外交官的國際新聞導覽及中東中亞的歷史故事 Diplomat's daily news review and history research on Middle East and Central Asia
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上一次美國，北約軍隊在 20 年後撤離阿富汗主要空軍基地 - 觀看
大多數美國軍事人員很可能會在 7 月 4 日之前離開，剩下的部隊將保留以保護大使館。
2021 年 7 月 2 日 19:29
美國軍隊於週五撤出了他們在阿富汗的主要軍事基地，留下了他們 20 年前埋在一個國家的世貿中心的一部分，美國最高指揮官警告說，如果沒有他們，這個國家可能會陷入內戰。
“我們認為這次撤軍是積極的一步。隨著外國軍隊的全面撤出，阿富汗人可以更接近穩定與和平，”塔利班發言人 Zabihullah Mujahid 告訴路透社。
去年 12 月，紐約市消防員和警察乘飛機掩埋世貿中心的一部分，正是在這裡，在一片佈滿子彈的蘇聯建造的跑道上，灌溉平原被興都庫什山脈白雪皚皚的山峰所環繞。 2001 年，在塔利班因窩藏奧薩馬·本·拉登而被推翻的幾天后。
另外兩名美國安全官員本週表示，大部分美國軍事人員很可能會在 7 月 4 日之前離開，剩下的部隊將繼續保護大使館。
美國駐阿富汗大使館本週在一份聲明中表示，美國堅定致力於援助阿富汗，並將在 2022 年提供 30 億美元的安全援助。多哈談判，以實現公正和持久的和平，”大使館說。
一位西方高級外交官表示，美國已要求三個中亞國家——哈薩克斯坦、塔吉克斯坦和烏茲別克斯坦——為大約 10,000 名曾與美國或盟軍合作過的阿富汗公民提供臨時住所。
Last US, NATO troops vacate major Afghan air base after 20 years - watch
The majority of US military personnel would most likely be gone by July 4, with a residual force remaining to protect the embassy.
JULY 2, 2021 19:29
American troops pulled out of their main military base in Afghanistan on Friday, leaving behind a piece of the World Trade Center they buried 20 years ago in a country that the top US commander has warned may descend into civil war without them.
"All American soldiers and members of NATO forces have left the Bagram air base," said a senior US security official on condition of anonymity.
Though a few more troops have yet to withdraw from another base in the capital Kabul in coming days, the Bagram pullout brings to an effective end the longest war in American history.
The base, an hour's drive north of Kabul, was where the US military has coordinated its air war and logistical support for its entire Afghan mission. The Taliban thanked them for leaving.
"We consider this withdrawal a positive step. Afghans can get closer to stability and peace with the full withdrawal of foreign forces," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters.
It was here, on a bullet-ridden Soviet-built air strip on an irrigated plain surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Hindu Kush, that New York City firefighters and police were flown to bury a piece of the World Trade Center in December, 2001, days after the Taliban were toppled for harboring Osama bin Laden.
It was also here that the CIA ran a "black site" detention center for terrorism suspects and subjected them to abuse that President Barack Obama subsequently acknowledged as torture.
Later it swelled into a sprawling fortified city for a huge international military force, with fast food joints, gyms and a cafe serving something called "the mother of all coffees." Two runways perpetually roared. Presidents flew in and gave speeches; celebrities came and told jokes.
An Afghan official said the base would be officially handed over to the government at a ceremony on Saturday.
The US defense official said General Austin Miller, the top US commander in Afghanistan "still retains all the capabilities and authorities to protect the force" stationed in the capital, Kabul.
Earlier this week, Miller told journalists in Kabul that civil war for Afghanistan was "certainly a path that can be visualized," with Taliban fighters sweeping into districts around the country in recent weeks as foreign troops flew home.
Two other US security officials said this week the majority of US military personnel would most likely be gone by July 4, with a residual force remaining to protect the embassy.
That would be more than two months ahead of the timetable set by Biden, who had promised they would be home by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the attack that brought them here.
Washington agreed to withdraw in a deal negotiated last year with the Taliban under Biden's predecessor Donald Trump, and Biden rejected advice from generals to hang on until a political agreement could be reached between the insurgents and the US-backed Kabul government of President Ashraf Ghani.
"MANAGE THE CONSEQUENCES"
Last week, Ghani visited Washington. Biden told him: "Afghans are going to have to decide their future, what they want." Ghani said his job was now to "manage the consequences" of the US withdrawal.
