Indian Naval Ship, INS Kiltan arrived at Chattogram on Monday on a three-day goodwill visit as part of the ongoing close cooperation between the Navies of Bangladesh and India. The ship was given a warm welcome by the Bangladesh Navy. Naval cooperation between Bangladesh and India is an important pillar of the bilateral defence cooperation, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka. Also Read: Chandpur to get 300-ft modern naval port in World Bank-backed project Regular exchange of ship visits has played an important role in strengthening mutual trust and understanding between the two Navies, it said. INS Kiltan is the third ship of P 28 class Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) corvettes, indigenously built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. Also Read: Chinese navy ship pays port call to Philippines in goodwill tour of region
General Manoj Pande, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Indian Army, is visiting Bangladesh from June 5-6 at the invitation of his counterpart, General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, SBP (BAR), Chief of Army Staff (CAS), Bangladesh Army to review the Passing Out Parade at Bangladesh Military Academy, Chattogram. This visit of COAS, Indian Army to Bangladesh follows the recent visit of General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed to India when he was invited by COAS, Indian Army to similarly review the Passing Out Parade at Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai, said a media release on Monday. Also Read: Indian Army Chief meets his Bangladesh counterpart During his visit, COAS, Indian Army will pay tributes to members of the Bangladesh Armed Forces who made the supreme sacrifice during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 by laying a wreath at the altar of Shikha Anirban in Dhaka Cantonment. He will also hold bilateral discussion with CAS, Bangladesh Army and review the entire ground of defence cooperation between India and Bangladesh. Also Read: 'To be nasty to people, to be violent are not Indian values': Rahul Gandhi tells Indian expats in US These high-level exchanges provide an opportunity to both sides to renew the close bonds of friendship and fraternal ties that exist between the Armed Forces of India and Bangladesh, said the release.
Bangladesh's will leave Dhaka for Doha this (May 22) afternoon on a three-day official visit to attend the Qatar Economic Forum 2023 at the invitation of Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, carrying the premier and her entourage, will depart Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 3 pm. The flight is scheduled to land at Hamad International Airport in Doha at 6 pm local time (9 pm Bangladesh Time). Also Read: PM Hasina to leave for Doha on Monday to attend Qatar Economic Forum 2023 The Prime Minister will attend the Forum, titled “3rd Qatar Economic Forum: A New Global Growth Story”, to be held on May 23-25. The Qatar Economic Forum is the Middle East's leading voice dedicated to global business and investment. The main objective of this forum is to find a solution by increasing mutual cooperation among the international community to deal with the multi-faceted challenges, global crises and the adverse economic consequences arising from them. Also Read: PM Hasina to attend Qatar Economic Forum May 23-25 On May 23, Sheikh Hasina will join the opening session of the 3rd Qatar Economic Forum, address students of Qatar University in Doha, and hold meetings separately with Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi and Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia Khalid A. Al-Falih. On May 24, the PM will join the forum, have a meeting with Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (at Amiri Diwan) and visit Awsaj Academy (a specialized school). PM Sheikh Hasina is expected to return to Dhaka in the morning of May 25, leaving Doha the previous night. Read more: Bangladesh signs MoU with Qatar Fund for Development
President Joe Biden said Tuesday he's curtailing his upcoming trip to the Indo-Pacific, scrapping what was to be a historic stop in Papua New Guinea as well as a visit to Australia for a gathering with fellow leaders of the so-called Quad partnership so he can focus on debt limit talks in Washington. The scuttling of two of the three legs of the overseas trip is a foreign policy setback for an administration that has made putting a greater focus on the Pacific region central to its global outreach. Biden said he still plans to depart on Wednesday for Hiroshima, Japan, for a Group of Seven summit with leaders from some of the world's major economies. He will return to the U.S. on Sunday. “I’m postponing the Australia portion of the trip and my stop in Papua New Guinea in order to