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Animalia, Chordata, Mammalia, Primates, Hominidae, Hominini, Homo, H. sapiens, Homo sapiens sapiens. Opinions are my own. And stupid.
19 Feb
Thread: The substantial (but incremental) expansion of NATO’s training mission in Iraq announced today [~500 to ~4000] is just continuity of the Trump Administration’s policy of withdrawal from #Syria / #Iraq backfilled by #NATO in order to pivot to Asia

cnbc.com/2021/02/18/nat… Image
1. DEC. 2019- JAN 2020: US desperate to withdraw from Syria/Iraq and have NATO backfill troops so US CENTCOM assets/commitments would be reduced “and then shifted either to increase readiness of the force in the continental U.S. or shifted into Indo-Pacom." ImageImageImageImage
2. JAN-FEB 2020: Trump, Milley, Esper, Pompeo all start pushing for an expansion of the #NATO mission in Syria/Iraq.

NATO agrees.

Unfortunately, Soleimani assassination/subsequent tensions with Iran and COVID-19 put all these plans on hold. Everyone bunkers down or withdraws. ImageImageImageImage
Read 9 tweets
18 Feb
Psaki was being honest: MBS not sidelined. Biden administration just sticking strictly to "counterpart-to-counterpart" interaction.

SECDEF called #MBS today. Image
"Secretary Austin reiterated recent changes in U.S. policy toward the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen, discussed the importance of ending the war, and thanked the Crown Prince for Saudi Arabia’s commitment to a political settlement."
SECDEF Austin "underscored Saudi Arabia’s role as a pillar of the regional security architecture in the Middle East and the importance of sharing the responsibility of regional security and stability."
Read 4 tweets
1 Oct 20
Thread: The #Taliban presents short biographies of its 21-member negotiations team for "Intra-#Afghan dialogue"
1. Abdul Hakim Haqqani
2. Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanikzai
Read 22 tweets
30 Sep 20
Pompeo: "We, the Americans, look to #Greece as a true pillar for stability and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean, and we are incredibly proud to support its leadership. Our security cooperation has grown tremendously – indeed, by leaps and bounds" state.gov/secretary-mich…
This is an amazing press conference:

#Greece's Prime Minister only mentions Turkey and how amazing it is that the US military support of Greece against Turkey is growing

#Pompeo focuses solely on Russia and China, and other things the PM doesn't mention.
US/#NATO expanding/building several new facilities in #Greece, including the expansion of #Souda Bay Image
Read 4 tweets
30 Sep 20
Russia in the Middle East, September 30:
Deputy FM Vershinin meets with #Iran's ambassador to discuss #Syria and #Russia's upcoming presidency of the #UNSC
Lavrov spoke with #Yemen's Foreign Minister about "fully restoring diverse #Russian-Yemeni bilateral ties" and "doing everything possible for the return of long-awaited peace and stability in Yemen, and to use contacts with all involved and interested parties...for this purpose."
Read 8 tweets
27 Sep 20
I guess now we'll see whether there's any fire behind the hitherto fake smoke of #Erdogan transporting Syrians to the front lines there. mfa.am/en/interviews-…
Read 6 tweets
26 Sep 20
Russia in the Middle East, September 25:
Putin's MENA envoy Bogdanov meets with the ambassadors of #Egypt and #France to discuss #Libya ImageImage
Lavrov met with #Syria's Ahmad Jarba/Peace and Freedom Front delegation.

Bogdanov spoke with Louay Hussein of the Syrian "State-building" movement and also met Jarba's delegation. ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
24 Sep 20
Extremely disappointed to add Dave Sharma, Liberal MP and former ambassador to #Israel, to the list of #CCP agents of influence in #Australia.

You can tell from the language that he has been spoon-fed these talking points directly by the Communist Party. smh.com.au/world/asia/win…
Sharma: we shouldn't boycott #Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games over Hong Kong and #Xinjiang because of a "cold-war mentality" and "China's national prestige is on the line," so even symbolic pushback would make the #CCP even more intractable.

Disgraceful. Image
Prior to #COVID19, Dave Sharma was one of a bipartisan group of MPs meant to travel to #Beijing on a #CCP-sponsored trip and grovel for Communist forgiveness.

Sharma still wants to go. Presumably his outrageous position on the boycott stems from that. smh.com.au/politics/feder…
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep 20
Russia in the Middle East, September 18:

Putin's MENA envoy Bogdanov meets with ambassadors of #Egypt and #Turkey to discuss #Libya; Syrian ambassador to discuss the situation in #Syria; and #Israel's Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel. ImageImageImageImage
High-level #Russia-#France interdepartmental consultations on #Syria, including Deputy FM Vershinin, MoD representatives, and the Presidential envoys for Syria of both countries, among others. Image
These #Russia-#France consultations on #Syria have been going on since at least late 2018. Image
Read 5 tweets
17 Sep 20
"United Front work has been a dismal failure in the past few years. Almost all major policy ­decisions at a federal level have gone against the PRC," asserts a new report by @ChinaMattersAUS theaustralian.com.au/nation/politic…
Of 30 people interviewed harassed by #CCP, only 3 reported.

"Many were reluctant to report because of concerns the Australian government could not protect their families in China. Others said they thought the Australian government was powerless to stop the harassment." Image
Well this is just terrifying. Image
Read 4 tweets
17 Sep 20
Russian Diplomacy, September 15:
Lavrov spoke with #Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who insisted on Lavrov explaining the #Navalny case, which he obviously failed to do.

They also discussed the situations in #Libya, #Belarus, and bilateral cooperation. Image
#Germany's relations with #Russia seem to be melting down over the attempted assassination by the #GRU of #Navalny.

