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China, ROK agree to enhance mutual trust, cooperation

in ASIA/POLITICS by

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Tokyo Wednesday, vowing to enhance political mutual trust and win-win cooperation. Calling the two countries close neighbors and important cooperation partners, Li said China hopes to enhance strategic communication and political trust with the ROK, expand win-win cooperation and promote further easing of regional situation. The two countries should synergize their development strategies and enhance cooperation in various areas, Li said. The 7th China-Japan-ROK leaders’ meeting, held earlier in the day in Tokyo, had reached many new consensuses on boosting cooperation, maintaining regional stability and facilitating regional development, Li said.

China will take over the presidency of the trilateral cooperation, he said, vowing to work closely with Japan and the ROK to cement trust and meet each other halfway to boost trilateral cooperation as well as regional integration. Li congratulated the success of the recent inter-Korean summit between Moon and leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong-un. He welcomed the return of the nuclear issue on Korean Peninsula to the track of dialogue and spoke highly of the efforts made by the ROK.

The opening of negotiations closes the ‘abyss’ between Albania and the EU

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

The spirits of the “spiritual abyss” between Albania and Europe have always narrowed, but will be completely closed if Albania opens negotiations with the EU. Present at the Albanian Cultural Heritage – a Value on the European Way, at the Academy of Sciences, Prime Minister Edi Rama said that ” the expression Albanians used whenever they left the house was, is getting the road to Europe”. “This expression sums up the dream, hope and ambition of every man, every father, every boy who left home to take the road to Europe, to bring from there what the house could not have. So Albanians have lived for many centuries, to this day, on May 9, 2018, which we are talking about. With this dream, with this hope and ambition.

While the deep spiritual depth between them and Europe has come narrowing. But again today, being prime minister, it is a duty to see the bottom of the abyss, through the principles that built the United Europe. There is the shadow of the abyss when you speak to EU members. It’s fortunately a shadow of that abyss. Because the abyss is far more psychological than factual, since Albania has received historic support from the EU to open negotiations to eventually close the abyss.

Over 12000 observers monitor Iraqi elections

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

More than 12,000 observers will monitor Iraqi parliamentary election on May 12 in Kirkuk, a spokesman of Kirkuk-branch of the electoral commission said on Tuesday (May 8). Spokesman of Kirkuk-branch of the Iraqi High Independent Electoral Commission (IHEC), Abdulstar Shwani said over 40 channels will also observe the parliamentary election next week in the city. “The preparations are in the final stage in Kirkuk,” Shwani told NRT. Iraqi counter-terrorism forces, federal police and security forces will maintain security in the city during the day of election, he added. Iraqi army helicopters will also observe the ballot stations in Kirkuk, according to the spokesman of Kirkuk-branch of the electoral commission.

Iraq is due to hold private election for security forces in the Defense and Interior Ministries on Thursday, he said. General election is held of Saturday. Around 7,000 candidates are competing to win the 329 seats in the Council of Representatives. A total of 24 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their votes to elect members of parliament, who will in turn elect the Iraqi President and Prime Minister. The parliamentary election will be the first general election since Iraq’s victory over Islamic State in December last year.

Kim Jong Un holds second meeting with Xi Jinping in China

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Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, met Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Dalian, Northeast China’s Liaoning province, on May 7-8. In a cordial and friendly atmosphere, the top leaders of the two parties and the two countries had an all-round and in-depth exchange of views on China-DPRK relations and major issues of common concern. Xi said he was willing to meet Kim again to make joint efforts to push the healthy and stable development of China-DPRK relations, realize long-lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.

For his part, Kim said both the DPRK-China friendship and the Korean Peninsula situation have undergone meaningful progress since March this year. “These are the positive outcomes of the historic meeting between me and Comrade General Secretary,” he said. At a crucial time when the regional situation is developing rapidly, Kim said he came to China again to meet with General Secretary and inform him of the situation, hoping to strengthen strategic communication and cooperation with China, deepen DPRK-China friendship, and promote regional peace and stability.

