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War: We’re At Critical Juncture – NATO

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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said that his country and its NATO allies are at a critical juncture in the history of the security alliance.

He said the suffering in Ukraine could end immediately if Russia ends “its reckless war of choice.”

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The Defence Secretary said this ahead of a meeting with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Thursday.

Austin said the meeting comes at a “critical juncture in the history” of the security alliance.

READ ALSO: War: Russia Destroys Warehouse Of NATO-donated Weapons In Ukraine

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“We see that as Finland and Sweden have made the historic decision to seek NATO membership.

“We welcome that. They are proud, capable democracies who share NATO’s core values,” he said.

“In recent months, NATO has united in the face of Russia’s unjustified, cruel, and indefensible invasion of Ukraine.

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“We’ll continue to strengthen our allies to meet the greatest threat to European security in decades.”

Austin said NATO will continue to support Ukraine “as it defends itself against Russia’s unprovoked aggression” and “continue to adapt our alliance to meet evolving security conditions.”

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War: ‘You’re Doing Great Job, Thank You,’ Biden Tells Turkish President

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US President, Joe Biden, on Wednesday, thanked his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for allowing Finland and Sweden to join NATO.

I want to particularly thank you for what you did, putting together the situation with regard to Finland and Sweden, and all the incredible work you’re going to try to get the grain out of … Ukraine,” Biden told Erdoğan during the NATO summit in Madrid.

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Turkey had initially kicked against the two nations joining NATO but later gave its green light to the move.

“You’re doing a great job,” Biden added.

Also Turkey has been in discussions with President Vladimir Putin’s side about exporting grain from Ukraine.

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The Turkish President Erdoğan said he hopes diplomacy will help to get grain out of Ukraine.

“I pray that we’ll be able to re-establish the balance through diplomacy in order to cultivate positive results, especially with regards to the grain,” Erdoğan told Biden.

READ ALSO: War: Syria Recognises Two Ukrainian Regions As Independent Nations

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“The conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the negative developments with regards to taking grain out of Ukrainian ports, as well as the developments involving oil and natural gas, require all of us to work together in order to settle the disputes once and for all,” he added.

There are countries that are deprived of the grain and we will open corridors and we will allow them access to the grain that they so need,” he said.

Erdoğan said it gave him “great pleasure” to meet with Biden “after a long interval.”

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Erdogan said that the two leader’s joint efforts mean that “we will be able to go back to our countries with our hands full.

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War: Syria Recognises Two Ukrainian Regions As Independent Nations

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Syria has decided to formally recognize the “independence and sovereignty of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics.”

This is according to Syrian State News Agency, SANA, CBN reports.

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“In an expression of the common will and the desire to establish relations in all sectors, the Syrian Arab Republic has decided to recognize the independence and sovereignty of both the Luhansk People’s Republic [LPR] and the Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR],” SANA reported, citing an official source in Syria’s foreign ministry.

READ ALSO: War: Spain Sends Clear Warning To Russia

“Communication with both countries will be established to agree on a framework for strengthening the relationships between our countries including initiating diplomatic relationships based on the established (diplomatic) rules,” the foreign ministry source added, according to SANA.

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This makes Syria the only other country aside from Russia, to formally recognize the independence of the breakaway regions.

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Again, Reps Reintroduce Controversial Water Resources Bill

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday reintroduced the controversial Water Resources Bill.

The sponsor, Honourable Sada Soli, said wide consultations have been made for a better version of the bill. He assured that if at any point, indications suggest that it will negatively affect any section of the country, he will voluntarily withdraw the bill.

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The Water Resources Bill was first introduced in the 8th Assembly but was rejected by the lawmakers. It was then reintroduced in the 9th Assembly but received backlash from a broad section of Nigerians and legislators who feared that it could endanger the unity of the country.

READ ALSO: Reps Probe Oil Spills At Three OMLs, Abandoned Oil Wells

The bill seeks to bring all water resources (surface and underground) and the banks of the water sources under the control of the Federal Government.

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It has been read for the first time and would be debated when it is scheduled for the second reading.

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