In exchange for the US withdrawal, the Taliban have promised not to allow international terrorists to operate from Afghan soil. They made a commitment to negotiate with the Afghan government, but those talks, in the Qatari capital Doha, made little progress.
In a statement, the US Embassy in Afghanistan this week said the United States was firmly committed to assist Afghanistan and will provide security assistance of $3 billion in 2022. "We urge an end to violence, respect for the human rights of all Afghans and serious negotiations in Doha so that a just and durable peace may be achieved," the embassy stated.
The Taliban refuse to declare a ceasefire. Afghan soldiers have been surrendering or abandoning their posts. Militia groups that fought against the Taliban before the Americans arrived are taking up arms to fight them again.
A senior western diplomat said the US has asked three Central Asian nations - Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - to temporarily provide home to about 10,000 Afghan citizens who had either worked with the US or allied forces.
Several European nations were also providing refuge to hundreds of Afghan employees and their families as they faced direct threat from the Taliban.
Since Biden's announcement that he would press ahead with Trump's withdrawal plan, insurgents have made advances across Afghanistan, notably in the north, where for years after their ouster they had a minimal presence.
Fighting was intensifying between government forces and the Taliban in the northeastern province of Badakshan, officials said on Friday.
總理納夫塔利·貝內特同意出售 50 m。自 1994 年以來最大的此類銷售的立方米水
2021 年 7 月 2 日 20:43
希伯來語網站 Ynet 報導了這個故事，並得到了耶路撒冷郵報的證實。
這是自 1994 年以色列-約旦和平條約以來最大的此類銷售，該條約規定每年自動分配 5500 萬立方米的水，每立方米 3 美分。
“以色列從未向約旦出售過如此大量的水，”長期參與區域水問題的以色列生態和平組織中東地區負責人吉迪恩·布羅姆伯格 (Gideon Bromberg) 說。
約旦曾要求在五年內每年撥款 5000 萬立方米，但貝內特最初批准了到 2022 年。
水銷售的價格標籤仍然未知。過去的銷售，例如 2010 年每年分配的水量增加 1000 萬立方米，以及今年 4 月分配給約旦的 300 萬立方米，水價為每立方米 40 美分。
水通常被視為以色列可以修復部分破壞的場所，特別是考慮到其海水淡化技術。鑑於他的政府與哈希姆王國之間的緊張局勢，內塔尼亞胡在批准約旦 300 萬立方米的請求方面猶豫不決。
Israeli PM Bennett makes water overture to Jordan before Washington visit
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett agrees to sale of 50 m. cubic meters of water in biggest such sale since 1994
JULY 2, 2021 20:43
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made an overture to Jordan and gave his initial agreement to the sale of 50 million cubic meters of water for the parched country that is host to millions of refugees.
The story was reported by Hebrew website Ynet and confirmed by The Jerusalem Post.
It's the largest such sale since the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty which provides for an automatic annual allocation of 55 million cubic meters of water on an annual basis at three cents a cubic meter.
"Israel has never sold such large quantities of water to Jordan," said the Israel director of EcoPeace Middle East Gideon Bromberg, who has long been involved in regional water issues.
"It's a reflection of a potential game changer" moment that has occurred, where both both sides now have an opportunity to create a healthier joint political environment, he said.
The water sale comes just weeks after Bennett was sworn into office and in advance of separate trips both he and Jordan's King Abdullah plan to make to Washington this summer for their first independent visits with US President Joe Biden.
Jordan had asked for an annual allocation of 50 million cubic meters for five years, but Bennett gave an initial approval through 2022.
After that the request would have to be reviewed based in part on the water levels in the Kinneret otherwise known as the Sea of Galilee, which at present allow for such a water sale.
The Hashemite Kingdom has turned to Bennett with a water purchase request through the Israel-Jordan Joint Water Committee.
Israel's Energy Ministry said that the deal was still under discussion and that final approval would likely be given next week.
The price tag for the water sale is still unknown. Past sales, such as the expansion of the annual water allocation by 10 million cubic meters in 2010 and the three million cubic meter allocation to Jordan in April of this year, placed the water price at 40 cents per cubic meter.
Relations with Jordan, one of Israel's key strategic regional partners, were tense during the 12 years former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in office.
Water has often been viewed as an arena where Israel could repair some of that damage, particularly given its desalination technology. Netanyahu had dragged his feet on approving Jordan's three million cubic meter request in light of tensions between his government and the Hashemite Kingdom.
"Israel and Jordan need to improve their relations and water and energy issues can be at the heart of repairing the damage," Bromberg said.
