EU Preparing To Increase Sanctions On N. Korea – Mogherini

EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini. RAIGO PAJULA / AFP

The European Union (EU) is preparing to increase its own sanctions against North Korea, the bloc’s diplomatic chief said on Thursday, as part of international efforts to punish the rogue state for its latest nuclear test.

“I will put forward to ministers to work in the coming days to increase EU autonomous sanctions,” Federica Mogherini said as she arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Tallinn.


Congratulatory Messages Pour In For Trump

Donald Trump,Congratulatory messages are pouring in for Mr Donald Trump after he won the United States presidential election with over 270 votes.

The President of the European Union Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Mr Trump.

In a statement he released on Twitter, Mr Juncker expressed hopes that the EU and the US would strengthen relations through close cooperation.

The statement read: “The strategic partnership between the European Union and the United States is rooted in our shared values of freedom, human rights, democracy and a belief in the market economy.

“Over the years, the European Union and the United States have worked together to ensure peace and prosperity for our citizens and for people around the world.

“Today, it is more important than ever to strengthen transatlantic relations. only by cooperating closely can the EU and the US continue to make a difference when dealing with unprecedented challenges such as Da’esh, the threats of Ukraine’s sovereignty and the territorial integrity, climate change and migration.

“Fortunately, the EU-US strategic partnership is broad and deep; from our joint efforts to enhance energy security and address climate change, through EU-US collaboration on facing threats to security in Europe’s Eastern and Southern neighbourhoods and to the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – we should spare no effort to ensure that the ties that bind us remain strong and durable.

“We should consolidate the bridges we have been building across the Atlantic, Europeans trust that America, whose democratic ideals have always been a deacon of hope around the globe, will continue to invest in its partnership with friends and allies to help make our citizens and the people of the world more secure and more prosperous”.

He also invited Mr trump to visit Europe for an EU-US Summit at his ‘earliest convenience’, saying that the conversation would allow them “chart the course of our relations for the next four years”.

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Vice President of the EU Commission, Federica Mogherini, also reacted to Mr Trump’s victory on Twitter.

She wrote;

On his part, Nato Chief, Jens Stoltenberg, also expressed hopes that Nato would work with us president-elect in tackling security challenges.

One person that has been described as Trump’s supporter by Mrs Clinton, Mr Vladimir Putin, also sent a congratulatory message to the president-elect.

Mrs Clinton had said that Mr Trump would be Mr Putin’s puppet.

In a telegram to Mr Trump, Russian president congratulated Mr Trump and expressed confidence that Washington and Moscow would deepen relations.

The telegram read: “Mr Putin expressed confidence that building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington, based on the principles of mutual respect and real consideration for each other’s positions, would be in the interest of the people of both countries and the whole world”.

Mr Trump had denied having any relationship with Mr Putin, saying he does not know him.

In Germany, government official said that the result was different from what many had hoped for, but stressed that Germany will accept the outcome.

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said she would like to continue Germany’s close co-operations with the United States, with democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and human rights upheld as ideals.

A local newspaper in Germany reports that there is wide-spread shock and horror in Germany.

Donald Trump, a businessman, became the 45th American president after a race that he had described as tough.

He is the chairman and president of the Trump Organisation, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests – a position he has said he will vacate prior to his assumption of the presidency.

In his victory speech minutes after he was called by Mrs Clinton to congratulate him and concede, he said he would uphold a united America and reclaim the nation’s destiny when he takes over.

Coup Attempt: Turkey Suspends Suspected Police, Military Officials

Turkey CoupAlmost 8,000 Police officers suspected to be connected with the failed coup attempt in Turkey have been suspended, officials say.

Turkish judiciary and military personnel numbering about 6,000 have also been detained in connection with the attempted overthrow over the weekend.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to purge the state bodies of the “virus” that had caused the uprising.

The Foreign Policy Chief of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, stressed the importance of the rule of law prevailing.

She said that ministers shared concerns about “what is happening in Turkey in these hours”.

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, also emphasised the importance of democratic rule.

“We will certainly support bringing perpetrators of the coup to justice, but we also caution against a reach that goes well beyond that,” BBC quoted Mr Kerry.

The Turkish government claimed Cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the plot while Gulen who lives in the United States strongly denied any involvement in the rebellion.

Bosnia Marks 20th Anniversary Of Srebrenica Massacre

SrebrenicaThousands have gathered at a graveyard in Bosnia-Herzegovina to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre.

Bosnia commemorates Saturday, July 11, the 20th anniversary of the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica.

Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic , whose country backed the Bosnian Serbs – was chased away from the ceremony by a crowd throwing stones.

