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Merkel defends the increase of military spending in Germany to 2% of GDP

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Germany will increase its military spending to 2% of the GDP. Germany will adapt in this way to what Donad Trump has asked for in NATO since he arrived at the White House, despite the fact that the Berlin government continues to describe as “errors” several of the US military decisions, such as the abandonment of the nuclear pact agreement with Iran. Merkel, who did not advance specific deadlines for these increases in defense spending, reassured with these statements certain concerns arising from the German general budgets for 2018.

After the presentation of the budgets of 2018, the Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen did not hide her disappointment and had requested by letter to the heads of Finance of her Government an increase of the budgetary allocation of her department. The Minister of Finance, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, seems to have imposed his discretion on military spending and the conservative von der Leyen has acknowledged that, in that case, Germany will have to put an end to the missions abroad that it has carried out in recent years and focus on defense inside the country.

Prime Minister Zaev visiting Kromberg and Schuber

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The Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Coordination with the Economic Departments, Kocho Angjushev, accompanied by the Mayor of the Municipality of Bitola, Natasha Petrovska and the MPs Aleksandar Kiracovski and Goran Milevski, were in the a visit to the company Kromberg and Schubert working in the industrial zone Zabeni. Within the framework of the working visit of the company, the Prime Minister, government representatives and MPs were in the tour of the production plants where they had an opportunity to get acquainted with the production processes and the way of operation of the factory. After the tour, Prime Minister Zaev and Deputy Prime Minister Angjushev held a working meeting with Uwe Schilig, technical director and Tanja Miliskovic, commercial director of the company Kromberg and Schubert.

At the meeting, information on the volume and performance of the international company was presented, which has been operating for several years in the Republic of Macedonia and employs over 6,000 workers from the Bitola region. From the presentation it was concluded that this company relates 1/3 of domestic suppliers from its total purchases. Such cooperation with domestic companies was welcomed and the company’s directors were encouraged to apply for the measures from the Economic Growth Plan that refer to support for increased cooperation with domestic companies.

Iraqi foreign minister looks to boost ties in Ankara

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During a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Turkish Minister of Customs and Trade Bulent Tufenkegi expressed on Saturday (May 5) expressed his country’s desire to expand the Ibrahim al-Khalil crossing with Iraq and to open an additional gate in Feshkhabur in northwestern Iraq. “The unity, stability, and well-being of Iraq are the stability of Turkey. Iraq is a strong economic partner of Turkey and Turkish companies account for a large percentage of foreign companies in its southern neighbor,” he said. “Turkey is hosting a forum for the reconstruction of Iraq and providing investment support. [We are also convening] meetings of the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce and the Turkish Foreign Trade Relations Commission and meetings between Iraqi banks and Turkish banks, to increase the volume of cooperation,” he said.

Baghdad took control of the Ibrahim Khalil and Feshkhabur border crossings with Turkey following law enforcement and security operations carried out in the disputed areas with the Kurdistan region in October. The 18th session of the Iraqi-Turkish Joint Committee for Economic and Technical Cooperation was held in Ankara on Saturday, during which the minutes of the meetings were signed, including the activation of the comprehensive economic partnership agreements signed in 2009, the promotion and protection of mutual investments. Additionally, they discussed the issues of water, energy, industry, agriculture, health, environment, culture, tourism, education, science, and technology, “according to Jaafari.

China calls for innovation in Asian Development Bank

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China proposed four steps that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) could take to further promote inclusive development in the Asia-Pacific region.  “Looking to the future, I hope that based on the development experience of the past 50 years, ADB can keep pace with times and engage in innovation, and actively support the promotion of inclusive development in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Yu Weiping, Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Finance. Yu represented Minister of China’s Ministry of Finance Liu Kun at the business session of the 51st annual meeting of the ADB Board of Governors. ADB can “innovate development strategies to promote high-quality development” in the region. Poverty reduction is one of the key goals of ADB, but it should not be the only one, said Yu.

“With more and more developing members entering the ranks of middle-income countries, ADB should strengthen its cooperation with middle-income countries to help them achieve high quality development while supporting low-income countries, small island countries, and vulnerable countries.” Yu said ADB can also “deepen regional cooperation and promote the building of a community of shared future for mankind.”

No regrets: Xi Jinping says Marxism still ‘totally correct’ for China

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The decision of China’s ruling Communist Party to stick with the political theories of Karl Marx remains “totally correct”, President Xi Jinping said. Since coming to power in 2012, Xi, widely seen as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, has said the party must not forget its socialist roots as it works to attain the”great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. At the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday (May 4), Xi said, “Writing Marxism onto the flag of the Chinese Communist Party was totally correct… Unceasingly promoting the sinification and modernisation of Marxism is totally correct.” Xi also instructed all party members to adopt the reading of Marxist works and the understanding of Marxist theories as a”way of life” and a “spiritual pursuit”.

