Updates on Libyan war: Stop NATO news: November 7, 2011

7 November 2011 — Stop NATO

  • NATO Chief To Meet Obama In Washington
  • NATO Secretary General’s Visit Signals New Stage Of Georgia’s Integration
  • Georgia To Join NATO According To West German Model: Official
  • Ballistic Missile Drill: Largest U.S.-Israel Joint Exercise Ever
  • Kosovo Checkpoint Conflict Unresolved
  • Russia: SCO To Openly Challenge U.S.-NATO In South, Central Asia?
  • SCO: An Indispensable Mechanism In Eurasia
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organization To Create Energy Branch
  • Pakistani Boys’ Killing Belies U.S. Claim On Drone Strikes
  • NATO’s Afghan War: 33 Australian Soldiers Killed, 290 Wounded

NATO Chief To Meet Obama In Washington

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gMod6kkOqZ8BUGO5QeEYmr2MzvDA?docId=CNG.850bcd3404f997227ec4dc17b232e8bb.2d1

Agence France-Presse
November 6, 2011

NATO chief to meet Obama in Washington

BRUSSELS: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will hold talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington on Monday, one week after the alliance ended its mission in Libya.

Rasmussen will also meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and members of the US Senate, his press office said in a statement Sunday.

The visit comes six months before the United States hosts a NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012.

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NATO Secretary General’s Visit Signals New Stage Of Georgia’s Integration

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/83007/

PanArmenian.net
November 6, 2011

Georgia expects effective dialogue with NATO Secretary General

Georgia expects to have an effective dialogue with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his visit next week, according to the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister.

As David Jalagania noted, the Annual National Programme and Georgia’s perspectives for NATO integration will be on agenda for discussion.

‘The NATO Secretary General’s visit signals the launch of a new stage in Georgia-NATO ties as well as relations with other members of the Alliance,’ Novosti-Georgia cited the FM as saying.

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Georgia To Join NATO According To West German Model: Official

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/6/georgia-is-eager-to-join-nato/

Washington Times
November 6, 2011

Georgia is eager to join NATO

Georgia’s second-most-powerful man vows that his country will not drag NATO into a war with Russia if accepted into the Western alliance, saying that the chance of another confrontation with Moscow is far lower than it was before their 2008 conflict.

‘We made a unilateral commitment to nonuse of force, so there is no way we will become a problem for NATO in terms of Article 5 or in terms of a possible military confrontation between Georgia and Russia,’ David Bakradze, speaker of the Georgia Parliament, said in an interview with The Washington Times.

Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty stipulates that an attack on one member state ‘shall be considered an attack against them all.’

Georgia and Russia have had no diplomatic relations since their 2008 conflict, and Mr. Bakradze blamed the situation squarely on Russia.

Mr. Bakradze argued that the Russian troops in those regions [Abkhazia and South Ossetia] should not preclude Georgia’s NATO membership, pointing to Cold War-era Germany as a potential model for Georgian accession.

‘[The Germans] had some specific regulations when they entered NATO addressing the issue of territorial integrity and addressing the presence of Soviet troops in East Germany, so there are already precedents, and in the case of a decision, I don’t think that this is an unresolvable obstacle,’ he said.

Mr. Bakradze expressed hoped that NATO’s spring summit in Chicago will bring ‘progress’ and ‘clarity’ to Georgia’s bid. However, he promised that Georgia will continue to deploy troops in Afghanistan, regardless of NATO’s decision.

‘We will remain there until the successful end of operations,’ he said.

In June, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili agreed to add 750 troops to Georgia’s 950-man force, making it the largest contribution from a non-NATO member.

‘We have our guys on a full-scale combat mission in Helmand province. We are not guarding the depots, like some other countries,’ Mr. Bakradze said, calling the decade-old war ‘our common fight.’

