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Palestine Ready To Seek Full UN Membership Inspite Of U.S. Veto Threat |RN

Sputnik/NAN

Palestine will continue to seek a full membership in the UN in spite of the U.S. veto which seems even more inevitable under the current administration, Nabil Shaath, the foreign affairs adviser of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said.

He told Sputnik: “I have just arrived from Japan. The Japanese membership was vetoed five times at the Security Council, mostly by the Soviet Union at the time.

“Today the only user of the veto is the U. S. And they have no right to veto our full membership.

“Now that the General Assembly has accepted with a major majority that we are a state and we have the right to membership.

“The General Assembly cannot award us full membership … We will keep trying and let the U.S. veto it two-three more times.

“Maybe the world will get tired of Americans vetoing our membership,” Shaath said.

In 2012, the UN granted Palestine a non-member observer state status within the UN General Assembly.

Over the decades, Palestinians have been seeking diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements in occupied areas, in spite of objections from the UN.

The State of Palestine is recognided by most states outside of Europe and North America, totaling over 190 countries.

He said Palestine will continue its contacts with the U. S., but rules out a political dialogue after Washington recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Shaath said: “so far there is really very little contact. After all we have a mission in Washington which the Americans threatened to close but did not close.

“So it is still operative. The Consul of America in Jerusalem has really one duty – to represent America with the Palestinians because the relationship between the America and Israel is conducted by the Embassy in Tel Aviv.”

Shaath said that the Palestinian side ruled out any political dialogue with the U.S.

“There is no political dialogue. There are matters that continue to work – visas, and trade, and many aspects did not stop.

“We did not cut our relationship with the U.S. But there is no political dialogue.

“We reject completely and totally the Trump’s statements about Jerusalem and the Trump’s attempt to eliminate Jerusalem and the refugees from the negotiation table, and the Trump’s attempts to cut down the aid to the UN organisation that deals with the Palestinian refugees.

“We are against all of that,” Shaath explained.

On December 6, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and instructed the U.S. State Department to launch the process of moving the U.S. Embassy, currently located in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem.

The step has prompted criticism from a number of states, first and foremost those in the Middle East and Palestine, and triggered a wave of protests in the region. (The Sun)

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US Signals Nuclear Arms Are Back In A Big Way To Counter Russia |RN

By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROAD
Mike Pence, Donald J. Trump are posing for a picture: When President Trump called on Congress to “modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal,” he did not mention his administration’s rationale: that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has accelerated a dangerous game that the United States must match.© Al Drago for The New York Times When President Trump called on Congress to “modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal,” he did not mention his administration’s rationale: that President Vladimir V. Putin of…  

 

WASHINGTON — A treaty committing the United States and Russia to keep their long-range nuclear arsenals at the lowest levels since early in the Cold War goes into full effect on Monday. When it was signed eight years ago, President Barack Obama expressed hope that it would be a small first step toward deeper reductions, and ultimately a world without nuclear weapons.

Now, that optimism has been reversed. A new nuclear policy issued by the Trump administration on Friday, which vows to counter a rush by the Russians to modernize their forces even while staying within the treaty limits, is touching off a new kind of nuclear arms race. This one is based less on numbers of weapons and more on novel tactics and technologies, meant to outwit and outmaneuver the other side.

The Pentagon envisions a new age in which nuclear weapons are back in a big way — its strategy bristles with plans for new low-yield nuclear weapons that advocates say are needed to match Russian advances and critics warn will be too tempting for a president to use. The result is that the nuclear-arms limits that go into effect on Monday now look more like the final stop after three decades of reductions than a way station to further cuts.

Yet when President Trump called on Congress to “modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal” in his State of the Union address last week, he did not mention his administration’s rationale: that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has accelerated a dangerous game that the United States must match, even if the price tag soars above $1.2 trillion. That is the latest estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, one that many experts think is low by a half-trillion dollars.

