World Bulletin/News Desk
Russia and Tajikistan are “very close” to signing an agreement extending Russia’s lease of a military base in the Central Asian state, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.
Talks on the extension of the lease, which expires in 2014, came into a deadlock earlier this year as the sides could not agree on the length of the new lease and the payment terms.
“I can say that the main issues have either been resolved or are close to being resolved,” Shuvalov told reporters on Friday after a meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.
“There will be no unresolved issues left after the expert reports to the presidents have been submitted…The final decision will be made by the presidents because without their political will these issues can never be settled,” Shuvalov said.
A total of 7,000 Russian troops are stationed at three military facilities collectively known as the 201st military base - in Dushanbe, the southwestern city of Qurgonteppa some 100 km from Dushanbe, and Kulob, about 200 km to the southwest of the capital.
The base was opened in 2004 and hosts Russia’s largest military contingent deployed abroad.
Moscow planned to extend the lease of the base for 49 years, but Dushanbe proposed to cut the extension to 10 years. Tajik authorities also demanded that Russia pay at least $250 million a year for the lease.
Under the current agreements Russia does not pay Tajikistan for its military base, but renders the country military and technical assistance.
Shuvalov did not specify the terms of the new agreement.
Nine people were found dead and 179 had been rescued, according to the South Korean government, leaving 287 unaccounted for and possibly still trapped in the vessel.
Arnoldo Villa Sanchez of the Beltran Leyva cartel was arrested by federal police on Tuesday while traveling in an undisclosed location in the city where he had been holding business meetings
Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007, depriving the territory's roughly 1.8 million residents of basic needs.
Turkey's EU minister has met with the Turkish Cypriot foreign minister to discuss the decades-long division of Cyprus.
Abu al-Khair is founder and director of an organisation named the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia.
Lawyers for the ministry said allegations that the men's bodies had been mutilated were "demonstrably unfounded" and "dishonestly made".
Russia's military moved equipment and weaponry around the border area but there was no clear evidence they were preparing either to pull back or advance.
U.S. defense officials said the overseas flights would be used for additional training and would help the F-35 program office learn how the plane's logistics, maintenance, aerial refueling, and security systems work overseas.
Critics of the negotiations leaked an audio recording purporting to show Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi criticising Rouhani's view of the nuclear programme
Activists posted a video on YouTube of four men being treated with oxygen. A voice off-screen gave the date and said Assad's forces used "poison gas in Harasta."
The U.N. appeal included a gallery of photographs of wounded and malnourished refugees arriving in Cameroon, but the official chairing the meeting said they were too "heart-wrenching" to inflict on the diplomats
The number of Roman Catholics in Latin America, a historical stronghold, dropped to 67 percent in 2013, from 80 percent in 1995, a survey by Chile-based pollster Latinobarometro showed
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling on Air Force One that Kiev had responded with "admirable restraint" to destabilizing actions in the country by armed pro-Moscow separatists.
Garcia Marquez, who was hospitalized for nine days in Mexico City for dehydration and a lung and urinary infection, has been receiving treatment at his home
Small groups of demonstrators from Barakat - the name means "Enough" - tried to hold a sit-in in downtown Algiers before uniformed police surrounded them and dragged them off.
NATO said the military alliance had decided on immediate steps to reinforce its forces in eastern Europe because of the Ukraine crisis.