Tehran (AFP) Feb 27, 2011
A trip to the Middle East by the top US military officer Mike Mullen shows the "deep worry" of Washington when it comes to the fate of its forces in the region, the top Iranian general said Sunday.
"The hasty trip of Mike Mullen shows the deep worry regarding the fate of American forces stationed in the region," armed forces chief of staff General Hassan Firouzabadi said in a statement.
Calling for the withdrawal of US forces from the region, Firouzabadi said that "any kind of military operation will fail to have an effect on the Muslim peoples' revolution which is being done to get rid of American oppression."
He said the revolts rocking longstanding Western-backed regimes around the Arab world would result in the troops' "quick exit".
Mullen was in the Middle East last week on a tour during which he accused Iran of fomenting instability in the region, but said Tehran was not behind the popular protests in several regional countries.
"Iran, I still believe, is a country that continues to foment instability in the region, take advantage of every opportunity," Mullen, chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in Qatar last Monday.
But "from my perspective that has not been the principal focus of what happened in Egypt or what happened in Bahrain or any of these other countries," he said, referring to popular protests rocking key US allies.
"Those are by and large internal issues, as opposed to issues fomented by some external forces," Mullen said, although "there's always concerns in this region with Iran, and certainly the US has them, as well as all the regional players."
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Taiwan cardinal eyes China-Vatican dialogue
Kaohsiung, Taiwan (AFP) Feb 20, 2011
Taiwan's Cardinal Paul Shan, who will embark on a high-profile trip to China this summer, says he hopes that the Vatican and Beijing can be "mature" and reconcile their bitter differences. Shan, 89, a highly revered religious leader on the island, made the remarks after he unveiled plans for the voyage, hailed as a first contact between Catholics on both sides of the Taiwan Strait in more th ... read more
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