26 May 2021 Military News
- Taliban Warn Neighbors Against Hosting US Bases for Military Actions inside Afghanistan VOA 26 May 2021 -- The Taliban called on Afghanistan's neighbors Wednesday not to allow the United States to use their territory or air space for any future military operations against the war-torn nation.
- Taliban Warns Afghanistan's Neighbors Against Allowing U.S. Bases RFE/RL Gandhara 26 May 2021 -- The Afghan Taliban has warned neighboring countries against allowing the United States to operate military bases on their soil, following media reports alleging that Pakistan had struck a deal with Washington.
- Taliban warn Pakistan over increased military cooperation with US Press TV 26 May 2021 -- The Taliban militant group has issued a warning to Pakistan after reports of increased military cooperation between American and Pakistani forces.
- Australia to Close Embassy in Afghanistan within Days VOA 26 May 2021 -- Australia says it will close its embassy in Afghanistan this week, because it will not be able to guarantee security once international troops leave.
- Readout from NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's Call with Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib The White House 26 May 2021
Defense Policy / Programs
- US Expected to Move Only Aircraft Carrier in Asia-Pacific Region to Middle East VOA 26 May 2021 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is expected Thursday to approve moving the only aircraft carrier based in the Asia-Pacific region to the Middle East, two defense officials told VOA.
- Pentagon Press Secretary Conducts On-Camera Press Briefing DoD 26 May 2021
- Memorandum of Understanding for Acquisition Support Signed Between the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services DoD 26 May 2021 -- On May 20, 2021, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Andrea Palm signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to continue the agencies' partnership in defeating COVID-19 and preparing for future public health emergencies.
- Defense Office Brings Small Tech Companies Into Big League DoD News 26 May 2021 -- The biggest U.S. defense contractors — such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics and Raytheon — provide many of the technologically advanced weapons and systems used by U.S. service members.
- DOD Awards $13.1 Million Contract to Renco Corporation to Increase Domestic Production Capacity of Nitrile Gloves DoD 26 May 2021 -- On May 26, 2021, the Department of Defense (DOD), on behalf of and in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded a $13.1 million contract to Renco Corporation to increase domestic production capacity of nitrile gloves.
- U.S., French enhance interoperability over the Horn of Africa AFRICOM 26 May 2021 -- U.S. Marine Corps and French Air Force members demonstrated joint capabilities over the Horn of Africa, May 24, 2021.
- Commander, Naval Forces Europe and Commander, Naval Forces North Conduct Wargame at U.S. Naval War College US Navy 26 May 2021 -- More than 75 representatives from 12 U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps commands took part in a U.S. Naval War College-hosted war game focused on maritime command and control in the Atlantic in a plausible crisis scenario, May 10-14. The Trans-Atlantic Maritime Command and Control (TAMC2) War Game 2021 examined alternative command and control structures across the Atlantic to inform the maritime support plans and activities of Commander, Naval Forces Europe and Commander, Naval Forces North.
- U.S. Naval War College Hosts Newport Arctic Scholars Initiative Conference US Navy 26 May 2021 -- The U.S. Naval War College hosted a virtual Newport Arctic Scholars Initiative (NASI) conference April 28-29 to discuss new frameworks on Arctic cooperation and to further strengthen global maritime partnerships in the Arctic.
- Future USS Savannah (LCS 28) Completes Successful Acceptance Trials US Navy 26 May 2021 -- The future USS Savannah (LCS 28) successfully concluded acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico May 14 after a series of in-port and underway demonstrations.
- Patrol Squadron 40 Reaffirms Excellence supporting NATO Tiger Meet 2021 US Navy 26 May 2021 -- The "Fighting Marlins" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 40 participated in the annual NATO exercise TIGER MEET operating out of Naval Station Rota, Spain. The exercise consisted of eight NATO countries and over 50 aircraft conducting coordinated maritime strike and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. VP-40 conducted six dynamic missions enabling NATO forces to find, fix, and finish multi-domain targets of interest.
- USS San Antonio Receives Replenishment-At-Sea US Navy 26 May 2021 -- San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17), part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group (IWOARG), conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), May 21, 2021.
- U.S. Law Enforcement Participate in Exercise Phoenix Express to Help Tackle Maritime Crime US Navy 26 May 2021 -- Law enforcement experts from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) conducted a subject matter expert exchange hosted by U.S. Africa Command in Bizerte, Tunisia during exercise Phoenix Express, May18, 2021.
