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US worried by Pak’s path as nations entering into deals with China ‘don’t end up well’

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The US doesnt ask Pakis�tan to choose between it and China, but rather wants cou�ntries “to be able to have a choice”, the media reported.

However, Washington is worried that nations entering into relationships with China “are not going to end up well”, Dawn news quoted Derek Chollet, a senior adviser to the US Secretary of State, as saying.

In an interview with Dawn, Chollet said Washing�ton was not “afraid of competing with China, but would like to have a fair competition”.

He stressed that the US had honest differences with both India and Pakistan, but wanted to maintain and diversify its strong relationship with Islamabad, Dawn reported.

Chollet also spoke about former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s allegations of US involvement in toppling his government, pointing out that those claims were completely baseless.

Asked if the US was upset with Khan and those allegations make him a less liked politician in the US, Chollet told Dawn news: “All I can say is that there is nothing to the allegations. Those were not true.

“What we want to stay focused on is where we are going in the US-Pakistan relationship, to reflect on all that we have achieved in 75 years but also all that we must achieve in the coming 75 years.”

The US official also underlined Washington’s concerns about the current floods in Pakistan, pointing out that President Joe Biden’s administration had already announced a $30 million in assistance and was willing to do more.

Crime

Israeli fighter jets strike Gaza in response to rockets firing

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Israeli fighter jets on Friday carried out a series of airstrikes on facilities belonging to militant groups in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired from the coastal enclave, witnesses said.

Israeli army drones and fighter jets were heard buzzing in the air, and several explosions were heard in central Gaza Strip, the witnesses told Xinhua news agency.

They added that more than 14 missiles were fired at a military post that belonged to Gaza militant groups.

Palestinian medical sources said that no injuries were reported during the strikes that mainly targeted posts and facilities that belong to the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

The airstrikes were in response to the firing of two rockets at southern Israel, said a spokesman from the Jewish state’s army.

No group has claimed responsibility for firing the rockets, which was a response to the killing of nine Palestinians during an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp, deemed to be the most deadly in nearly two decades.

During the Israeli airstrikes on Friday, militants in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave also fired at least five rockets at southern Israeli communities close to the borders with the Gaza Strip and anti-craft missiles were fired at Israeli fighter jets by Hamas militants, sources close to Hamas security told Xinhua.

Media outlets in Gaza quoted an Egyptian source as saying that Egyptian intelligence is in intensive contact with the Palestinian factions to prevent an escalation in Gaza.

More than 170 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank in 2022, and at least 29 have been killed in January this year, according to figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry.

According to the UN, 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2006.

The tensions have been further aggravated since Israel’s most right-wing government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, took office last month.

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International News

Armed attack targets Azerbaijan’s embassy in Iran

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Armed attack targets Azerbaijan's embassy in Iran

A guard has been killed in an armed attack on Azerbaijan’s embassy compound in Iran, the nation’s foreign ministry has said.

Two people were also wounded in Friday’s attack.

“The attacker destroyed the guard post with a Kalashnikov automatic weapon and killed the head of the security service. Two security guards of the embassy were also injured while preventing the attack,” Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said.

The ministry said it would evacuate its embassy staff in Tehran.

The Iranian capital police chief, General Rahimi, said the attacker entered the embassy with his two children.

“Preliminary investigation shows that the attacker’s motive was personal and family problems,” Iran’s local Mehr News Agency reported.

Act of terrorism’

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said that an attack on his country’s embassy in Iran was “an act of terrorism” and demanded a swift investigation and punishment of the “terrorist”.

“I fiercely condemn the terrorist attack perpetrated against our Embassy in Tehran today,” Aliyev said on Twitter.

“We demand that this terrorist act be swiftly investigated and the terrorists punished,” he added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has condemned the “treacherous attack” in a tweet.

“Azerbaijan is never alone,” Cavusoglu added.

Separately Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement regarding the deadly attack, saying that Türkiye which has been subjected to similar attacks in the past, deeply shares the pain of the Azerbaijani people.

“It is very important that those responsible for this heinous attack should be immediately apprehended and brought to justice,” the ministry said.

Suspect detained

Nasser Kanani, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran also condemned the attack and said the suspect was detained.

“Police and security forces immediately intervened and arrested the assailant, who is currently under investigation,” the spokesman said.

The foreign ministry also noted that the situation is under investigation with dimensions of action and the motive of the assailant.

Azerbaijan borders Iran to its northwest. There have been tensions between the two countries as Azerbaijan and Armenia have fought over the Karabakh region.

Iran in October launched a military exercise near the Azerbaijan border, flexing its martial might amid the nationwide protests rocking the Islamic Republic. 

Azerbaijan also maintains close ties to Israel, which Tehran views as one of its top regional enemies.

(Source: TRT WORLD)

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NATO dialogue with Sweden, Finland ‘meaningless’: Turkey

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 It is “meaningless” to hold a trilateral meeting with Sweden and Finland to discuss their NATO accession process after recent protests in Stockholm, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

“In this environment, a trilateral meeting is meaningless. It has been postponed because the current environment will overshadow this,” Cavusoglu explained at a joint press conference with visiting Serbia’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Sweden has to decide. Does it want to join NATO or not? One of the aims of these incidents is to prevent Sweden from joining NATO,” the Turkish minister said, referring to recent protests in the Nordic country, which involves burning of Quran and demonstrations by the supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) outlawed by Turkey.

He warned the incident was a “racist attack that has nothing to do with freedom of thought”.

Turkey has postponed a trilateral meeting with Sweden and Finland on their NATO bids slated for February following the burning of a copy of the Quran in Stockholm.

Sweden and Finland submitted their formal requests to join NATO in May 2022, which were initially objected by Turkey, a NATO member, citing their support for anti-Turkish Kurdish organisations and political dissidents.

A month later, Turkey, Sweden and Finland reached a memorandum of understanding (MoU) ahead of the NATO summit held in Madrid.

Under the MoU, Ankara agreed to lift its veto on the NATO bids by Finland and Sweden, which in return pledged to support Turkey’s fight against terrorism and address its “pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly.”

The Turkish parliament has not ratified the Nordic countries’ NATO bids so far, citing that they have yet to meet Turkey’s requests.

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