Washington and the United Nations confirm the presence of mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group in Mali

Washington and the United Nations confirm the presence of mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group in Mali

Washington and the United Nations confirm the presence of mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group in Mali


The US military and the United Nations confirmed the presence of mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group in Mali, which was not decided by the ruling military council in Bamako in light of the increasing tension in its relations with Westerners.

The US military and the United Nations confirmed the presence of mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group in Mali, which was not decided by the ruling military council in Bamako in light of the increasing tension in its relations with Westerners.

"Wagner is in Mali," General Stephen Townsend, the head of the US Africa Command, announced in an interview with Voice of America and recorded Thursday, adding that "they are there, we think they are a few hundred now."

"They are deployed with the support of the Russian army. They are flown by planes of the Russian Air Force," he added, linking the group directly to the Kremlin, a charge Moscow denies.

"The whole world can see what's going on," General Townsend said, adding that "this is a matter of great concern to us."

At a press conference in New York, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who on Wednesday held phone talks with the head of the ruling military junta in Mali, Colonel Asimi Guta, confirmed that the Wagner Group is in Mali.

"We haven't even had any meeting with Wagner" on the ground in Mali, Guterres said, when asked if he had discussed this issue with the head of the military council.

"Cooperating with such an organization is a sovereign decision that rests with the Malian government," the UN Secretary-General continued.

"The only thing we want is that this does not pose any difficulties" for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), he added.

"What we want is effective cooperation between MINUSMA and the Malian army, and we also want respect for human rights and international humanitarian law," he said.

The Wagner Group is accused of committing abuses and looting against civilians in Central Africa.

Last week, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accused Wagner's mercenaries of "supporting" the military junta in Mali under the guise of fighting "jihadists", accusing Russia of "lying" about the group's status.

"When we ask our Russian colleagues about Wagner, they say they don't know it exists," he said.

"When it comes to mercenaries who are former Russian fighters carrying Russian weapons and being flown by Russian planes, it is surprising that the authorities do not know about their presence," he added.

The military junta, which came to power in 2020 in Mali following a coup, does not intend to restore power to civilians in the short term, which angered the countries of the Group of West African States (ECOWAS), which approved severe sanctions that closed the borders with Mali and imposed a trade and financial embargo on it.

The European Union threatens to pass similar sanctions soon, under pressure from France, which accuses the military council of using the Wagner Group.

The financial authorities deny the spread of the Wagner Group in the country and confirm the presence of Russian coaches, similar to European coaches.


Wall Street Journal: The Baltic states will send anti-tank missiles to Ukraine  The Baltic states announced their intention to send American Javelin and Stinger anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, after receiving permission from Washington at the beginning of the week, according to the American newspaper, "The Wall Street Journal". Ukraine fears a "possible Russian invasion" of its territory.  The Baltic states announced Friday that they intend to send anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, so that it can defend itself against any "possible Russian invasion".  Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania said, in a statement, that they would send US-made Javelin and Stinger missiles after receiving permission from Washington in this regard at the beginning of the week, according to the American newspaper, "The Wall Street Journal".  The newspaper quoted US officials as saying that the administration of President Joe Biden also informed Congress that it "intends to provide Ukraine with five Mi-17 transport helicopters."  A US State Department spokesman, whose name was not revealed by the newspaper, declined to discuss the details of military supplies coming from the Baltic states.  The spokesman said in comments reported by "The Wall Street Journal", that the United States and its allies and partners "stand together to accelerate security assistance to Ukraine."  "We are in close contact with our Ukrainian partners and (NATO) allies on this matter and are using all available avenues of security cooperation to help Ukraine strengthen its defenses in the face of increased Russian aggression," he added.  And earlier on Friday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stressed, in a press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that his country and its allies “are committed to dialogue with Russia and seek to resolve existing differences by diplomatic means, but that any invasion of Ukraine by Russia will be met with a unified and quick response.” and strict."  Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014, denies plans to attack its neighbor, but at the same time has warned the West against NATO's efforts to bring Ukraine and other former Soviet republics into the alliance.

Wall Street Journal: The Baltic states will send anti-tank missiles to Ukraine


The Baltic states announced their intention to send American Javelin and Stinger anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, after receiving permission from Washington at the beginning of the week, according to the American newspaper, "The Wall Street Journal". Ukraine fears a "possible Russian invasion" of its territory.