- Austin to Meet With India's Minister of External Affairs DoD News 26 May 2021 -- Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will meet May 28 with India's Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, as part of India's first cabinet-level visit to Washington, D.C., Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby told media in a press briefing this afternoon.
- Secretary General visits Portugal to prepare NATO Summit, inaugurate new cyber academy NATO 26 May 2021 -- Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Lisbon on Wednesday (26 May 2021) for meetings to prepare the NATO Summit, and to inaugurate a cutting-edge new cyber academy.
- Russia Starts Developing Fifth-Generation Light Single-Engine Fighter, Source Says Sputnik 26 May 2021 -- Russia's Sukhoi company began work on the creation of a tactical single-engine fighter of the 5th generation, which will be built using stealth technologies and Su-57 developments, a source in the aircraft construction industry told Sputnik.
- PLA Xinjiang Military Command gets new anti-aircraft missile, rocket artillery Global Times 26 May 2021 -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Xinjiang Military Command recently received delivery of China's latest field air defense missile system and 122 millimeter (mm) caliber multiple rocket launcher system, with many soldiers seen equipped with night vision goggles.
- Ukraine Unhappy With Lack Of Progress In Joining NATO As Kyiv Is Not Invited To Summit RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Ukraine has decried the lack of progress in NATO's "open-door" policy to Ukrainian membership and said it could not comprehend why it wasn't invited to the bloc's summit next month.
- Anzac Indonesian capability showcased Australia DOD 26 May 2021 -- A passage exercise with Indonesian Navy frigate KRI Diponegoro earlier this month gave one sailor in HMAS Anzac a chance to showcase her Bahasa Indonesia language skills.
- Parramatta joins French task group for training Australia DOD 26 May 2021 -- HMAS Parramatta has joined French Navy Marine Nationale vessels FS Tonnerre and FS Surcouf — operating as the Jeanne d'Arc Task Group — to complete a cooperative passage through the South China Sea.
- U.S.-EU: Joint Press Release by the EEAS and Department of State on Consultations Between Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman and Secretary General Stefano Sannino US Dept. of State 26 May 2021 -- The following is the text of a joint press release by the U.S. Department of State and the European External Action Service.
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken at a Press Availability US Dept. of State 26 May 2021
- Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II US Dept. of State 26 May 2021
- Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Egyptian President Al Sisi US Dept. of State 26 May 2021
- Press Briefing by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, May 26, 2021 The White House 26 May 2021
- 26 May 2021 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 26 May 2021
- Philippine Coast Guard Plans to Upgrade South China Sea Monitoring Radio Free Asia 26 May 2021 -- The Philippine Coast Guard said Wednesday that it planned to upgrade its station on Pag-asa (Thitu), an island in the South China Sea, to improve monitoring in contested waters where Manila has complained about incursions by hundreds of Chinese ships.
- During relative calm, growing humanitarian suffering in Syria, a 'tragic irony' UN News 26 May 2021 -- Violent conflict, terrorism and human rights abuses continue in Syria as its besieged population suffers economic destitution, displacement, detention and abduction, the UN's Special Envoy for the country told the Security Council on Wednesday.
- Blinken's Visit to Jordan Ends Tour to Solidify Mideast Cease-fire VOA 26 May 2021 -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday ended his Middle East tour to bolster the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip by praising Jordan's King Abdullah's "crucial" leadership in helping to secure the truce.
- U.S. Assistance for the Palestinian People US Dept. of State 26 May 2021 -- "As I announced yesterday, the United States is in the process of providing more than $360 million in assistance to the Palestinian people."
- UN General Assembly President: World Has 'Not Forgotten Rohingya' Radio Free Asia 26 May 2021 -- The world has not forgotten the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya sheltering in Bangladesh after fleeing "unimaginable horrors" in Myanmar, the president of the U.N. General Assembly said Wednesday as he visited refugee camps in the South Asian country.
- Zarif expresses hope for de-escalation between Azerbaijan, Armenia Press TV 26 May 2021 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described the Caucasus as a "vital region," stressing that lasting peace and security there is a matter of national security for Iran.
- Armenia, Azerbaijan Trade Blame For New Border Shoot-Out RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia have blamed each other for a border shoot-out that Yerevan says claimed the life of one of its soldiers amid renewed tensions between the two South Caucasus neighbors after last year's war over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
- Armenia Says Soldier Killed In Shoot-Out With Azerbaijani Forces RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- An Armenian soldier was killed on May 25 in a border shootout with Azerbaijani forces, the Armenian Defense Ministry said, amid tensions after last year's war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
- Kyrgyzstan refuses entry to Tajik citizens, sends back passenger plane Press TV 26 May 2021 -- Kyrgyzstan has barred hundreds of passengers flying from neighboring Tajikistan into the country, in a move that is likely to further sour relations between the two former Soviet republics, who only recently engaged in bitter fighting along their disputed border.
