searching for solutions to the world's worst conflict. the united states top diplomat holds crucial talks with russian's president. ♪ hello there, i'm barbara sarah, you are watching al jazeera flooif london. also coming up saudi-lead forces hit a houthi arms depot in yemen hours before a proposed ceasefire is due to start. a huge aftershock brings more panic to earthquake ravaged
nepal. ♪ thank you for joining us. we begin the program in russia where u.s. secretary of state john kerry is shortly due to speak alongside vladimir putin after their meeting in sochi. they were discussed to discuss the shaky ceasefire in ukraine. also topping the agenda the ongoing nuclear negotiations with iran. both the u.s. and russia have been involved in effort to reach a deal with tehran by the end of june. and they plan to talk about syria. well, we have full coverage with rory challands in sochi, and rosiland jordan standing by in washington, d.c. where officials have described the meeting as a critical moment. let's go first to rory though in sochi. do we know anything about how the talks are going? because we are expecting to hear
from the two leaders, aren't we? >> reporter: yeah we have been told that we're expecting a press conference any time in this next hour. the talks have been fairly long. vladimir putin and john kerry have been in the meeting room together for at least a couple of hours so far, and before that there were four hours of meetings with the russian foreign minister. if you listened to the russian commentary over the last couple of days. they have been quite positive that this meeting might produce, well, something in the -- they are hoping for anyway along the lines of a softening of u.s. approach a u.s. stance on russia. however, that is not really echoed by what has come out of the united states and the state department which seems to think that this is not going to come out with anything particularly substantive, but is a chance
really just to keep the lines of communication with russia open a chance to come over here and talk with the boss the man who takes all of the foreign policy decisions in russia of course vladimir putin. >> and one would assume sanctions might be a big issue. have the russians said anything about that? >> reporter: not sanctions specifically. we're expecting there will be three main topics of conversation in this meeting. they are all geopolitical issues. the first is one where there is the most common grounds between the united states and russia and that is iran and the nuclear deal, both countries have been working together to secure as part of a p5-plus-1 group. now the united states is worried about russian sale of missile systems to iran but at least that's something that these two countries agree on.
going beyond that we get into much more difficult area syria, where the united states is hoping that russia may be reconsidering its support for assad. maybe russia is more inclined to persuade assad to step around the negotiating table. and then of course there is ukraine, because these two countries still poles apart on ukraine. russia says this whole ukrainian crisis was started by the united states in the first place. and the united states says it is russia that started this whole problem in the first place. so still a lot of differences between them. >> it will be interesting to see what they say at the news conference that we're still waiting for at the moment. rory challands live for us in sochi. and now let's go to the united states washington, d.c. and speak to rosiland jordan at
the u.s. state department for us. ross how optimistic are the officials that anything official is going to come out of these talks. >> reporter: the u.s. is first and foremost very concerned about the imminent start of the humanitarian pause or ceasefire in yemen. last week we heard from the u.s. secretary of state john kerry, who indicated that he had spoken with russian foreign minister about whatever influence russia might be able to extend towards the houthis, and those who are supportive of the former president saleh, in order to basically try to stop their fight to regain or hold on to power in yemen and see if humanitarian aid can be brought into yemen over the proposed five-day long ceasefire. of course the ongoing iran
nuclear talks, which the russians are a party too, certainly this is an opportunity for the u.s. to have face-to-face discussions about the progress of these talks which are now in the technical phase. and of course the ongoing situation in syria. the u.s. says that bashar al-assad the president no longer has legitimacy. they have said that for several years now, and certainly they do want to see in light of efforts by the new u.n. special envoy to try to get some sort of political negotiations restarted to see where the russians are on that. but this is a very transactional meeting, barbara. they are not expecting huge .developments to come out of it. but john kerry has not met with the russian president in almost two years. >> i think these are the highest level talks between the u.s. and russia since the start of the
crisis in ukraine. rosiland jordan thank you very much. ♪ the saudi-lead coalition in yemen has attacked a rebel-held munitions depot east of the capitol. these pictures show the air strikes east of sana'a. the media says dozens of people have been killed. the attack is said to have taken place on monday night aday before a ceasefire is supposed to come into effect. the united states has urged all parties to observe the ceasefire so aid agencies can deliver vital supplies. iran has given its backing to the truce with the foreign minister calling for talks to resume between the pro-government forces and houthi rebels. >> translator: any ceasefire and any halt on the military operations is supported by iran to help the victims of this war,
