Blinken urges diplomacy as Armenia, Azerbaijan FMs meet | Politics News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosts international ministers for first assembly since lethal border clashes final week.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has urged “a sturdy peace” between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as the highest United States diplomat introduced the 2 nations’ international ministers collectively for his or her first in-person assembly since an outbreak of violence final week.

Blinken hosted Armenian International Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijani International Minister Jeyhun Bayramov at a New York Metropolis lodge on Monday on the sidelines of the annual United Nations Common Meeting.

It was the international ministers’ first face-to-face assembly since two days of shelling final week.

Blinken stated he was “inspired” there had been no violence for a number of days. “Sturdy, sustainable diplomatic engagement is the most effective path for everybody,” he stated forward of the assembly.

“There’s a path to a sturdy peace that resolves the variations by way of diplomacy. The US is ready to do no matter it will probably to assist these efforts. And I’m grateful to each of my colleagues for being right here immediately to pursue this dialog.”

The assembly was held only a day after US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Armenia and condemned Azeri assaults, drawing complaints from Baku.

“The unsubstantiated and unfair accusations levelled by Pelosi in opposition to Azerbaijan are unacceptable,” the nation’s international ministry stated in an announcement. “It is a critical blow to the efforts to normalise relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

The nationwide safety council in Armenia revised its demise toll from final week’s combating from 136 to 207, taking complete fatalities on each side to 286.

A ceasefire took impact on Wednesday after the outbreak of violence, which marked the worst flare-up since Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a six-week battle over the Nagorno-Karabakh area in 2020.

The 2 former Soviet nations have been locked in a decades-old battle over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnically Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan that has been below the management of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist battle there led to 1994.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have traded blame for the most recent spherical of shelling, with Armenian authorities accusing Baku of unprovoked aggression and Azeri officers saying their nation was responding to Armenian assaults.

Talking forward of Monday’s assembly in New York Metropolis, Azeri International Minister Bayramov stated his nation is “glad with the extent of relations” with the US.

Bayramov additionally stated his direct talks along with his Armenian counterpart, Mirzoyan, weren’t uncommon. “We’re at all times open for conferences,” he stated.

South Africa’s Ramaphosa and US’s Biden to meet amid Russian war | Joe Biden News

Biden and Ramaphosa, who spoke by telephone in April, are anticipated to focus their talks on commerce and funding, infrastructure, local weather and power, amongst different points.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and United States President Joe Biden will meet on September 16, the White Home has introduced.

Thursday’s announcement comes because the administration appears to be like to attract African nations nearer to the US at a time when South Africa and plenty of of its neighbours have staked out impartial floor on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Final month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned the Biden administration sees Africa’s 54 nations as “equal companions” in tackling world issues, throughout a go to to South Africa.

However the administration has been upset that South Africa and far of the continent have declined to observe the US in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

South Africa abstained in a United Nations vote to sentence Russia’s motion, and Ramaphosa has prevented any criticism of Russia and has as a substitute known as for a mediated peace.

Biden and Ramaphosa, who spoke by telephone in April, are anticipated to focus their talks on commerce and funding, infrastructure, local weather and power, public well being and South Africa’s main position on the continent, officers mentioned.

“The 2 Presidents will reaffirm the significance of our enduring partnership, and talk about our work collectively to deal with regional and world challenges,” White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned in a press release asserting this month’s assembly.

Biden additionally plans to host a US-Africa leaders’ summit in December.

Through the Blinken go to, overseas minister Naledi Pandor maintained South Africa’s neutrality within the Ukraine battle. In a press briefing following the assembly, Pandor accused the US and different Western powers of specializing in the Ukraine battle to the detriment of different worldwide points.

“We needs to be equally involved at what is going on to the folks of Palestine, as we’re with what is going on to the folks of Ukraine,” she mentioned.

Blinken, for his half, underscored that Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports has led to scarcities in grain, cooking oil and fertiliser — a difficulty that has had disproportionate results on Africans.

“The US is there for African international locations on this unprecedented disaster, as a result of that’s what companions do for one another,” Blinken mentioned. “America is not going to dictate Africa’s selections, and neither ought to anybody else. The appropriate to make these selections belongs to Africans, and Africans alone.”

South Africa’s impartial place is basically due to the help the Soviet Union gave throughout the Chilly Struggle period to Ramaphosa’s African Nationwide Congress in its battle to finish apartheid – South Africa’s regime of repression towards the Black majority that led to 1994. South Africa is seen as a pacesetter of a number of African international locations that won’t aspect towards Russia.

The Biden assembly will come at a crucial time for Ramaphosa, who’s dealing with criticism from opposition events and from inside his personal get together for a scandal over revelations that $4m was stolen from his cattle ranch.

He has been grilled this week by members of parliament about whether or not the overseas money had been correctly registered with South Africa’s monetary authorities and why he didn’t instantly report the theft. The scandal has broken Ramaphosa’s popularity as a pacesetter dedicated to battling his nation’s rampant corruption.