be back for the final negotiations with congressional leaders," Biden said at the start of a Jewish American Heritage Month event at the White House. He added, “The nature of the presidency is addressing many of the critical matters all at once. So I’m confident we’re going to continue to make progress toward avoiding the default and fulfilling America’s responsibility as a leader on the world stage.” Biden said he spoke to Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese earlier on Tuesday to inform him he was postponing a visit to Australia and invited him to Washington for an official state visit at a yet-to-be determined date. White House staff broke the news to Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape. White House officials did not offer an immediate response to questions about when Biden might reschedule visits to the two countries. “Revitalizing and reinvigorating our alliances and advancing partnerships like the Quad remains a key priority for the President,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “This is vital to our ability to advance our foreign policy goals and better promote global stability and prosperity. We look forward to finding other ways to engage with Australia, the Quad, Papua New Guinea and the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum in the coming year.” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has invited Albanese, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Pacific Island leaders to come to Hiroshima during the G-7. Albanese in an Australian Broadcasting Corp. interview said that the Quad leaders are now hoping to hold a meeting in Hiroshima. “We’ll also hopefully be able to find a time when the four of us can sit down,” Albanese said. “We will have to organize the logistics of the Quad meeting now in Sydney and we’ll be discussing with our partners in the U.S., but also Japan and India over the next day or so.” Biden had been scheduled to travel on to Papua New Guinea to meet with Pacific Island leaders and then to Australia for a meeting of the leaders of the Quad partnership, made up of the U.S., Australia, India and Japan. The Papua New Guinea stop would have been the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to the island country of more than 9 million people. The Quad partnership first formed during the response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed some 230,000 people. Since coming into office, Biden has tried to reinvigorate the Quad as part of his broader effort to put greater U.S. focus on the Pacific and counter increasing economic and military assertiveness by China in the region. Biden announced his decision soon after he wrapped up a meeting on Tuesday afternoon with Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies, D-N.Y., for talks on the debt limit standoff. Earlier Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby expressed administration officials' frustration that the debt talks are having an impact on the president's dealings on the international stage. “We wouldn’t have to have this conversation. I wouldn’t have to answer these questions if Congress just did the right thing,” Kirby said. Some Republican lawmakers questioned Biden's decision to travel overseas considering the consequences of the debt limit talks. “I think he should not leave and he should focus on the debt limit here at home,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. With the brief stop in Papua New Guinea to meet with Pacific Island leaders, Biden had hoped to demonstrate that the United States is committed to remaining engaged for the long term in the Pacific Islands. The area has received diminished attention from the U.S. in the aftermath of the Cold War and China has increasingly filled the vacuum — through increased aid, development and security cooperation. Biden has said that he’s committed to changing that dynamic. Last September, Biden hosted leaders from more than a dozen Pacific Island countries at the White House, announcing a new strategy to help to assist the region on climate change and maritime security. His administration also recently opened embassies in the Solomon Islands and Tonga, and has plans to open one in Kiribati. As vice president, Biden saw up close how domestic politics can complicate foreign policy during the 2013 government shutdown. President Barack Obama was forced to bail on attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and the East Asia Summit in Brunei as well as a visit to Malaysia and the Philippines in the midst of a government shutdown as he negotiated with GOP leaders. President Bill Clinton opted to skip his scheduled participation in the APEC summit in Japan in the midst of the 1995 government shutdown. He opted to send Vice President Al Gore in his place.
Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss warned of the economic and political threats to the West posed by China during a visit Wednesday to Beijing's democratic rival Taiwan. Truss is the first former British prime minister since Margaret Thatcher in the 1990s to visit the self-governing island republic that China claims as its own territory, to be conquered by force if necessary. Still a sitting member of the House of Commons, Truss follows a growing list of elected representatives and former officials from the U.S., EU nations and elsewhere who have visited Taiwan to show their defiance of China’s threats and attempts to cut off the island and its high-tech economy from the international community. “There are those who say they don’t want another Cold War. But this is not a choice we are in a position to make. Because China has already embarked on a self-reliance drive, whether we want to decouple from their economy or not," Truss said in an address to the Prospect Foundation at a hotel in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. “China is growing its navy at an alarming rate and is undertaking the biggest military build-up in peacetime history,” she said. "They have already formed alliances with other nations that want to see the free world in decline. They have already made a choice about their strategy. The only choice we have is whether we appease and accommodate — or we take action to prevent conflict,” Truss said. Elsewhere, Truss praised her successor, Rishi Sunak, for describing China as “the biggest long-term threat to Britain” in comments last summer and for urging the closure of Chinese government-run cultural centers known as Confucius Institutes, which have been criticized as outlets for Communist Party propaganda. Such services could instead be provided by people from Taiwan and Hong Kong who come to the United Kingdom of their own volition. In Beijing, spokesperson for the Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office Mao Xiaoguang accused Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party of "spending the tax money of the Taiwanese people to bribe some anti-China politicians who have stepped down from office to stage a farce of seeking external support for independence in Taiwan." Ma also renewed China's military threats against Taiwan, a day after the Chinese Defense Ministry condemned U.S. military assistance to the island. “If they continue to challenge and force us, we will have to take decisive measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ma told reporters at a biweekly news conference. “No one should underestimate our strong determination, unwavering will and strong ability.” Next year is seen by some as a crucial period for tense relations between the sides, with U.S. and Taiwanese voters going to the polls. Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has served the maximum two terms and Vice President Lai Ching-te, a strong independence supporter, will be running for the DPP. Meanwhile, the main opposition Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang, on Wednesday nominated local politician Hou Yu-ih as its candidate in the January election. Hou rose to prominence as a top police official but has relatively little experience dealing with China and Taiwan's international partners. Taiwan will also elect a new legislature, which is currently controlled by the ruling party. China's relations with Britain and most other Western democracies have been in steep decline in recent years, largely as a result of disputes over human rights, trade technology and China's aggressive moves toward Taiwan and in the South China Sea. Beijing's relations with London have been especially bitter over China's sweeping crackdown on free speech, democracy and other civil liberties in Hong Kong, a former British colony that was promised it would retain its freedoms after the handover to Chinese rule in 1997. China has said a key previous bilateral agreement on Hong Kong no longer applies and has rejected British expressions of concern as interference in China's domestic political affairs. China has also been angered by a joint Australian-U.S.-British agreement known as AUKUS that would provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines in part to counter the perceived rising threat from China. Truss, who served an ill-fated seven weeks as prime minister last year, also said China could not be trusted to follow through on its commitments in areas from trade to protection of the environment. And she praised Taiwan as “an enduring rebuke to totalitarianism” whose fate was a "core interest" to Europe. “A blockade or invasion of Taiwan would undermine freedom and democracy in Europe. Just as a Russian victory in Ukraine would undermine freedom and democracy in the Pacific," Truss said. "We in the United Kingdom and the free world must do all we can to back you,” she said. Truss' remarks also stood in stark contrast to published comments from French President Emmanuel Macron last month that elicited doubts about whether Macron’s views were in line with other European countries on Taiwan’s status. “The question we need to answer, as Europeans, is the following: Is it in our interest to accelerate (a crisis) on Taiwan? No,” Macron was quoted as saying in the interview. “The worst thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and take our cue from the U.S. agenda and a Chinese overreaction.” Shortly afterward, Macron denied any change on France's views toward Taiwan, saying, “We are for the status quo, and this policy is constant.