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NEWS IN BRIEF – REST OF THE WORLD

07 Jun 14. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Thursday told a group of foreign military attaches that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would have to disarm Hamas to signal that it is genuinely pursuing a viable and united Palestinian state, the latest in what has become daily criticism from diplomats, analysts, and journalists blasting a recent Palestinian unity pact for embracing a “Hezbollah model” that left intact Hamas’s estimated 10,000 fighters and vast missile and rocket arsenal. Ya’alon added that a decision by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas not to disarm the Iran-backed terror group would signal that the recent reconciliation agreement – inked between Hamas and Abbas’s own rival Fatah faction – was a farce. On Wednesday the Wall Street Journal noted that leaving Hamas’s military force in place put the Palestinian Authority in violation of core peace process treaties going back to 1995. A day before, top Israeli military analyst Ehud Yaari linked Hamas’s insistence on the Hezbollah model to coordination meetings conducted between the group’s leaders and top officials from Iran and Hezbollah, and Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Lee Smith has assessed that the Hezbollah model would likely trigger a re-evaluation of Washington’s stance toward the Palestinians. Hamas has openly bragged that it is indeed following Hezbollah’s approach to seizing and maintaining power in Lebanon, a boast that got the attention of both U.S. analysts and the Arabic-language Al Arabiya [Arabic]. (Source: theisraelproject.org)

06 Jun 14. Xinhua reported that China’s 16th escort task force of the Chinese navy arrived in Luanda port on 5 June three-day. This is the first such visit to this country. The missile frigates ‘Yancheng’ and ‘Luoyang’ and supply ship ‘Taihu’ docked in Luanda harbour and was welcomed by the Chinese Ambassador to Luanda, Gao Kexiang, the Chinese Military Attaché to Angola Xu Xiaosong, Angolan Navy officials and hundreds of Chinese expatriates working in Angola. The commander of the task force, Li Pengcheng, told reporters that the armed forces of the two countries also maintained friendly exchanges, including professional and personnel training and peacekeeping. The fleet’s visit to Angola was aimed at promoting understanding, mutual trust and cooperation between the armed forces, particularly the navies of the two countries. During the visit, crew members of the Chinese fleet will exchange naval expertise with their Angolan counterparts, and missile frigates ‘Yancheng’ and ‘Luoyang’ were expected to remain open to the public. The Chinese sailors planned to stage a friendly basketball match with the Angolan navy, visit an orphanage in Luanda and Chinese companies operating in Angola. Angola is the sixth leg of the fleet’s visit to Africa which would also take it to Namibia and South Africa. The taskforce of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLAN) conducted anti-piracy training on its way to the Gulf of Aden from China in preparation for its anti-piracy mission that it executed there, the sixteenth time for the Chinese Navy to implement escort missions in the Gulf of Aden. (Source: African Armed Forces)

07 Jun 14. This week’s round of balloting in Syria – in which Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad reportedly won 88.7% of the vote in the war-torn country – marked a defeat for the West and for Western conspiracies, per Friday remarks issued by Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah. The terror group chief specifically blasted Secretary of State John Kerry for describing the election as a “great big zero,” retorting “this is your zero.” The developments came as Syrian fighters loyal to Assad continued what has become a systematic campaign – backed by Hezbollah and Iranian forces – to recover and hold territory inside the country. Some diplomats have recently gone so far as to suggest that Assad has functionally won his country’s civil war. Al Arabiya on Friday published an assessment sugge

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