29 January 2021 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- US Reportedly Builds New Base in Kurdish-Controlled Part of Syria Sputnik 29 Jan 2021 -- Former US President Donald Trump repeatedly promised to withdraw American troops from "endless wars", specifically the ongoing Syrian civil war, but failed to deliver on his promise. Instead, he reduced the US contingency in the Arab republic, leaving a small number of soldiers under the pretext of "keeping the oil".
- Afghanistan's Taliban say honoring Doha deal, warn US troops to leave or die Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- The Taliban have roundly dismissed the Pentagon's claim that the Afghan militant group is not in compliance with the agreement it reached with the United States in Qatar last year, warning Washington that US troops will be killed if they refuse to leave the country as required by the deal.
- Biden admin ditches May obligation to withdraw troops from Afghanistan Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- The Pentagon says the Biden administration will not commit to a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by May after it accused the Taliban of not honoring the commitments they made in their deal with the United States.
- Taliban PsyOps: Afghan Militants Weaponize Commercial Drones RFE/RL Gandhara 29 Jan 2021 -- The Taliban has used small commercial drone aircraft in recent years for reconnaissance and to make propaganda videos of attacks.
- Afghan President Urges Biden To Increase Pressure On Taliban RFE/RL Gandhara 29 Jan 2021 -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has urged the United States to ramp up pressure on the Taliban and not to rush the withdrawal of more troops from Afghanistan.
- Pentagon Says Taliban 'Not Meeting Their Commitments' Under Afghan Peace Deal RFE/RL Gandhara 29 Jan 2021 -- The Pentagon says the Taliban are not complying with commitments the militant group reached with the United States last year under an Afghan peace accord.
- Taliban has not met commitments under U.S.-Taliban deal: Pentagon People's Daily 29 Jan 2021 -- The Pentagon said on Thursday that the Afghan Taliban had not met its commitment under the U.S.-Taliban deal.
- Taliban Calls on Biden Administration to Honor Trump Afghan Commitments VOA 29 Jan 2021 -- The Taliban on Friday said its February 2020 agreement with the United States is meant to give American "invading" troops a "safe passage" out of Afghanistan, insisting the insurgent group expects President Joe Biden administration's "review" of the document will not disrupt it.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Making way for the future, 8th Marine Regiment joins other units in deactivation USMC News 29 Jan 2021 -- The Corps faced several cuts last year, and the trend continues into 2021 as 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, ends its most recent, 70-year, activation period with a deactivation ceremony on January 28.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin's Meeting With Mexico DoD 29 Jan 2021
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's Call With Italian Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini DoD 29 Jan 2021
- Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist's Visit to Arizona DoD 29 Jan 2021
- Department of Defense Reportedly Pauses Trump's Last-Minute Appointments to Its Boards Sputnik 29 Jan 2021 -- The people, deemed loyalists of the previous president, might become subject to a purge initiated by the new administration, Politico reported earlier citing sources. However, removing already approved candidacies might prove difficult, the media body warns.
- U.S. Navy Sends Third Ship Into Black Sea, Largest Presence In Three Years RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- The U.S. Navy has sent a third warship into the Black Sea as it steps up its presence in the strategic region.
- Army, 37th Airlift Squadron enhance interoperability at Ramstein AB US Air Force 29 Jan 2021 -- The U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade, joined forces with the 37th Airlift Squadron to conduct a rapid deployment exercise of personnel and equipment on Jan. 20.
- Russian president signs law extending New START nuclear treaty with US Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the last standing nuclear arms control agreement between Russia and the US, which the ex-American administration failed to extend.
- Putin Signs Bill Extending New START Nuclear Arms-Control Treaty RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill approving the extension of the New START nuclear arms-control treaty.
- President Putin Signs Document Extending New START for 5 Years Sputnik 29 Jan 2021 -- On Wednesday, Russia and the US agreed to prolong the New START arms reduction deal by five years, mere days before it was due to expire.
- China launches 3rd Type 075 amphibious assault ship Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- China launched on Friday its third Type 075 amphibious assault ship — a genre of warship often referred to as helicopter carrier with the ability to conduct amphibious landing missions.
- China launches two new warships, one for Pakistan Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- China on Friday launched two new warships - the third Type 075 amphibious assault ship for the Chinese Navy and the second Type 054A/P frigate for the Pakistan Navy.
- Chinese military to recruit twice a year since 2021 People's Daily 29 Jan 2021 -- China's military will shift its conscription from once a year to twice a year, starting from 2021, a military spokesperson said at a press conference Thursday.
