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April 16, 2024

A roundup of local and international news.

NEWSFLASH
NEWSFLASH

, 16.04.2024, 13:47

Elections. Candidates running for the 9th June local elections can start registering from today. Political parties, alliances, ethnic minority citizens’ organisations and independent candidates will all be able to submit their applications to run for local public administration with the electoral bureaus by 30th April at midnight. Electoral alliances for the local elections can also start registering today. The European Parliamentary elections will also be held on 9th June.

 

Visit. Prime minister Marcel Ciolacu and members of his cabinet are today travelling to Doha, the capital of Qatar. They are due to meet a number of high-ranking Qatari officials to discuss the consolidation of bilateral cooperation in key areas such as agriculture, transport infrastructure, new technologies and energy. An important role will be played by the dialogue between the business communities from the two states and the talks on the organisation of a future business forum. Prime minister Ciolacu is accompanied on his trip by the ministers of foreign affairs, transport, economy, energy, agriculture and digitalisation. After Qatar, the government delegation will travel to the United Arab Emirates.

 

Israel-Iran. Israel has decided to retaliate to Iran’s unprecedented attack two days ago, despite growing international pressure to avoid escalating the conflict in the Middle East. The US, France and Great Britain, who helped Israel intercept the Iranian drones and missiles, now call for restraint and Washington made it clear it will not participate in an Israeli counteroffensive. Israeli army chief of staff Herzi Halevi said yesterday during a visit to the airbase in Nevatim, in the south of the country, which saw minor damage from the Iranian strikes, that Iran wanted to harm Israel’s strategic capabilities, which had not happened before and that this should be taken into account when considering a response and not that Tehran failed to achieve its goal. Earlier, the Washington Post said the Israeli prime minister asked the army to provide him with a list of possible Iranian targets in response to the attack, with the proposals made so far including a site in Tehran or a cyber attack. Israeli sources said the American secretary of state Antony Blinken will travel to Jerusalem in the coming days. Visits by the British and German foreign ministers have also been announced.

 

The US House of Representatives is this week expected to vote on separate aid bills for Ukraine and Israel, after months of political disputes between the Biden administration and his Republican opposition, according to the speaker of the House. A financial package of 60 billion dollars for Kyiv proposed by Biden has been blocked for months in Congress, as well as a package for Israel. By far the main provider of military support for both Ukraine and Israel, the United States last sent any significant aid to Kyiv in December 2022, due to opposition from the Republicans. The latter refuse to examine the bill because of another disagreement, relating to migration. A few months before the presidential elections of 5th November, the matter has become a political bone of contention between Joe Biden and his Republican rival Donald Trump.

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