclear Deal If Biden Lifts Sanctions RFE/RL 18 Nov 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran would return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal if U.S. President-elect Joe Biden lifts crippling sanctions against the country.
- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani Says US Has Failed at Its 'Economic Terrorism' Sputnik 18 Nov 2020 -- In May 2018, Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed economic sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic's financial and energy industries. In addition, Trump warned world leaders that importing oil from Iran would lead to sanctions.
- Zarif: Iran ready to negotiate terms for regaining JCPOA participant status IRNA 18 Nov 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message stressed that the US is still a member of the UN and expressed Iran's readiness to negotiate terms for regaining JCPOA participant terms.
- Zarif: Biden has to fulfill US JCPOA commitments IRNA 18 Nov 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Ministyer Mohammad Javad Zarif said if the new US president-elect Joe Biden seeks to return to the JCPOA, he will have to fulfill US commitments under the deal and lift the sanctions.
- EU's top diplomat says Iran needs to see JCPOA economic benefits in return for limiting nuclear work Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- The European Union foreign policy chief, Joseph Borrell, says Iran should reap the economic benefits of the 2015 nuclear deal in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear work.
- Iran intel ministry releases documents showing terror outfit's Saudi ties Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- Iran's Intelligence Ministry has published secret correspondence between Saudi Arabia's spy service and a notorious anti-Iran terrorist group.
- Commemoration of the Massacre of Mahshahr and Designation of Iranian Officials Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human Rights US Dept. of State 18 Nov 2020 -- One year ago, the Iranian regime killed as many as 148 Iranian civilians in Mahshahr, while imposing digital darkness to hide evidence of their savage crackdown on last November's protests in that city. Both protesters and bystanders were targeted by snipers on rooftops, tracked down and surrounded by armored vehicles, and sprayed with machine-gun fire.
- Kazakh Opposition Figure Calls On Supporters To Vote To Expose 'Opposition' Party RFE/RL 18 Nov 2020 -- Mukhtar Ablyazov, a former Kazakh banker and outspoken critic of the country's government, has called on his supporters to join and vote for the All-National Social Democratic Party (OSDP) to "prove" the party is a "fraud."
- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chairs Cabinet's Virtual Session SPA 18 Nov 2020 -- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prime Minister, chaired today the Cabinet's virtual session.
- Protocol on Gibraltar - unilateral statement by the UK UK FCDO 18 Nov 2020 -- UK statement following the second meeting of the UK-EU Specialised Committee via videoconference.
- Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson clash over Scottish devolution Press TV 18 Nov 2020 -- Labor leader, Keir Starmer, has added his voice to growing criticism of Prime Minister, Boris Johnson's description of Scottish devolution as a "disaster".
- Brexit Talks Go Down to Wire as EU Faces Budget Crisis VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- Talks between Britain and the European Union over a trade deal are going down to the wire, as the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31 draws near.
- Malaysian State Terminates $10.5B China-Backed Harbor Project Radio Free Asia 18 Nov 2020 -- The Malaysian state of Malacca has terminated a $10.5 billion Chinese-supported harbor development project because the developer had failed to complete the undertaking, a statement from the chief minister's office said.
- China Removes Tariffs on Laos, but Critics Say Barriers Remain for Lao Companies Radio Free Asia 18 Nov 2020 -- China has agreed to eliminate tariffs on 97 percent of Lao goods, effectively making almost all Lao exports to China duty free, but sources in Laos are worried that the new trading rules only benefit China.
- Vietnam Revises Environmental Protection Law But Enforcement a Concern Radio Free Asia 18 Nov 2020 -- Vietnam's National Assembly Tuesday amended the country's environmental protection law to give communities a bigger role in conservation and impose responsibilities on corporations, but critics say monitoring mechanisms in the country are not adequate to enforce it.
- Draft Changes To Kyrgyz Constitution Spark Fears Of Presidential Power Grab RFE/RL 18 Nov 2020 -- Kyrgyz lawmakers have initiated constitutional changes that critics say would concentrate too much power in the hands of the president ahead of a presidential election scheduled for January.
- Hungarian PM Orban Accuses EU Of Using Budget To 'Blackmail' Over Immigration RFE/RL 18 Nov 2020 -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has accused the European Union of trying to use the bloc's budget to "blackmail" countries that oppose its immigration policies.
- Activist Monks Flee Cambodia Amid Threat of Arrest Over Call For Union Leader's Release Radio Free Asia 18 Nov 2020 -- Two activist Buddhist monks have fled Cambodia for neighboring Thailand to avoid arrest, saying they became targets of the country's ruling party after joining a social justice protest demanding the release of prominent union leader Rong Chhun in late July.
- Pompeo Meets With Georgian Officials Over Cooperation As Russia Deepens Regional Ties RFE/RL 18 Nov 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met with top Georgian officials to discuss the prospects of deepening defense and security cooperation in a region where Russia has been attempting to deepen its ties.
- Secretary Pompeo's Meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Gakharia and Foreign Minister Zalkaliani US Dept. of State 18 Nov 2020
- Secretary Pompeo's Meeting with Georgian President Zourabichvili US Dept. of State 18 Nov 2020
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia Before Their Meeting US Dept. of State 18 Nov 2020
- Chaos Erupts in Kampala Following Arrest of Opposition Leader Bobi Wine VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- Ugandan police arrested opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as singer Bobi Wine, on Wednesday as he campaigned for January's presidential election. The arrest came just an hour after police released a statement warning candidates against violating COVID-19 guidelines.
- Uganda's Presidential Hopefuls Kick Off Campaigns as COVID-19 Cases Rise VOA 18 Nov 2020 -- Campaigning is gearing up in Uganda for general elections but candidates are struggling to follow the guidelines for containing coronavirus pandemic.
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