US and Iran to meet on Iraq violence
US officials are expected to call on Iran to stop arming and funding Shi'ite militias when Iranian and American diplomats hold rare talks in Baghdad on Monday to discuss how to curb sectarian violence in Iraq.
Iran denies the charge, despite the US military putting on display what it says are Iranian-made rockets, mortars and sophisticated roadside bombs seized in Iraq.
US officials do not expect any great breakthrough from the talks, which come as US warships hold war games in the Gulf and Tehran said it had uncovered spy networks on its territory run by the United States and its allies.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, who represents US interests in Tehran, to voice its displeasure at the spy networks.
US President George W Bush called last week for stronger sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, which Washington says is being used to develop a nuclear bomb.
But Iran's atom program will not be up for discussion on Monday. Only one item will be on the agenda -- Iraq, where sectarian violence between minority Sunnis and majority Shi'ites threatens all-out civil war that could spill into the region.
The talks between US ambassador Ryan Crocker and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Kazemi-Qomi mark a reversal by Washington, which broke ties with Tehran in 1980 and has largely sought to isolate the Islamic Republic in recent years.
Crocker has said he does not expect "any stunning, startling breakthroughs" from the meeting. US officials say he will press Iran to take steps to reduce violence in Iraq.
She had been vacationing with President Joe Biden in South Carolina when she began experiencing symptoms on Monday. She has been prescribed the antiviral drug Paxlovid and will isolate at the vacation home for at least five days.
Britain's Royal Air Force has been running near-daily flights with a C-17 Globemaster heavy lift aircraft from Romania to an airbase in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi since early this month, data from flight tracking websites have shown. It was not immediately clear what sort of equipment was being airlifted by the massive RAF aircraft. The flights involved a Boeing C-17A Globemaster III of the RAF with the call sign 'ZZ173'.
New Zealand police have begun a homicide investigation after human remains were allegedly found stashed in suitcases that were bought at an auction in the country's largest city Auckland. Read New Zealand welcomes back first cruise ship since Covid-19 pandemic began Residents at a home in South Auckland called police last Thursday after making the grisly discovery, police official Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua confirmed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Tuesday of whipping up tensions in Asia, describing a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a "thoroughly planned provocation". In a speech to a Moscow security conference, Putin also cited the AUKUS security pact between Australia, Britain and the United States as evidence of Western attempts to build a NATO-style bloc in the Asia-Pacific region.
China on Tuesday said the docking of a Chinese missile and spacecraft tracking ship in the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota for replenishment will not affect the security interests of any country and should not be “obstructed” by a third party, in an apparent reference to India. The docking of the ship comes a day after India handed over a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin then reiterated the point.