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Merkel congratulates Erdogan, cites regional turmoil BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday on winning the election for the Turkish presidency and underscored the country's pivotal role in the troubled region."We are currently facing difficult challenges in the region," she said in a message sent to Erdogan and released by her office."Turkey has a major role to play in this context. I wish you success, endurance and strength for these weighty tasks." Merkel noted the "close ties based on trust" between Turkey and Germany given her country's three-million-strong population with Turkish roots."It is personally important to me to, together with you, maintain and strengthen the traditionally friendly relations between our two countries in the interest of our citizens."Erdogan handily beat his election rivals in a historic poll victory Sunday and vowed to build a "new Turkey", reconciling a divided country. His political allies have argued that the presence of a more ...

Russia calls for ‘humanitarian’ ceasefire DONETSK: Ukraine's army shelled the main rebel bastion of Donetsk on Sunday as Russia called for a humanitarian ceasefire, which the West warned could be a pretext by Moscow to send in troops.Shelling started early in the morning and continued throughout the day in the one-million strong eastern city, which pro-Russian rebels said was now surrounded by Ukrainian forces.Ukraine's government reported four dead as troops and insurgents continued to clash for control of the industrial ...
France looking at supplying Iraqi Kurds with arms: FM PARIS: France, in consultation with its EU partners, is looking at supplying arms to Iraq's Kurds to fight against Islamic State militants, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Sunday."One way or another, they must receive, in a sure way, equipment that will allow them to defend themselves and to counterattack," Fabius told France 2 television from Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq."We will look into that over the coming days but ...
Crisis-hit Spaniards seek seaweed riches ORTIGUEIRA: Three young Spaniards in wetsuits plunge into the sea to harvest a culinary delicacy that promises them a way out of troubled financial waters: seaweed.Armed with stainless steel scythes, they swim in low tide from rock to rock cutting down codium seaweed and kombu kelp, which they gather up in bags.The trio -- 35-year-old marine scientist Alberto Sanchez, his sister Maria and his friend, 33-year-old biologist Sergio Baamonde -- carry the sea greens by ...
France to deliver first aid equipment to Iraq 'in coming hours' PARIS: France will begin delivery of first aid equipment to Iraq "in the coming hours", the president's office said on Saturday. President Francois Hollande assured the leader of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, by phone that the aid was on its way, according to a statement from the Elysee Palace.Hollande "reaffirmed the will of France to stand by the side of civilian victims of continued attacks" by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, the Elysee said.He ...
Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship returns to warm welcome AMSTERDAM: Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise ship arrived home to a warm welcome in The Netherlands on Saturday, almost a year after it was seized by Russia during a protest against Arctic oil drilling."It's great to have her back," veteran Greenpeace skipper Pete Willcox, who captained the ship at the time of the seizure, told AFP by telephone."We were missing a big member of our family for many months," he said. Dozens of well-wishers, many waving Greenpeace's ...
Kasparov vies for chess throne against 'alien abductee' OSLO: Legendary former chess champion Garry Kasparov will on Monday attempt to seize the sport's top job from a man who claims he was abducted by aliens and is accused of being a Kremlin puppet who built ties to the world's most brutal dictators.For the past 19 years, the presidency of the World Chess Federation has been held by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, an eccentric former president of Russia's only Buddhist region Kalmykia.The 52-year-old claims he was ...


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