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Ballistic Missile Drill: Largest U.S.-Israel Joint Exercise Ever

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-u-s-to-embark-on-largest-joint-exercise-in-allies-history-1.393878

Ha’aretz
November 11, 2011

Israel, U.S. to embark on largest joint exercise in allies’ history
U.S. Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro says security relationship with Israel is broader, deeper, more intense than ever before
By Natasha Mozgovaya

   
Israel and the U.S. will embark on the ‘largest’ and ‘most significant’ joint exercise in the allies’ history, said Andrew Shapiro, U.S. assistant secretary for political-military affairs, on Saturday.

Speaking to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Shapiro said the exercise will involve more than 5,000 U.S. and Israeli forces, and will simulate Israel’s ballistic missile defense.
   
‘Joint exercises allow us to learn from Israel’s experience in urban warfare and counterterrorism,’ said Shapiro.

‘Israeli technology is proving critical to improving our Homeland Security and protecting our troops,’ he added, explaining that Israeli armor plating technology and the specially designed ‘Israeli bandage’, being used on American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, are proven successes.

In addition, he said, Israel will soon gain access to an expedited Congressional Notification process, which will allow for faster trade of smaller, routine sales and purchases of arms between the allies. Countries already subject to expedited Congressional Notification processes are NATO members, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Shapiro emphasized the Obama Administration’s support for Israel, despite comments by a senior U.S. official on Friday, who expressed concern that Israel would not warn the U.S. before taking military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

‘Our security relationship with Israel is broader, deeper and more intense than ever before,’ said Shapiro, adding that Israel’s military edge was a ‘top priority’ for himself, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama.
   
The U.S. has a $3 billion per year commitment to Israel, which Shapiro said the Obama Administration would continue to honor over the next ten years, ‘even in challenging budgetary times’.

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Kosovo Checkpoint Conflict Unresolved

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/07/59951133.html

Itar-Tass
November 7, 2011

Kosovo checkpoint conflict unresolved

       
The Parliament of the Serb municipalities of Kosovo and Metohija on Sunday urged citizens not to accept the conditions proposed by Pristina on two checkpoints on the border.

The final document states that ‘the agreement would mean the recognition of the independence of Kosovo, which contradicts the Serbian constitution.’

Pristina offered to place Kosovar customs officers at checkpoints. According to their plan each of them will also be manned by a ‘few’ Serbs.

In addition, Kosovo Serb MPs intend to seek a criminal complaint against the head of the delegation of Serbia Bronistala Stefanovic and charge him with treason.

According to him, Belgrade and Pristina are close to solving the problems of border controls but the Kosovo Serbs believe that such an agreement would be a ‘stab in the back’ to all who fight for the maintaining the integrity of the country.

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Russia: SCO To Openly Challenge U.S.-NATO In South, Central Asia?

http://www.dawn.com/2011/11/07/gilani-in-russia-for-summit-pakistan-seeks-full-sco-membership.html

Dawn
November 7, 2011

Pakistan seeks full SCO membership

-Russia has previously billed the alliance as a regional alternative to Nato and discussed at past meetings the option of including other regional powers in its ranks.
‘We are talking about Pakistan and Iran, which have applied for membership,’ Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters ahead of the talks.
‘India is also intent on joining, and Afghanistan has said it wants to be an observer,’ he said.

ST PETERSBURG (Russia): Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani arrived here on Sunday in a bid to seek full membership of the important regional security grouping of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

The prime minister is accompanied by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain, Board of Investment’s Chairman Saleem Mandviwala and Senator Sughra Imam.

Mr Gilani will address the 10th SCO summit on Monday and seek Pakistan’s full membership of the organisation, whose profile and scope have assumed great importance with the presence of China, Russia and other Central Asian states as strong regional partners.

The prime minister is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who are attending the summit along with other heads of governments and representatives of member and observer states.

Pakistan holds observer status, along with Mongolia, India and Iran, whereas Sri Lanka and Belarus have been granted the status of dialogue partners and Afghanistan is a special guest.

Ambassador to Russia Khalid Khattak said Pakistan carried regional significance at the SCO forum in the context of its security and geographical location that linked South Asia with energy-rich Central Asia.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao will meet on Monday to discuss expanding their loose Central Asian security alliance to include Pakistan and Iran.

