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Philip Hammond condemns Turkey bomb attack

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has condemned the bomb attack in Istanbul which killed 11 people and injured a further 36.

Mr Hammond said on Twitter that his thoughts are with the victims of the "senseless and appalling act of violence".

US ambassador to Turkey John Bass also condemned the "barbarous terror attack", and extended condolences to victims and their families.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited victims being treated in hospital today, and said the country would fight terrorists "to the end".

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred during rush hour in the central Istanbul district of Vezneciler.

It is the fourth major bombing in Turkey's biggest city this year.

First UK Foreign Secretary visit to Cuba since 1959

Philip Hammond has become the first British foreign secretary to visit Cuba since before the communist revolution of 1959.

Foreign secretary Hammond and Cuba's Foreign Minister Parrilla Credit: Enrique de la Osa/Reuters

Arriving in the capital Havana, Hammond said Britain was keen to forge "new links" with Cuba, and the two countries are "set to reach new cooperation agreements on energy, financial services, education and culture, to the benefit of both our nations".

His visit follows US President Barack Obama's historic visit last month intended to normalise relations between the two countries after decades of hostility.


Hammond: Judge Russia withdrawal on actions not words

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said Russia should be judged on actions not words as he awaited confirmation of its partial withdrawal of forces from Syria.

Mr Hammond told the Commons the international community had not received "independent evidence" of the downscaling of Russian forces

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he had not received direct confirmation on the Russian withdrawal as he updated MPs on the situation in Syria.

He said he would be "delighted" if the reports were verified but said no members of the International Syria Support Group were given advance notice of Mr Putin's surprise announcement and urged caution.

No one would be more delighted than me if, after five months of relentless bombing, Russia is genuinely winding down its military support to the brutal Assad regime.

But, as in all matters related to Russia, it is the actions rather than the words that count. We shall be watching carefully over the coming days to see if the potential promise of this announcement turns into reality.

– Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond


Hammond confirms Shaker Aamer Guantanamo release

Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held at Guantanamo Bay, has been released, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed.

"The Americans announced some weeks ago that they were going to release Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo," he said in Vienna.

"I can confirm that he's on his way back to the UK now and he'll arrive in Britain later today."

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