Xi’s speech came near the end of a week-long propaganda blitz by state media, with chat shows saying “Marx was Right”and cartoons of his wild youth aiming to show his theories remain relevant to modern China and the next generation. Today, China, the largest self-identified socialist country, outwardly displays all the trappings of a modern capitalist society, from rampant consumption to a massive gap between the urban elite and rural poor.The apparent contradiction between party rhetoric and appearance has prompted many analysts to suggest the party is no longer really motivated by Marxism but puts practical and economic concerns above all else.

Iran rejects US human rights critique as ‘biased by political objectives’

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Bahram Ghasemi, the Spokesman of Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denounced, on Saturday, the latest report of Department of State on human rights as a partial, politicized, and rejected report. “The Human Rights report of US Department of State is partial, politicized, and unacceptable,” said Bahram Ghasemi, the Spokesman of Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Saturday. “The Islamic Republic of Iran sees the annual report issued by American Department of State and especially the parts of it with anti-Iran human rights claims as a particle document with political intentions to relay a distorted and unreal image of the conditions in our country,” reiterated the Iranian diplomat denouncing the claims in the report as baseless accusations. “The American government is not only the biggest violator of human rights according to credible reports issued by international entities, but also is the biggest supporter of notorious violator of human rights in our region like the Zionist regime and some reactionary countries of the region; countries whose crimes are still entangling the region,” asserted the spokesman.

Rouhani: Iran-Turkey cooperation must stop escalation of tensions in Syria

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President Hassan Rouhani said that the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey enjoy ample historical and cultural commonalities and further deepening of bilateral, regional and international relations between the two countries would be beneficial for peace and stability in the region and the world. Rouhani made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci in Tehran on Wednesday, the president’s official website reported. “Fortunately in recent years, relations between the two countries have been developing in all fields of mutual interest and we should continue along this path to serve both nations’ interests,” the president said. “Without a doubt, development of banking relations is very important for deepening of economic relations and ties between the private sectors,” he said.

President Rouhani said the continuation of consultation and coordination between the two countries in regional issues has an effective role in establishing sustainable peace and security in the region. The Turkish economy minister, who is visiting Iran as the head of a high-ranking economic delegation, said Turkey is determined to remove the obstacles on the path of further development of relations between the two countries and take major steps in boosting cooperation. Zeybekci added that Turkey attaches great importance to deepening of relations and cooperation with Iran in all fields and intends to further cement these ties by laying out a roadmap.

Japan to pitch new trade dialogue to draw Trump back to TPP

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The Japanese government on Friday greeted with cautious optimism the news that U.S. President Donald Trump is willing to explore re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, while stressing that Washington should accept the original terms. “If this means that President Trump is correctly evaluating the significance and effects of the TPP, it’s something we want to welcome,” Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s minister in charge of the TPP, said after a Cabinet meeting. But he added: “The 11 participating countries share the thinking that it would be extremely difficult to take out part of the TPP and renegotiate or change it.

“The U.S. withdrawal from the TPP shortly after Trump’s inauguration last year made Japan the largest of the 11 Pacific Rim economies left in the deal. Those countries signed a new version last month that had been revised to account for the U.S. absence. Finance Minister Taro Aso suggested that Trump’s shift on the pact should be approached with caution. The shift comes amid a developing trade dispute between the United States and China, which did not take part in the TPP.

Iraqi Oil minister says Ira completes southern crude pipeline

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Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said the country has completed the construction of a pipeline that will boost its oil exports from southern ports, Reuters reported. Oil-rich Iraq, which declared victory against Islamic State (ISIS) nationwide in December, is seeking to boost production and exports to fund its reconstruction after years of war.

In 2013, an Iraqi official said his country would pump 850,000 barrels per day down the pipeline to Jordan, which would be enough to cover Jordan’s needs and export the rest via Aqaba. Iraq sits on one of the world’s largest oil reserves — 153 billion barrels by Baghdad’s own estimates. Iraq delivered oil to Jordan for preferential prices under the UN oil-for-food programme during the rule of late dictator Saddam Hussein.

Meeting of APPRM Angjushev and MTV Sugareski with Mihajlovic

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Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in charge of Economic Affairs Dr. Kocho Angjushev together with Minister of Transport and Communications Goran Sugareski met today in Belgrade, R. Serbia with Dr. Zoran Mihailovic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Construction, Infrastructure and Transport discussed the key infrastructure projects that connect the two countries. At the meeting an agreement was reached to facilitate all procedures for the transfer of goods and passengers at the border crossings.

Deputy Prime Minister Angjushev said that the parts have reached an agreement first in the region to facilitate all procedures for the transfer of goods and passengers at border crossings. He added that it is important to say that diplomats have found understanding within their cooperation to establish a customs office in Tabanovce, at the railway crossing between Macedonia and Serbia at the railway crossing. The countries will fund such a station jointly and at the same time ask for funds from the Western Balkans Investment Fund, which has already been discussed. Finally he stated they agreed to start such projects as soon as possible in the interests of the citizens of both countries: he thinks that in 2019 they can start building.

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