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Russia-West tensions

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterates that the West should give security guarantees to his country, as tensions continue over Ukraine. Putin says Russia’s security is threatened by Ukraine's growing ties with the Western military alliance, NATO. He also says the alliance has cheated Russia with five waves of expansion since the Cold War. The US and NATO accuse Russia of preparing to invade Ukraine. Moscow strongly denies that and plans talks with the US and NATO early next year in order for the tensions to ease. During his press briefing, the Russian president also spoke about a gas crisis in Europe. He said it is unfair to blame Moscow for the crisis, because the Russian company, Gazprom, is meeting its obligations. 

Iran-Iraq ties

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi tells the Iraqi foreign minister that a principal policy of Iran is to support the stability and sovereignty of Iraq. Raeisi was speaking with Fuad Hussein in Tehran. President Raeisi said Iran views insecurity in neighboring Iraq as insecurity on Iranian soil. He also hailed the resistance of the Iraqi people and said it is the main reason making American forces leave the Arab country. Iran’s president said once the US enters a country, it does not leave unless it faces popular resistance. The Iraqi foreign minister also sat down with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. The two diplomats, among others, discussed the US assassination of top Iranian commander, General Qassem Soleimani that took place in Iraq in January 2020.

Israeli atrocity

Palestinians hold a funeral for a young man who was killed by Israeli fire a day earlier. The mourning procession was held in the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. The 26-year-old Mohammad Issa Abbas was shot in the back when Israeli forces opened fire on his car on Wednesday. Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, is very critical of new Israeli rules that give soldiers more freedom to use deadly force against Palestinians. It says the rules are further proof of the Israeli military leaders’ criminal behavior and terrorist policies that encourage deliberate killing of innocent people. Israel has amended its open fire rules to allow soldiers to shoot at the Palestinians who throw stones, even when they do not pose an imminent threat.

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