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has started addressing a press conference on the outcome of her recent three-nation visit to Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom from April 25 to May 09, 2023. The press conference began at 4:05pm on Monday at her official residence Ganabhaban here. On April 25, Hasina left Dhaka for Tokyo on a four-day official visit to Japan on the first leg of her three-nation visit at the invitation of her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida. Also Read: PM Hasina: Climate-induced disasters may disrupt Bangladesh’s smooth LDC graduation During her stay in Tokyo, the Bangladesh PM met Emperor of Japan Naruhito, held summit meeting with her Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio. She and her Japanese counterpart witnessed the exchange of eight instruments, mostly memorandums of cooperation signed between Dhaka and Tokyo to boost cooperation in the sectors of agriculture, metro-rail, industrial up-gradation, ship-recycling, customs matters, intellectual property, defense, ICT and cyber security. She also attended an investment summit and a community reception as well as handed over the “Friends of Liberation War Honour” to two Japanese nationals for their special contribution to the Liberation War of Bangladesh. Also Read: Bangladesh's next general election will be fair, PM Hasina tells UK Besides, Hasina held meetings separately with Foreign Minister of Japan Yoshimasa Hayashi, President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Dr Tanaka Akihiko, Chairman of Japan-Bangladesh Committee for Commercial & Economic Cooperation (JBCCEC) Fumiya Kokubu, Chairman and CEO of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Ishiguro Norihiko and President of Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship League (JBPFL) Taro Aso. On April 28, the PM left Tokyo for Washington DC on a six-day official visit to the USA on the second leg of her three-nation tour in a bid to attend the celebration of the 50 years of partnership between the World Bank and Bangladesh. Also Read: PM Hasina off to Tokyo on first leg of a two-week official visit to Japan, USA and UK She attended a seminar titled "Reflection on 50 years of Bangladesh-World Bank Partnership" organized at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington DC, USA on May 1. In Washington DC, Sheikh Hasina also had meetings separately with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and President and CEO of US Chamber of Commerce Suzanne P. Clark. Besides, she attended a high-level executive roundtable with the US business delegation and a community reception. On May 04, the premier left Washington DC for London on a five-day official visit to the UK to attend the coronation of UK's King Charles III, hosted by Buckingham Palace on May 06. Read More: PM attends coronation of King Charles III In London, Hasina had interaction with King Charles III, and held a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Also Read: PM Hasina reaches Tokyo to begin four-day official visit to Japan She also attended the Commonwealth Leaders Event, the King's reception for heads of states, governments and overseas representatives at Buckingham Palace in advance of the coronation of the King and the Queen Consort, and a community reception. She had a meeting with and Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema there. Also Read: PM returns home after 15-day foreign visit Besides, PM Hasina had interactions with Presidents of Egypt and Rwanda, Prime Ministers of Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Gambia, Namibia and Uganda in the coronation programme of King Charles III. Sheikh Hasina returned home on May 09.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was visiting Britain on Monday, as the staunch ally of Ukraine prepares to give more military aid in an effort to change the course of the war. The U.K. government confirmed Zelenskyy's arrival early Monday and said he would meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. It is the fourth European country Zelenskky has visited in the past few days. He made an unannounced visit to Paris on Sunday evening to meet French President Emmanuel Macron, after trips to Germany and Italy, where he met those countries' leaders and Pope Francis. A message posted Monday on Zelenskyy's official Telegram Channel said: "Today — London. The UK is leading the way when it comes to expanding our capabilities on the ground and in the air. This cooperation will continue today. I will meet my friend Rishi. We will conduct substantive negotiations face-to-face and in delegations.” Sunak's office confirmed the two leaders would meet at Chequers. the prime minister's country retreat outside London. It's Zelenskyy's second trip to the U.K. since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The U.K. has become one of Ukraine's major military allies, sending Kyiv short-range missiles and Challenger tanks and training 15,000 Ukrainian troops on British soil. Last week Britain announced it had sent Ukraine Storm Shadow cruise missiles, which have a range of more than 250 kilometers (150 miles) — the first known shipment of the weaponry that Kyiv has long sought from its allies. Sunak's office said that on Monday Britain will confirm it is giving Ukraine hundreds more air defense missiles, as well as “long-range attack drones" with a range of more than 200 kilometers (120 miles). “This is a crucial moment in Ukraine’s resistance to a terrible war of aggression they did not choose or provoke," Sunak