Water could be at the heart of a number of joint initiatives, Bromberg said, including the rehabilitation of the Jordan River into a national water carrier for both countries.
Jordan is facing a severe water shortage that is threatening to destabilize the monarchy, he said.
Bennett's willingness to help is a sign that he understands Jordan's strategic importance to Israel, Bromberg added.
2021 年 7 月 2 日 08:38
2019 年，在聽到一位拉比在克里米亞面臨財務挑戰時，普京開玩笑說：“所以猶太人在財務上有問題！” 然後他告訴拉比“Todah rabah”，希伯來語“非常感謝你”。
在他一年一度的現場問答環節變成的新聞發布會上，普京被問到，儘管自 2014 年以來兩國之間發生了低強度的戰爭，但為什麼俄羅斯還沒有正式將烏克蘭列為敵對國家。
普京的另一個有影響力的猶太人物是他的摔跤教練阿納托利·拉赫林（Anatoly Rakhlin），他激發了年輕的普京對體育的興趣，讓他離開了列寧格勒崎嶇的街道，在那里普京會在他父母工作時打架。據報導，在 2013 年拉赫林 (Rakhlin) 的葬禮上，普京情緒激動，放棄了他的安保人員，獨自一人走了一小段路。
2014 年，在訪問以色列期間，他遇到了他的前德語老師 Mina Yuditskaya Berliner，這是他生命中的另一位有影響力的人物，因為她給了他語言技能，後來幫助他爬上了克格勃的行列。他們在她租來的公寓裡聊了兩個小時；後來他為她買了房。
柏林在遺囑中將公寓留給了普京，並在她於 2018 年去世後歸還給他。
Putin holds up Israel as a model of unity for Ukrainians and Russians
"They seem to be unlike each other, but all the same, the Jewish people value their unity,” he said.
By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA
JULY 2, 2021 08:38
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking during an official inauguration of the monument honoring the heroes of the siege of Leningrad
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
Vladimir Putin clearly likes to talk about Jews and Israel.
This time he suggested that Israel offered a good model for his designs on Ukraine.
Looking back, at a panel on energy in 2017, the Russian president launched into a 90-second joke about a smartass Israeli soldier who was quizzed by his commander on how to engage multiple enemies. The soldier’s advice: Send more troops.
In 2019, hearing about the financial challenges of a rabbi in Crimea, Putin joked: “So the Jews have problems with finances!” Then he told the rabbi “Todah rabah,” Hebrew for “thank you very much.”
But Putin’s latest take, which he made Tuesday on television, went quite a bit further, affording some rare insight into how he thinks about the Jewish people. Essentially he suggested that Slavic peoples take a cue from Israelis and unite as one people despite different ethnicities, origins and maternal languages.
In his annual live question-and-answer session turned news conference, Putin was asked why Russia hasn’t formally classified Ukraine as a hostile country despite the low-intensity war between the two countries since 2014.
“Because I do not think that the Ukrainian people are unfriendly people to us,” the Russian leader replied, adding that Ukrainians and Russians “are generally one people.”
Putin went on to offer Israel as a model.
”Look, Jews come to Israel from Africa, from Europe, from other countries of the world. Africans are Black, yeah? People come from Europe — they speak Yiddish, not Hebrew. They seem to be unlike each other, but all the same, the Jewish people value their unity,” he said.
Putin has had strong emotional ties with Russian Jews that have been reflected in a series of favorable policies. Under Putin, authorities have cracked down on antisemitic hate crimes and Jewish communities have received the equivalent of millions of dollars in restitution for properties confiscated by the communists, helping to fuel a cultural and religious revival.
The earliest of those contacts was with a Jewish family who lived on his family’s apartment block in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg. They helped take care of Putin as a boy with his parents working long days.
“They were observant Jews who did not work on Saturdays and the man would study the Bible and Talmud all day long,” Putin wrote in one of his biographies. “Once I even asked him what he was muttering. He explained to me what this book was and I was immediately interested.”
Another influential Jewish figure for Putin was his wrestling coach, Anatoly Rakhlin, who sparked the young Putin’s interest in sports and got him off the rough streets of Leningrad, where Putin would get into fights while his parents worked. At Rakhlin’s funeral in 2013,Putin reportedly was overcome by emotion and ditched his security detail to take a short, solitary walk.
In 2014, during a visit to Israel, he met his former German teacher, Mina Yuditskaya Berliner, another influential figure in his life because she gave him the language skills that later helped him climb the ranks of the KGB. They had a two-hour chat in her rented apartment; afterward he bought the place for her.
