•   
  •   

World Turkey courts Biden with Kabul airport offer

22:36  01 august  2021
22:36  01 august  2021 Source:   afp.com

Florida Democrats See Familiar Storm Cloud in Spanish-Language Cuba Coverage

  Florida Democrats See Familiar Storm Cloud in Spanish-Language Cuba Coverage From communism and socialism, to AOC and Black Lives Matter, the coverage amplified on Spanish-language radio, TV, and platforms like WhatsApp is problematic for Democrats.But as it did during the November election, Spanish-language media in South Florida is having an outsized role in telling the story of what is unfolding, often in a partisan or incomplete way that has darkened the mood of worried Democrats in the state, reminding them of their losing battle against disinformation in 2020.

Turkey is offering to protect Kabul's strategic airport after US forces leave in what experts view as a high-risk bid to improve Ankara's strained ties with Washington.

a man standing in front of a building: Ankara's surprise proposal to protect Kabul's airport after US forces leave Afghanistan gave Erdogan a chance to build a rapport with Biden © Sajjad HUSSAIN Ankara's surprise proposal to protect Kabul's airport after US forces leave Afghanistan gave Erdogan a chance to build a rapport with Biden

Keeping the air hub safe from advancing Taliban forces became a major issue after US President Joe Biden called an end to Washington's 20-year involvement by ordering all troops out of Afghanistan by the end of next month.

Hamid Karzai International Airport offers the safest route for embassy staff and humanitarian aid to reach the war-torn country.

Senate GOP report finds Biden administration spending $2B to suspend border wall construction

  Senate GOP report finds Biden administration spending $2B to suspend border wall construction A new report by Republicans on a Senate subcommittee has concluded that the Biden administration is spending a minimum of approximately $2 billion to suspend construction of the wall at the southern border, even amid a continuing migrant crisis. The report by the minority staff of the Government Operations and Border Management Subcommittee of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee found that efforts to suspend or terminate wall construction projects at the Defense Department have cost between $1.8 billion to $2 billion and the administration is spending $3 million every day.

Its fall could leave Afghanistan largely cut off from the world.

Ankara's surprise proposal gave Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a chance to build a rapport with Biden during their first meeting at a NATO summit in June.

The offer meets two of the Turkish leader's objectives: warm chilly ties with Western allies and avert an influx of refugees by keeping aid routes open.

"Turkey has a vested interest in Afghanistan's stability," said Magdalena Kirchner, Afghanistan country director at German foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

Turkish officials play down the diplomatic aspects of the mission and stress the importance of relieving the suffering in Afghanistan.

"Our objective is to make sure Afghanistan is not closed to the outside world, that it is not isolated," a Turkish diplomatic source said.

Obama ethics chief blasts Biden WH 'blind spot' over Hunter Biden meeting with potential art buyers

  Obama ethics chief blasts Biden WH 'blind spot' over Hunter Biden meeting with potential art buyers The younger Biden will be attending the small LA shows before a larger New York City exhibition of art at his promoter Georges Berges’ gallery. "Oh yes. With pleasure. He's looking forward to it," Berges' gallery spokeswoman Robin Davis told CBS News on Wednesday, confirming Hunter Biden's attendance. "It is like someone debuting in the world. And of course he will be there." Davis added that attendees "will be vetted" and that everyone who is "appropriate" will attend the shows.

The United Nations this month said 18 million people -- or half the Afghan population -- needed assistance, while half of all children under the age of five suffered from acute malnutrition.

- 'Regain favour' -

While Washington still views Turkey as an important ally in a volatile part of the world, relations have been bedevilled by disputes, including Ankara's acquisition of a Russian missile defence system.

Washington sanctioned Ankara for the purchase last year.

"The main factor behind the airport proposal... is Turkish-American relations: Ankara hopes to regain favour with Washington after a string of diplomatic crises," analyst Salim Cevik wrote in a paper for Germany's SWP think tank.

A security source in Ankara said Turkish personnel have been "operating the airport for the past six years" and would remain past August if an agreement with the US and other countries is reached.

Fresh refugee arrivals in Turkey renew anti-migrant sentiments

  Fresh refugee arrivals in Turkey renew anti-migrant sentiments A growing number of Afghans are arriving in Turkey, putting pressure on Brussels-Ankara deal on migrants.Tanju Ozcan, mayor of Bolu from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), later made clear which foreigners he was referring to – refugees whose presence has made Turkey home to the world’s largest refugee population.

In return, Ankara wants US funding and logistical support, the source added.

The source said some of the discussions concerned the future operations of a US missile defence system currently protecting the airport from air attacks.

"Whatever is needed to operate it, the discussions are on it," the source said.

"We've put it forward that we want to continue our work. We want no combatant duty. We repeat this several times."

Ankara is also talking to the Taliban in the hope of finding an arrangement that could keep Turkish troops from turning into targets for the hardline Islamist movement.

The Taliban has publicly called the idea of a Turkish military presence in Kabul "reprehensible".

"Turkish ambitions to remain engaged despite the US withdrawal appear genuine but carry risks for protection of its own forces, should violence escalate," Kirchner said.

But Erdogan said he was willing to "see where these talks (with the Taliban) take us" and Turkish officials are striking a positive tone.

"In our discussions with the Taliban, they say: 'we trust you, we know you don't have a hidden agenda'," the Turkish diplomatic source said.

Read Joe Biden's Full Remarks Announcing 'Concerted Action' Towards Cuba

  Read Joe Biden's Full Remarks Announcing 'Concerted Action' Towards Cuba "Cuban-Americans are hurting. They are hurting because their loved ones are suffering, and it's quite frankly intolerable," Biden said on Friday.Biden made his comments when meeting with Cuban-American leaders at the White House on Friday afternoon. Since July 11, thousands of Cubans have been protesting their government over food shortages and the worst economic crisis the country has experienced in 30 years.

Turkey has around 500 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of a NATO-led non-combat mission, whose withdrawal is nearly complete.

- 'Europeans are worried' -

The UN refugee agency in 2020 counted 125,104 Afghan asylum-seekers in Turkey, which is already home to 3.6 million Syrian refugees.

Their growing presence could become an emotive issue that the Turkish opposition is trying to exploit to keep Erdogan from extending his rule into a third decade in an election set for 2023.

The main opposition party this month made waves by vowing to send Syrians "back home" and raising the issue of Afghan arrivals in Turkey.

Erdogan struck a deal with the European Union in 2016 under which Turkey agreed to host migrants in exchange for billions of dollars in aid.

Ankara and Brussels are now working on updating the agreement and Afghanistan is already dominating discussions.

"The Europeans are worried," the Turkish diplomatic source said.

A total of 201,437 Afghan migrants were caught in Turkey in 2019. The coronavirus pandemic saw those numbers drop to 50,161 last year and around 29,000 so far this year.

But both EU and Turkish officials agree those number are likely to climb after the US troops leave.

raz/zak/dl

Ron DeSantis' Response to Joe Biden's 'Governor Who?' Comment Watched 1 Million Times .
The Florida governor and the president have traded barbs over coronavirus measures as the delta variant runs rampant in the Sunshine State.DeSantis took umbrage at Biden's implied criticism of him earlier this week, when the U.S. president expressed concern at the spike in COVID-19 cases in states such as Florida and Texas where mask and vaccine mandates are banned.

usr: 1
This is interesting!