said. "They need the sustained support of the international community to defend against the barrage of unrelenting and indiscriminate attacks that have been their daily reality for over a year. “We must not let them down.” Russia stepped up attacks across Ukraine with drones and missiles over the weekend. On Sunday, Russia shelled two communities in the northern border region of Sumy, the region’s military administration said in a statement on its official Telegram channel. It said 109 explosions were recorded. Zelenskyy toured European capitals over the weekend to seek more aid as Ukraine prepares a long-anticipated spring offensive to retake territory seized by Russia. Zelenskyy and Macron met for about three hours at the French presidential Elysee Palace — an encounter kept under wraps until shortly before the Ukrainian leader’s arrival in Paris. Macron’s office said France will supply dozens of light tanks and armored vehicles “in the weeks ahead,” without giving specific numbers. Also promised were more air defense systems, but again details weren’t made public. More Ukrainians will also be made battle-ready, with France aiming to train about 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers in France this year and nearly 4,000 others in Poland as part of a wider European effort, Macron’s office said. France has supplied Ukraine with an array of weaponry, include air defense systems, light tanks, howitzers and other arms and equipment and fuel. France had dispatched a plane to pick up Zelenskyy in Germany, where he met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier Sunday and discussed his country’s planned counteroffensive. It was his first visit to Berlin since the start of the invasion and came a day after the German government announced a new package of military aid for Ukraine worth more than 2.7 billion euros ($3 billion), including tanks, anti-aircraft systems and ammunition. After initially hesitating to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons, Germany has become one of the biggest suppliers of arms to Ukraine, including Leopard 1 and 2 battle tanks, and the sophisticated IRIS-T SLM air defense system. Modern Western hardware is considered crucial if Ukraine is to succeed in its planned counteroffensive. In the western German city of Aachen, Zelenskyy also received the prestigious International Charlemagne Prize, awarded to him and the people of Ukraine. On Saturday. he met Francis and Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni in Rome. On the European trip, Zelenskyy said it will aim to liberate Russian-occupied areas within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, and not attack Russian territory. The Washington Post cited previously undisclosed documents from a trove of U.S. intelligence leaks suggesting that Zelenskyy has considered trying to capture areas in Russia proper for possible use as bargaining chips in peace negotiations to end the war launched by Moscow in February 2022. This would put him at odds with Western governments that have insisted that weapons they provide must not be used to attack targets in Russia. Asked about the report, Zelenskyy said: “We don’t attack Russian territory, we liberate our own legitimate territory.” “We have neither the time nor the strength (to attack Russia),” he said, according to an official interpreter. “And we also don’t have weapons to spare with which we could do this.” “We are preparing a counterattack for the illegally occupied areas based on our constitutionally defined legitimate borders, which are recognized internationally,” Zelenskyy said. Among areas still occupied by Russia are the Crimean peninsula and parts of eastern Ukraine with mainly Russian-speaking populations.
US Sports Envoys Schellas Hyndman, a retired soccer coach, and Vlastimir Davidovic, a coach at Phoenix College, have arrived in Dhaka to promote sports cooperation and development between the United States and Bangladesh. The envoys' visit aims to foster mutual understanding and exchange best practices between the two countries in the field of sports. On their first day in Bangladesh, the envoys met with officials, coaches, and athletes from the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF). They trained members of the Bangladesh National Women's Football team and visited a football academy run by a person with a disability. The envoys also toured various stadiums and sports facilities in Dhaka. During their visit, they showcased drills and exercises to help the girls improve their game. The envoys also visited the Bangabandhu National Stadium, the National Handball Stadium, the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium, and the Mohammed Ali Boxing Stadium to gain a better understanding of how sports are administered in Bangladesh and to share best practices from the United States. The envoys also visited the Soccer Academy for persons with disabilities, run by coach Rahman, to demonstrate support for inclusivity through sports. In the coming days, they will also meet the players and coaching staff of Bashundhara Kings, a top football club in the country, to gain insight into the Premier League football structure in Bangladesh. Other activities on their itinerary include a soccer training session with underground soccer players aged 12-16, a visit to the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP), and a session with high school girls where the envoys will run a short training session and a 10-minute soccer match. The US Embassy in Bangladesh brought the Sports Envoys to Bangladesh to