News from France & Israel, Turkey, Ukraine, Bulgaria & Lithuania
France calls for settlement halt
ISRAEL: France urged Tel Aviv yesterday to reconsider its recent approval of 1,500 new homes in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The French Foreign Ministry expressed concern over mooted new building that could be approved in the coming days, saying: “These decisions represent a grave threat to the two-state solution.”
President Emmanuel Macron said last week that settlement expansion had reach “an unprecedented level, and these decisions send a very negative signal.”
Over 100 ‘coup plotters’ face arrest
TURKEY: Authorities issued arrest warrants yesterday for 105 IT experts suspected of aiding last year’s failed coup.
The warrants were issued as Turkey began a week of events commemorating the July 15 anniversary of the thwarted coup and remembering the 250 people who were killed.
The country’s official Anadolu Agency said 52 of the suspects, including ex-employees of Turkey’s scientific research council and the telecommunications authority, had been detained so far for allegedly providing technical support to the coup plotters.
Kiev in talks for EU membership
UKRAINE: The EU said yesterday that it had finalised its association agreement with the Kiev coup regime it helped to gain power three years ago.
Brussels said all 28 member nations had ratified the agreement despite Dutch voters rejecting it in a referendum last year.
The trade agreement — a major step towards full EU membership — will come into force on September 1.
Huge military drills in eastern Europe
NATO: Two major military exercises kicked off yesterday in Bulgaria and Lithuania as part of increasing hostility towards Russia.
The exercise in Bulgaria involve 25,000 troops from over 20 countries.
In Lithuania, US anti-aircraft missiles were deployed for drills with Britain, the US, Latvia and Poland.