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In US’ warning to Maldives’ defeated President Yameen, a hint for China

Press Trust of India

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Washington: The US would be forced to take “appropriate measures” against anyone who undermines a peaceful transfer of power in the Maldives, a top state department official has said, expressing serious concern over the “troubling actions” taken by China-backed outgoing president Abdullah Yameen.

The incumbent Yameen government was defeated comprehensively by the country’s opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the parliamentary elections held in the Maldives last month.

While Abdullah Yameen was strongly supported by China and backed Beijing’s outlook, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s views about the island-nation and the Indian Ocean region are more democratic, with views similar to India.

 

Abdullah Yameen’s party has filed a legal petition challenging his landslide election defeat despite major international pressure for him to step down.

US’ significant statement comes days after Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells met Maldives’ President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

“The US is concerned by troubling actions by outgoing President Yameen that threaten to undermine the will of the Maldivian people, and will consider appropriate measures against anyone who undermines a peaceful transfer of power in the Maldives,” State Department Spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a video twitter message.

The Maldivian people turned out in record numbers during the recent elections to decisively choose Ibrahim Mohamed Solih as their next president, Palladino said.

The election commission of the Maldives has certified the results of the presidential elections, he said.

Paladino said the US is concerned about the troubling actions of outgoing President Yameen after he approached the country’s Supreme Court contesting the election results.

He also pointed out that there have been reports of serious threats against members of the country’s election commission.

“The United States and the international community would view with great concern any attempt that undermines the democratic process including any delay in the inauguration scheduled for November 17.”

“The United States will consider appropriate measures against anyone who undermines democracy, rule of law or free and fair electoral process of the Maldives,” Paladino said.

During her meeting with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Wells emphasised that the US is willing to extend cooperation to his government and to assist the Maldives in its return to the democratic path.

“The United States urges all parties to respect the will of the Maldivian people and to ensure smooth and peaceful transition,” Paladino added.

Abdullah Yameen’s landslide defeat was widely reported as a massive blow to China, which financed his administration’s flagship infrastructure projects with huge loans – in excess of a billion dollars. Such a move was seen as Beijing’s debt trap by the main opposition party and the people of the country.

 


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

Agencies

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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

Agencies

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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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