Mr Putin will host Mr Wen in this city almost exactly 10 years after the two countries joined forces with the four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics to form the SCO.

Russia has previously billed the alliance as a regional alternative to Nato and discussed at past meetings the option of including other regional powers in its ranks.

‘We are talking about Pakistan and Iran, which have applied for membership,’ Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters ahead of the talks.

‘India is also intent on joining, and Afghanistan has said it wants to be an observer,’ he said.

But analysts said China preferred to view the group as primarily an economic organisation and noted that Pakistan’s membership had already been under discussion for five years.

Russia is upset that the group still receives no formal recognition from Nato.

‘Of course, SCO expansion is not an easy process. It requires careful analysis and assessment,’ Mr Lukashevich conceded.

A senior Russian official said the meeting would note slowing global growth’s impact on the price of commodities — the bulk of Russia’s exports — and financial market stability.

‘You should expect the prime minister to deliver an assessment of economic affairs in the SCO region,’ Russia’s SCO envoy Kirill Barsky told Interfax.

‘By the way, it is distinguished by stability, good GDP growth rates and improving investment attraction,’ he said.

Later, Prime Minister Gilani attended a dinner hosted by Pakistani Ambassador Khalid Khattak. Members of the Pakistani community and Russian businessmen and senior officials were present on the occasion.

In his speech, Mr Gilani said the existing conditions were quite conducive to a partnership between Pakistan and Russia.

He said there was considerable scope to initiate collaboration in various fields, particularly in energy, metallurgy, manufacturing, trade and investments.

The government, on its part, would not only support, but go more than half way to invite and involve Russia’s businesses and investors in Pakistan’s economic development, Mr Gilani said.

Minister for Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain, Board of Investment Chairman Saleem Mandviwala and Senator Sughra Imam also attended the event.

—Agencies

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SCO: An Indispensable Mechanism In Eurasia

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-11/07/c_131233032.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 7, 2011

SCO, an indispensable mechanism in Eurasia
By Liu Yue

-Against the backdrop of a sluggish global economy, the gross domestic product of all SCO members achieved sustainable growth, benefiting 1.5 billion people, thanks to strengthened economic cooperation within the bloc.
-A decade after its founding, the SCO has acquired growing appeal and more countries have shown interest in joining in its activities, drawn by the SCO’s philosophy of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and respect for cultural diversity.

BEIJING: The 10th prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is slated for Monday in Russia. After a decade of development, the SCO has become an indispensable mechanism in Eurasia.

Since its establishment in 2001, the organization has achieved great progress and got rich experience in maintaining regional security and stability, promoting prosperity in member states and developing international relations.

The past decade witnessed fruitful consultations and cooperation despite obvious differences among SCO members in politics, economics, culture and other fields.

The member states have maintained close contact under the SCO framework and enhanced political mutual trust and deepened cooperation in various fields.

With regular high-level conferences and successive joint military drills, the nations have boosted defense and security cooperation, and have effectively combated the ‘three evil forces’ of terrorism, separatism and extremism, as well as drug trafficking and transnational organized crime.

Against the backdrop of a sluggish global economy, the gross domestic product of all SCO members achieved sustainable growth, benefiting 1.5 billion people, thanks to strengthened economic cooperation within the bloc.

The SCO members will further take advantage of their economic complementarity and tap their cooperation potential in finance, energy, agriculture and other fields to maintain economic growth.

The SCO has also contributed to regional peace and development. The unrest in West Asia and North Africa this year as well as terrorist and narcotic threats from Afghanistan have highlighted the urgency to strengthen regional security in Central Asia.

Meanwhile, the SCO has actively cemented relations with the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and other organizations to promote prosperity in the region.

The existence of the SCO is conducive to a more balanced and multi-polar world.

The organization’s persistent strikes on terrorism are in the interests of the whole world.

Economically, the SCO, which includes the two major emerging countries of China and Russia, will play a more important role in the world economy.

A decade after its founding, the SCO has acquired growing appeal and more countries have shown interest in joining in its activities, drawn by the SCO’s philosophy of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and respect for cultural diversity.

