Belarus president visits liberated Azerbaijani cities of Fuzuli, Shusha

BAKU: Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko visited the Azerbaijani cities of Fuzuli and Shusha, which were liberated from Armenian occupation during the Second Karabakh War. Lukashenko arrived in Fuzuli after holding talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku, where he was welcomed by his counterpart at the Fuzuli International Airport. Aliyev and Lukashenko visited Fuzuli to examine the destruction that occurred during the Armenian occupation and to be briefed about the reconstruction and restoration efforts. Aliyev and Lukashenko then visited Shusha where they toured historical monuments and also reviewed reconstruction and restoration works. After completing his engagements, Lukashenko left Azerbaijan, with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov seeing him off at the airport. Source: Anadolu Agency

Biden announces 1st aid shipment via pier in Gaza

ISTANBUL: US President Joe Biden announced Friday the successful arrival of the first shipments of aid to the Gaza Strip via a multinational humanitarian pier. 'Earlier today, the first shipments of humanitarian assistance arrived on the shores of Gaza through the multinational humanitarian pier thanks to the tireless work of CENTCOM and our teams at USAID and the State Department,' Biden wrote on X. He said the aid, facilitated by USAID, comprises '170 metric tons of nutrient-rich food bars' tailored to 'support 11,000 vulnerable children and adults.' Additionally, the shipment includes 'ready-to-use therapeutic foods and essential supplies' aimed at providing 'shelter, clean water, and hygiene' support to more than 33,000 individuals in Gaza, according to the US president. 'More aid from the US and other countries continues to arrive in Cyprus, where it will be loaded onto ships for delivery via the pier,' said Biden. He stressed the urgency of addressing the dire situation faced by the Palestinian pop ulation, underscoring the critical need to expedite aid delivery to those most in need. 'Let me be clear: The Palestinian people are suffering. The need to get increased aid to the most vulnerable is urgent,' said Biden. He reiterated collaboration with Israel to enhance the flow of aid into Gaza via land routes, highlighting the commitment to ramping up humanitarian efforts in the region. Israel has waged a brutal offensive on Gaza following an Oct. 7 Hamas attack, which killed less than 1,200 people. More than 35,300 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, mostly women and children, and over 79,200 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities. More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine. Israel is accused of 'genocide' at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assis tance is provided to civilians in Gaza. Biden urges swift action for aid as first shipments reach Gaza. Source: Anadolu Agency

CIDE condemns Gaza violence, calls for end to Israeli genocide

ISTANBUL: The Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) of Mexico released a powerful statement condemning the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip. "CIDE categorically condemns the events occurring in the Gaza Strip and calls for an end to the genocide by Israeli troops," CIDE said in a statement Wednesday in response to recent inquiries from the CIDEOllín community. CIDE addressed concerns about Israel's military actions, which began Oct. 7, leading to significant "human rights violations," citing the tragic "loss of approximately 35,000 lives" in Gaza. It criticized Israel for ignoring international calls to halt "asymmetric warfare" and violating "recommendations from the International Court of Justice." CIDE's condemnation extends to the destruction of educational institutions in Gaza, emphasizing that such actions undermine the fundamental human right to education, as outlined in the "1948 Declaration of Human Rights and the 1960 UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education." Furtherm ore, CIDE revealed that it is reviewing an "active agreement with Tel Aviv University" that was established in 2014. "This agreement is currently under review by our legal department for termination," it noted. The statement underscores CIDE's commitment to advocating for human rights and peace, urging an end to the violence and calling for measures that support lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel has waged a brutal offensive on Gaza following an Oct. 7 Hamas attack, which killed led than 1,200 people. More than 35,300 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, mostly women and children, and over 79,200 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities. More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine. Israel is accused of 'genocide' at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee tha t humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. Source: Anadolu Agency

Russian President Putin repose confidence in newly-appointed Defense Minister Belousov