promote mutual understanding and cooperation in sports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday visited command posts of the Kremlin’s forces fighting in Ukraine in an apparent effort to rally his troops as the war approaches its 14th month and Kyiv readies a possible counteroffensive with Western-supplied weapons. A video released by the Kremlin and broadcast by Russian state television showed Putin arriving by helicopter at the command post for Russian forces in the southern Kherson region and afterward flying to the headquarters of the Russian National Guard of the eastern Luhansk region Dressed in a dark suit, and in an apparent demonstration of authority, Putin appeared to chair the meetings with his military top brass. It was his second trip in two months to the Russian-occupied territories in the neighboring country. The locations of the military headquarters in the Kherson and Luhansk regions weren’t disclosed, so it wasn’t possible to assess how close they are to the front line. Also Read:G7 'committed to' intensifying sanctions against Russia, to support Ukraine 'for as long as it takes' Russia’s war in Ukraine has turned into a stalemate amid heavy fighting in the country’s east, particularly around the town of Bakhmut, which for 8½ months has been the stage for the war’s longest and bloodiest fight. In both locations, Putin congratulated the military on Orthodox Easter, which was celebrated Sunday and presented them with icons. Russia annexed the Kherson and Luhansk regions along with the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions in September in a move that was rejected by much of the world as illegal. It was impossible to independently verify the authenticity of the video footage. Also Read: China protests US sanctioning of firms dealing with Russia Last month, Putin visited the Russian-held Sea of Azov port city of Mariupol, which was captured by Russian troops in May after two months of fierce fighting. Putin’s trips to the military headquarters come as Ukraine is preparing for a new counteroffensive to reclaim the occupied territories. Ukrainian officials have said they’re buying time by depleting Russian forces in the battle while Kyiv prepares a counteroffensive. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has argued that if Russia wins the Bakhmut battle, it could allow Putin to begin building international support for a deal that would require Ukraine to make unacceptable compromises to end the war. Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told The Associated Press in an interview in Kyiv that Ukraine’s allies are helping the government to achieve the level of technical equipment necessary to launch the attack, delivering heavy armored vehicles and ammunition. He expressed confidence that Ukraine will be able to return all its occupied territories. “We will defeat Russia,” he said. “If you have a strong inner spirit, you will definitely win. And we always had it strong. This is something that always annoyed the Russians.”
Iran's exiled crown prince is scheduled to come to Israel this week on a visit that reflects the warm ties his father once had with Israel and the current state of hostility between Israel and the Islamic Republic. Reza Pahlavi, the son of the last shah to rule Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, said Sunday that he will be delivering “a message of friendship from the Iranian people.” He is set to participate in Israel's annual Holocaust memorial ceremony on Monday night, said Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel, who will host him. He is also set to visit a desalination plant, see the Western Wall and meet representatives of the local Bahai community and Israeli Jews of Iranian descent, she said. Also Read: In first, Iran's president addresses Palestinians in Gaza Gamliel praised the “brave decision” by Pahlavi to make what she said would be his first visit to Israel. “The crown prince symbolizes a leadership different from that of the ayatollah regime, and leads values of peace and tolerance, in contrast to the extremists who rule Iran,” she said. Pahlavi left Iran at age 17 for military flight school in the U.S., just before his cancer-stricken father Mohammad Reza Pahlavi abandoned the throne for exile. The revolution followed, with the creation of the Islamic Republic, the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the sweeping away of the last vestiges of the American-backed monarchy. Pahlavi, who still resides in the U.S., has called for a peaceful revolution that would replace clerical rule with a parliamentary monarchy, enshrine human rights and modernize its state-run economy. Whether he can galvanize support for a return to power is unknown. His father ruled lavishly and repressively and benefitted from a CIA-supported coup in 1953. The late shah also had close diplomatic and military ties with Israel. That ended in 1979, when the Iranian revolution’s leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, declared Israel an “enemy of Islam” and cut all ties. Today, the countries are arch-enemies. Israel considers Iran to be its greatest threat, citing the country's calls for Israel's destruction, its support of hostile militant groups on Israel's borders and its nuclear program. Iran denies accusations by Israel and its western allies that it is pursuing a nuclear bomb. “I want the people of Israel to know that the Islamic Republic does not represent the Iranian people. The ancient bond between our people can be rekindled for the benefit of both nations,” Pahlavi said on Twitter.