which are innocent children and women. this ceasefire must turn into a permanent ceasefire, and talks should be immediately resumed. and iranian warships will accompany a cargo ship bound for a port hell by the houthis. the u.s. says it is aware of the reports and will monitor the ship. it's all part of a humanitarian mission being carried out by the red crescent society and iran. hashem ahelbarra joining us live now from the saudi capitol. doesn't like the ceasefire is likely to take place in a few hours? >> reporter: basically now the general sentiment here is that it should take place in about four hours from now. however, there are concerns concerns because of the latest
developments on the ground. intensive fight. air strikes by the saudi-lead coalition, the fighting flaring up in different parts of the country, particularly in shabwah, and aden the say they will monitor the situation on the ground and if the houthis redeploy troops and move towards the any of aden they will have an interruption. >> paint the picture for us hashem, how crucial is the aid that will hopefully be arriving during the ceasefire? how crucial is that for the people of yemen right now? >> reporter: well yemen is one of the poorest nations in the region. it has been battered by decades of war, instability, poverty, widening sectarian conflict.
the saudi-lead air strikes, and the violence which has continued lead to hundreds of people being killed thousands injured, thousands of people displaced, and thousands of family forced to leave the country. this is exactly why the international community is eager to see a ceasefire implemented so they can deliver aid to the millions of yemenese. we're talking about severe shortages in food fuel electricity, and cooking gas. and this has been further exacerbated by the ongoing violence. now the international community wants to see an end to this so they can start to alleviate the pain of millions of yemenese. >> hashem thank you. less than three weeks after nepal's devastating earthquake the country has been put on edge all over again. 45 people are dead and more than
1,100 have been injured. the quake was centered near a popular shopping point for climbers trekking to mount everest. this footage shows the aftershock sending dirt and rock rolling down a mountain. let's go live to kathmandu, and al jazeera's faiz jamil. it's even more heart breaking that we have seen an aftershock of this magnitude. what kind of impact has it had? and did it happen in a place that had already been rev raged by the earthquake on the 25th of april? >> reporter: well, we felt the after shocks here in the capitol kathmandu, and many felt it was another earthquake based on how strong it felt.
but many rescue workers are already in the country. the people are still afraid. i went to several areas, including a unesco world heritage site where people have been camping out since april. they are saying that they had confidence that maybe they could go home soon. for many that has completely been wiped away. some think they won't ever go home now. >> what kind of help can the aid agencies give? or are they already overstretched elsewhere? >> reporter: well because we have the americans, the indians, the chinese here and they have their planes and helicopters, many of the injured in the surrounding districts outside were able to be brought here to the capitol to one of the many hospitals. and because of that infrastructure, the airport which is being run by a joint
force of the u.s. air force, marines and army they have been able to bring supplies in and out. so this is a lot better off than it was when the earthquake first struck in april as the resources are in place for an emergency just like this. >> faiz jamil with the latest from kathmandu. thank you. still lots more to come here on al jazeera, including allegations from beyond the grave. allies of the murdered russian politician say his research proves russia's involvement in the ukraine war. and another day of chaos in burundi's capitol as protests against the president enter a third week. ♪
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♪ time now for a reminder of the top stories on al jazeera. u.s. secretary of state john kerry has met russian president, vladimir putin for the first time since the ukraine crisis began in 2013. they are expected to discuss ukraine, the iranian nuclear talks, yemen and libya the saudi-lead coalition has targeted a munitions building held by the houthis in yemen. and a 7.3 magnitude aftershock has hit nepal less than three weeks after the devastating earthquake. the epicenter was near a popular
stopping point for treks to mount everest. russian opposition activisting have unveiled a report that claims that the rush shan military has been directly involved in the fighting in ukraine. the report alleges that at least 220 russian soldiers have been killed in eastern ukraine. the report goes on to say that the kremlin has spent more than a billion dollars sending arms and other supplies to the rebels in eastern ukraine. specifically mass cow is alleged to transferred the surface to sir missile system that was blamed for shooting now the malaysian airlines report. >> reporter: compiled by allies of the murder activist this report contains damming claims.