- Kyrgyzstan 'Temporarily' Bars Tajik Passengers After Deadly Border Clashes RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Authorities at Kyrgyzstan's main international airport have barred dozens of Tajik citizens flying from neighboring Tajikistan from entering the country in an incident likely to further sour relations between the two Central Asian neighbors whose disputed border witnessed last month its worst fighting in the past three decades.
- UN Aid Chief: Ethiopia's Tigray at 'Serious Risk' of Famine VOA 26 May 2021 -- The U.N. humanitarian chief is warning that there is a serious risk of famine in northern Ethiopia's Tigray region if humanitarian assistance is not immediately scaled up.
- Former Minister of Government of Bolivia, Owner of Florida-Based Company, and Three Others Charged in Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme US Dept. of Justice 26 May 2021 -- Two Bolivian nationals and three U.S. citizens were arrested on May 21, and May 22, in Florida and Georgia on criminal charges related to their alleged roles in a bribery and money laundering scheme. The former Minister of Government of Bolivia and another former Bolivian official are accused of receiving bribes paid by a U.S. company and individuals to secure a Bolivian government contract, and then using the U.S. financial system to launder those bribes.
- Mali President, PM Resign After Arrest, Confirming 2nd Coup in 9 Months VOA 26 May 2021 -- Mali's interim president and prime minister have resigned following their arrest by the military, in what amounts to a second coup for the troubled West African county in nine months.
- Mali's ex-junta chief seizes power after military nabs interim president Press TV 26 May 2021 -- Mali's military strongman Assimi Goita says the removal from power of the country's interim president and vice president in recent days was the right move, alleging that the now detained leaders intended to sabotage the transition process with an uncalled for decision to reshuffle the cabinet.
- Mali's Military Junta to Release Ousted Interim President, Prime Minister 'In Some Time', Aide Says Sputnik 26 May 2021 -- Hours after the military junta in Mali announced the resignations of the prime minister and interim president, the two men are reportedly soon due to be released, according to an aide to the head of the country's military council.
- On the Situation in Mali US Dept. of State 26 May 2021 -- "The United States strongly condemns the detention of civilian leaders of Mali's transition government. We support the May 24 joint statement of ECOWAS and the African Union, and we are working closely with the local transition monitoring committee and other international actors to seek the immediate and unconditional release of those detained and resumption of the civilian-led transition."
- UN chief following Mali crisis ‘with concern’ as Security Council strongly condemns arrests UN News 26 May 2021 -- The UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss the derailing of Mali’s transitional government following the apparent forced departure of both the President and Prime Minister on Tuesday, by the leader of last August’s military coup.
- Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a joint news conference following talks with Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs and Compatriots Abroad Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Sochi, May 26, 2021 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 26 May 2021
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 26, 2021 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 26 May 2021
- Pandemic Pretext? Russian Police Break Up Congress Of Independent Lawmakers RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- A wedding reception was scheduled for the Hotel Rossia in central Novgorod on the evening of May 22, but guests arrived to find police blocking the door.
- Russian Lawmakers Give Final Approval To Law Barring Navalny Allies From Seeking Office RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has approved the third and final reading of a bill that would ban supporters and members of "extremist" organizations from being elected to any post, a move making it virtually impossible for anyone connected to jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny from gaining public office.
- Biden Says Nord Stream 2 Sanctions Would Damage Relations With European Allies RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- U.S. President Joe Biden said his administration decided to waive sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline because the project is almost finished, and sanctions would have harmed relations with European allies.
- Moscow Declares Bulgarian Embassy Staffer Persona Non Grata in Response to Similar Move by Sofia Sputnik 26 May 2021 -- Bulgarian prosecutors previously alleged that at least six Russians had been behind four explosions at Bulgarian arms depots between 2011 and 2020.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on May 26, 2021 PRC MofA 26 May 2021
- China sanctions USCIRF commissioner as countermeasure to move against Chinese official Global Times 26 May 2021 -- China has decided to sanction Johnnie Moore, commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) as a countermeasure to US sanction against a Chinese official under the guise of so-called religious issues, said China's Foreign Ministry.
