Category Archives: World

President Trump emblematic meeting with Chairman Kim in Singapore

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula while Washington committed to provide security guarantees.

“President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” said the statement.

Trump DPRK agreement

Trump  expects the denuclearization process to start “very, very quickly”. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials would hold follow-up negotiations “at the earliest possible date”, the statement said.

The U.S. and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) joint statement said the two sides had agreed to recovering the remains of prisoners of war (1950-53) and of those missing in action and repatriating them.

The document also made no mention of the international sanctions that have crippled North Korea’s economy for pursuing its nuclear weapons program.

Taliban announced a few days cease-fire

Taliban militants have announced cease-fire with the government forces for three days to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid in Afghanistan. Foreign military in Afghanistan are excluded from the truce.

The announcement come in response to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday (706/2018) declared his own unconditional, week-long ceasefire against the Taliban, but not against other militant groups. The armistice will cover the Eid celebrations at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, which comes next Thursday.

Ghani’s ceasefire comes after the recommendation from a group of Islamic clerics, and it will last until June 20. The Taliban have not specified the dates of their pause.

Italian PM Conte agrees with President Trump on Russia return to G7

Italian Prime minister Giuseppe Conte agreed with the suggestion of President Donald Trump that return of Russian into G7 is in interest of all.

“Russia should be in this meeting,” Trump told reporters upon leaving the White House for the summit, which is being held in Charlevoix, Canada. “They should let Russia come back in, because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.” (Image: G8 with Russia).

G8

Russia was suspended from the group — then known as the G8 (pictured above) — in 2014 after the majority of member countries allied against Kremlin annexation of Crimea, which Moscow continues to consider an integral part of Russian Federation after the referendum, when an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to reunite with their historic motherland.
A number of the European politicians have already acknowledged the legality of the referendum, pointing out that the after the coup-d’état in Kiev, the citizens of Crimea were not obliged to accept the new authorities, and had a freedom of choice, according to the self-determination principle of the UN Charter. (Image above: Crimean bridge)
Asked in an interview earlier this week about what would need to happen for Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Austria’s ORF broadcasting corporation that “there are no such conditions and there can never be.”

Qatar announces “ambition” to join NATO

Qatar’s defense minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah said that his country’s long-term strategic “ambition” is to join the NATO.

Reaching the anniversary of a year-long bitter Gulf diplomatic dispute, which has seen Qatar separated from its former regional allies, the minister said Qatar announced country’s interest to become a full member of the 29-country alliance.

The minister added that the alliance could assist Qatar in fighting against terrorism and could be a guarantor of stability in the region.

In March, Qatari armed forces signed an agreement with NATO on military and security cooperation.

The same time  Qatar’s Foreign Minister has rejected Saudi Arabia’s reported threats of military action over Doha’s interest in buying Russian S-400 missile systems. He said the country can decide for itself what weapons to buy. “The purchase of any military equipment is a sovereign decision that no country has anything to do with,” Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera. He stressed that any external pressure on the nation would violate international law.

“Qatar’s economy has suffered on several fronts as new logistics links proved to be more expensive in the short term,” Andreas Krieg, a professor at King’s College London said. “However, Qatar has been able to transform this crisis into an opportunity.”

 

 

 

 

Russian diplomats celebrate National Day in Jerusalem

According to Russian diplomatic sources, the Embassy of Russian Federation in Israel is hosting its annual National Day (12 June) reception in Jerusalem, in a gesture of recognition of West Jerusalem as capital of State of Israel not only de jure in statements, but also de facto.

Russia’s incoming Ambassador H.E. Anatoly Viktorov has invited guests to the reception (reportedly celebrated on 14th of June) at Sergei’s Courtyard.

Russian compound church

Sergei’s Courtyard constructed in 1889, but sometimes still referred to as New Courtyard, a part of a historic complex in the Jerusalem neighborhood  known as the Russian Compound (pictured), which Israeli authorities handed to Russia a decade ago in a goodwill gesture.

Russian compound Jerusalem

At present Russia remains committed to the decisions of the United Nations on the status of Jerusalem. In April 2017, Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) issued a statement on the “urgent need” for resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, underlining its firm commitment to the decisions of the United Nations on the principles of settlement, including the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state.