- PLA Navy sends icebreaker to carry out the 84th ice survey mission PLA Daily 29 Jan 2021 -- The PLA Navy sent the icebreaker Haibing (Sea Ice, Hull 722) to the Bohai Sea and the northern waters of the Yellow Sea to perform the 84th ice survey mission on January 25.
- Mobile barracks debut at PLA Air Force's training site PLA Daily 29 Jan 2021 -- In the middle of winter, a group of multi-sized 'boxes' lined up orderly at a training site of the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) in the vast Gobi desert of China. Those are the PLA Air Force's first mobile barracks that were officially unveiled in this drill, a product that presents the Air Force's exploration of new mobile field camping support in complex and unfamiliar areas under harsh weather conditions.
- Chinese Bombers Staged Simulated Attacks on US Aircraft Carrier Near Taiwan, Report Says Sputnik 29 Jan 2021 -- Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be part of its territory, has repeatedly accused China of encroaching upon the island's air defence identification zone, adding to the ongoing tensions between the two sides.
- Photos: Chinese Navy's New Early Warning Plane Completes Test as Carrier Nears Completion Sputnik 29 Jan 2021 -- Electromagnetic catapults on China's forthcoming aircraft carrier will enable it to launch aircraft with more bombs and fuel than its present carriers, which use elevated bow ramps. The technology is unproven, however, and the USS Ford has struggled to keep the technology more reliable than the older steam-powered catapults.
- U.S. will meet security commitments to Taiwan, region: Pentagon CNA 29 Jan 2021 -- The United States will continue to fulfill its commitments to Taiwan's self-defense needs and to the security of the Indo-Pacific region, U.S. Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby said Thursday.
- Pentagon backs Taiwan, says tensions with China should not lead to 'confrontation' Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- The Pentagon has reaffirmed its long-standing support for Taiwan's self-defense after China said independence for the self-ruled island "means war."
- France Orders 12 Rafale Fighters to Replace Aircraft Sold to Greece, Dassault Aviation Says Sputnik 29 Jan 2021 -- The French government has place an order with the Paris-based Dassault Aviation aircraft manufacturer for the purchase of 12 new Rafale fighter jets to replace the second-hand planes sold to Greece earlier, the company said on Friday.
- IN FAC T-81 decommissioned India PIB 29 Jan 2021 -- Indian Naval Fast Attack Craft (IN FAC) T-81 of the Super Dvora MK II class, was decommissioned on 28 Jan 21 at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai after having served the nation successfully for more than 20 years.
- Case Of Deadly 2019 Kazakh Ammo Blasts Returned To Investigators RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- A court in Kazakhstan's southern city of Shymkent has returned to investigators the case of a series of deadly ammunition warehouse blasts in 2019 citing "irregularities."
- China launches 2nd Type 054A/P frigate for Pakistan Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- China launched the second Type 054A/P frigate for Pakistan on Friday in Shanghai, as the Pakistan Navy Chief Naval Overseer highlighted at the launch ceremony that induction of the Type 054A/P warships will significantly enhance Pakistan's maritime defense and deterrence capabilities.
- In 'historic' move, Italy blocks arms sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE over Yemen crimes Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- Italy has permanently stopped exports of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid worries over the two regimes' continued war crimes in Yemen, in what human rights campaigners praised as a "historic" move that sets "an important precedent" for other European countries.
- Israel downplays Biden administration's suspension of US fighter jets sale to UAE Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- Israel has played down a possible set-back for efforts to build up relations with the United Arab Emirates following a decision by US President Joe Biden's administration to suspend the sale of F-35 fighter jets to the Persian Gulf country.
- Netanyahu says US suspension of F-35 deal not to affect UAE-Israel ties Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that the US decision to suspend the sale of F-35 warplanes to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will not affect Israeli ties with the UAE.
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, January 29, 2021 The White House 29 Jan 2021
- Biden's National Security Approach Sees Merger of Foreign, Domestic Policy VOA 29 Jan 2021 -- The administration of new U.S. President Joe Biden is essentially doing away with the traditional distinction between domestic policy and foreign policy when it comes to tackling threats to the country's security.
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi US Dept. of State 29 Jan 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Indian External Affairs Minister Jaishankar US Dept. of State 29 Jan 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Call with African Union Commission Chairperson Faki US Dept. of State 29 Jan 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Call with New Zealand Foreign Minister Mahuta US Dept. of State 29 Jan 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Linde US Dept. of State 29 Jan 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Colombian Foreign Minister Blum US Dept. of State 29 Jan 2021
- 29 January 2021 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 29 Jan 2021
- Philippine Defense Chief: US a 'Stabilizing Force' in South China Sea Radio Free Asia 29 Jan 2021 -- The United States is a "stabilizing force" in the disputed South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific region, the Philippine defense chief said Friday, adding that Manila was optimistic about a "new era" of ties with Washington under the Biden presidency.
