World Countries Offer Iran Support in Raisi Search, Israel Denies Involvement

The helicopter that was carrying Raisi after taking off from near the Iranian-Azerbaijani border today (AP)
The helicopter that was carrying Raisi after taking off from near the Iranian-Azerbaijani border today (AP)
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World Countries Offer Iran Support in Raisi Search, Israel Denies Involvement

The helicopter that was carrying Raisi after taking off from near the Iranian-Azerbaijani border today (AP)
The helicopter that was carrying Raisi after taking off from near the Iranian-Azerbaijani border today (AP)

A number of countries around the world on Sunday offered help with rescue efforts to locate Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, whose helicopter was reportedly involved in an accident.

Saudi Arabia in a statement by the Foreign Ministry affirmed that its stands by the sisterly Islamic Republic of Iran in these difficult circumstances, stressing its readiness to provide any assistance that the Iranian agencies need.

In a statement on X, Qatar expressed its "deep concern" over the helicopter carrying Iran's president and foreign minister and offered "to provide all forms of support in the search".

The Gulf state's foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari gave "Qatar's wishes for the safety of the president, the foreign minister, and their companions", the statement added.

Also, the UAE foreign ministry said in a statement the country was prepared to offer all possible support in the search and rescue operations.

For its part, Kuwait said it was closely following with concern the reports regarding the helicopter accident and expressed its "support for the Islamic Republic of Iran in this critical situation."

Iranian search and rescue teams were scouring a fog-shrouded mountainside as Iranian state media said "an accident happened to the helicopter" transporting Raisi, a 63-year-old ultraconservative.

The Iraqi government said in a statement it had instructed its interior ministry, the Red Crescent and other relevant bodies to offer help to neighbouring Iran in the search mission.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said he was "profoundly saddened" at news of the helicopter accident involving Raisi, and offered "all necessary support" to the search.

"We are following the incident closely, are in contact and in coordination with the Iranian authorities, and we are ready to provide all necessary support," Erdogan posted on X.

Also, a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman told AFP that Iran had requested technical support for its search.

"We are in the process of discussing the aid that could be sent over the fastest," he added. Tehran had also asked for technical support, said the spokesman.

The government's emergency aid agency AFAD said Türkiye had provided a helicopter equipped for night searches.

For its part, Russia is sending a team of rescuers to Iran to help search for the helicopter.

"At the request of the Iranian side, rescuers from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations will assist in the search and rescue operation," the ministry wrote in a statement published on Telegram.

The team, which "consists of 47 specialists with the necessary gear and equipment, all-terrain vehicles, as well as a BO-105 helicopter," will head to the northwest city of Tabriz, it said.

Azerbaijan and Armenia also offered help with rescue efforts.

The European commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic, said the commission had activated its satellite mapping service to aid search efforts, following a request for assistance from Iran. The Copernicus Emergency Management Service provides mapping products based on satellite imagery.

Meanwhile, Israeli Channel 13 quoted official Israeli sources as saying that Israel had “no connection” to the helicopter crash.



US, Ukraine Ink 10-year Defense Agreement

US President Joe Biden attends a flags ceremony with paratroopers at Borgo Egnazia Golf Club San Domenico during the G7 Summit hosted by Italy in Apulia region, on June 13, 2024 in Savelletri. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)
US President Joe Biden attends a flags ceremony with paratroopers at Borgo Egnazia Golf Club San Domenico during the G7 Summit hosted by Italy in Apulia region, on June 13, 2024 in Savelletri. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)
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US, Ukraine Ink 10-year Defense Agreement

US President Joe Biden attends a flags ceremony with paratroopers at Borgo Egnazia Golf Club San Domenico during the G7 Summit hosted by Italy in Apulia region, on June 13, 2024 in Savelletri. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)
US President Joe Biden attends a flags ceremony with paratroopers at Borgo Egnazia Golf Club San Domenico during the G7 Summit hosted by Italy in Apulia region, on June 13, 2024 in Savelletri. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

US President Joe Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement on Thursday aimed at bolstering Ukraine's defense against Russian invaders.

The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy, is meant to be a step towards Ukraine's eventual NATO membership, according to the text of the deal.

"The parties recognize this agreement as supporting a bridge to Ukraine’s eventual membership in the NATO alliance," the text says, according to Reuters.

Zelenskiy has long sought NATO membership but the allies have stopped short of taking that step. The Western alliance regards any attack launched on one of its 32 members as an attack on all under its Article Five clause.

In the event of an armed attack or threat of such against Ukraine, top US and Ukrainian officials will meet within 24 hours to consult on a response and determine what additional defense needs are required for Ukraine, the agreement says.

Under the agreement, the United States restates its support for Ukraine's defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, amid a renewed push by Russia on Ukraine's eastern front.

"To ensure Ukraine’s security, both sides recognize Ukraine needs a significant military force, robust capabilities, and sustained investments in its defense industrial base that are consistent with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)standards," the text says.

"The United States intends to provide long-term materiel, training and advising, sustainment, intelligence, security, defense industrial, institutional, and other support to develop Ukrainian security and defense forces that are capable of defending a sovereign, independent, democratic Ukraine and deterring future aggression," it says.