EU urges U.S. to retain flyover treaty
BRUSSELS — The European Union on Friday urged the United States to reconsider its plan to withdraw from a military treaty allowing observation flights over more than 30 countries, as NATO insisted that Russia has long flouted its commitments under the agreement.
President Donald Trump said Thursday that Russian violations make it untenable for the United States to stay in the Open Skies Treaty. Washington has signaled that it will pull out in six months, although Trump hinted that he might reconsider the decision.
The treaty came into force in 2002. It was meant to promote trust between the U.S. and Russia by allowing its 34 signatories to conduct reconnaissance flights over each other’s territories to collect information about military forces and activities.
Khashoggi’s sons forgive his killers
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The family of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi announced on Friday they have forgiven his Saudi killers, giving legal reprieve to five government agents who had been sentenced to death for an operation that cast a cloud of suspicion over the kingdom’s crown prince.
“We, the sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we forgive those who killed our father as we seek reward from God Almighty,” wrote one of his sons, Salah Khashoggi, on Twitter.
Salah Khashoggi, who lives in Saudi Arabia and has received financial compensation from the royal court for his father’s killing, explained that forgiveness was extended to the killers during the last nights of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in line with Islamic tradition to offer pardons in cases allowed by Islamic law.
Iran: Israel a ‘cancerous tumor’
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader on Friday called Israel a “cancerous tumor” that “will undoubtedly be uprooted and destroyed” in an annual speech in support of the Palestinians, renewing threats against Iran’s archenemy in the Middle East.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s speech marked a subdued Quds Day for Iran, which typically sees government-encouraged mass demonstrations in Tehran and elsewhere in the Islamic Republic, as well as Iranian-allied nations. “Al-Quds” is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Iran largely asked demonstrators to stay home.
Khamenei spoke to the nation in a 30-minute speech aired on state television, a rare address by the supreme leader as other officials in the past gave the keynote speech. He repeatedly referred to Israel as a “cancer” or “tumor” during the speech, criticizing the U.S. and the West for equipping it with “various kinds of military and non-military tools of power, even with atomic weapons.”
“The Zionist regime is a deadly, cancerous growth and a detriment to this region,” Khamenei said. “It will undoubtedly be uprooted and destroyed.”