Berliner left Putin the apartment in her will, and it was returned to him after she died in 2018.
Russia’s two main Jewish communal organizations see Putin as a friendly force for Russian Jews. At the same time, tens of thousands of Russian Jews began leaving in recent years as Putin tightened his grip on the Russian media, courts, LGBT people, other minorities and what little remains of freedom of expression.
As for the Israel comparison, Ukrainians tend not to agree that “Ukrainians and Russians are a single people,” as Putin said Tuesday. One pro-democracy Kyiv news site called Putin a “broken record” on the topic.
2021 年 7 月 2 日 08:05
土耳其總統塔伊普·埃爾多安於 2020 年 12 月 14 日在土耳其安卡拉舉行內閣會議後的新聞發布會上發表講話
美國國務院在其 2021 年人口販運 (TIP) 中確定，土耳其正在向敘利亞的蘇丹穆拉德部門提供“切實支持”，這是安卡拉長期以來一直支持的敘利亞反對派派系，以及華盛頓稱招募和使用的一個組織兒童兵。
土耳其通過代理人和自己的武裝部隊也捲入了利比亞衝突。安卡拉的支持幫助位於的黎波里的政府扭轉了埃及和俄羅斯支持的東部軍隊長達 14 個月的襲擊。
US adds Turkey to list of countries implicated in use of child soldiers
Governments placed on this list are subject to restrictions on certain security assistance and commercial licensing of military equipment, absent a presidential waiver.
JULY 2, 2021 08:05
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference following a cabinet meeting in Ankara, Turkey, December 14, 2020
(photo credit: PRESIDENTIAL PRESS OFFICE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
The United States on Thursday added Turkey to a list of countries that are implicated in the use of child soldiers over the past year, placing a NATO ally for the first time in such a list, in a move that is likely to further complicate the already fraught ties between Ankara and Washington.
The US State Department determined in its 2021 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) that Turkey was providing "tangible support" to the Sultan Murad division in Syria, a faction of Syrian opposition that Ankara has long, supported and a group that Washington said recruited and used child soldiers.
There was no immediate reaction from Turkey on the move.
In a briefing call with reporters, a senior State Department official also made a reference to the use of child soldiers in Libya, saying Washington was hoping to work with Ankara on the issue to address it.
"With respect to Turkey in particular…this is the first time a NATO member has been listed in the child soldier prevention act list," the State Department official said. "As a respected regional leader and member of NATO, Turkey has the opportunity to address this issue – the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Syria and Libya," she said.
Turkey has carried out three cross-border operations in Syria against the so-called Islamic State, as well as US-backed Kurdish militia and has frequently used factions of armed Syrian fighters on top of its own forces.
Some of these groups have been accused by human rights groups and the United Nations of indiscriminately attacking civilians and carrying out kidnappings and lootings. The United Nations had asked Ankara to rein in these Syrian rebels while Turkey rejected the allegations, calling them "baseless."
Turkey, through proxies and its own armed forces, has also been involved in the Libyan conflict. Ankara's support has helped the Tripoli-based government reverse a 14-month assault from eastern forces backed by Egypt and Russia.
Governments placed on this list are subject to restrictions, according to the State Department report, on certain security assistance and commercial licensing of military equipment, absent a presidential waiver.
It was not immediately clear whether any restrictions would automatically apply to Turkey and the move raised questions whether it could derail Ankara's ongoing negotiations with Washington on Turkey's bid to run Afghanistan's Kabul airport once US completes its pullout of its troops.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the two things won't likely be linked. "When it comes to trafficking in persons, I would not want to link the report today with the constructive discussions we're engaging in with Turkey, in the context of Afghanistan or any other area of shared interest," he said in a briefing.
Turkey has offered to guard and run Hamid Karzai airport after NATO's withdrawal and has been holding talks with the United States on logistic and financial support for the mission.
The mission could be a potential area of cooperation between Ankara and its allies amid strained ties, as the security of the airport is crucial for the operation of diplomatic missions out of Afghanistan after the withdrawal.
To carry out this task, Ankara has sought various financial and operational support, and President Joe Biden, in a meeting last month with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had said that U.S. support would be forthcoming, Biden's national security advisor Jake Sullivan had said.
Price described Turkey as a "very constructive and very helpful partner" when it comes to Afghanistan and added that Washington could have more to say on the implications.
"As you know there is a potential for waivers that would come down from the president but that will happen, if it does, in the coming months," he said.