United Nations :Nikki Haley, the first Indian-American to serve on the United States cabinet and the highest profile woman and non-white in the current administration, has resigned her position as the Permanent Representative to the UN, she and President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday.
In the surprise announcement, she said she will leave at the end of the year.
She said that she did not know as yet what she will be doing next, but ruled out a run for president in 2020 saying she would campaign for Trump.
After eight years of public service — two as a governor and two as UN ambassador – she said that she wanted a change after the stressful tenures and that government officials should limit their terms in office so that there are new people coming in.
Trump praised her for her role at the UN saying that she was respected by leaders and diplomats at the UN and that the US is more respected.
He called her a “special friend” and said he hoped to see her back in some capacity in the administration or politics.
The daughter of Sikh immigrants from Amritsar district, Haley had a meteoric rise in Republican politics and was the megaphone of President Donald Trump’s aggressive global policy at the UN often using harsh rhetoric at opponents.
She was the first woman and non-white to be elected governor of South Carolina before she was appointed the UN ambassador — a cabinet post in the US.
Haley is very popular among Republicans. But she was despised by Democrats — especially Indian Americans — who hold that non-white persons should not be in the Republican Party and hold a high government office in Republican Administration.
The resignation of the highest profile woman in Trump’s cabinet less than a month before the mid-term elections roils the political situation just after widespread protests by women’s groups and polarisation over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual harassment, to the Supreme Court.
Her main achievement was getting China and Russia to stringently adhere to Security Council sanctions on North Korea, which ultimately led to its Kim Jong Un agreeing to negotiate denuclearisation with the US.
Trump praised her role on North Korea, which led to his diplomatic coup.
She also backed the moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, which led to the virtual isolation of Washington at the UN, with even allies abandoning it.
She also backed cutting US aid to the UN agency for Palestinians.
US ending decades-old nuclear arms treaty with Russia, announces Trump
Washington: US President Donald Trump has announced that America is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia, a decades-old agreement signed in 1987.
“Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years,” Trump told reporters on Saturday before boarding Air Force One to leave Nevada following a campaign rally.
“And I don’t know why President (Barack) Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out. And we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we’re not allowed to. We’re the ones that have stayed in the agreement and we’ve honoured the agreement.
“But Russia has not, unfortunately, honoured the agreement. So we’re going to terminate the agreement. We’re gonna pull out,” he said of the agreement, which was signed in December 1987 by former President Ronald Reagan and former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev.
The treaty forced both countries to eliminate ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between approximately 300 and 3,400 miles.
It offered a blanket of protection to the US’ European allies and marked a watershed agreement between two nations at the centre of the arms race during the Cold War.
The Trump administration has said repeatedly that Russia has violated the treaty and has pointed to their predecessors in the Obama administration who accused Moscow of violating the terms of the agreement.
In 2014, CNN reported that the US had accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty, citing cruise missile tests that dated to 2008.
The US at the time informed its NATO allies of Russia’s suspected breach.
Earlier this month, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the military alliance remained “concerned about Russia’s lack of respect for its international commitments, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the INF Treaty”.
Moscow’s failure to adhere to the agreement was also addressed in the most recent Nuclear Posture Review published by the US Defence Department in February, which said Russia “continues to violate a series of arms control treaties and commitments”.
However, pulling out of the treaty could provoke a similar arms race across Europe akin to the one that was occurring when the agreement was initially signed in the 1980s, CNN said.
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi death ‘a mistake’: Saudi Arabia
Riyadh :Saudi Arabia described as “a mistake” the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this month.
In an interview with Fox News, Saudi Foreign Minister Abel Al-Jubeir said that this was a “rogue operation”.
“They made a mistake and killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate and they tried to cover up for it,” Al-Jubeir said.
Khashoggi, journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, had been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
A joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case on Thursday after searching the residence of the Consul General as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The kingdom acknowledged early Saturday that Khashoggi died in a brawl in its consulate, but did not give any explanation on the cause of his death.
As of now, 18 Saudi suspects have been taken into custody in connection with the incident and two senior Saudi officials fired.
Saudi King, Crown Prince send condolences to Khashoggi son
Riyadh:The King of Saudi Arabia and the Crown Prince sent their condolences to a son of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who died at his country’s consulate in Istanbul, Saudi state media reported.
The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Sunday that the Monarch, Salman bin Abdulaziz, and his son, Mohammed bin Salman, telephoned Salah Jamal Khashoggi to express their condolences, reports Efe news.
Salah thanked the king and expressed his “sincere gratitude” to Prince Mohammed for the calls, according to separate press releases published by the SPA.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said in an interview with US television channel Fox on the same day that Prince Mohammed had no knowledge of Khashoggi’s death.
In that interview, al-Jubeir described the death of Khashoggi as “a grave mistake” and said that those responsible will be held to account.
The Saudi authorities at first denied the death of the regime-critical journalist.
The Saudi authorities said that Khashoggi died in the course of a “fight” with agents who were trying to interrogate him in the legation.
The UK, France and Germany said on Sunday that Saudi Arabia’s version of Khashoggi’s death needs to be supported by “facts” to be considered “credible”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the suspension of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia on the grounds that they cannot be done under the “current circumstances”, in reference to the Khashoggi case.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he will reveal details about the Turkish investigation of the alleged murder of the journalist on Tuesday.
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
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