The Baltic states announced Friday that they intend to send anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, so that it can defend itself against any "possible Russian invasion".

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania said, in a statement, that they would send US-made Javelin and Stinger missiles after receiving permission from Washington in this regard at the beginning of the week, according to the American newspaper, "The Wall Street Journal".

The newspaper quoted US officials as saying that the administration of President Joe Biden also informed Congress that it "intends to provide Ukraine with five Mi-17 transport helicopters."

A US State Department spokesman, whose name was not revealed by the newspaper, declined to discuss the details of military supplies coming from the Baltic states.

The spokesman said in comments reported by "The Wall Street Journal", that the United States and its allies and partners "stand together to accelerate security assistance to Ukraine."

"We are in close contact with our Ukrainian partners and (NATO) allies on this matter and are using all available avenues of security cooperation to help Ukraine strengthen its defenses in the face of increased Russian aggression," he added.

And earlier on Friday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stressed, in a press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that his country and its allies “are committed to dialogue with Russia and seek to resolve existing differences by diplomatic means, but that any invasion of Ukraine by Russia will be met with a unified and quick response.” and strict."

Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014, denies plans to attack its neighbor, but at the same time has warned the West against NATO's efforts to bring Ukraine and other former Soviet republics into the alliance.


The Washington Post: Turkey's economic miracle was based on Erdogan's cooperation with experts, Today he is walking alone on the road  The Washington Post said that economic growth helped Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan stay in power, but the experts who helped boost growth left a while ago and Erdogan was left alone to deal with it. In the report prepared by Karim Fahim, it was stated that central bank governors and ministers who were asking questions about questionable economic strategies have gone and been replaced by a number of officials who ask few questions and simply say yes.  He added that the president is facing the worst economic crisis in Turkey in two decades, as he is dealing with it without having independent-minded experts at his side, all as a result of his efforts to centralize power in his hands in a way that leaves the financial institutions that he has always used on the sidelines or empty of experts. The seriousness of the crisis appeared this month when the government announced that inflation had reached 36.1% , the highest rate since 2002. This came as a result of the accelerated decline in the value of the Turkish currency, the lira, which lost 40% of its value last year due to Erdogan’s push to reduce the interest rate for his faith Unconventional that this will lead to lower prices.  The writer says that while economic suffering has spread in Turkey, it has led to a new accountability for the years in which Erdogan accumulated power in his hands, which included the appointment of university deans to court judges. But the broad power was not helpful when it came to the delicate task of managing Turkey's economy, which currently needs talents capable of reassuring global markets and investors, not the political skills and dictatorial tendencies that helped Erdogan outperform his domestic opponents. The president's control of the economy may turn into an accusation as he faces elections next year. In a survey prepared by the polling company "Metropol", 75% of voters said they had lost confidence in government policies last year.  He believes that observers of Turkey's economic development policies in the past year saw that they are in contrast to the policies adopted by Erdogan in his early years, when he and his technocratic party leaders consulted in matters of reform and dealing with the problems of the economy. “The institutions are there to tell the truth to politicians,” said Hakan Kara, a former economic official at Turkey's central bank. Kara is now a professor at Bilkent University in Ankara, where he went on to say that there were health "checks and oversights" that prevented the government from making the wrong decisions. This kind of "interaction is very weak", and experienced economists say they are in the dark about who the president is talking to and where the economy is going. Three central bank governors have been removed over the past two years, along with officials who opposed Erdogan's interest rate cut policies.  The isolations were part of the pressure on the central bank that increased over the past decade and was accompanied by the president's continuous calls for an interest rate cut, according to Silva Demirlap, an economist at Koç University in Istanbul and a former economist at the US Federal Reserve. "We have seen the erosion of independence" and "increased political pressure and inflation that deviates from the goals," she said. Since 2018, Turkey has seen four finance and treasury ministers, including the president's son-in-law. The latest of them is Noureddine Nibai, who was appointed in December and is considered a loyalist of the president and has made surprising statements, including his claim in a television interview that the US Federal Reserve is run by five families.  Erdogan acknowledged the suffering of the Turks as a result of the increase in inflation and described it as a problem, but he stressed that the country is in a better position than the rest of the countries around the world and that the economic policies are correct  Erdogan acknowledged the suffering of Turks as a result of the increase in inflation and described it as a problem, but he stressed that the country is in a better position than the rest of the countries around the world and that the economic policies are correct. But experts say the economy has been subjected to shocks outside of its control and imposed on it, including the Corona epidemic and the political row that led to a trade war with the United States.  Erdogan told members of the ruling Justice and Development Party last week, "It is clear that there is (bulge) in inflation, as well as in the exchange rate, which does not match the realities of our country and its economy." The emergency measures taken by the government led to the currency regaining some of its value against the dollar. However, recent statements from Erdogan and the new Finance Minister suggest a rate cut, and it is not known whether this will restore damaged confidence. For some, recent signals from the government raise more questions about the president's economic beliefs. “You have a theory that you have to lower the interest rate to counter inflation,” Demerlab asks. Then you say that you will stop lowering the interest rate at a time when inflation has reached 36%. Will stopping restore confidence?”  Cevdet Akcci, the former director of Turkey's Yapı Kredi Bank, says that when the AKP came to power in 2002 after a severe banking crisis, it "received a bankrupt economy," and then the government headed by Erdogan and Finance Minister Ali Babacan applied the standards of the International Monetary Fund, which dealt with the problems structuralism of the economy. “There are the best ministers, the best central bank governor, and the best treasury secretary I have ever had during my time with the AKP,” Akci said. “Believe me, if they replaced their counterparts in the United States for the improvement of its economy, and they were at this level and Erdogan would not have a problem with this.” Kara, who joined the Central Bank in 2002, said that the IMF program was designed by Turkish technocrats and contributed to rehabilitating banks, increasing foreign direct investment and enhancing confidence in Turkish institutions, which "were the best in the world", increased economic growth and decreased inflation from 80% to 8%.  Others said that Erdogan and his party, which clashed with the International Monetary Fund, had no choice but to implement measures, as Turkey had the desire to join the European Union. With increased economic growth and the benefit of the party's patronage network, the government had no incentive to stand up to this. At the end of 2010, Erdogan was listening to advisers who warned him that Turkey should seek to make growth more sustainable rather than listen to ministers calling for maximum growth. Things began to deteriorate in 2013, when protests against the destruction of Gezi Park turned into public demonstrations.  These heightened investor fears and fueled Erdogan's fears of a plot against him. The protests came two weeks after Moody's upgraded Turkey to an investment grade rating. This increased Erdogan's fears, as he became suspicious of any official linked to the West. But the focal point came after the failed 2016 coup attempt, which was followed by a series of arrests and the purge of institutions. "Power has become very centralized," says Kara.  Erdogan presented the current economic crisis as calculated steps to boost growth-based export, obtain credit, and reduce the current deficit. It is an attempt to attract voters before the 2023 elections. “No one opposes the idea of ​​Turkey's economy becoming self-sufficient,” adding that the contribution of exports to the economy is very low, and improving the level of the current account requires creativity, not through fiscal policy.(Ibrahim Darwish)

