Here is today’s one Foreign police brief: IraqAfrica’s prime minister survives an apparent drone assassination attempt, the american border opens to vaccinated travelers, and the world this week.
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Iraqi prime minister survives drone attack
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi tried to defuse tensions, calling for “constructive dialogue for Iraq and its future” following an apparent assassination attempt in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The attack was strongly condemned by regional leaders and the wider international community. US President Joe Biden called Kadhimi’s attempt a “terrorist attack” and offered “all appropriate assistance” to Iraqi security forces to help them investigate.
The failed plot involved the use of three drones loaded with explosives, Iraqi authorities said, adding that two were shot down before they could reach their target. Appearing on video shortly after the attack, Kadhimi appeared only slightly injured, wearing a bandage on his wrist.
Although the Iraqi government has formed a committee to investigate the attack, no suspect has been named.
The weapons of choice and the context in which they were launched indicate the involvement of local Iranian-backed militias. The militia’s political wings suffered heavy losses in the October parliamentary elections, and hundreds of supporters have demonstrated outside Baghdad’s walled green zone in recent days, saying the fraud has tipped the results.
The protests turned deadly on Friday when hundreds attempted to break through the fortifications in the Green Zone. At least one protester was killed and 120 others were injured.
Abu Ali al-Askari, the name used by militia leader Kataib Hezbollah, denied his group’s involvement, suggesting the operation was a false flag to build sympathy for Kadhimi. âIf there is anyone who wants to harm this Facebook creature, there are plenty of cheaper and more guaranteed ways to do it,â Askari said.
Iran, like everyone else, condemned the attack, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh vaguely pointing to Washington: “Such incidents are in the interests of the parties that have violated stability. , Iraq’s security, independence and territorial integrity over the past 18 years, and through the creation of terrorist and seditionist groups, seek to achieve their sinister objectives in the region.
Republicans in the U.S. Congress called for a forceful response from Biden, linking the attack to the U.S. approach to international nuclear negotiations with Iran, which are scheduled to resume on November 29. Senator Bill Hagerty, Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted a response to “Iran‘aggression âshould involve endingâ the farce of nuclear talks and returning without delay to a maximum pressure approach â.
While the attack is a low point, some analysts have suggested Sunday’s attack was likely seen as intimidation rather than assassination.
Patrick Osgood, senior analyst at the consultancy firm Control Risks, noted on Twitter, there was “a significant prospect that the attack, while being almost universally recognized as having gone too far, marks the culmination of the abyss from which the post-election compromise will begin.”
Lahib Higel, Senior Iraq Analyst at the International Crisis Group, noted the attack indicates attempts by pro-Iranian groups to influence a new government, which may have “reached the ceiling of escalation.”
Monday, November 8: The Chinese Communist Party‘The central committee holds its annual plenary session until Thursday, November 11.
Tuesday, November 9: US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman ends her trip to Uruguay and heads to Peru for a two-day visit.
Wednesday November 10: The Organization of American States (OAS) holds its General Assembly.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken receives Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
French President Emmanuel Macron receives US Vice President Kamala Harris in Paris.
Thursday November 11: Simple‘ The day takes place in China, which is considered the world’s largest online shopping day.
Veterans Day is in the United States and Armistice Day is in the United Kingdom.
Friday November 12: UK Brexit Minister David Frost meets with European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic to discuss the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Macron is hosting an international summit on Libya, co-chaired by Germany, Italy and the United Nations, ahead of the December elections in the country.
Sunday November 14: Bulgaria holds its presidential election.
Argentina is holding midterm elections in its upper and lower houses.
What we are tracking today
American-Egyptian ties. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomes his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, for two days of talks under the aegis of the US-Egyptian strategic dialogue. The two last met in September, a week after the Biden administration withheld nearly half of Egypt’s $ 300 million in military aid on human rights grounds. .
Prague is moving forward. The Czech parliament is meeting today in hopes of ending the period of uncertainty following the October elections, when Czech President Milos Zeman fell ill the day after the vote. Zeman appeared on Friday, telling Czech media that he would appoint Petr Fiala, leader of the Ensemble coalition, as prime minister. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, whose ANO party was beaten in a shock, is expected to resign and join the opposition.
The election of Ortega. The ballots are still counted for Nicaragua’s presidential election, but the outcome is almost certain as one of Latin America‘s longest-serving leaders, Daniel Ortega, is set to comfortably win a fourth consecutive term after a campaign spell. which saw several opposition candidates jailed. U.S. officials have said they are preparing, along with the European Union and Canada, to impose new sanctions following the vote.
The ban on travel to the United States is lifted. The US border opens to vaccinated international travelers from more than 30 countries today, ending a blackout dating back to March 2020. Travelers unvaccinated for âessentialâ business will still be allowed into the United States. States until January 2022, when all inbound travelers must be vaccinated.
COP26 continues. The United Nations climate conference, known as COP26, continues this week with today’s focus on adaptation and economic loss and damage, with ministerial-level discussions expected to take place on the controversial issue of climate finance. The conference continues with sessions on gender, transport and the role of cities later in the week.
Civil war in Ethiopia. Tens of thousands of people joined a rally in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this weekend in support of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) forces march south in direction of the capital. Participants could be seen with placards denouncing the United States, which called for negotiations with the TPLF, as the government on Saturday denounced “the media propaganda orchestrated against Ethiopia.”
Non-essential U.S. Embassy staff, previously allowed to leave voluntarily, have now been ordered to leave the country.
An early-season snow flurry arrived in Beijing on Sunday, perhaps too early for Winter Olympics organizers as they face increasing pressure to account for the city’s dry winter climate ahead of the Games, which open in February. Relying on neighboring reservoirs, Beijing is expected to use up to 49 million gallons of water to produce artificial snow to facilitate competition.
Beijing follows in the snowprints of the Pyeongchang 2018 Games, where an estimated 90 to 98 percent of the snow was artificial.