Lavrov spewed threats and garbage on the phone with Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas over the case. Image
Read 10 tweets
14 Sep 20
Russian Diplomacy, September 14:
Lavrov held an in-depth discussion with #Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on #Libya, #Syria, and prospects for Arab-Israeli settlement that factored in a solution to the #Palestinian issue. Image
Simultaneously, Putin's MENA envoy Bogdanov met with #Egypt's ambassador to discuss #Libya, #Syria, and Arab-Israeli rapprochement. Image
Read 9 tweets
13 Sep 20
Khalilzad says the US is washing its hands of #Afghanistan and the entire "peace process" now that they've checked the box on "intra-Afghan negotiations" Image
Khalilzad lies that the decision to release all the #Taliban prisoners, including those #France and #Australia asked #Kabul not to release, was an Afghan decision.

In reality, it was solely the result of severe US pressure and threats that forced Kabul to cave in. Image
Khalilzad equates Kabul's commitments relating to Al-Qaeda with the #Taliban's, which is utterly intertwined with the group. Incredible. Image
Read 7 tweets
13 Sep 20
Russian Diplomacy, September 11:
Putin's MENA envoy Bogdanov conducted a Foreign Ministry discussion on importance of Arab-Israeli settlement and solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict for Russian interests, including unifying all Palestinian factions and holding regular pan-Palestinian meetings in Russia Image
#Hamas' Mousa Abu Marzook called Bogdanov to discuss Palestinian unity efforts and the potential for holding pan-Palestinian meeting in Russia alongside bilateral contacts. Image
Read 15 tweets
10 Sep 20
Six Chinese citizens believed to have engaged in espionage or foreign interference in #Australia on behalf of the #CCP have either been denied re-entry into the country or have left after being questioned by intelligence agencies theaustralian.com.au/nation/politic…
Banned/fled after #ASIO questioning:

-Chinese scholar and media commentator Chen Hong
-Australian studies scholar Li Jianjun
-Australia bureau chief of China News Service Tao Shelan
-China Radio International’s Sydney bureau chief Li Dayong
- 2 other unidentified 'journalists'
"It is understood the four journalists were not spies inserted into Australia, posing as reporters, but journalists who had become engaged in espionage or foreign interference."
Read 7 tweets
5 Sep 20
Russian-Palestinian diplomacy, September 4:
Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas held a teleconference with the heads of 14 other Palestinian factions.

Russia: "We confirm our essential willingness to host another pan-Palestinian meeting in Moscow" and emphasise need to unify all factions under PLO political platform. Image
Putin's MENA envoy Bogdanov meets with Palestinian ambassador to emphasise the need to unify all factions Image
Read 6 tweets
2 Sep 20
Another Australian, Cheng Lei ('journalist' for CCP propaganda channel CGTN and former partner of Nick Coyle, the chief executive of the China-Australian Chamber of Commerce in Beijing) taken hostage by the #CCP theaustralian.com.au/nation/politic…
The Australian government is openly desperate to pretend this has nothing to do with bilateral relations and could be related to social media posts or internal power struggles.

Ridiculous. Image
The CCP's Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin has criticised the secrecy of the arrest as a propaganda failure.

"It is necessary to race against time to send news, spread the Chin­ese perspective and attitude to the world as soon as possible." theaustralian.com.au/business/media…
Read 6 tweets
28 Aug 20
South Australian Liberal MP Jing Lee has been championing the #Xinjiang Association of SA – whose operations are intertwined with the Chinese consulate-general in Adelaide – and Belt & Road projects

Yet another CCP shithead in elected office in Australia theaustralian.com.au/nation/uighur-…
The consulate is home to 10 diplomats, trade and intelligence officers from China, the largest presence of any foreign nation in SA.

Federal Labor and Liberal MPs are questioning why a small city such as Adelaide has such a highly-staffed Chinese consulate. Image
SA Xinjiang Association (United Front Work Department) "are predominantly Adelaide-based Han Chinese but wear Uighur costume and perform songs and dances and profess their happiness under communist rule."

This is REPULSIVE 🤮🤮🤮 Image
Read 12 tweets
28 Aug 20
Russian Diplomacy, August 27:
Putin's MENA envoy Bogdanov speaks with the Free Patriotic Movement's Gebran Bassil to discuss Russia-#Lebanon ties and future political developments in the country. Image
Deputy FM Ryabkov meets with #Pakistan's ambassador to discuss bilateral ties and cooperation. Image
Read 8 tweets
27 Aug 20
Russian Diplomacy, August 26:
Leader of the #DFLP Qais Abd al-Karim (Abu Layla) called Putin's MENA envoy Bogdanov to discuss another pan-Palestinian summit in Moscow in order to build a united front against US/Israel approach. Image
The Middle East 'Quartet' held a teleconference, in which Russia, supported by EU and UN, stressed that Israeli-UAE normalisation is not a substitute for 2SS and that direct negotiations within the international legal framework need to be restarted. Image
Read 8 tweets
26 Aug 20
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Joey Hood and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq David Copley, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs On the Recent U.S.-#Iraq Strategic Dialogue state.gov/principal-depu…
On US withdrawal from #Iraq:

"The President has directed us to get our forces down to lower levels as quickly as possible"

No sign US expects anything tangible from GOI in terms of its commitments to protect US troops/Iraqi civilians from #IRGC militias. ImageImage
On Kataib #Hezbollah: "We expect to see the Iraqi Government increasingly asserting itself as it turns its focus from entirely on ISIS to getting sovereign control over all of its territory again from all groups, no matter what they look like." Image
Read 6 tweets