European leaders gathered in the Austrian city of Salzburg on Thursday for the second day of an informal summit. One of the main issues are the deadlocked negotiations on Brexit, the final agreement on which is supposed to be laid out in October. Immigration, a major policy point for Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose government holds the rotating EU presidency, and security in the bloc are the other major talking points.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he had struck a deal with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to table a planned offensive against the Syrian rebel stronghold of Idlib, a last-minute agreement that led all sides of the 7-year-old conflict to breathe a sigh of relief despite a host of unanswered questions about whether the so-called demilitarized zone will hold.
With Bashar Assad and his Russian allies on the verge of victory in Syria’s civil war, the Trump administration is facing new pressure to respond forcefully and prevent a bloodbath of historic proportions -- but analysts say the U.S. has virtually no good options, as seven years of muddy American policy toward Syria has left Moscow holding all the cards.
Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi on Sunday announced to state media that the Islamic Republic had completed construction of a facility capable of producing advanced centrifuges at its nuclear plant Natanz, fulfilling threats that it would continue nuclear production in the event that the US withdraw from the 2014 nuclear deal and slap heavy sanctions on the country.