Category Archives: United Kingdom

Risks of doing nothing are greater than acting – John Kerry

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and US Secretary of State John Kerry at the FCO today (Monday).

William Hague says the UK and US remain “closely aligned” on Syria, after talks with his US counterpart John Kerry. The British Foreign Secretary said the two were working together to save lives and revive peace talks as well as press for a strong response to the Assad government’s use of chemical weapons. Mr Kerry said the risks of doing nothing were greater than acting. The two countries remained “true friends” despite the UK ruling out any military involvement, he insisted. Their meeting in London comes as the US tries to gather support for military strikes. British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Parliament’s vote last month means the … Continue reading

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UK spending ‘millions’ to aid insurgents in Syria

British Prime Minister David Cameron accused of secretly funding Syrian opposition

  Details have emerged of the millions of pounds the British government is investing to aid the insurgents in Syria in their fight to topple the government of Bashar al-Assad. In documents seen by the Independent newspaper, the UK has so far sent around £8m of aid including 4×4 vehicles, radios, satellite systems, body armour, and trucks. The items are being channelled through the so-called Free Syrian Army.  The news has not been received well by the anti-war movement in the UK Fighting has raged in Syria for over two years with over one hundred thousand killed and millions displaced. Britain, alongside France were instrumental in having the EU arms … Continue reading

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New British Visa requirements ‘tearing British families apart’

New migration rules for people from outside the European Union are “tearing British families apart”, a group of MPs and peers have claimed in a report. It said thousands of Britons have been unable to bring a non-EU spouse to the UK since July 2012, when minimum earnings requirements were introduced. Children have also been separated from a parent, the committee said. The Home Office said the rules are designed to ease the burden of migration on the taxpayer. Rules that came into force a year ago require any British citizen who wants to sponsor their non-European spouse’s visa to be able to show they earn at least £18,600 a … Continue reading

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US training Syrian rebels In Jordan – Der Spiegel reports

Americans are training Syrian  anti-government fighters in Jordan, the German weekly Der  Spiegel said on Sunday, quoting what it said were participants  and organisers.  Spiegel said it was not clear whether the Americans worked  for private firms or were from the army but said some wore  uniforms. The training focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.  Some 200 men have already received such training over the  past three months and there are plans in the future to provide  training for a total 1,200 members of the “Free Syrian Army” in  two camps in the south and the east of the country.  Britain’s Guardian newspaper also reported that U.S.  trainers were assisting … Continue reading

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Palestinian man extradited from Britain to the US pleads not guilty

A Pakistani man accused of taking part in an international al Qaeda plot to attack targets in the United States and Europe pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges during his first U.S. court appearance Monday in New York. Abid Naseer, 26, was extradited on Thursday from Britain to Brooklyn, New York. He is facing up to life in prison on charges including providing material support to al Qaeda and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in connection with an alleged plot to bomb a city center in Manchester, England. The charges against Naseer are also connected to an alleged al Qaeda plot in 2009 to bomb the subway … Continue reading

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Britain extradites Al-Qaeda suspect to the United States

A man accused of leading an al-Qaeda plot to set off bombs in Manchester has been extradited to the US. Abid Naseer has been described by a High Court judge as an “al-Qaeda operative” who “poses a serious threat to the national security of the UK”. UK prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to charge him. However, the US wants to put him on trial, arguing the Manchester plot was part of a wider conspiracy to also bomb New York. In December his bid to stop the extradition was thrown out of the European Court of Human Rights, where his lawyers had argued he could be tortured if returned … Continue reading

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Afghanistan President welcomes withdrawal of British troops

The Afghan president on Thursday welcomed the withdrawal of nearly half of the British troops stationed in Afghanistan next year, saying his forces were ready to take up the country’s defense. A statement from Hamid Karzai’s office said the partial pull-out was an “appropriate” move as NATO forces transfer responsibility for the war against the Taliban to the Afghan military. British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Wednesday that about 3,800 British troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2013, with some 5,000 staying into 2014. The majority of NATO forces, including those of the United States, are set to leave by the end of 2014. “The Afghan security forces … Continue reading

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Britain tones down rhetoric on Assange stand-off

Britain has indicated it wants an “amicable solution” to the diplomatic crisis over Wikileaks founder Julian Assange after Ecuador granted him political asylum. An Ecuadorean government spokesman said they had received a phone call from the Americas desk at the Foreign Office with a message they believed to have come from Foreign Secretary William Hague. It comes as its government said it had received a call from the UK Foreign Office saying temperatures on both sides needed to be cooled down. Mr Assange took refuge at Ecuador’s embassy in London in June as he faced extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims, which he denies. Ecuador announced on Thursday it … Continue reading

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