>> translator: we collected and analyzed exhaustive evidence that russian troops are present in ukraine as well as mercenaries recruited, financed trained and sent to take part in the war against the ukrainian armed forces. >> reporter: according to the report, the russian army made two major incursions into ukraine, helping the separatists fighters gain ground. soldiers were ordered to go to fight as volunteers. at least 70 have been killed here in this town. opposition activists also believed moscow oversaw the transfer of military equipment. including the surface to air missile system used to shoot down the malaysian airline last july. it is believed the war has cost
the russian government more than a billion dollars. he was a fierce critic of the kremlin. he started working on the report early in the year after families of russian troops asked for his help. it is believed the families have been paid to remain quiet about the deaths. but he didn't have time to finish the job. he was gunned down in late february just meters from the kremlin. the russian government arrested two men from the north for his murder. but before his death he left a trial of documents and hand-written notes that fellow activisted have used to complete his research. the report is expected to receive little attention from russia's state controlled media. the kremlin refused to comment on the claims. the international organization for migration has called on southeast asian governments to find and rescue hundreds of migrants believed to be stranded at sea and at risk
of death. the indonesian navy has redirected a boat full of migrants towards the malaysian coast and says it will not accept any more boats carrying rohingya migrants. around 2,000 people have reached malaysia and indonesia in the past two days. in a moment we'll hear from our correspondent in jakarta but first this report from malaysia. >> reporter: this is one of three vessels that transported more than a thousand migrants from myanmar and bangladesh to the shores of malaysia this week. many of them were bangladeshi, however, officials tell us there were more than 400 row min ga muslims, many women and children. now the conditions on these boats must have been terrible. you can see clothes still strewn across the deck there are cooking items, baby items. there's room clearly beneath the
deck as well as on top of the deck to house the passengers. the rohingya muslims said that food and water were extremely scarce and they were often beaten as well. police say they are stepping up their monitoring of the maritime borders because there are reports that thousands more migrants are still out at sea. >> what we are doing now, we are stepping up actively on our activity in the sea to make sure there are no illegal encroachment. >> reporter: the migrants are being processed by the immigration department and what they are aiming to achieve is refugee status in malaysia. and for that to happen they have to recognize them as refugees and issue identity cards. >> the indonesian military has confirmed that no boats coming from myanmar are welcome here. they pushed back within boat yesterday on monday back out of
indonesian waters and gave them directions to malaysia. the indonesian military saw the boat and they said there was a lot of people on the boat around a thousand and they said there were even screams coming from the boat. there was a bad smell, and they gave the people water, food medication and fuel and then pushed them back. earlier on sunday two boats were accepted on indonesian land because these people managed to make it ashore. and the new policy the military is describing is different than in the past because since 2009, indonesia has been accepting boats with rohingyas in different parts in indonesia and many have arrived, a few thousand have arrived in indonesia, and they were all accepted and handed over to the unhr or the international organization for migration. so this is a different policy right now. let's go to syria now where
at least 50 people have been killed by a barrel bomb dropped by government forces and most of the dead are civilians. in homs at least three supreme been killed in two separate explosions blamed on isil fighters. heavy gunfire has been heard in burundi's capitol as protests against the president continue. protesters grabbed one policewoman and dragged her on the street after accusing her of firing on them. she was eventually set free. demonstrations against a bid the president to run for a third term are now in their third week. here we want good leadership because the people are suffering as you can see here today. we do not want his third term. his third term is what we do not want.