- US Vowed to Help Manila Tackle Possible Armed Attack in S China Sea, Philippine Envoy Says Sputnik 29 Jan 2021 -- Territories in the South China Sea are claimed by an array of countries, including China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The US has no claims to the area, but it regularly sends its warships to the region for so-called "freedom of navigation" missions.
- Syria floods: Humanitarians working 'round the clock' to provide urgent relief UN News 29 Jan 2021 -- Humanitarian staff have been working "round the clock" to reopen access roads and provide emergency relief from the disastrous impact that recent floods have unleased on displaced people living in camps in northwest Syria, the UN's deputy humanitarian coordinator there said on Friday.
- 'We can't continue like this': UN envoy's grim assessment of Syria peace process UN News 29 Jan 2021 -- Geir Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria, lamented the slow progress of the peace process in the country, in remarks to the press on Friday, following a meeting involving members of the UN-facilitated Syrian Constitution Committee, in Geneva.
- UN-Sponsored Syrian Constitutional Talks Remain Frozen VOA 29 Jan 2021 -- A weeklong effort to move forward on drafting a new constitution for battle-scarred Syria has ended with no progress and with fading hopes of breaking the deadlock.
- India Deploys Additional Troops Along Border with China, President Says Sputnik 29 Jan 2021 -- Despite having agreed to ease tensions after a violent face-off between troops in Ladakh last year, India and China have been beefing up defences along the Line of Actual Control. Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday said that the relationship between the two countries is at a crossroads.
- Border issues shouldn't be linked to Sino-India relations: Chinese FM Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- Border issues should not be linked to bilateral relations between China and India, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Friday, in response to questions about the recent remarks made by Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on India-China relations.
- CAR conflict displaced over 200,000 in two months: UN Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has voiced concern about escalating violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) following disputed election in December last year , saying the unrest has displaced over 200,000 people in less than two months.
- Central African Republic: 200,000 displaced in less than two months UN News 29 Jan 2021 -- Violence and insecurity related to the recent elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) has forced more than 200,000 people to flee their homes in less than two months, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday, warning tens of thousands are facing dire living conditions.
- Election-Related Displacement Tops 200,000 in Central African Republic VOA 29 Jan 2021 -- Violence which erupted ahead of the Central African Republic's general election at the end of December has forced more than 200,000 people to flee their homes in search of safety, the U.N. refugee agency says.
- Bangladesh sends another group of Rohingya Muslims to remote island Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- Bangladesh has sent a third group of Rohingya Muslim refugees to a controversial facility at a remote island that was surfaced only 20 years ago, in the Bay of Bengal.
- South Sudan's Kiir to Stay Out of Inter-communal Conflicts VOA 29 Jan 2021 -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir says his government will no longer deploy security forces to intervene when inter-communal fighting breaks out in Jonglei state and the Pibor Administrative Area, the scene of repeated deadly clashes.
- The Week In Russia: Trolleybuses, Trams, And Other Threats RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- The State Duma speaker said Russia could collapse if top officials take public transport. President Vladimir Putin raised the specter of global conflagration -- again -- in a remote appearance at the Davos economic forum. Back home, apartment raids and a court ruling seemed to betray Kremlin concerns about Aleksei Navalny and the wider discontent that is evident at protests over his arrest.
- Inside The 'Propaganda Kitchen' -- A Former Russian 'Troll Factory' Employee Speaks Out RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- The money wasn't bad, but the work was demanding: posting up to 120 comments a day, over an 11-hour shift -- in chat rooms, on websites, and in social-media profiles belonging to specific Russian-language news outlets such as the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and RFE/RL's Russian Service.
- Navalny Associates Under Pressure Ahead Of Weekend Protests RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- Russian authorities have continued to ramp up pressure on associates of jailed Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny ahead of a second weekend of nationwide demonstrations that the Kremlin has called illegal.
- Why is Kremlin Tagging Protesters 'Political Pedophiles'? VOA 29 Jan 2021 -- Russia's state-controlled media has been turning to a disinformation playbook it has used before in a bid to discredit protesters agitating for the release from prison of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, say analysts.
- Chinese National Charged with Criminal Conspiracy to Export US Power Amplifiers to China US Dept. of Justice 29 Jan 2021 -- Avnet Asia Admits to Criminal Liability for the Conduct of Former Employees, and Agrees to Pay More Than $3.2 Million
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on January 29, 2021 PRC MofA 29 Jan 2021
- Beijing calls for stable China-US relations based on mutual respect, cooperation at crossroads Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- Coming to a new crossroads in China-US relations, Beijing called for a return to the right track of stable and healthy bilateral relations with mutual respect and cooperation, which is crucial to the world's peaceful development and prosperity.