Albanian Foreign Minister, “Together Towards European Union”

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the EU Delegation to Albania held the Conference “Together Towards European Union: Recognizing Past Experience and Creating Partnerships for the Future”. The conference was conceived in two panels: “Recognizing past experience” and “Creating partnerships for the future”. In his speech, Minister Bushati underlined that for Albania, the European project is essentially a union project within itself. According to him, the European project is the project that the overwhelming majority of Albanians see as a project of peace, security and prosperity, but above all, they see it as a project of democratic governance for them. For the head of Albanian diplomacy, the European project coincides not only with the modernization and transformation of our society but also with the consolidation of our European identity as a nation

North Korea tells U.S. to not think peace talks are weakness

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Ahead of a historic summit between the U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean President Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang has alleged that America’s tough talk is a provocation. Commenting on recent statements made by the U.S., North Korea warned the U.S. not to misread peace overtures as a sign of weakness. Further, the Kim Jong Un-led regime has accused the Trump administration of deliberately provoking Pyongyang with tough talk and a show of military strength. A spokesman for the North Korean foreign ministry told the state-run Korean Central News Agency, “It would not be conducive to addressing the issue if the U.S. miscalculates the peace-loving intention of the DPRK (North Korea) as a sign of ‘weakness’ and continues to pursue its pressure and military threats.”

The statement by North Korea comes at a time when there are merely weeks to go before Trump meets Kim Jong Un in a historic meeting. However, despite all the positive news emerging from the Korean peninsula, the North Korean spokesman accused the Trump administration of misleading the public on Sunday.The spokesman alleged that U.S. claims are misleading that Pyongyang is motivated by fear of U.S. military strength and concerns about aggressive economic sanctions put in place because of the North’s nuclear and missile programs. The spokesman added that movement of U.S. military assets into the region and talk of human rights violations also have hurt the process.

Iraqi warplanes strike ISIS positions in Syria for second time

in DEFENCE/MIDLE EAST by

The Iraqi Air Force has launched airstrikes against positions of the Islamic State militant group inside Syrian territory, the media office of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said Sunday. “The heroes of the Iraqi Air Force have dealt a severe blow to the site of the leaders of Daesh south of al-Dashisha village inside the Syrian territory,” the media office said in a statement referring to ISIS by a different acronym. Al-Dashisha village located in south of Hasakah.  The airstrikes by Iraqi warplanes in Syrian territory were second of their kind this year.

ISIS positions were hit by Iraqi airstrikes on April 19 following anorder by the Iraqi Prime Minister. At that time, Iraq said that the threat that ISIS militants pose in Syria to Iraq led to the strikes to be launched. “Our forces, our fighters and their pursuit of the terrorist gangs saved many lives and thwarted plans,” it said, adding that “these strikes will help accelerate elimination of the organization in the region after it was eliminated militarily in Iraq.”

Rouhani: “Iran could remain in JCPOA if interests guaranteed”

in DEFENCE/MIDLE EAST by

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said if the US decided to scrap the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the other parties should guarantee that Iran will get all it wants from the 2015 nuclear agreement.  The US will be the real loser if it walks away from the nuclear accord, he added. “We have our own plan. Either what we demand from the JCPOA is fulfilled by the non-American (parties), (and in that case) the US withdrawal will be the removal of a trouble, or we (will resort to) our legal and rational option… if what we expect is not fully accomplished,” the president said.

He warned Washington against the “strategic mistake” of withdrawing from the nuclear deal, reiterating though that Iran has no concerns about the US’s cruel policies and wrong moves. US President Donald Trump in January set a 120-day deadline for US lawmakers and European allies to “fix” his predecessor Barack Obama’s main foreign policy achievement or face a US exit.

China has promised to protect the Philippines

in ASIA/POLITICS by

China has assured the Philippines that it will come to its aid in the event of external threats, according to President Rodrigo Duterte. “China said, ‘We will protect you. We will not allow the Philippines to be destroyed. We are just here and you can call for our help anytime,'” the President said in a speech in Davao City on Friday. He criticised the United States, saying it would not protect the Philippines because it was afraid of war. The Philippines and the United States are defence treaty allies, but the President is distancing the Philippines from the United States because of US expressions of concern over the thousands of killings in his brutal war on drugs.

The President recalled how he decided to seek help from China and Russia after some American senators filed a bill that would block the sale of assault rifles to the Philippine National Police, as these could be used against Filipinos. He thanked China and Russia for giving firearms to the Philippines without asking for anything in return. “So to this day, China and Russia has not asked me for a single piece of paper or pencil in return. And I told them that I’m not ready to enter into military alliances because we have this pact with the US. If I have a treaty with them, I cannot enter into other treaties,” he said.

 

Iraqi foreign minister looks to boost ties in Ankara

in ECONOMY/MIDLE EAST by

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.

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