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin officially introduced newly-appointed Defense Minister Andrey Belousov to senior Russian military officials in a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday, expressing confidence in his ability to handle the important portfolio based on his previous Cabinet experience and defense industry expertise. Belousov was nominated for the position of defense minister on Sunday and approved by parliament on Tuesday. He has also served as the first deputy prime minister in the previous Cabinet. During the meeting, Putin justified the economist's new position and expressed confidence in his ability, saying Belousov's economic expertise would help balance defense and social expenses while keeping the country's fiscal budget in mind, according to a statement issued by the Kremlin. "Andrey Belousov has been appointed the new minister of defense. Last but not least, this is due to the fact that spending on the military component is growing," he explained. The president stressed the need for c areful and efficient allocation of resources in the circumstances when Russia's defense and security spending is projected to surpass 8.7% of the national GDP. "He understands perfectly well what needs to be done in order to integrate the economy of the entire security bloc and the Defense Ministry as a key link of this bloc into the overall economy of the country," he said. Putin noted that Belousov has also worked on developing Russia's drone industry under his supervision. Regarding Shoygu, Putin said he will serve as the secretary of the Russian Security Council and organize the work of the Federal Service for Cooperation with foreign countries. The president assured that no changes are planned for the General Staff and other departments involved in different aspects of combat operations. Source: Anadolu Agency

Tatarstan’s leader meets with ambassadors in Russia as part of KazanForum 2024

KAZAN: Tatarstan's trade and economic relations with countries in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have improved dramatically, said the leader of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan on Wednesday. Republic of Tatarstan Rais (Head) Rustam Minnikhanov made the remarks at the 15th international economic summit Russia-Islamic World: KazanForum 2024, which is running between May 14 and 19 in Kazan, Tatarstan's capital, with Turkish global news service agency Anadolu as its global communications partner. Addressing the ambassadors, Minnikhanov said trade with Egypt, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Tunisia, Trkiye, and several states has grown significantly. 'We are strengthening connections with the partners from the countries of Asia and Africa,' he added. He pointed out that Tatarstan is one of Russia's industrial centers, saying, "We produce vehicles, aeroplanes, helicopters, ships, and we are the largest processor of oil, related products, petrochemistry, and mineral fertilizer productio n." And we are a major agricultural production center." Noting that the event has become 'a good tradition' for opportunities for cooperation, Minnikhanov said the forum has been 'quite packed' with sessions, discussions, roundtables on Islamic finance, partnership banking, entrepreneurship, investment, logistics, halal lifestyle, diplomacy, and many other issues. 'Russia and the countries of the OIC interact on the basis of the well-balanced approaches to a number of problems in the modern world,' he said. 'The Republic of Tatarstan is one of the most industrially developed regions of Russia and one of the most innovative regions of our country as well,' he said. Noting the upcoming meeting of the Russia-Islamic World Group of Strategic Vision, he said that it is one of Russia's active and operational mechanisms for interaction with the Islamic world. Tanju Bilgic, Turkish Ambassador to Moscow, was one of the envoys who spoke during the meeting. The Turkish envoy said Trkiye and Russia 'are having a ve ry good cooperation.' Noting Trkiye and Russia aim to reach $100 billion in trade volume, Bilgic said: 'Last year our trade volume was around $56 billion. Tatarstan is very instrumental in reaching that target.' Bilgic also mentioned that the current target trade volume between Tatarstan and Trkiye is about $2.9 billion, with Tatarstan accounting for one-third of Turkish investments in Russia. "We have invested more than $2.5 billion in Tatarstan," he added. Source: Anadolu Agency

Turkish foreign minister, Hamas leader discuss Gaza cease-fire negotiations

ANKARA: Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and the head of the Hamas movement's Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday discussed latest the latest situation in the Gaza cease-fire negotiations, according to diplomatic sources. This came during a phone call between Fidan and Haniyeh, the sources said. Israel has waged a brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for an Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack, which killed 1,200 people. More than 35,200 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, mostly women and children, and over 79,000 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities. In the West Bank, nearly 500 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured since Oct. 7, along with daily arrest campaigns by the Israeli army. Israel is accused of 'genocide' at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. * Writing by Seda Sevencan Source: Anadolu Agency

Slovakia’s premier in ‘life-threatening condition’ after shooting incident

GENEVA: Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico is in a 'life-threatening condition' after he was shot and injured on Wednesday, his Facebook account said in a statement. "He was shot multiple times and is currently in a life-threatening condition," the statement said, adding that he is being transported to Banska Bystrica due to the necessity of an "acute intervention." According to the state-run TASR news agency, the incident took place when an attacker fired several shots in front of the House of Culture in the central city of Handlova, where a government meeting was held. The attacker was detained after the attack, it added. Local JOJ television reported that a man in the crowd opened fire at the prime minister when he came out of the building to greet the residents of the city. Source: Anadolu Agency