The Washington Post: Turkey's economic miracle was based on Erdogan's cooperation with experts, Today he is walking alone on the road


The Washington Post said that economic growth helped Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan stay in power, but the experts who helped boost growth left a while ago and Erdogan was left alone to deal with it. In the report prepared by Karim Fahim, it was stated that central bank governors and ministers who were asking questions about questionable economic strategies have gone and been replaced by a number of officials who ask few questions and simply say yes.

He added that the president is facing the worst economic crisis in Turkey in two decades, as he is dealing with it without having independent-minded experts at his side, all as a result of his efforts to centralize power in his hands in a way that leaves the financial institutions that he has always used on the sidelines or empty of experts. The seriousness of the crisis appeared this month when the government announced that inflation had reached 36.1% , the highest rate since 2002. This came as a result of the accelerated decline in the value of the Turkish currency, the lira, which lost 40% of its value last year due to Erdogan’s push to reduce the interest rate for his faith Unconventional that this will lead to lower prices.

The writer says that while economic suffering has spread in Turkey, it has led to a new accountability for the years in which Erdogan accumulated power in his hands, which included the appointment of university deans to court judges. But the broad power was not helpful when it came to the delicate task of managing Turkey's economy, which currently needs talents capable of reassuring global markets and investors, not the political skills and dictatorial tendencies that helped Erdogan outperform his domestic opponents. The president's control of the economy may turn into an accusation as he faces elections next year. In a survey prepared by the polling company "Metropol", 75% of voters said they had lost confidence in government policies last year.