- Are China-Europe ties going off the cliff? Global Times 26 May 2021 -- Chinese observers shrugged off recent voices that claimed China-Europe relations are headed off a cliff, stressing that some politicians and countries who were kidnapped by ideological conflicts and had illusions on the US cannot represent the entire Europe, nor define the future trend of bilateral relations as Chinese top leaders and officials offered their insight on how to manage the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the EU in face of both opportunities and challenges and warned against politicizing trade issues.
- China and EU not opponents: Wang Yi Global Times 26 May 2021 -- Political confrontation and economic decoupling with China go against the interests of Europe, as cooperation is the general direction and keynote of bilateral relations, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in an address to an online session on China at the Munich Security Conference on Tuesday.
- HKSAR chief executive says no obvious capital outflow seen in Hong Kong People's Daily 26 May 2021 -- Carrie Lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said on Tuesday that there is no obvious capital outflow witnessed in Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong Schools Record Exodus of Students as Families Leave The City Radio Free Asia 26 May 2021 -- Primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong are facing a steady exodus of students in the wake of a draconian national security law that has ushered in a city-wide crackdown on public criticism of the authorities, according to a major teachers' union.
- Uyghur Tribunal Determination Could Change Paradigm For China Relations: Experts Radio Free Asia 26 May 2021 -- A legal determination on whether China's policies in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) constitute genocide can force states to reevaluate their ties to Beijing, experts said, a week ahead of the first hearing of an international people's tribunal investigating reports of abuses in the region.
- China's Xinjiang denounces so-called "Uygur tribunal" as trampling of int'l law People's Daily 26 May 2021 -- A spokesperson of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Tuesday strongly condemned and rejected the so-called "Uygur tribunal" which attempts to hold a "hearing" on claims of "genocide" in the region.
- Tesla 'Bows to Pressure,' Announces User Data to be Stored in China Radio Free Asia 26 May 2021 -- U.S.-based electric carmaker Tesla has bowed to pressure from Beijing and announced it will move Chinese user data to a new center in China, sparking concerns that the move will set a precedent for other tech companies when dealing with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
- Rouhani stresses competitive nature of Presidential elections in Iran IRNA 26 May 2021 -- President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that competitiveness is the spirit of elections and falls dead if the spirit is eliminated, referring to the presidential election to be held next month in Iran.
- In letter to Leader, President Rouhani expresses grievances about disqualifications Press TV 26 May 2021 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says he has written to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to express his grievances about the recent disqualification of certain presidential hopefuls — including his Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri — by the country's Constitutional Council in the run-up to the presidential election next month.
- Rohani Urges Iran's Supreme Leader To Open Election To More Candidates RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Outgoing Iranian President Hassan Rohani says he has urged the country's supreme leader to widen the field in next month's presidential election after only seven candidates were approved and several of his high-profile allies were rejected.
- Is Iran Paving The Way For Hard-Line Cleric Raisi To Become President? RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- By disqualifying many prominent moderates and reformers, Iran's ruling clerics are being accused of paving the way for hard-line judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi to succeed President Hassan Rohani in the upcoming presidential vote.
- Biden's dilemma of maintaining sanctions or reviving JCPOA IRNA 26 May 2021 -- US President Joe Biden seems to be hesitant to continue his predecessor Donald Trump's sanction campaign against Iran or try to revive the 2015 nuclear deal and lift anti-Iran sanctions.
- Talks continue until Iran's interests are secured: Deputy FM IRNA 26 May 2021 -- Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Tuesday that Iran would continue the talks in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal until its interests are secured.
- JPCOA Joint Commission members determined to conclude negotiations: Iran deputy FM ISNA 26 May 2021 -- Iranian deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi stressed that significant progress has been made in previous rounds of Vienna talks but serious issues still remained in the talks that need to be resolved.
- China welcomes extension of nuclear monitoring agreement between Iran, IAEA: foreign ministry People's Daily 26 May 2021 -- China welcomes the extension of a temporary technical understanding between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and hopes it could be faithfully implemented, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Tuesday.
- Araghchi to Press TV: We still not confident a conclusion possible for Vienna talks Press TV 26 May 2021 -- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi says he is still not confident a conclusion would be possible for talks on the revival of a 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- Iranian President Says Cryptocurrency Mining 'Must Stop' Until September RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has announced a four-month ban on all cryptocurrency mining in response to unplanned power cuts that have hit major Iranian cities.
