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One day after meeting Putin, French President Macron meets with ISIS-Al Qaeda leaders in Paris

Alex Christoforou

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If you ever needed any more proof that the new wonder-boy French President is nothing more than a neo-liberal, globalist puppet, then look no further than Macron’s recent meeting in Paris with Syria’s opposition, known as the Riyadh-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC)…which includes political and armed groups trying to overthrow the Assad government.

Macron says he seeks to review French policy on Syria’s war with Saudi-Qatari-Turkey funded jihadists, but welcoming a terrorist organisation to Paris, one day after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, and days after ISIS bombed Manchester Arena, is no way to revaluate a failed western regime change operation of a sovereign nation…or maybe it is exactly the way Macron’s globalist rulers want him to behave when dealing with Syria.

Reuters reports

The unannounced meeting with Riad Hijab and a broader delegation from the Riyadh-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC), which includes political and armed groups, came as Macron seeks to review French policy on the six-year civil war.

“The president spoke of his personal commitment to the Syria dossier and of his support for the Syrian opposition in view of a political transition,” his office said in a statement.

Opposition officials were not immediately available for comment on the meeting.

Macron’s electoral victory has offered an opportunity for Paris to examine its policy on Syria with some considering the previous administration’s stance as too intransigent and leaving it isolated on the subject.

Macron, a newcomer to international diplomacy, said on Monday that his priority in Syria was to eradicate Islamist militants.

Alongside Putin in 17th century palace of Versailles outside Paris, Macron on Monday said he had agreed to set up a working group with Russia, including to exchange information. It was not immediately clear what that would entail.

Macron’s government says it backs U.N.-mediated peace talks in Geneva. However, Macron also called for a “political and diplomatic framework to build peace” without specifying whether it was a new initiative or part of the U.N. process.

More on the Riyadh-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC)…

The HNC was founded in December 2015 at a conference held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which was attended by around 100 delegates. At the end of the conference, a joint statement was issued to confirm the formation of “a High Negotiations Committee for the Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces (HNC), with its headquarters in Riyadh, to undertake the tasks of choosing a negotiating delegation and to act reference point for negotiators with the representatives of the Syrian regime on behalf of the participants”.

The group’s chief negotiator, Mohammed Alloush, a member of Jaish al-Islam, resigned from the HNC in May 2016 because of the lack of progress in the Syrian peace process.

In September 2016, the HNC set out a detailed transition plan for Syria, committing the country to democratic and religious pluralism. The 25-page document was launched in London and was welcomed by the United Kingdom’s government.

In January 2017, the HNC announced that it will support the Syrian peace talks in Astana, which began on 23 January.

In February 2017, the HNC chief coordinator Riyad Farid Hijab rejected a statement by Staffan de Mistura that the latter will select delegates for the Syrian opposition in Geneva. He also objected to the participation Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the Geneva conference.

The HNC has faced criticism from Russia because it includes groups like Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam. Its transition plan in September 2016 was also criticized by the opposition Kurdish National Council and the Assyrian Democratic Organization due to it not addressing minority ethnic groups in Syria.

The Kurdish National Council withdrew from the HNC on 29 March 2017 in protest to the latter’s opposition to federalism and human rights for Kurds in Syria.

More on Riad Hijab

Riyad Farid Hijab was Prime Minister of Syria from June to August 2012, serving under President Bashar al-Assad. From 2011 to 2012, he was Minister of Agriculture.

On 6 August 2012, the Syrian government released a statement saying that Hijab had been dismissed.

Shortly thereafter a man describing himself as Hijab’s spokesman and several news organizations stated he had resigned and defected to the rebel side in the Syrian civil war.

Hijab is the highest-ranking defector from the Syrian government.

 

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

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Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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OPEC Plus: Putin’s move to control energy market with Saudi partnership (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 150.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss OPEC Plus and the growing partnership between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which aims to reshape the energy market, and cement Russia’s leadership role in global oil and gas supply.

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Russia and Saudi Arabia’s ‘long-term relationship’ WILL survive

The Express UK reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia’s ‘long-term relationship’ will not only survive, but grow, regardless of geopolitical turmoil and internal Saudi scandal…as the energy interests between both nations bind them together.

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Vladimir Putin’s Russia have a “long-term relationship” which is strategically beneficial to both of them, and which underlines their position as the world’s most influential oil producers, alongside the United States, an industry expert has said.

Following concerns about too much oil flooding the market, Saudi Arabia on Sunday performed an abrupt u-turn by deciding to reduce production by half a million barrels a day from December.

This put the Middle Eastern country at odds with Russia, which said it was no clear whether the market would be oversupplied next year, with market analysts predicting the country’s oil producing companies likely to BOOST proaction by 300,000 barrels per day.

But IHS Markit vice chairman Daniel Yergin said the decision was unlikely to jeopardise the relationship between the two allies.

The Saudis have faced significant international criticism in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Speaking to CNBC, Mr Yergin made it clear that Moscow and Riyadh would continue to be closely aligned irrespective of external factors.

He explained: “I think it’s intended to be a long-term relationship and it started off about oil prices but you see it taking on other dimensions, for instance, Saudi investment in Russian LNG (liquefied natural gas) and Russian investment in Saudi Arabia.

“I think this is a strategic relationship because it’s useful to both countries.”

Saudi Arabia and Russia are close, especially as a result of their pact in late 2016, along with other OPEC and non-OPEC producers, to curb output by 1.8 million barrels per day in order to prevent prices dropping too far – but oil markets have changed since then, largely as a result.

The US criticised OPEC, which Saudi Arabia is the nominal leader of, after prices rose.

Markets have fluctuated in recent weeks as a result of fears over a possible drop in supply, as a result of US sanctions on Iran, and an oversupply, as a result of increased production by Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US, which have seen prices fall by about 20 percent since early October.

Saudi Arabia has pumped 10.7 million barrels per day in October, while the figure for Russiaand the US was 11.4 million barrels in each case.

Mr Yergin said: “It’s the big three, it’s Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US, this is a different configuration in the oil market than the traditional OPEC-non-OPEC one and so the world is having to adjust.”

BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley told CNBC: “The OPEC-plus agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia and coalition is a lot stronger than people speculate.

“I think Russia doesn’t have the ability to turn on and off big fields which can happen in the Middle East.

“But I fully expect there to be coordination to try to keep the oil price within a certain fairway.”

Markets rallied by two percent on Monday off the back of the , which it justified by citing uncertain global oil growth and associated oil demand next year.

It also suggested  granted on US sanctions imposed on Iran which have been granted to several countries including China and Japan was a reason not to fear a decline in supply.

Also talking to CNBC, Russia’s Oil Minister Alexander Novak indicated a difference of opinion between Russia and the Saudis, saying it was too soon to cut production, highlighting a lot of volatility in the oil market.

He added: “If such a decision is necessary for the market and all the countries are in agreement, I think that Russia will undoubtedly play a part in this.

“But it’s early to talk about this now, we need to look at this question very carefully.”

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Nigel Farage lashes out at Angela Merkel, as Chancellor attends EU Parliament debate (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 17.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Nigel Farage’s blistering speech, aimed squarely at Angela Merkel, calling out the German Chancellor’s disastrous migrant policy, wish to build an EU army, and Brussels’ Cold War rhetoric with Russia to the East and now the United States to the West.

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