September 29th – October 3rd

Monday, 29th September

ISRAEL – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to shift the spotlight away from the Islamic State militant group and back to Iran, warning the United Nations Organization that a nuclear-armed Tehran would pose a far greater threat than “militant Islamists on pickup trucks”. (Reuters)

SPAIN  The Constitutional Court of Spain suspended on Monday an independence referendum called by Catalonia for November, although political forces in the wealthy north-east region forged ahead with a political campaign ahead of their planned vote. Spain’s central government earlier on Monday asked the court to declare the vote illegal on the grounds that it breaches the country’s constitution. (BBC)


Tuesday, 30th September

AFGHANISTAN – The new Afghan government concluded crucial security pacts with the US and the NATO on Tuesday, paving the way for about 12,000 foreign troops to remain in the country after year’s end and ensuring that aid money keeps flowing to Kabul. (The Wall Street Journal)

UKRAINE CRISIS – The European Union is to keep sanctions against Russia in place, judging that Ukraine’s peace deal is not fully effective. EU ambassadors who met on Tuesday had noted some “encouraging developments” since the 5th September ceasefire was agreed, but other parts of the peace deal “will need to be properly implemented”. (BBC)

LIBYAMilitias in control of the Libyan capital have rejected the United Nations’ call for a ceasefire, insisting instead that their rivals be disarmed. The announcement by the Libya Dawn umbrella group on Tuesday followed the first round of UN-brokered talks between Libya’s rival lawmakers held on Monday in Ghadames, a southern town near the Algerian border. (Al Jazeera)


Wednesday, 1st October

TURKEY – Turkey will fight against Islamic State and other “terrorist” groups in the region but will stick to its aim of seeing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

EGYPT – Egypt has offered to train pro-government forces battling rival armed groups in Libya, stepping up efforts to eradicate what it says is a threat to its own stability from the anarchy engulfing its neighbor. The offer was the latest sign of intervention by competing Arab powers inLibya– a haven for Islamist militants and close to becoming a failed state – while Western governments are preoccupied withIraqand Syria. (Reuters)

EUROPEAN UNION – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that it was up to each EU country to deliver on its promise of sound budget policies, warning that the credibility of the entire bloc was at stake. (The Daily Star)


Thursday, 2nd October

TURKEY – The US-led coalition of nations fighting Isis in Iraq and Syria has finally been joined by Turkey.In Ankara, voted 298-98 in favor of a motion giving the government new powers to launch military action against Islamic State and allow foreign forces to use its territory for operations against the militants. (The Independent)

FRANCE – France is setting up a base in northern Niger as part of an operation aimed at stopping al Qaeda-linked militants from crisscrossing the Sahel-Sahara region between southernLibyaand Mauritania, officials said. (Reuters)


Friday, 3rd October

SPAIN – The leader of Catalonia has set up a panel to supervise a contested independence referendum next month, defying Spain’s central government which has gone to the courts to block the vote.It was the first official move to prepare for the planned 9th November vote on separation from Spain since the Constitutional Court agreed on Monday to review the legality of the referendum – a decision that effectively suspended the ballot. (Reuters)

ISRAEL Plans for new settlements in East Jerusalem pose a threat to peace and Israel’s relations with the European Union, joining the United States in its criticism of the decision. (Reuters)

IRAN – Iran warned neighboring Turkey Thursday against doing anything that might aggravate tensions in the region, after the parliament in Ankara voted to authorize military intervention in Syria and Iraq. (The Daily Star)

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