However “at the same time, we consider it necessary to declare that in this context we consider West Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel” – the statement of Russian MFA concluded.

On December 6, Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesperson, reaffirmed Russia‘s position to support the immediate resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on “all controversial issues, including the status of Jerusalem.”

In June 2017, the Israeli authorities suggested to Russian government to move the embassy to Jerusalem, but in response the diplomats said that Russia has no intention to do so until Israel and Palestine have settled their bilateral relations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Europe attempts to save nuclear deal

A meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action #JCPOA took place in Vienna on 25 May 2018 upon the request of the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to review the implications of the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA and discuss the way forward to ensure the continued implementation of the deal in all its aspects. The EEAS Secretary General Helga Schmid who chaired the EEAS meeting on behalf of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini has issued a statement:

Under the terms of the JCPOA, the Joint Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the nuclear deal.

The Joint Commission was chaired, on behalf of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, by EEAS Secretary General Helga Schmid and, following the withdrawal of the United States of America from the JCPOA, was attended by the E3+2 (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom) and Iran at the level of Political Directors/Deputy Foreign Ministers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Director General Yukiya Amano was present at the beginning of the Joint Commission against the background of the 11th report by the IAEA which had just been issued. The participants welcomed the fact that the IAEA has again confirmed the continued adherence by Iran to its nuclear-related commitments. They also commended the professional and impartial role played by the IAEA, the only body charged with the monitoring and verification of the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015).

Participants regretted the withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear deal and the announced re-imposition of US sanctions lifted under the JCPOA. The JCPOA is a key element of the global non-proliferation architecture and a significant diplomatic achievement endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council in its Resolution 2231.

The Joint Commission meeting provided the opportunity to address the unilateral withdrawal of the United States and its consequences, to discuss the way forward, and the continued implementation of the JCPOA with regard to nuclear and sanctions lifting-related commitments, as well as Procurement Channel matters and civil nuclear cooperation.

Participants recalled their commitment to the continued, full and effective implementation of the JCPOA, in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere, and recognised that the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions allowing for the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran constitute essential parts of the JCPOA.

Participants reviewed the potential impact of the re-imposition of US sanctions following a meeting of the Working Group on the Implementation of Sanctions-Lifting, which was convened the day before.

In this regard, participants discussed common efforts with a view to practical solutions concerning the following issues within the next few weeks: maintaining and deepening economic relations with Iran; the continued sale of Iran’s oil and gas condensate petroleum products and petrochemicals and related transfers; effective banking transactions with Iran; continued sea, land, air and rail transportation relations with Iran; the further provision of export credit and development of special purpose vehicles in financial banking, insurance and trade areas, with the aim of facilitating economic and financial cooperation, including by offering practical support for trade and investment; the further development and implementation of Memoranda of Understanding and contracts between third-countries companies and Iranian counterparts; further investments in Iran; the protection of economic operators and ensuring legal certainty; the further development of a transparent, rules-based business environment in Iran.

These efforts are aimed at preserving the interests of businesses and investors engaged with Iran. Participants noted that economic operators pursuing legitimate business with Iran were acting in good faith based on commitments contained in the JCPOA and endorsed at the highest level, unanimously by a UN Security Council Resolution.

Participants stressed their commitment to work to ensure that these benefits would continue to be delivered and agreed to this end to deepen their dialogue at all levels, including at the level of experts with a view to finding practical solutions to these problems.

Participants agreed to intensify their ongoing work in the Joint Commission and all its bodies in the format of E3/EU+2 and Iran, in particular the Working Group on the Implementation of Sanctions-Lifting.

As a next step, Iran proposed a Ministerial meeting of the Joint Commission.

Zarif considers EU political support insufficient

Iranian Foreign minister Javad Zarif said to the EU energy chief Miguel Arias Canete that the bloc must take “practical steps” to strengthen economic ties with Tehran after Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, underlining that “political support” was not enough.

“With the withdrawal of America, [Iran’s] public expectations of the European Union have increased in order to maintain the deal’s gains, and in the current context, the European political support for the accord is not sufficient,” Zarif said during the meeting with Miguel Arias Canete, the EU’s energy Commissioner, in Tehran on Sunday (20/05/2018), the IRNA news agency reports.

 

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