Home > News > News in Brief: 15 October 2007

News in Brief: 15 October 2007

A brief list of news for the day:

China communists ‘falling short’. Chinese President Hu Jintao has said in a keynote speech that the Communist Party he leads has fallen short of the people’s expectations. Speaking at the start of the party’s 17th congress, he also lashed out at officials who were extravagant, wasteful and corrupt. The week-long gathering is held every five years to decide future policies.In an indication of how much sway former President Jiang Zemin still holds, he emerged immediately after President Hu and sat next to him on the podium. (BBC)

Turkish Army Chief Says U.S. Ties At Risk. Turkey’s powerful military chief said Oct. 14 that if the U.S. Congress approved a resolution branding the 1915 killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks genocide ties between the NATO allies would never be the same again. Ankara is a crucial ally for Washington which relies on Turkey as a logistical base for the war in Iraq. Some analysts believe the vote could weaken Washington’s influence over Turkey and increase the likelihood of a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq to crush Kurdish separatist rebels who use the territory to stage attacks into Turkey. (Defense News/Reuters)

Premier Says Turkey Is Ready For Split With U.S. Over Kurds. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that he is prepared for a rupture in relations with the United States if his government launches an incursion into northern Iraq in search of Kurdish rebels. Erdogan criticized the United States for warning against a Turkish attack in one of the few relatively stable regions of war-ravaged Iraq. “Did they seek permission from anyone when they came from a distance of 10,000 kilometers and hit Iraq?” Erdogan asked. “We do not need anyone else’s advice.” (Washington Post)

Baghdad-KRG oil rift deepening. The Iraqi Kurds are being accused of signing contracts that cover prospective oil fields outside their region while Baghdad has declared it will blacklist companies signing deals with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil. The central government in Baghdad has already criticised the Kurdish administration for signing deals with international oil companies before the federal oil law has been approved. (The New Anatolian)

Israel Struck Syrian Nuclear Project, Analysts Say. Israel’s air attack on Syria last month was directed against a site that Israeli and American intelligence analysts judged was a partly constructed nuclear reactor, apparently modeled on one North Korea has used to create its stockpile of nuclear weapons fuel, according to American and foreign officials with access to the intelligence reports. The description of the target addresses one of the central mysteries surrounding the Sept. 6 attack, and suggests that Israel carried out the raid to demonstrate its determination to snuff out even a nascent nuclear project in a neighboring state. The Bush administration was divided at the time about the wisdom of Israel’s strike, American officials said, and some senior policy makers still regard the attack as premature. (New York Times)

Gates: Russia is saying, “We are back”. Following contentious and unproductive encounters with Russian officials on Friday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates Saturday said he isn’t certain that Russia is interested in cooperating with the United States to defend Europe against Iranian missiles or whether Moscow simply wants to stop the U.S. from building missile defenses in Eastern Europe. Gates, who for years was one of the CIA’s top experts on the former Soviet Union, said the U.S. and Russia disagree about how quickly Iran will acquire medium-range ballistic missiles that could reach targets in Europe. (McClatchy)

Putin’s visit to Iran to go ahead. Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed that he will visit Iran on Monday as planned, despite reports of a possible plot to kill him there. The Interfax news agency on Sunday cited unnamed Russian security service sources as saying suicide bombers were plotting to kill Mr Putin in Tehran. Iran’s foreign ministry dismissed the reports as “completely baseless”. Foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Mr Putin was due to arrive in Tehran on Monday evening, before attending a summit of Caspian Sea heads of state on Tuesday. Mr Putin would be the first Russian leader to visit Iran since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin went there in 1943. (BBC)

Eritrea: President Says Border Issues ‘Must Be Resolved’. In an interview, Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki blamed the United States for the border dispute with Ethiopia, and called for the dispute to be resolved by clear demarcation. (allAfrica)

S.African, Brazilian and Indian leaders meet in Pretoria on trade. The leaders of emerging powerhouses South Africa, India and Brazil will meet in Pretoria this week to bolster trade and energy ties as well as flex their collective muscle on world affairs. All three countries have ambitions to join the UN Security Council and see their alliance, known as IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa), as an opportunity to push the concerns of developing countries in the southern hemisphere. (IC Publications)

Indian PM visits oil-rich Nigeria. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in the Nigerian capital Abuja Sunday in the first state visit by an Indian premier to the oil-rich west African state in 45 years. Singh, who is on a three-day working visit expected to focus on trade issues, was met at the airport by Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe. India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Lagos in 1962 but despite growing trade links, the two nations have had few top-level bilateral exchanges in the past 45 years. Nigeria last year accounted for 11 percent of India’s petroleum needs. (IC Publications)

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