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Saturday, May 27, 2017

NATO Chief Sends 'Empty' Political Message in Vow to Join Anti-Daesh Coalition

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    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg delivers a speech on European defence and transatlantic security at the German Marshall Fund think-tank in Brussels, Belgium, November 18, 2016.

    NATO Chief Sends 'Empty' Political Message in Vow to Join Anti-Daesh Coalition

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    NATO’s decision to join the US-led coalition against Daesh terrorist group (banned in Russia) without taking part in combat operations sends a political message that is empty and meaningless, analysts told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a briefing that the alliance will join the US-led coalition to defeat Daesh, which will consist of air-to-air refueling and intelligence sharing, but not deploying ground troops.
    "It will send a ‘strong political message’ that NATO is still in the business of sending ‘strong political messages,’" retired Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong said.
    Armstrong also noted that Stoltenberg’s statement was undermined the same day by President Donald Trump’s unprecedented public criticism and "drubbing" of other nations for not fulfilling their military and financial obligations at the same Brussels summit that both men attended.
    University of Rhode Island Professor of Peace Studies and Non-Violence Nicolai Petro told Sputnik NATO lacked the military strength and political influence to make any significant contribution to the ongoing struggle to destroy Daesh.
    "If NATO had any contribution to make to the resolution of the Syrian conflict, it would have already made it," he said.
    Stoltenberg was speaking from weakness, not strength and his comments revealed a very weak and badly divided alliance, Petro observed.
    "This is a purely rhetorical statement of support, far short of the commitment that the Trump administration had hoped for, but already a strain on European unity. Stoltenberg's explicit disavowal of combat operations speaks volumes," he said.
    In his comments, Stoltenberg claimed NATO membership in the anti-Daesh coalition would send a strong political message of alliance commitment to the fight against terrorism.
    Later in his briefing, Stoltenberg said NATO's expanded role would provide a coordinating platform among member states in addition to displaying what he described as a strong political message of unity.

    Theresa May: G7 Leaders Want Iran, Russia to Facilitate Syrian Settlement

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      From L-R, European Council President Donald Tusk, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pose for a family photo during the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017.

      Theresa May: G7 Leaders Want Iran, Russia to Facilitate Syrian Settlement

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      UK Prime Minister Theresa May declared on Friday that the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) states want Russia and Iran to use their influence over the Syrian leadership to to deliver a ceasefire and move to a "genuine political process."

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The heads of the Group of Seven (G7) countries have common view that Iran and Russia, as states supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad should exert their influence to strive for Syrian conflict settlement, May said.
      "We agreed that it would be impossible to defeat terrorism without a political settlement that brings a stable transition away from President Assad. We welcomed the progress towards de-escalation but [made] it clear that the regime’s backers Russia and Iran must use their influence to deliver a ceasefire and move to a genuine political process," May said at a press conference held in the follow-up to the G& meeting.
      Syria has been in the state of civil war for six years, with government forces fighting against both Syrian opposition groups who strive to overthrow Assad, and numerous extremist and terrorist groups such as Daesh and Jabhat Fatah al Sham, both of which are outlawed in Russia.

      RISK Act: Yet Another Attempt to Make US-Russian Detente Impossible

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        Moscow Kremlin

        RISK Act: Yet Another Attempt to Make US-Russian Detente Impossible

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        The new US draft bill seeking a comprehensive report from the State Department on Russia's alleged subversive measures against the United States is nothing but an attempt to irreversibly undermine relations between Washington and Moscow, Russian scholar Nikita Danyuk told Radio Sputnik.

        US lawmakers have introduced a new draft bill concerning Russia's alleged measures to undermine the United States, marking the return of the Ronald Reagan era; Nikita Danyuk, deputy head of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Prognosis at RUDN University, considers the bill as yet another effort to make the US-Russian detente impossible.
        On May 22, Rep. Salud Carbajal introduced the Reporting on Influence and Subversion by the Kremlin Act (RISK Act), requesting a report from the Department of State on Moscow's alleged subversive measures aimed against the United States.
        The aforementioned RISK Act originated from a 1985 bipartisan Congressional requirement for the State Department to release reports on the USSR's measures to undermine the US image internationally.
        "The Russian Federation is deploying an array of military, cyber, intelligence, and economic tactics to weaken United States democratic institutions, divide Europe from the United States, divide Europe from within, undermine organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, and coerce partners to cooperate with Russia," the proposed bill says.
        Commenting on the document, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT and Sputnik News, noted that the draft legislation obviously belongs to the Cold War era.
        "Yet another congressman introduced another delightful bill that belongs to Cold War era…. Progressive political trends circa 1986. They are suggesting a bill, seemingly from the [Ronald] Reagan era, aimed against us. At least, not [Joseph] McCarthy," Simonyan tweeted.

        Finian Cunningham -- Trump Visits Bethlehem Bearing Gifts to Child Killers

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          US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017

          Trump Visits Bethlehem Bearing Gifts to Child Killers

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          US President Donald Trump makes his first overseas visit this weekend, beginning in the Middle East and continuing to Europe. His tour to the "holy land" is being presented with feel-good, messianic spin.

          Trump touches down first in Saudi Arabia, then will go Israel and from there make a pilgrimage to Bethlehem in the Palestinian territories. After his stop at the reputed birthplace of Jesus, the American president will then fly to the Vatican, where he will be greeted by Roman Catholic Pope Francis. He will later meet NATO military leaders in Brussels.
          Getting ready for my big foreign trip. Will be strongly protecting American interests - that's what I like to do!
          Presenting the president's Middle East itinerary like a momentous religious event, Trump's senior national security adviser General HR McMaster said: "This trip is truly historic. No president has ever visited the homelands and holy sites of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths all on the same trip. And what President Trump is seeking is to unite peoples of all faiths around a common vision of peace, progress and prosperity."
          The White House, reported the Washington Post, described it as "an effort to unite three of the world's leading religious faiths in the common cause of fighting terrorism, reining in Iran and unifying the world against intolerance."
          Hold it. Screech the brakes on this Hollywood-type script of Saint Donald saving the world. What utter claptrap.
          The main purpose of his sojourn is to cut a record arms deal with Saudi Arabia and the other closely aligned Gulf Arab monarchies. While in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, addressing regional leaders about "world peace," Trump is set to sign off weapons deals worth $350 billion. That's more than double what his predecessor Barack Obama flogged to the Saudi rulers during his presidency.

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