Tag Archives: Mediterranean Sea

​China, Russia to hold first-ever Mediterranean naval exercise

ARCHIVE PHOTO: Chinese and Russian naval vessels are seen during Joint Sea-2014 naval exercise outside Shanghai on the East China Sea, May 23, 2014

The Russian and Chinese Navies are to hold a joint exercise in the Mediterranean Sea in mid-May, a first in that part of the world. A total of nine warships from the two countries are to participate, Beijing said.

“The aim is to deepen both countries’ friendly and practical cooperation, and increase our navies’ ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on Thursday in a monthly news briefing.

“What needs saying is that these exercises are not aimed at any third party and have nothing to do with the regional situation,” he added, saying that the Chinese Navy would contribute its warships currently on an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.

Russia and China have previously held joint naval exercises in the Pacific in waters they both have direct access to. The Mediterranean Sea Cooperation-2015 drill would focus on navigation safety, at-sea replenishment, escort missions and live fire exercises, Geng said.

Moscow and Beijing are intensifying defense cooperation as both countries oppose US criticism of its military policies. China is being accused of aggressive deployments in the South China Sea, where it is contesting territories with several regional nations. The PLA’s Navy and Air Force have been increasingly at odds with Japan and South Korea, key American allies.

Russia has been subjected to economic sanctions over its position in Ukraine which, according to Washington, is threatening its NATO allies in Eastern Europe.

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El Rey recibe al presidente egipcio en la Zarzuela

Abdelfatah al Sisi, junto al rey Felipe VI. / Andrea Comas

  • Felipe VI ha abordado con Abdelfatah al Sisi, que visita por primera vez España, las perspectivas de cooperación bilateral, fundamentalmente en materia económica

  • El mandatario se reunirá también con Rajoy y está previsto que ambos firmen varios acuerdos de cooperación en las áreas de seguridad y lucha contra el crimen, turismo e infraestructuras y transportes

El Rey ha recibido en el Palacio de la Zarzuela al presidente de Egipto, Abdelfatah al Sisi, que visita por primera vez España y con quien ha tenido ocasión de tratar las perspectivas de la cooperación bilateral, fundamentalmente económica, y cuestiones de actualidad en la región mediterránea.

Don Felipe ha dado la bienvenida a Al Sisi ante la entrada del palacio y, tras posar junto a él para los medios gráficos en los jardines, le ha invitado a pasar a su despacho para mantener allí la entrevista, a la que han asistido los ministros de Asuntos Exteriores de España, José Manuel García-Margallo, y Egipto, Sameh Shoukry, así como los respectivos embajadores.

En la primera visita oficial a España de un presidente egipcio desde la que realizó Hosni Mubarak en 2004, Al Sisi busca profundizar la ya positiva cooperación política y ampliar unas relaciones económicas que aún disponen de un amplio margen de mejora, actualmente muy inferiores a las que España mantiene con países como Marruecos, Argelia o Arabia Saudí.

Acuerdos de cooperación

Tras su entrevista con el Rey, el jefe de Estado egipcio se reunirá con el presidente del Gobierno, Mariano Rajoy, en el Palacio de la Moncloa, donde está previsto que se firmen varios acuerdos de cooperación en las áreas de seguridad y lucha contra el crimen, turismo e infraestructuras y transportes.

La cooperación bilateral contra el terrorismo yihadista y ante los flujos migratorios en el Mediterráneo son dos de los asuntos centrales de la agenda de Al Sisi en Madrid, junto al interés de Egipto por atraer inversiones españolas, especialmente en construcción, infraestructuras y energía, objetivo que ha marcado una reunión con empresas de ambos países, celebrada esta mañana.

El líder egipcio volverá a encontrarse hoy con don Felipe, acompañado por doña Letizia, en el almuerzo que los Reyes ofrecerán en su honor en el Palacio Real, tras el que visitará el Congreso de los Diputados, donde será recibido por el presidente de la Cámara, Jesús Posada.

Felipe VI coincidió con Al Sisi el pasado 30 de enero -el día que el Monarca cumplió 47 años- en Adis Abeba, donde ambos participaron en la cumbre de la UA y mantuvieron una reunión bilateral en la que el Rey expresó la voluntad de España de aumentar la presencia económica en Egipto y de proseguir su apoyo al proceso de paz en Oriente Próximo.

Asimismo, don Felipe coincidió con Al Sisi en la necesidad de proseguir la lucha internacional contra el terrorismo y garantizó la implicación de España en este objetivo con un papel importante desde su puesto de miembro no permanente del Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU.

Haftar does not object to military operation in Libya

Haftar claimed that armed groups supported by Turkey and Qatar were entering Libya while his forces do not have enough weapons to face these groups

Haftar claimed that armed groups supported by Turkey and Qatar were entering Libya while his forces do not have enough weapons to face these groups

Commander of the Libyan government in Tabruk General Khalifa Haftar said on Friday that he does not object to a military operation in Libya, similar to the one carried out by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Sky News Arabic reported.

In an interview with the network Haftar said that his forces do not want to cause damage and destruction in Tripoli but those who are currently deployed there will move at the appropriate time.

The controversial general said that the movement of his units would take place after more pressure is put on the western parts of the country, stressing that his forces are moving slowly, but with “very-well calculated steps.” He emphasised however that the military capture of Tripoli must be carried out by forces under his command only.

General Haftar criticised the current UNSC sanctions on the supply of weapons to the Libyan army. He also criticised the EU’s efforts to secure a resolution to target illegal migrants in the Mediterranean. He said if Libya was supplied with weapons it would be able to end the flow of migrants to Europe.

Haftar claimed that armed groups supported by Turkey and Qatar were entering Libya while his forces do not have enough weapons to face these groups.

He also claimed that ISIS members had infiltrated into Libya from several neighbouring countries, as well as through the seaports along the Libyan coasts.

Ukrainian Navy flagship takes Russia’s side – report

The Ukrainian Krivak class frigate Hetman Sahaydachny

Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, has reportedly refused to follow orders from Kiev, and come over to Russia’s side and is returning home after taking part in NATO operation in the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag.

There has been conflicting information on where exactly the vessel is, but a Russian senator has confirmed to Izvestia daily that the frigate defected to the Russian side.

“Ukraine’s Navy flagship the Hetman Sahaidachny has come over to our side today. It has hung out the St Andrew’s flag,” Senator Igor Morozov, a member of the committee on the international affairs, told Izvestia daily.

He said the flagship is on its way back to the Black Sea after drills in the Mediterranean. “The crew has fulfilled the order by the chief commander of Ukraine’s armed forces Viktor Yanukovich,” he added.

The move comes after the Navy command resigned Friday. Self-appointed President Aleksandr Turchinov made Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky the new Navy Chief, a statement published on the President’s website Saturday said.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine had earlier asked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to let the frigate through the Bosporus strait, according to the Kiev Times. The ship captain and the head of Ukraine’s contingent in the operation, Rear Admiral Andrey Tarasov disobeyed orders from Kiev.

The Hetman Sahaidachny returns to Sevastopol, Crimea after taking part in a joint counter-piracy operation with NATO and the EU off the Horn of Africa, reported UNN on Friday, citing Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. On February 26, after crossing the Suez Canal, the ship entered the Mediterranean Sea and was expected to be in Sevastopol in early March.

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