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Turkish parliament approves troop deployment to Nagorno-Karabakh | Asia

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President Erdogan says the military force will ‘benefit the peace and prosperity of the regional people’.

Turkey’s parliament approved the deployment of troops to join Russian forces at an observation post in Nagorno-Karabakh after Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a Russian-brokered ceasefire to end fighting over the enclave.

The mandate will allow Turkish troops to be stationed at the centre for one year as part of an accord between Ankara and Moscow to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire, which locked in territorial gains by Azerbaijan.

Some 2,000 Russian peacekeeping troops are now also deploying to the region.

In a letter to parliament asking for the mandate’s approval, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the presence of Turkish troops and, “if needed, civilian personnel from our country, [will] be to the benefit of the peace and prosperity of the regional people and necessary for our national interests”.

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994.

The ceasefire signed on November 10 halted military action in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but populated by ethnic Armenians, after the worst fighting in the region since the 1990s.

Operate remotely

Turkey has accused Armenia of occupying Azeri lands and pledged solidarity with its ethnic Turkic kin in Azerbaijan.

Ankara has blamed the Minsk group – formed to mediate the conflict and led by Russia, France and the United States – of freezing the issue for nearly 30 years.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday Ankara and Moscow’s cooperation would continue.

Russian officials have said Ankara’s involvement will be limited to the work of the monitoring centre on Azerbaijani soil and Turkish peacekeepers would not go to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said the centre will operate remotely, using drones and other technical means to monitor possible violations.



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US debt projected to balloon to more than double GDP by 2051 | Debt News

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The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office warned that by 2051, the United States’ debt will skyrocket to 202 percent of its gross domestic product, up from 102 percent this year.

The U.S. federal debt will grow to more than double the size of the economy in three decades, increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis even though dangers appear low in the near term, the Congressional Budget Office said.

Debt will be equivalent to 202% of gross domestic product by 2051 from 102% this year, the nonpartisan arm of the legislature said Thursday in its long-term budget outlook. Its projection for 195% in 2050 was unchanged from the prior report, whose forecasts ran through that year.

Net interest payments on the debt are expected to remain relatively low for the next decade, then rise rapidly over the following 20 years, the CBO said. The agency projects 10-year Treasury yield, after inflation, at 2.6% in 2050. The nominal yield was at 1.54%, near the highest in more than a year, on Thursday.

The CBO also said that the two Social Security trust funds, for seniors and people with disabilities, will be exhausted later than the agency projected last year.

The report — which doesn’t reflect the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan currently working its way through Congress — follows the selloff in Treasuries over the past week that sent yields spiking. Investors are gaining more confidence that rates will move up, with U.S. growth and the labor market set for a stronger-than-expected uptick as vaccines roll out and states lift restrictions.

The CBO outlook’s debt projections will likely underpin already-firm opposition by Republicans to the relief plan, and could also concern some Democratic lawmakers as President Joe Biden prepares a followup multitrillion-dollar plan to build infrastructure and boost the economy in other ways.

“The risk of a fiscal crisis appears to be low in the short run despite the higher deficits and debt stemming from the pandemic,” the CBO said in the report. “Nonetheless, the much higher debt over time would raise the risk of a fiscal crisis in the years ahead.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that the U.S. economy still has a long way to go before the central bank considers tightening, and underscored that the low-inflation world of the past several decades is unlikely to change.



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