- Biden's Trade Representative Expected to Be Assertive with China VOA 29 Jan 2021 -- If China's leadership had any question about how the Biden administration would approach the ongoing trade disputes between the two countries, the appointment of Katherine Tai to be U.S. trade representative ought to have answered them pretty clearly.
- Beijing Tests Biden with South China Sea Exercises VOA 29 Jan 2021 -- The Chinese military exercises in the disputed waters of the South China Sea are aimed at testing the Biden administration's China policy, according to defense experts.
- Hong Kong BN(O) visa: UK government to honour historic commitment Gov.UK 29 Jan 2021 -- The UK government will deliver on its commitment to open a new visa for Hong Kong BN(O) status holders on Sunday 31 January.
- China Derecognizes BNO Passports as UK Launches Hong Kong Visa Scheme Radio Free Asia 29 Jan 2021 -- As the U.K. geared up to launch a new pathway to citizenship for Hong Kong residents amid an ongoing crackdown on public dissent, China said on Friday it will no longer recognize British National Overseas (BNO) passports that are the key to the scheme.
- China Will No Longer Recognize Hong Kongers' British National Overseas Passport VOA 29 Jan 2021 -- China said Friday it will not recognize the British National Overseas passport for Hong Kong residents after Jan. 31, as Britain is planning to admit millions of people from its former colony to take residency and eventually British citizenship.
- China rejects BN(O) passport as travel document Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- China will no longer recognize so-called British National Overseas BN(O) passports as valid travel documents and identity certificates starting Sunday, the day when the UK opened applications for BN(O) holders in Hong Kong for British citizenship.
- UK's scheme to offer Hong Kongers path to citizenship angers China Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- The United Kingdom has launched an immigration visa scheme that will offer millions of qualifying Hong Kong citizens a path to British citizenship, with Beijing underlining that it would not recognize the immigration program, which comes in response to China's new security laws in the former colony.
- China Will 'No Longer Recognise' UK-Issued BNO Passport for Hong Kongers Sputnik 29 Jan 2021 -- The UK government previously announced it would grant citizenship to up to 3 million of Hong Kong's residents starting Sunday. According to the Foreign Office, holders of British National Overseas passports will be able to apply to live and work in Britain for up to five years.
- New head of HK Bar Association slammed for challenging National Security Law Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- The central government's liaison office in Hong Kong has criticized Paul Harris, the new chairman of the city's Bar Association, who suggested the government should amend the National Security Law and who allegedly shielded the city's rioters in 2019.
- Political figures vow all-out efforts to safeguard Hong Kong's prosperity, stability Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- Political figures sanctioned by the United States for the national security legislation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) have vowed all-out efforts to safeguard the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.
- Uyghur Language Instruction Absent From Schools in Xinjiang's Kelpin County Radio Free Asia 29 Jan 2021 -- At least one county in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) no longer offers Uyghur language instruction to students, according to officials, despite being home to a mostly Uyghur population and national laws guaranteeing minorities the right to a bilingual education.
- Uyghurs Losing Circumcision Traditions Under China's Xinjiang Policies Radio Free Asia 29 Jan 2021 -- Authorities in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are severely restricting the Islamic tradition of circumcision, either by delinking its religious significance or banning it outright, according to officials.
- Chinese private rocket firm LandSpace accomplishes payload fairing separation Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- Chinese private rocket firm LandSpace confirmed with the Global Times Friday that it has accomplished a payload fairing separation test for its self-developed ZQ-2 liquid-propellant carrier rocket, a step toward the maiden liftoff for the much-expected rocket.
- Beijing Officials Demolish Studio of Activist Artist Linked to Ai Weiwei Radio Free Asia 29 Jan 2021 -- Authorities in Beijing have demolished the studio of artist Wang Peng in a move he says is likely linked to an exhibit planned with Ai Weiwei featuring late Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang, who tried to warn the world about the coronavirus pandemic.
- China Raises Threat Level Over Rare Earths Radio Free Asia 29 Jan 2021 -- China's state media outlets have hailed the surprising rise of the country's exports last year, with one notable exception -- a double-digit drop in supplies of minerals known as rare earths.