The success of the SCO is not a threat to countries outside the bloc, especially to some Western countries that are traditionally wary of the emergence of any major international organizations not directly under their influence.

As China and other SCO countries have long said, their cooperation is open, transparent and not directed against any third party.

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Shanghai Cooperation Organization To Create Energy Branch

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/06/59948713.html

Interfax
November 6, 2011

SCO to create energy branch

       
According to a source in the Russian government, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is to create a special energy branch at its next prime ministerial summit in St Petersburg on Monday.

This Energy Club will be coordinating mammoth multilateral projects like a high-voltage power line from hydropower plants in Tajikistan to India across Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization consists of six full and four observer members. The full members are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The observer members are India, Pakistan, Mongolia and Iran.

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Pakistani Boys’ Killing Belies U.S. Claim On Drone Strikes

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/boys-killing-belies-us-claim-on-drone-strikes/story-e6frg6so-1226187021609

The Times (London)
November 6, 2011

Boys’ killing belies US claim on drone strikes

-Clive Stafford Smith, a British human rights lawyer who helped organise the meeting, believes a homing device may have been placed in Tariq’s car, possibly as a ‘warning’ to others not to raise objections to the drone killings.
‘It is certain the CIA had informants at the jirga,’ he said at the weekend.
-Tariq’s uncle Noor Kalaam said he felt angry about the killing.
‘What have these two little boys done to the Americans?’

Two boys have been killed by a missile fired from a US drone only three days after attending a public meeting to draw attention to the mounting civilian death toll from drone strikes in Pakistan.

Tariq Aziz, 16, and his 12-year-old cousin, Waheed Khan, were killed last Monday on their way to Tariq’s aunt’s home in Norak near the Afghan border, in a strike that undermines US claims that missiles targeting militants cause no civilian casualties.

Tariq had attended a traditional tribal meeting, or loya jirga, in Islamabad, where digital cameras donated by Jemima Khan, the former wife of the cricketer Imran Khan, were distributed to tribal leaders to enable them to record the effect of drone strikes.

Tariq, a keen computer user, had volunteered to help upload the pictures and was killed 72 hours after returning home.

The Aziz family said Tariq had no connection with the Taliban or al-Qa’ida.

Clive Stafford Smith, a British human rights lawyer who helped organise the meeting, believes a homing device may have been placed in Tariq’s car, possibly as a ‘warning’ to others not to raise objections to the drone killings.

‘It is certain the CIA had informants at the jirga,’ he said at the weekend.

‘It seems likely that one of the stooges…reported to his American paymaster that he had identified another militant, and a GPS tracking device was later attached to the car.’

Pakistan media cited intelligence sources as saying ‘four militants’ were killed in the attack.

The US has launched more than 300 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, killing more than 2000 people. The rate of attacks has increased sharply in the past two years, with strikes now taking place about every fourth day in the tribal areas.

Tariq’s uncle Noor Kalaam said he felt angry about the killing.

‘What have these two little boys done to the Americans?’

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NATO’s Afghan War: 33 Australian Soldiers Killed, 290 Wounded

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/07/c_131232874.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 7, 2011

7 wounded Australian soldiers in Afghanistan to return to home

-The latest incident brings the number of Australian fatalities to 33 since the start of the Afghan operation, and 209 have been wounded.

CANBERRA: Australian Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, on Monday said seven Australian soldiers who were wounded in Afghanistan last week, are expected to return to home soon.

Last week, three Australian soldiers were killed, and seven wounded, when an Afghan National Army soldier opened fire at a base in southern Kandahar province in Afghanistan. Of the seven wounded, one was being treated for life-threatening wounds, four for serious wounds and two for minor wounds.

The soldiers were evacuated to a military hospital in Germany after the attack, and Lieutenant General David Morrison said their conditions are improving.

The bodies of the three soldiers who were killed were returned to Australia on Sunday.

The latest incident brings the number of Australian fatalities to 33 since the start of the Afghan operation, and 209 have been wounded.

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