Ramaphosa faces important opposition in his efforts to be re-elected because the chief of his get together at a convention in December. If he fails to win the get together management he won’t be able to face for re-election as South Africa’s president in 2024.

South Africa’s economic system has been in recession since even earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic and a 3rd of the nation is unemployed, so Ramaphosa would welcome any announcement of financial help from the US.

Throughout Blinken’s go to to South Africa final month, he praised South Africa and Ramaphosa for attaining a multi-racial democracy after years of white minority rule. He additionally used the go to to formally launch a brand new US technique in the direction of sub-Saharan Africa.

Meet Mo Fit: The Somali trainer fighting obesity in Mogadishu | Features

Mogadishu, Somalia – Mohamed Abdi is a person on a mission taking over a job many in Somalia dare not try.

Mohamed, popularly often known as Mo Match, is a 27-year-old health marketing consultant and nutritionist in a rustic the place having a “full determine” is seen as the best physique picture.

4 years in the past when he started his enterprise as a web based health class, many within the Horn of African nation suggested him to seek out one other battle as a result of they noticed his chosen line of labor as unwinnable.

“What our individuals see as lovely, the remainder of the world has moved on from that. Our individuals when they’re chubby, they’re pleased with it,” the father-of-one informed Al Jazeera.

“If a girl doesn’t have huge legs or meat on her face, individuals say she just isn’t VIP. If males don’t have huge bellies, they’re seen as poor. That’s not the case [in] the remainder of the world,” he added.

Since transferring again from Rotterdam the place he studied within the Netherlands, Mohamed has encountered quite a few enterprise challenges however says he now sees gentle on the finish of the tunnel.

“Slowly, our individuals are waking as much as the fact, that having a giant stomach just isn’t wholesome and completely not unattractive,” Mo Match, a former bodybuilder, mentioned.

At first, it was a battle to get the town’s residents to purchase into his message. However after campaigning relentlessly on native radio, tv stations and social media, he has develop into a celeb and his message is discovering extra eager ears.

He now employs half a dozen workers to assist him get Mogadishu match. And on the day Al Jazeera went to his third-floor workplace in Mogadishu Mall within the metropolis’s Hamar Weyne district, visits have been strictly by appointment to accommodate the deluge of potential purchasers.

Fitness guru Mogadishu
Mo Match returned to Mogadishu from Rotterdam 4 years in the past [Hamza Mohamed/Al Jazeera]

Mohamed’s greatest battle, an ongoing battle, was to alter the consuming habits of his fellow countrymen.

“Each nation has a tradition and distinctive meals. The way in which our individuals devour meals just isn’t proper. Most of our meals is carbs. And plenty of of our individuals don’t dwell past 40 years,” he mentioned. “Each family it’s both pasta, rice or anjeero (Somali pancake) that they devour. These meals will not be essentially unhealthy however the way in which we prepare dinner, what we add to it and our parts are simply unsuitable.”

Mohamed additionally seen that for many individuals there was no set time for consuming meals.

“Our individuals eat what they need to eat after they need to eat. We don’t take note of what we’re placing in our our bodies,” he mentioned, his muscular physique slumping again into the seat.

And now he’s profitable the belief of an growing variety of the town’s residents. One is Ahmed Aden Ahmed who by no means imagined he would be capable of shed the kilos earlier than he met Mo Match virtually a 12 months in the past.

“I was fats. I used to be used to put on massive garments when going out. Now, I’m in a position to do lots of issues that I used to be not in a position to do earlier than,” the 25-year-old engineer informed Al Jazeera after ending an early morning exercise session beneath the watchful eye of Mo Match.

“Earlier than, I used to be 158kilograms (348 kilos) and now I’m 95kg (209 kilos). I’ve shed 63kg (139 kilos) in a interval of ten months. When individuals see me they ask ‘Ahmed have you ever been sick? I inform them that I’ve signed up for gymnasium and remodeled myself. However many nonetheless don’t consider you possibly can shed pounds by going to the gymnasium,” he mentioned, smiling whereas wiping sweat from his forehead.

Seeing that the majority of his purchasers have been struggling to eat healthily and never consuming the best parts, Mohammed noticed a enterprise alternative and began a meal plan and complement line.

Purchasers order the meals by way of a web based app and it’s then delivered by motorcycle wherever within the metropolis.

Farah Omar Suleiman, an workplace employee, says he leads an energetic life-style however has all the time struggled to eat healthily.

“I selected Mo Match meals as a result of the meals is balanced. The meals tastes good and is clear,” Farah, 25, informed Al Jazeera. “Earlier than, my weight was going up. However now I’m sustaining my weight on the goal that I needed.”

What began as a interest is now such a giant deal that Mohammed is now within the strategy of opening up gyms within the metropolis subsequent.

Within the interim, he says his one-man combat towards weight problems in Somalia will proceed.

“You will notice lots of people going to hospitals, they’re all feeling unwell. However they don’t must go to hospital. They should management their weight loss plan, train and have good sleep. That’s all they want,” he mentioned.

Observe Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: @Hamza_Africa