- Junta Snipers Kill Three People in Myanmar's Kayah State Radio Free Asia 26 May 2021 -- Military snipers in Myanmar's eastern Kayah state shot and killed three people and wounded another Wednesday as the junta attacked the state's recently formed militia and retook police strongholds in Loikaw district in the state's northwest.
- Myanmar Hit by More Than 300 Bombing Attacks in Since Feb. 1 Coup Radio Free Asia 26 May 2021 -- Four months after the Feb. 1 military takeover, cities across Myanmar have been rocked with more than 300 bomb blasts, and the ruling junta and its opponents are trading blame over the explosions and the rising death toll, sources in the country say.
- Parents Plea For Release of Belarus Opposition Activists VOA 26 May 2021 -- The parents of the young opposition activist and blogger detained in Minsk after the passenger jet he was on board was forced to land in the Belarusian capital earlier this week are pleading for the international community to help free their son.
- Lukashenko Defends Diverting Flight in Belarus to Arrest Activist VOA 26 May 2021 -- Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday defended the diversion of a European flight and the arrest of a journalist and activist on board, saying he acted within international rules to protect the people of Belarus.
- Statement by the North Atlantic Council on Belarus NATO 26 May 2021
- Lukashenko: Belarus responded lawfully to protect people after bomb scare from Switzerland Press TV 26 May 2021 -- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that his government responded adequately and lawfully to protect his people in diverting a Ryanair flight to Minsk, pursuant to receiving a bomb threat against the passenger airliner from Switzerland.
- 'You Have Bomb On Board': Belarusian Transcript Of Ryanair Pilots Raises More Questions Than It Answers RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Just after 12:30 p.m. local time on May 23, flying at an altitude of around 12,000 meters, Ryanair's Vilnius-bound flight FR4978 from Athens crossed into Belarusian airspace and made contact with air traffic controllers in the capital, Minsk.
- Video Statement By Belarusian Blogger Contains All The Hallmarks Of Forced Soviet-Era 'Confessions' RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- It bore all the hallmarks: the emotionless expression, the monotone delivery, the nondescript backdrop, the tightly clasped hands.
- Belarus Opposition Says It's Preparing New Stage Of Protests Against Lukashenka RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Belarus's opposition says it is preparing to stage a "new phase" of active protests against authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has faced renewed international pressure over the country's diversion of a civilian airliner and arrest of a dissident journalist who was a passenger on the flight.
- Europe's Aviation Regulator Urges Avoidance Of Belarus Airspace As Lukashenka Lashes Out At West RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Europe's aviation regulator has urged all airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace for safety reasons as the country's authoritarian leader, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, defended his decision to use the military to help force the diversion of a civilian aircraft traveling between EU members Greece and Lithuania to land in the capital, Minsk, where authorities immediately arrested a journalist and his girlfriend.
- Pakistan, Uzbekistan Trade Goods Via Afghanistan In Landmark First RFE/RL Gandhara 26 May 2021 -- Pakistan and Uzbekistan have exchanged goods through war-torn Afghanistan for the first time, in a move hailed as a milestone for regional economic integration.
- Former South African President Zuma Pleads Not Guilty to Corruption Charges VOA 26 May 2021 -- Former South African President Jacob Zuma pleaded not guilty to corruption charges Wednesday in a trial that began more than a quarter century ago after some of the alleged crimes were committed.
- Syria Holds 2nd Presidential Election Since Conflict Began in 2011 VOA 26 May 2021 -- Syria held its second presidential election Wednesday since civil war broke out in 2011, despite accusations from around the world the polling is not free and fair. Two candidates are vying with veteran President Bashar al-Assad, who came to office in 2000, following the death of his father, longtime ruler Hafez al-Assad.
- Syrians head to polls to elect president as anti-terror fight nears end Press TV 26 May 2021 -- Syrians vote in a presidential election as the counter-terrorism operation in the Arab country nears an end with government forces winning back control of almost all regions from foreign-backed militants.
- Two Rivals Claim Samoa's Prime Ministership As Political Crisis Deepens VOA 26 May 2021 -- The political crisis in Samoa has deepened as two rivals claim to be prime minister of the South Pacific island nation. Samoa lies about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, and has a population of about 200,000 people.
- Uzbekistan Reform Pace Questioned as Presidential Election Approaches VOA 26 May 2021 -- When Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited Washington three years ago, he renewed a strategic partnership agreement with the United States and pledged to intensify a broad range of systemic reforms while opening his country to a multi-dimensional relationship with the United States.
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