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CICMA gaining influence in Asia

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia(CICMA) is gradually transforming into a full-fledged organization forcooperation and security on the Asian continent, Kazakh PresidentNursultan Nazarbayev said, opening the third summit of the heads ofCICMA member-states, ITAR-TASS reports.He noted that he welcomes Vietnam’s and Iraq’s joining CICMA andBangladesh becoming an observer. The forum unites 22 countries,comprising over 90% of the Asian landmass and half the world’spopulation.

Armenia and Fiji establish diplomatic relations

Armenia and Fiji have established diplomatic relations. The ArmenianForeign Ministry’s press office said the Armenian ambassador to China,Armen Sarkisyan, and his Fiji counterpart signed the agreement,Armenia Today reports.The meeting also saw a discussion of cooperation within the frameworkof international organizations, in particular the UN.

Kadyrov denies Israeli allegations on separatists

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has slammed claims by the Israeliforeign minister that the organizers of the "Freedom Flotilla" hadlinks with Chechen separatists, Interfax reports."I'm very surprised that the Russian media circulated the statement ofa famous Israeli politician about ties between Chechen separatists andthe Freedom Flotilla organizers," Kadyrov said."Such statements are propaganda and spread in order to divert theattention of the international community from the bloody tragedy in

Putin vows not to pressurise either side in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process

Putin vows not to pressurise either side in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process

Any intervention or pressure on Armenia or Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is very risky, Russian Premier Vladimir Putin said during a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan.

Armenia introduces amendments to Election Code

The Armenian parliament has introduced amendments proposed byPresident Serzh Sargsyan to the Election Code, Armenia Today reports.The amendments will make equal the rights and immunity fromprosecution of all candidates for the presidency, in particular in thesituation when the acting president stands for a new term.

Geneva talks on Caucasus security begin

The 11th round of discussions on security and stability in theTranscaucasus region has begun in Geneva. The talks, which are beingheld under the auspices of the UN, the EU and the Organization forSecurity and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), feature delegations fromAbkhazia, Georgia, Russia, the USA and South Ossetia, Interfaxreports.The discussions are held in the format of two working groups - one onissues of security and another on humanitarian issues. According to

Russia, Turkey sign two agreements

A memorandum on providing security for Russian tourists in Turkey andvice versa has been signed by representatives of the two states,ITAR-TASS reports.Russia's Rostechnadzor and the nuclear energy agency of Turkey alsosigned an agreement on the monitoring of nuclear security.

CICA member states must unite to fight challenges to humanity - Gul

CICA member states must unite to fight challenges to humanity - Gul

Turkish President Abdullah Gul called on all CICA member states to unite efforts in fighting global challenges."Terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking - threaten all humanity and do not have borders," the Turkish premier said at the summit's opening ceremony.

Putin to discuss Iranian nuclear problem with Ahmadinejad in Istanbul

Russian Premier Vladimir Putin is ready to meet with Iranian PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad within the framework of the CICA summit inIstanbul if his counterpart finds it necessary, ITAR-TASS reports."President Ahmadinejad is here and we will probably see each otherduring the session," Putin said.Meanwhile, the Russian premier pointed out again that any newsanctions against Iran should not be excessive.

Iran to freeze nuclear talks if new sanctions imposed

Iran will not continue negotiations on its nuclear program if the UNSecurity Council imposes new sanctions against Tehran, RIA Novostireports, citing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."I've already said that it is a big mistake by the US administrationand its allies if they think that at the same time they can threatenus with UN sanctions and sit with us at the negotiating table. Thiswon't work," Ahmadinejad said during a CICA summit in Turkey.He also said that May's Brazil-Turkey-Iran deal on uranium exchange

Russian, Turkish premiers hold bilateral meeting

Russian Premier Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart RecepErdogan have held a bilateral meeting within the framework of theCICIMA summit, RIA Novosti reports.The talks were held behind closed doors.

Russia, Iran to establish joint venture

Russia and Iran will establish a joint venture for the operation ofthe Busher power station, the head of RosAtom said, Interfax reports.Sergei Kirienko noted that Russian specialists would work alongsidetheir less experienced Iranian counterparts at the nuclear facility.

Georgian-Iranian rapprochement

Georgian-Iranian rapprochement

Diplomatic rapprochement between Tehran and Tbilisi is taking place now, during a relative cooldown between Georgia and the US.

UN drafts Iran resolution

A UN resolution on Iran has been drafted and this week may see votingon this issue, Interfax reports.The date for voting has not been announced yet, but diplomats believethe vote may be held this Wednesday. It is unlikely that the UNSecurity Council will fail to impose economic sanctions against Iran.Some countries may vote against the resolution, but they don't havethe right of veto, in particular Brazil and Turkey.

Putin arrives in Istanbul for "confidence-building" forum

Putin arrives in Istanbul for "confidence-building" forumRussian Premier Vladimir Putin has arrived in Istanbul to take part ina session of the third summit of the Conference on Interaction andConfidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA). As reports ITAR-TASS,Putin will make a speech at the morning session. A number of bilateralmeetings are also scheduled for the visit.It is expected that Putin will hold meetings with Turkish PremierRecep Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, Azerbaijani President Ilham

North Ossetian government dismissed

The government of North Ossetia has been dismissed by order of therepublic's president, Taimuraz Mamsurov, who was sworn in for a newterm of office on Monday, RIA Novosti reports, citing the head of thepresidential administration.Mamsurov announced recently that he was not going to make majorchanges in the government, whose work he described as satisfactory.

Recep Erdogan and Ilham Aliyev meet in Istanbul

A meeting between the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, took place in Istanbul today, AzerTag reports. Satisfaction with the development of relations in various spheres was expressed by the two politicians. It was said that signing the gas agreements will be the beginning of a new stage of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey, and the importance of these documents was underlined.

Foreign ministers of Russia and France discuss Iranian nuclear program and question of Karabakh

Sergei Lavrov has held a telephone conversation with his French colleague, Bernard Kouchner. They discussed the situation around the Iranian nuclear program and the question of a Karabakh settlement, the information department of the Foreign Ministry of Russia reports. "The sides exchanged opinions on the Iranain nuclear problem, including its vision in the framework of the resolution of the UN Security Council" - the official statement reads, RIA Novosti reports.

Organization of the Islamic Confernce calls for sanctions against Israel

The Organization of the Islamic Confernce (OIC) has held a session at foreign ministerial level in the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to discuss Israel's attack on the humaniatarian ships, ANS reports. The general secretary of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, called for the creation of an expert group to develop international action against the leader of Israel, who is responsible for the attack. He said: "in the name of equality and justice, we should appeal to loyal forces to break the blockade of the Palestinian nation"

Putin to meet Aliyev in Istanbul

Vladimir Putin, the Russian premier, is to meet with the the presidents of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and the premier of Ukraine, RIA Novosti cites Dmitri Peskov, Putin's press secretary. He says that some bilateral meetings will take place. The visit will start with a meeting with Turkish prime minister Erdogan.