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Good chance of deals with N Korea, China says Trump

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Washington: President Donald Trump said in remarks aired he saw a “good chance” of reaching deals on two key US foreign policy challenges: North Korean nuclear disarmament and trade relations with China.

Interviewed on CBS’s Face the Nation, Mr Trump said the date and venue of his upcoming second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un had been agreed — and would likely be announced before or during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The meeting is set,” said the president. “He’s looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to it.”

 

Vietnam is seen as the most likely venue for the Trump-Kim summit, which is expected to take place late this month and follows on from a landmark first face-to-face last June.

US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress this week that “North Korea is unlikely to give up all of its nuclear weapons and production capabilities.”

That analysis runs counter to the position of the president, who once more argued in Sunday’s interview that “there’s also a very good chance that we will make a deal.”

“I think he’s also tired of going through what he’s going through,” said Trump, referring to the international sanctions pressing on Kim’s regime.

“He has a chance to have North Korea be a tremendous economic behemoth,” Trump continued. “He can’t do that with nuclear weapons and he can’t do that on the path they’re on now.”

“I like him. I get along with him great,” the president added. “We have a fantastic chemistry.”

The two leaders’ first meeting produced a vaguely-worded document in which Kim pledged to work towards “the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”.

But progress has since stalled with the two sides disagreeing over what that means.

Asked about the possibility of the United States pulling troops out of South Korea as it negotiates with Pyongyang, Trump doubled down on remarks by the US envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun, who this week denied any such plans.

“We have 40,000 troops in South Korea, it’s very expensive. But I have no plans, I’ve never even discussed removing them,” Trump said.

The US president went on to praise China as having been “very helpful” with the North Korean dossier — and voiced optimism about the prospect of a deal to end their trade war.

“It looks like we’re doing very well with making a deal with China,” said Trump, who struck an upbeat note following two days of US-China trade talks at the White House this week.

The two sides face a March 1 deadline to avert a sharp increase in US duties on $200 billion in Chinese exports.

“I don’t know that we’re going to make one, but we have a good chance,” Trump said. “And if it is a deal it’s going to be a real deal. It’s not going to be a stopgap.”


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Pakistan among the few countries to successfully turn tide against terrorism: Imran

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Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the country condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state-terrorism against people under illegal occupation. The PM stated that Pakistan is “among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism”.

Addressing the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Khan reiterated that Pakistan is ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. He added that growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. He further said that Pakistan will remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives.

Speaking on Afghanistan, PM Khan said that “the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution”, adding that Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for “peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process”.

 

“Excellencies, The world stands at a crossroads. For the first time in ages, we are seeing the advent of a multi-polar global order. Epicentres of economic power and growth momentum are shifting eastwards. Regional integration is speeding up. Disruptive technologies are maturing. Threats from terrorism to climate change to narcotics to bacterial resistance continue to loom large,” said PM Khan.

“There are increasing barriers to open trade and innovation. Meanwhile, growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. For its part, Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State-terrorism against people under illegal occupation. We are among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism,” added the Pakistan PM.

“Pakistan remains ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. We will also remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives. Excellencies, There is finally a realization that the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution. Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process,” further said Pakistan PM Khan.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reiterated India’s strong stand against terrorism and appealed that countries supporting, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable. PM Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism even as Khan looked on.

Without naming Pakistan, a country that has made state-sponsored terrorism its biggest policy to counter India for the last several decades, PM Modi said every country needs to come together, unite and fight against the scourge.

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Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state

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Moscow: Vladimir Putin has said Russia will fight for an independent Palestinian state, and called for the issues of the Middle East to be resolved through peaceful means.

Despite international criticism over Russia’s own role in the Ukrainian crisis, Mr Putin was hailed last week by a St Petersburg Cossack group for his ability to “bring order and stop wars”.

In an address to the Arab League summit in Egypt on Saturday, Putin spoke against foreign intervention in countries’ internal disputes and spoke of the role Russia can play in diplomatic channels.

 

While Russia openly opposes the stance of US-backed Israel on the Gaza crisis, its position in the Middle East is complicated. Putin is one of Iran’s key allies, but as he spoke on Saturday the core nations of the Arab League engaged in air strikes on the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

His attempts to urge a peaceful solution in Yemen haven’t had much of an immediate impact – on Sunday, the Arab League agreed to the creation of a joint military forces comprised of around 40,000 elite troops to resolve the future “challenges” of the Middle East.

As one of the “Quartet” entities involved in Middle East peace negotiations, Russia has played a key role in talks about the fallout of last year’s Gaza crisis.

He told the summit this weekend: “Palestinians have the right to establish an independent and habitable state with a capital in East Jerusalem.

“Russia will continue to contribute to achieving this goal through bilateral and multilateral channels,” he said.

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Trump claims Queen had fun with him during his UK visit

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Washington: US President Donald Trump claimed that Britains Queen Elizabeth II had more fun during his state visit to the UK than in the last 25 years."I have such a great relationship, and we were laughing and having fun. And her people said she hasnt had so much fun in 25 years. Then I got criticized for it because they said we were having too much fun,” the Hill quoted Trump as saying.

Trump`s comments come two weeks after his first state visit to London to meet the 93-year-old monarch. During his three-day visit, the president dined with the Queen, members of the British royal family and other British politicians at Buckingham Palace.

Trump and the queen reaffirmed the importance of the Washington-London relationship during an elaborate state banquet.”On behalf of all Americans I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of her majesty, the queen,” Trump said in his toast during the event.

 

He also met Prime Minister Theresa May. Opposing Trumps visit, thousands of people hit the streets. TheTrump Baby` blimp was flown by the demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament, according to CNN, alongside a 16-foot robot version of Trump sitting on the toilet and tweeting.

Other activists came dressed as gorillas, with signs reading that they “only eat chlorinated chicken” — a nod to concerns in Britain that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US would mean a decline in food standards for imported produce.

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