He believes that observers of Turkey's economic development policies in the past year saw that they are in contrast to the policies adopted by Erdogan in his early years, when he and his technocratic party leaders consulted in matters of reform and dealing with the problems of the economy. “The institutions are there to tell the truth to politicians,” said Hakan Kara, a former economic official at Turkey's central bank. Kara is now a professor at Bilkent University in Ankara, where he went on to say that there were health "checks and oversights" that prevented the government from making the wrong decisions. This kind of "interaction is very weak", and experienced economists say they are in the dark about who the president is talking to and where the economy is going. Three central bank governors have been removed over the past two years, along with officials who opposed Erdogan's interest rate cut policies.

The isolations were part of the pressure on the central bank that increased over the past decade and was accompanied by the president's continuous calls for an interest rate cut, according to Silva Demirlap, an economist at Koç University in Istanbul and a former economist at the US Federal Reserve. "We have seen the erosion of independence" and "increased political pressure and inflation that deviates from the goals," she said. Since 2018, Turkey has seen four finance and treasury ministers, including the president's son-in-law. The latest of them is Noureddine Nibai, who was appointed in December and is considered a loyalist of the president and has made surprising statements, including his claim in a television interview that the US Federal Reserve is run by five families.

Erdogan acknowledged the suffering of the Turks as a result of the increase in inflation and described it as a problem, but he stressed that the country is in a better position than the rest of the countries around the world and that the economic policies are correct

Erdogan acknowledged the suffering of Turks as a result of the increase in inflation and described it as a problem, but he stressed that the country is in a better position than the rest of the countries around the world and that the economic policies are correct. But experts say the economy has been subjected to shocks outside of its control and imposed on it, including the Corona epidemic and the political row that led to a trade war with the United States.

Erdogan told members of the ruling Justice and Development Party last week, "It is clear that there is (bulge) in inflation, as well as in the exchange rate, which does not match the realities of our country and its economy." The emergency measures taken by the government led to the currency regaining some of its value against the dollar. However, recent statements from Erdogan and the new Finance Minister suggest a rate cut, and it is not known whether this will restore damaged confidence. For some, recent signals from the government raise more questions about the president's economic beliefs. “You have a theory that you have to lower the interest rate to counter inflation,” Demerlab asks. Then you say that you will stop lowering the interest rate at a time when inflation has reached 36%. Will stopping restore confidence?”

Cevdet Akcci, the former director of Turkey's Yapı Kredi Bank, says that when the AKP came to power in 2002 after a severe banking crisis, it "received a bankrupt economy," and then the government headed by Erdogan and Finance Minister Ali Babacan applied the standards of the International Monetary Fund, which dealt with the problems structuralism of the economy. “There are the best ministers, the best central bank governor, and the best treasury secretary I have ever had during my time with the AKP,” Akci said. “Believe me, if they replaced their counterparts in the United States for the improvement of its economy, and they were at this level and Erdogan would not have a problem with this.” Kara, who joined the Central Bank in 2002, said that the IMF program was designed by Turkish technocrats and contributed to rehabilitating banks, increasing foreign direct investment and enhancing confidence in Turkish institutions, which "were the best in the world", increased economic growth and decreased inflation from 80% to 8%.

Others said that Erdogan and his party, which clashed with the International Monetary Fund, had no choice but to implement measures, as Turkey had the desire to join the European Union. With increased economic growth and the benefit of the party's patronage network, the government had no incentive to stand up to this. At the end of 2010, Erdogan was listening to advisers who warned him that Turkey should seek to make growth more sustainable rather than listen to ministers calling for maximum growth. Things began to deteriorate in 2013, when protests against the destruction of Gezi Park turned into public demonstrations.

These heightened investor fears and fueled Erdogan's fears of a plot against him. The protests came two weeks after Moody's upgraded Turkey to an investment grade rating. This increased Erdogan's fears, as he became suspicious of any official linked to the West. But the focal point came after the failed 2016 coup attempt, which was followed by a series of arrests and the purge of institutions. "Power has become very centralized," says Kara.

Erdogan presented the current economic crisis as calculated steps to boost growth-based export, obtain credit, and reduce the current deficit. It is an attempt to attract voters before the 2023 elections. “No one opposes the idea of ​​Turkey's economy becoming self-sufficient,” adding that the contribution of exports to the economy is very low, and improving the level of the current account requires creativity, not through fiscal policy.(Ibrahim Darwish)

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