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US backs Afghan claim of terrorist safe havens in Fata

In a rare acknowledgement of the difficulties Pakistan faces in combating terrorists in Fata, the US State Department has said that the remoteness of the area and the military’s tactical limitations prevent Islamabad from eliminating all terrorist safe havens. READ MORE

After five years of ‘ruthless war’ in Syria, 2017 can be a year of diplomacy, says UN envoy

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Looking back over the past month, which saw some of the most difficult challenges for humanitarian workers in Syria but which also witnessed evacuations of thousands of civilians from war-ravaged eastern Aleppo, United Nations envoys for Syria said today that things have to change in 2017 and that “it can change in 2017.”  READ MORE

Standing by Afghanistan: the strategic choice

Afghanistan’s defence and security forces face enormous challenges. They are countering an insurgency of well-equipped guerrilla fighters, who enjoy the unconditional support of organised crime, international terrorists and some neighboring countries. They are on the front line of the fight against terrorist groups including Al-Qaida, so-called Islamic State and the Haqqani Network. Moreover – as Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said repeatedly – for fourteen years Afghanistan has been in an undeclared war with Pakistan. And it’s also believed that the country continues to be the proxy battleground for India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers. READ MORE

MEGA Silk Way to Officially Open in 2017, Will be ‘City Within a City’

MEGA Silk Way, the capital’s new shopping and entertainment centre located at the EXPO 2017 site, was launched in December. The official opening is planned for the first quarter of 2017. READ MORE

US-Kazakh Relations to Grow Despite Many Changes in 2017, Says US Ambassador

BY DMITRY LEE

The United States, one of the top foreign investors in Kazakhstan, is about to witness Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, as the 45th and probably one of its most controversial Presidents. Will policies under the new administration affect U.S.-Kazakh relations? READ MORE

Opposition suspends sit-in protest in Parliament

Poland’s main opposition party Civic Platform (PO) stopped blocking the rostrum and decided to discontinue occupying the plenary room in the lower house Sejm, but motioned for the dismissal of Sejm Speaker Marek Kuchcinski, PO leader Grzegorz Schetyna said on Thursday. READ MORE

A European Agenda for the Trump Era

By JUDY DEMPSEY

With few exceptions, governments across Europe do not like Donald Trump’s policies. As he prepares to enter the White House, the U.S. president-elect has already spoken extensively about making America great again. In particular, his economic policies seem protectionist, and his foreign policy, particularly with regard to Israel and Russia, will pose serious challenges to the EU. But instead of moaning about what is still Europe’s greatest ally, EU leaders should respond to the new administration in several ways. READ MORE

Russia Looks for an Exit in Syria

Despite the shared cause of supporting Damascus, Moscow and Tehran will continue to differ in their commitment to the conflict. As Russia concocts an exit strategy, its relations with Iran will steadily sour. The divergences between the countries will exacerbate the differences among Syria's loyalist forces.  READ MORE

Azerbaijan, Spain - important in European energy security (exclusive)

By Elena Kosolapova

Azerbaijan and Spain will play an important role in ensuring energy security of Europe, Jose Luis Diez Juarez, Charge d'Affaires of Spain to Azerbaijan told Trend in an interview. READ MORE

Erdogan: Ceasefire in Syria begets new hopes

Ceasefire in Syria, the guarantors of which are Turkey, Russia and Iran, begets new hopes, the Turkish media quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying . READ MORE

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