On Wednesday, Russia vetoed a UN resolution calling the events ‘genocide’ – a term that angers Serbia.

The Bosnian War saw Bosnian Serb forces, backed by Serbia, fighting the Muslim-led Bosnian government.

Thousands of Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb forces after they captured Srebrenica in July 1995 near the end of Bosnia’s inter-ethnic war, in the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II.

Some 50,000 people, as well as dignitaries from across Bosnia and abroad, were expected to be present at the ceremony marking two decades since the massacre and a day of mourning will be observed throughout the Balkan country.

International officials due to attend include: European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini and Bill Clinton, the US President at the time, whose administration brokered the Dayton peace deal that ended Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war only a few months after the Srebrenica slaughter.

Clinton also attended the massacre’s 10th anniversary.

Serbia, which backed Bosnian Serbs during and after the war that claimed some 100,000 lives, will be represented by its Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, a former ultranationalist-turned-pro-European.

Serbian and Bosnian Serb politicians have long denied the scale of the killing in Srebrenica. Although, two international tribunals have described the bloodshed as genocide.

John Kerry Says Iran Deal ‘Possible This Week’

John KerryUS Secretary of State, John Kerry, has said that an agreement on a deal with Iran on its disputed nuclear programme could be sealed this week.

Iran is negotiating with the US and five other world powers in Vienna.

Mr Kerry also warned that the two sides are not where they need to be on several of the most difficult issues.

With negotiators facing a July 7 deadline, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, said a deal had never been closer.

He believes that if hard choices are made in the next couple of days and made quickly, then an agreement is possible this week.

He added that over the last few years, genuine progress has been made.

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, agreed that the atmosphere at the talks was constructive and positive.

“We are very close,” she said.

EU To Back Smuggler’s Boat Destruction In Mediterranean

euThe European Union (EU) Foreign and Defence Ministers are expected to approve a mission to destroy the boats used by people-smugglers operating in Libya.

At a meeting in Brussels, the Ministers will also discuss the mission’s command-and-control structure and headquarters.

This is part of the EU’s response to the vast number of illegal migrants from Africa and the Middle East crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

Report suggests that more than 1,800 migrants have died in the Mediterranean in 2015. This is a 20-fold increase on the same period in 2014.

On arrival for the meeting, EU Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, said: “Today the main point will be taking the decision to establish the operation, the EU operation at sea to dismantle the criminal networks that are smuggling people in the Mediterranean”.

“We are looking for partnership with the Libyan authorities, with all the relevant Libyan authorities,” she said.


Nine Dead As Gunmen Storm Luxury Hotel In Libya

Security forces surround Corinthia hotel after a car bomb in TripoliHeavily armed gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Tripoli favoured by Libyan officials and visiting delegations on Tuesday, killing at least nine people, including foreigners, before blowing themselves up with a grenade.

Several gunmen stormed the Corinthia Hotel and opened fire in the reception area. A car bomb also exploded nearby.

It was one of the worst assaults targeting foreigners since the 2011 civil war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi and fractured the oil-producing North African state into fiefdoms of rival armed groups with two national governments, both claiming legitimacy.

Militants claiming ties with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria said in a Twitter message they were responsible for the attack, which they said was revenge for the death in the United States of a suspected Libyan al Qaeda operative, according to the SITE monitoring service.

The Twitter account linked to IS said the group had carried out the attack in revenge for the death of Abu Anas al-Liby, a Libyan jihadist who was suspected of involvement in the bombings of two US embassies in East Africa in 1998.

Liby died in a US hospital on 2 January, days before he was due to stand trial.

A civilian who witnessed the attack told the BBC: “I suddenly heard shots and saw people running towards me, and we all escaped from the back [of the hotel] through the underground garage. The hotel did a lockdown after that.”

Two U.S. officials earlier said they were investigating whether an American was killed in the attack. A security officer was also killed in the clashes and three guards died when the attackers set off a car bomb in the car park outside the hotel.

Most foreign governments closed their embassies and pulled staff out of Tripoli after factional fighting erupted in the capital last summer. But some diplomats, business and trade delegations still visit the capital.

Envoys from the United Nations, which is holding talks in Geneva with some of Libya’s warring parties to try to end hostilities, have also been in Tripoli.

The Corinthia Hotel is used by foreign diplomats and government officials. The UN Support Mission in Libya (Unsmil) has hosted several workshops at the hotel.

Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni condemned the attack and pledged that those responsible for it would be brought to justice.

Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign affairs chief, also condemned the attack which took place as a second round of peace talks between Libya’s warring factions ended in Geneva in what the UN described as a “positive atmosphere”.

Libya has been hit by instability since the overthrow of long-time ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.