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Erdogan Raises Stakes With Syria



ANKARA - Turkey shows increasing signs that it wants to raise the pressure on the neighboring regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A full week after a Syrian passenger plane was forced to land in Ankara, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to insist publicly that the jet was carrying ammunition, Istanbul daily Hurriyet reported.

“All equipment that can be used in war counts as ammunition. If a missile is ammunition, then the radar and communication devices to direct a missile is ammunition,” Erdogan said in an address Thursday to his provincial Justice and Development Party chairs.

The statement was questioned by opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu. “ I wonder what the ammunition includes. Were there bombs, guns or grenades in that plane? He asked in a meeting with his own party.

Damascus has called the move to ground the plane “hostile” and “ reprehensible.”

Meanwhile on Saturday, Turkish daily Milliyet cited military sources in Ankara who put the number of Syrian troops killed by Turkish strikes at 12 since mortars killed civilians in Turkey earlier this month.

But Turkish leaders seem particularly focused on the intercepted airliner. While the Turkish Foreign Ministry made no mention of ammunition when they revealed the results of their investigation into the grounded plane, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Hurriyet that the confiscated material from the Syrian plane were: “materials that can be used for military purposes.”

Erdogan claims the Russian arms exporting agency was sending the confiscated items to the Syrian Defense Ministry. “This Russian arms manufacturer does not produce apples or pears. This institution produces war equipment and ammunition,” Erdogan said, Press Turk reported.

The Syrian foreign ministry has condemned Erdogan for his comments. "The Turkish prime minister continues to lie in order to justify his government's hostile attitude towards Syria," read a statement released on Thursday. “The plane did not carry ammunition or military equipment. Erdogan’s comments lack credibility, and at least he must show the equipment and ammunition to his people”

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How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

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Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

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