Protests in Spain
On Thursday, the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated on a press conference in Brussels that the NATO defense ministers didn’t make a decision to pull the NATO troops from Afghanistan by 1st of May. The withdrawal of troops is required by the agreement, concluded in 2020 between the USA and the Taliban. Jens Stoltenberg noted that consultations will continue in the near future. He added that if the troops remain after 1st of May — they could be attacked again, which will keep the NATO involved in conflict. However, if troops do leave the country — there is a risk that Afghanistan could once again become a safe haven for the international terrorism. The Pentagon press service stated that the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, stated during a video conference of the heads of the military departments of NATO countries that Washington won’t swiftly pull their troops from Afghanistan. It was noted that the USA are reviewing the terms of the agreement with the Taliban in order to determine if the parties are complying with the agreement.
2 Iran — the USA
The Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has called on the USA to lift the anti-Iranian sanctions. He explained that in order to comply with the UNSCR 2231, the USA must, without any conditions, lift all the sanctions that were restored or imposed by the former US President, Donald Trump. «In that case, we will immediately reverse all our corrective measures» — Mohammad Javad Zarif stated on Twitter.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergei Ryabkov, stated that Moscow is ready to hold talks with Washington in the near future about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program. “In recent weeks, we had some intensive video consultations on the preservation of the JCPOA, our bilateral contacts, and so on. I suppose that such work will continue in the coming days. Diplomatic missions interact in parallel, namely — the permanent missions in Vienna and New York. Work continues in other directions as well» — the TASS news agency quoted his words. Sergei Ryabkov noted that Moscow expects that the upcoming contacts will make it possible to move from a dead stop the issue of the return of the USA back to the Iranian nuclear deal. He noted that in the coming days, video-consultations and bilateral contacts with the USA on the nuclear deal are possible.
4 Russia — Syria
On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, met with the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen. «The interlocutors discussed in detail the whole range of Syrian issues. They had tasks on the providing of comprehensive humanitarian aid, and fixing the socio-economic situation. The results of the 15th international meeting on Syria in the Astana format, held on 16th and 17th of February in Sochi, were discussed as well» — the Russian Foreign Ministry reported. The parties underlined the need of a comprehensive aid to Syrians in need all over the country, without any discrimination, politicization, and preconditions.
16 people were arrested in Spain on Thursday during the protests against the arrest of rapper Pablo Asel, who was convicted of glorifying terrorism and insulting the crown. The Catalan police stated on Twitter that «in Barcelona, during the 3rd night of unrest and vandalism, 8 people were arrested for the disturbing of public order». The protesters burned dumpsters and motorcycles, damaged city property, and threw bottles and stones at the police. The Catalan medical service reported that at least 6 people were injured during the event in Barcelona. The ’Europa Press’ reported that 8 more protesters were detained in Valencia. 1 person was injured. Actions in support of the rapper escalated into riots in several other Spanish cities as well.
The President of Kyrgyzstan, Sadyr Japarov, stated in his article «The Allied Ties» that the enhancement of the allied relations with Russia is in the national interests of Kyrgyzstan. The article was published on Friday, in the Kyrgyz government newspaper ’Word of Kyrgyzstan’. Sadyr Japarov noted that for Kyrgyzstan the matter of the place and role of Russia isn’t theoretical — it is practical. «We are convinced that there is no alternative to the enhancement of the cooperation. This direction is given a key place in our foreign policy. Thanks to the integration projects and its power, Russia ensures peace along the perimeter of the state border, and forms a dynamically developing region as well» — Sadyr Zhaparov explained, and added that he is against the change of the status of the Russian language in the country. Sadyr Japarov noted that the Russian language isn’t merely an official language in the country — it is also a language of inter-ethnic communication as well. Constantine Reztsov, specially for the ’ANNA NEWS’.