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Iran unblocked funds

Iran’s foreign minister says a new chapter has been opened in Tehran-Seoul relations after the release and transfer of Iranian funds frozen in South Korea due to US sanctions. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian added that Iran welcomes any initiatives leading to the promotion of bilateral ties. He was speaking in a phone call with his South Korean counterpart, Park Jin. Amir-Abdollahian said Iran and South Korea play a key role in Asia, noting that Tehran holds the two countries’ long-standing and friendly ties in high regard. The South Korean foreign minister, for his part, said the transfer of Iranian funds was indicative of Seoul's practical commitment to the Iranian government and people. The process for releasing billions of dollars of Iranian assets blocked in South Korea began last month.

Slamming Israeli crimes

Hamas has slammed as a serious escalation the latest Israeli violations in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil, including abuses against Palestinian women. The Palestinian resistance movement also warned that such aggression will not go unanswered. Hamas said such crimes show that Israel is a rogue regime that does not respect any international law. It also criticized international silence and inaction in the face of such acts of aggression. Hamas, however, stressed that Israel will fail to stop Palestinian resistance and struggle for freedom. The Islamic Jihad, the other Palestinian resistance movement based in Gaza, also called for an intensification of armed retaliatory operations against Israeli targets. Israeli media reported on Monday that during a raid into a home in al-Khalil in July, Israeli troops had forced five Palestinian women to strip and walk naked before them.

Niger anti-France sentiments

Niger's military-appointed prime minister says contacts are underway for a "very swift" withdrawal of French forces from the West African country. Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine stressed that the French presence in Niger is illegal after the new government in Niamey renounced military accords with Paris. Zeine also touched upon the order for the French ambassador to leave Niger. He said the envoy displayed an attitude of contempt by refusing to meet with the military leaders. France has refused to acknowledge Niger's military leaders as the legitimate government after a coup in late July. There are around 1,500 French troops in Niger, many of them deployed at an air base near the capital Niamey. Tens of thousands of protestors have been rallying outside the base to demand their withdrawal from the country. Niger is one of the six former French colonies in Africa to have faced a military coup in the last three years.

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