• Turkey says Saudi consul ‘apparently complicit’ in Khashoggi killing

    Ankara said on Monday the world should seek justice for slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi under international law. Riyadh earlier ruled out extraditing two senior Saudi officials who Turkish officials suspect planned his killing in Istanbul. Fahrettin Altun, director of communications at the Turkish presidency, said Riyadh’s refusal to extradite the suspects would play into the hands of critics “who believe Saudi Arabia has been trying to cover up the murder.” Altun told Reuters that Turkey has seen “little evidence of the Saudi prosecutors intending to shed light on what happened to Mr. Khashoggi.” Altun said Saudi intelligence operatives, including an autopsy expert, traveled to Istanbul for the specific purpose of killing Khashoggi. The Saudi consul “was apparently complicit in this crime,” he added. Turkey’s foreign minister said last month Ankara may seek a formal UN inquiry if its dealings with Saudi Arabia came to an impasse.

  • Ukraine’s Poroshenko signs law terminating Friendship Treaty with Russia

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday signed a law terminating the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with Russia. Ukraine’s parliament, Verkhovna Rada, upheld the president’s decision not to extend the Treaty on December 6. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had already notified the Russian Foreign Ministry in late September that the document would be terminated on April 1, 2019. Poroshenko wrote on Facebook that the decision not to extend the treaty “should be considered not just as an episode but as part of our strategy to finally break with our colonial past and pivot towards Europe.” He sees “visa-free travels, the Ukraine-EU Association agreement and a tomos of autocephaly for the Ukrainian Church” as well as withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States, as parts of this strategy.

  • US-backed Syrian SDF forces push into last remaining ISIS stronghold Hajin – report

    US-backed Syrian fighters have pushed deeper into the last remaining stronghold of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), capturing a hospital, AP said. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) entered the eastern Syrian town of Hajin last week and intense fighting has been ongoing since then. Early Monday, SDF forces took full control of the hospital, according to their spokesman, Mustafa Bali. The SDF launched an offensive to capture Hajin and nearby villages on September 10. They have made little progress since then. Last week, the forces intensified their attacks under the cover of airstrikes by the US-led coalition.

  • EU blacklists 9 people over E. Ukraine elections, signals no new Russia sanctions – report

    The EU on Monday blacklisted nine people involved in the elections in eastern Ukraine last month but signaled no further punitive measures against Moscow over the latest flare-up of tensions with Kiev in the Azov Sea, Reuters reports. The EU’s foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said they would look at offering more assistance to Ukraine. The ministers discussed with Ukraine’s FM Pavlo Klimkin “the latest developments in the Azov Sea but also, and mainly, the support of the EU to Ukraine, to Ukrainian people, to territorial integrity of the country,” according to the EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini. The bloc on Monday adopted a decision to add nine people to its blacklist as a follow-up to the vote in eastern Ukraine, diplomatic sources and officials said. However, their names are set to be released later. On November 11, new heads of the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk and members of the people’s councils were elected.

  • UN members adopt global migration pact – Moroccan FM

    A majority of UN states adopted on Monday a non-binding global pact to better handle migrant flows, according to Morocco’s foreign minister, Nasser Bourita. The minister announced the decision as host of the UN conference in Marrakesh. Talks to finalize the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration lasted 18 months and were finalized at the UN in July. The US government disavowed the negotiations late last year. Since then, Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, and Slovakia have pulled out of the process. The pact lays out 23 objectives to open up legal migration and discourage illegal border crossings, as the number of people on the move globally has surged to more than 250 million. Activists argue that the pact does not go far enough to secure migrants’ rights.

  • Protests in France are internal affair, claims of Russia’s involvement are slander – Kremlin

    Moscow considers protests in France to be an internal affair of that country, and claims of Russia’s involvement in the events are slander, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. Russia sees everything that happens in France as “purely an internal affair” of that country, the spokesman told reporters. “We have not interfered and are not going to interfere in the internal affairs of any countries, including France,” he said. Peskov added that Moscow attaches great importance to developing relations with Paris, and respects France’s sovereignty.