Trump makes surprise deal. Turkish leaders said Monday they fully expect the United States to follow through on president Donald Trump’s surprise pledge last week to stop sending weapons to Syrian Kurdish fighters. American support might not matter all that much to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, as some of the group’s leaders say they would be willing to join forces with the Syrian government if their demands for a federal state in the north are granted by Damascus. It’s unclear what Syria’s allies in Iran or Russia think of that plan, as they’re working with Turkey to forge some sort of settlement to the fighting. Either way, trouble lies ahead. In a region awash in weapons, the Kurds will likely find ways to keep the flow of weapons coming. FP’s Paul McLeary visited a U.S.-run training camp for the SDF in northern Syria earlier this year, where the Kurds said they fully expected to have to fight the Turks once they expelled the Islamic State from their country.
The Palestinians threatened on Saturday to suspend all communication with the United States if the Trump administration follows through with plans to close their diplomatic office in Washington. The potential rupture in relations threatens to undermine President Donald Trump’s bid for Mideast peace: a mission he has handed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the U.S. decision was “very unfortunate and unacceptable,” and accused Washington of bowing to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal”. The administration announced late Friday that the Palestinians had run afoul of a legal provision that says the Palestine Liberation Organization cannot operate a Washington office if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson determined that the Palestinians crossed that line in September, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the court to investigate and prosecute Israelis, according to State Department officials.
Trump left for home from the Philippines after a lunch with the other leaders, as meetings were running about two hours behind schedule. He told reporters on Air Force One that he had delivered his prepared remarks during the lunch instead of the summit meeting. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would attend the plenary session in his place, a senior White House official said. Trump said his trip had resulted in at least $300 billion, possibly triple that figure, of deals being agreed. He did not elaborate. “We’ve explained that the United States is open for trade but we want reciprocal, we want fair trade for the United States”, he said. Trade and concern about possible protectionism under Trump’s “America First” agenda have come up during his visit to the region, which included stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam before concluding in the Philippines.
President Donald Trump’s oldest son released a series of private Twitter exchanges between himself and WikiLeaks during and after the 2016 election, including pleas from the website to publicize its leaks. Donald Trump Jr.’s release of the messages on Twitter came hours after The Atlantic first reported them Monday. In the exchanges — some of them around the time that the website was releasing the stolen emails from Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman — WikiLeaks praises his father’s positive comments about WikiLeaks and asks Trump Jr. to release his father’s tax returns to the site. The revelations are sure to increase calls in Congress to have Trump Jr. testify publicly as part of several committee probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election. And they add a new element to the investigations that have been probing for months whether Trump’s campaign colluded in any way with the Russian government
Russia and the US should pull their troops out of Syria following the joint statement adopted by the two countries’ presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, which says that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said before departing for Russia on Monday. Putin and Trump adopted a joint statement on Syria on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam’s Danang on November 11. The document says that “the presidents agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria”. “They confirmed that the ultimate political solution to the conflict must be forged through the Geneva process pursuant to UNSCR [United Nations Security Council Resolution] 2254,” the document adds. Putin and Trump “also took note of President Assad’s recent commitment to the Geneva process and constitutional reform and elections as called for under UNSCR 2254”.
The Trump administration has given 2,500 Nicaraguans with provisional residency 14 months to leave the United States, announcing Monday that it will not renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation that has allowed them to remain in the country for nearly two decades. But Trump officials deferred a decision for the much larger group of 57,000 Hondurans who have been living in the United States with the same designation, saying the Department of Homeland Security needed more time to consider their fate. The decision was likely to displease immigration hard-liners who have urged the administration to end the TPS program on the grounds that it was never intended to bestow long-term residency to those who may have entered the country illegally. The two groups were shielded from deportation after Hurricane Mitch hit Central America in 1998, and their TPS protections have been routinely renewed ever since.
A day after U.S. President Donald Trump turned his anger due to failed efforts in subduing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions from China to Russia – Pyongyang announced its own plans.Trump, on Wednesday, said that Russia was having a negative impact on U.S. efforts to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons while China had been helpful. In a televised interview, Trump said it would be easier to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue if the United States had a better relationship with Russia. Meanwhile, North Korea, which has already tested a series of weapons this year, including the successful test of its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb so far – issued its own warning on Thursday morning. Ri Yong Pil, a senior diplomat in North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, warned that the U.S. should take the hydrogen bomb threat from Kim Jong Un seriously adding that the foreign ministry was aware of plans for a launch and urged Washington to prepare itself. He said, “The foreign minister is very well aware of the intentions of our supreme leader, so I think you should take his words literally.” Last week, amid the heated war of words being exchanged between Trump and Kim Jong Un, CIA chief Mike Pompeo said that North Korea could be only months away from gaining the ability to hit the United States with nuclear weapons. On November 3, Trump is scheduled to depart on a trip during which he will visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Meanwhile, Trump, who has pressed China to help rein in North Korea’s nuclear program so far since January, turned the heat on Russia on Wednesday. He said, “I think we could have a good relationship with Russia. I think that North Korean situation would be easier settled.”As North Korea’s sole major ally, China accounts for more than 90 percent of trade with the isolated country and on Thursday, Trump said in a tweet that he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the conversation included North Korea.Russian President Vladimir Putin warned last week that North Korea must not be “backed into a corner” and urged dialogue to end the nuclear standoff with the U.S.
Intensifying the war of words further, North Korea on Thursday mocked U.S. President Donald Trump as the “rabid man in the White House”. The reclusive nation has also threatened to attack the United States with an “immense volley of nuclear fire”. The menacing message from Pyongyang coming just days after it warned other countries to avoid an alliance with America if they wanted to evade a nuclear attack on their own nations. A North Korean ambassador said in prepared remarks, “The entire U.S. mainland is within our firing range. And if the U.S. dares to invade our sacred territory even an inch it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe”. The KCNA report featured the statement by the reclusive nation along with photos of Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Jol Ju, smiling at workers in a shoe factory. The statement said, “The U.S. is running amok by introducing under our nose the targets we have set as primary ones. The U.S. should expect that it would face unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time. From the very day of the birth of the DPRK, its people have experienced sanctions and pressure, a war without gunfire. The U.S. is different from the DPRK. Historically, it is the chieftain persistently threatening the DPRK”.
Trump promises to “give peace to a chance” before moving the embassy to Jerusalem “If we can make peace between the Palestinians and Israel, I think it will ultimately lead to peace in the Middle East”, says the president of the United States, adding , on the time frame for the change of the embassy: “We are about to make a decision in the not too far future”.
Many in Washington point to Mr. Trump’s divisive management style, Mr. Tillerson has little reservoir of good will left in the capital. He was already judged “the nation’s least influential top diplomat in recent memory”, as Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, the conservative journal, put it. He has alienated his own department with deep budget cuts and a diffident style while never bringing in a full team of his own. He has made few friends in Congress or the foreign policy establishment. He has maintained such a low profile that his clout was doubted from the start.