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News Section

LONDON, 20 January 2023, (TON): The Memorandum of Understanding is being updated to formally recognise Fluid Gravity Engineering Ltd and Airbus Defence and Space Ltd as industry partners to the UK Missile Defence Centre.

The MDC was established in 2003 as a government-industry partnership to deliver science and technology research across all areas of Ballistic Missile Defence.  More recently, their remit has expanded to include advanced missile threats, including hypersonics.

The unique relationship enshrined in the MOU enables the MDC to respond rapidly to technology and geopolitical developments, with clear benefits for MOD and UK industry.

The partnership supports closer working relations and open communication between and within MOD and industry to enhance planning, increase understanding of threats and defensive architectures, and develop defensive technologies for the UK and our allies.

DAVOS, 20 January 2023, (TON): Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has written a letter inviting Chinese President Xi Jinping for talks, which was handed over in Davos to the Chinese delegation, his wife Olena Zelenska said.

Zelensky has repeatedly sought to make contact with Xi since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year in the hope that Beijing will use its influence over Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

During a speech on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos, Zelenska said she had a letter for Xi but she gave new details during a press conference.

She told reporters “it was a gesture and invitation to dialogue and I hope very much that there will be a response to this invitation.”

DAVOS, 19 January 2023, (TON): The UN Secretary General has said the planet is in a “sorry state” with problems “piling up like cars in a chain-reaction crash” as he cast a gloomy picture at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Antonio Guterres said the parlous state was a result of interlinked problems such as the Russia-Ukraine war and a global economic slowdown that had no easy solutions.

He singled out climate change as an “existential challenge,” and said a global commitment to limit the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius was “nearly going up in smoke.”

WASHINGTON, 19 January 2023, (TON): Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte said “his country plans to “join” the US and Germany’s efforts to train and arm Ukraine with advanced Patriot defense systems.”

Rutte signaled the Netherlands’ intentions at the start of a White House meeting with President Joe Biden.

It remains unclear if the Dutch will ultimately send Patriot systems, take part in training or offer some other assistance related to deployment of Patriots.

The Dutch defense ministry said that Ukraine has asked the Netherlands to provide “Patriot capacity.”

RIYADH, 19 January 2023, (TON): Saudi Press Agency reported “the 13th meeting of the Saudi-Swiss Joint Economic Committee and the Saudi-Swiss Executive Investment Forum was held in Zurich.”

The meeting was attended by Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih, Swiss Confederation President Guy Parmelin, and a number of representatives from both countries’ public and private sectors.

The meeting examined the two countries’ investment, economic, and trade relations, as well as the business environments in the Kingdom and Switzerland.

It also hosted discussions on topics such as innovation, technology, tourism, energy and health.

DAVOS, 19 January 2023, (TON): NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said “Ukraine needs a significant increase” in weapons at a pivotal moment in Russia’s invasion and such support is the only way to a negotiated peaceful solution.”

Defense leaders from around 50 countries and NATO will hold talks at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base, the latest in a series of meetings since Russian forces swept into Ukraine nearly 11 months ago.

Stoltenberg told “this is a pivotal moment in the war and the need for a significant increase in support for Ukraine,”

“If we want a negotiated peaceful solution tomorrow we need to provide more weapons.”

KYIV, 19 January 2023, (TON): Eighteen people including Ukraine’s interior minister, other senior ministry officials and three children were killed when a helicopter crashed near a nursery outside Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said.

The regional governor said 29 people were also hurt, including 15 children, when the helicopter came down in a residential area in Brovary, on the capital’s northeastern outskirts.

Several dead bodies draped in foil blankets lay in a courtyard near the damaged nursery. Emergency workers were at the scene. Debris was scattered over a playground.

OTTAWA, 19 January 2023, (TON): Canada’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that Ottawa has summoned Russia’s ambassador to Canada over Russian attacks against civilians in Ukraine, including an attack in Dnipro that killed at least 45 people.

Officials summoned the ambassador to “make clear we do not accept the sheer brutality of Russia’s recent attacks against civilians in Dnipro and to condemn face to face the anti-Semitic comments made by Russia’s Minister, Sergei Lavrov,” Foreign Minister Melanie Joly told reporters in Toronto.

RAMALLAH, 19 January 2023, (TON): The Palestinian health ministry said “two Palestinians were killed by gunfire during an Israeli army raid in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin.”

The ministry announced the “martyrdom of Jawad Farid Bawaqna, 57, killed by a bullet in the chest, and Adham Mohammed Bassem Jabareen 28, after he was shot in the upper abdomen by the Israeli occupation army during its aggression on Jenin.”

The Israeli army had no immediate comment.

Palestinian social media indicated that Jabareen was a militant.

The Jenin incident raises the toll of Palestinians killed this month in the West Bank to 17, including civilians and militants, according to an AFP tally.

BEIJING, 18 January 2023, (TON): China welcomes a visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the country, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said at a regular news briefing.

“China welcomes Secretary of State Blinken’s visit to China. Both China and the United States are in communication now over the specific arrangements,” Wang Wenbin said, responding to a question on a US media report that Blinken is visiting China on Feb. 5.

Wang said “China also hopes the United States will adopt a correct view of China, uphold dialogue rather than confrontation, win-win rather than zero-sum.”

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