- 'Taiwan independence' means war not empty threat: Global Times editorial Global Times 29 Jan 2021 -- Wu Qian, spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defense, sternly warned on Thursday that "Taiwan independence" means war. Both the island of Taiwan and the US responded to his remarks. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday that the Pentagon "sees no reason why tensions over Taiwan need to lead to anything like confrontation." He reaffirmed the US' "obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act" and the US military "remains ready in all respects to meet our security commitments in the region."
- Ruling Party Membership No Longer Automatic for North Korean Soldiers Radio Free Asia 29 Jan 2021 -- North Korean soldiers are no longer a shoo-in for membership in the ruling Workers' Party, after authorities tightened entry barriers this year to limit the number of new members, sources in the million-strong military told RFA.
- Iran never pulled out of JCPOA to return to it: Vaezi IRNA 29 Jan 2021 -- Mahmoud Vaezi, Chief of Staff of the President of Iran, said on Friday that the Islamic Republic has not withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal and it has abided by its commitments under the agreement; so, it is not the country that should return to the accord.
- UN chief says 'a lot of work' needs to be done on JCPOA revival, no 'immediate' solution in sight Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres says he does not expect an "immediate" revival of a 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement signed between Iran and world powers that the US unilaterally left three years later.
- FM Zarif: US nuclear demand from Iran 'will never happen' Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran will not accept the US demand that it resume full nuclear compliance before Washington lifts sanctions on Tehran.
- Ex-Obama Aide Malley Named As Top U.S. Iran Envoy RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- Veteran diplomat Robert Malley will serve as the U.S. special envoy for Iran, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on January 29.
- Detained Belarusian Protesters Describe August Stay In Internment Camp RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- Prisoners packed into barracks deep in the forest, ringed by meters-high fencing, topped with barbed wire, and complete with guard dogs and watch towers.
- Belarus's Supreme Court To Hear Jailed Opposition Figure Babaryka's Case, Removing Chance To Appeal RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- Lawyers for Viktar Babaryka, a Belarusian banker once seen as a potential challenger to Alyaksandr Lukashenka but who was prevented from running in the presidential election and jailed on corruption charges, say his case will be heard directly by the country's Supreme Court, a move that takes away any chance of appeal.
- Myanmar Military Coup Talk Draws Concern From Western Embassies Radio Free Asia 29 Jan 2021 -- Alarmed after a string of veiled threats of a coup by Myanmar's military over unproven claims of voting fraud in the nascent democracy, more than a dozen Western diplomatic missions called on the army and other parties to reject attempts to alter the outcome of the 2020 elections.
- Thailand Expels 158 Myanmar Migrants Back Home Radio Free Asia 29 Jan 2021 -- Thai officials on Thursday deported 158 undocumented migrant workers from neighboring Myanmar who had been held at a detention center near the border in southern Thailand.
- Myanmar: UN chief following developments 'with great concern' UN News 29 Jan 2021 -- UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for restrain in Myanmar, amid reports of rising tensions over the outcome of last year's general elections.
- Appeal Filed In Pakistan Against Acquittal Of Men Convicted In Daniel Pearl Murder Case RFE/RL Gandhara 29 Jan 2021 -- A Pakistani provincial government has appealed to the country's Supreme Court to review its decision to release the main suspect in the 2002 murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, after the United States and several rights groups expressed outrage over the decision.
- Pakistan Govt Appeals Acquittal of Man Convicted of Journalist Beheading VOA 29 Jan 2021 -- Authorities in Pakistan on Friday petitioned the Supreme Court to review its decision to free Omar Sheikh and his three accomplices convicted of kidnapping and beheading the American journalist Daniel Pearl, the Pearl family lawyer has confirmed to VOA.
- Saudi Arabia hires over dozen lobbying firms in US to launder its reputation Press TV 29 Jan 2021 -- Saudi authorities have reportedly hired more than a dozen lobbying firms to help boost relations with the United States and improve the Riyadh regime's image as new US President Joe Biden assumes office.
- Kyrgyz Ex-President Jeenbekov Summoned As Witness In Corruption Case RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- Former Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, who resigned in October amid anti-government rallies protesting the results of parliamentary elections, has been summoned as a witness in the corruption case of former Deputy Prime Minister Duishenbek Zilaliev.
- Turkmen Buy Foreign Currency On Black Market As Manat Falls Sharply RFE/RL 29 Jan 2021 -- The Turkmen national currency, the manat, has lost some 10 percent of its value on the black market as citizens scramble to buy what little foreign currency is available.
- DRC Prime Minister Ilunga Submits Resignation After Accepting Vote of No Confidence Sputnik 29 Jan 2021 -- Sylvestre Ilunga, the prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, resigned on Friday after the parliament's vote of no confidence in his cabinet.
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