police are killing civilians. even my friend was injured. a bangladeshi blogger has been hacked to death by a mass gang wielding massetties. it's the third killing of a critic of extremism in the last several months. a u.k.-based audio forensics firm has confirmed that leaked recordings of egyptian president sisi are genuine. in the rorings sisi and his generals are heard being dismissive of egypt's gulf backers, including saudi arabia queue wait and the uae. victoria gatenby has the details. >> reporter: abdel fattah al al-sisi lead a military coup and
was elected president 11 months later, and since then he has relied heavily on donations from gulf countries to keep egypt's finances afloat. in february a conversation was broadcast between sisi and some of his generals. sisi is heard making sarcastic remarks about gulf countries, suggesting saudi arabia the united arab emirates and kuwait has more money than they need and that egypt should have a share. and he is heard saying that the money should be transferred directly into the accounts of the military not the government. >> translator: when i win the election we will invest this money in the state. we will also need another ten from the united arab emirates
and another ten from kuwait. we need to keep a small portion so we can get the account settled until 2014. [ laughter ] >> translator: why are you laughing? >> translator: they are faint. >> translator: their money is like rice. throughout sisi's presidency, gulf countries have given egypt billions of dollars of aid. saudi arabia was the first to announce an aid package offering $5 billion. that was fol heed by a $3 billion aid package from the uae, and $4 billion from kuwait. analysts say the audio recordings have a negative impact. >> from what i can see there is some embarrassment. and at the moment he is not really an insider. >> reporter: the fact that the audio recordings were leaked at
all may be more revealing than the conversations they continue. suggesting deep divisions within the highest level of sisi's government. the international monastery fund has confirmed that greece has made a loan repayment of more than $800 million. but greece says it had to dip into its emergency account to make the payment. european finance ministers are still meeting in brussels to try to secure another bailout for greece before the end of june. the greece foreign minister has warned that athens is weeks away from running out of cash. and the french president is wrapping up his caribbean tour in haiti. he made an historic trip to cuba on monday becoming the first western european leader to visit since 1986. he met the father of the revolution fidel castro and the
current president. lucia newman has more from havana. >> reporter: untying the idealogical flot. 12 years after the european union froze political and cultural ties with cuba the french president is here to declare bygones be bygones. >> translator: this visit is taking place in a context in which at least it's possible for cuba to have all of the necessary conditions to interact with the rest of the world. as you know france has always been in favor of lifting the u.s. embargo. >> reporter: he made it clear that france wants to take a leadership role in a renewed die lowing. he has made latin america and the caribbean one of his foreign policy policies. both france and holland are keen
to position themselves economically ahead of when the united states lifts its embargo against cuba which would make trade and tourism flourish. american investment lawyer says it's all about capturing american business. >> where are the americans going to go to now? i know the forbidden paradise. now cuba is going to open up. the americans are going to be there. i want to have a dutch hotel taking care of the americans. that's what you are seeing. >> reporter: hollande is accompanied by executives from top french firms, including the liquor giant that handles sales of cuba's rum, hopefully soon also to the u.s. the french president has not alluded publicly to the thorny issue of human rights that lead to the e.u. freeze instead he offers to make france a quote, faithful ally of cuba this time
apparently without any conditions. lucia newman al jazeera, havana. and you can find much more on that story and everything else we have been covering on al jazeera on our website. there it is on your screens right now. the add dress, aljazeera.com. ♪ ♪. >> tragedy strikes again in nepal. the second powerful earthquake in less than a month. plus, face to face with vladimir putin. an air strike hit yemen's capitol just hours before a cease fire, but the big question now will the peace hold?