Mr. Trump barely mentioned Mr. Putin in the speech and said nothing about Russia’s nuclear buildup. His reluctance to talk about Russia and its leader during his campaign and first year in office — and his refusal to impose sanctions on Russia mandated by Congress — has fueled suspicions about what lies behind his persistently friendly stance toward Mr. Putin.

In the State of the Union speech, the president focused far more on North Korea and on battling terrorism, even though his defense secretary, Jim Mattis, had announced just days ago that “great power competition — not terrorism — is now the primary focus of U.S. national security.”

Vladimir Putin                                                    Vladimir Putin

In contrast to the president’s address, the report issued on Friday, known as the Nuclear Posture Review, focuses intensely on Russia. It describes Mr. Putin as forcing America’s hand to rebuild the nuclear force, as has a series of other documents produced by Mr. Trump’s National Security Council and his Pentagon.

The report contains a sharp warning about a new Russian-made autonomous nuclear torpedo that — while not in violation of the terms of the treaty, known as New Start — appears designed to cross the Pacific undetected and release a deadly cloud of radioactivity that would leave large parts of the West Coast uninhabitable.

It also explicitly rejects Mr. Obama’s commitment to make nuclear weapons a diminishing part of American defenses. The limit on warheads — 1,500 deployable weapons — that goes into effect on Monday expires in 2021, and the nuclear review shows no enthusiasm about its chances for renewal.

The report describes future arms control agreements as “difficult to envision” in a world “that is characterized by nuclear-armed states seeking to change borders and overturn existing norms,” and in particular by Russian violations of a series of other arms-limitation treaties.

“Past assumptions that our capability to produce nuclear weapons would not be necessary and that we could permit the required infrastructure to age into obsolescence have proven to be mistaken,” it argues. “It is now clear that the United States must have sufficient research, design, development and production capacity to support the sustainment and replacement of its nuclear forces.”

The new policy was applauded by establishment Republican defense experts, including some who have shuddered at Mr. Trump’s threats to use nuclear weapons against North Korea, but have worried that he was insufficiently focused on Russia’s nuclear modernization.

“Obama’s theory was that we will lead the way in reducing our reliance on nuclear weapons and everyone else will do the same,” said Franklin C. Miller, a nuclear expert who served in the George W. Bush administration and was an informal consultant to Pentagon officials who drafted the new policy. “It didn’t work out that way. The Russians have been fielding systems while we haven’t, and our first new system won’t be ready until 2026 or 2027.”

“This is a very mainstream nuclear policy,” Mr. Miller said of the document, arguing that new low-yield atomic weapons would deter Mr. Putin and make nuclear war less likely, rather than offer new temptations to Mr. Trump. “Nothing in it deserves the criticism it has received.”
A senior administration official, who would discuss the policy only on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Trump had been briefed on the new nuclear approach, but was leaving the details to Mr. Mattis and to his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster. The president, the official said, was primarily concerned about staying ahead in any nuclear race with Russia, and to a lesser degree with China.

Even Mr. Trump’s harshest critics concede that the United States must take steps as Russia and China have invested heavily in modernizing their forces, making them more lethal. The administration’s new strategy describes the Russian buildup in detail, documenting how Moscow is making “multiple upgrades” to its force of strategic bombers, as well as long-range missiles based at sea and on land. Russia is also developing, it adds, “at least two new intercontinental-range systems,” as well as the autonomous torpedo.

Russia has violated another treaty, the United States argues, that covers intermediate-range missiles, and is “building a large, diverse and modern” set of shorter-range weapons with less powerful warheads that “are not accountable under the New Start treaty.” Yet Mr. Trump has not publicly complained about the alleged treaty violation or the new weapons.

Though members of the Obama administration were highly critical of the Trump administration document, there is little question that Mr. Obama paved the way for the modernization policy. He agreed to a $70 billion makeover of American nuclear laboratories as the price for Senate approval of the 2010 New Start.

Donald Trump                                                         Donald Trump

The new document calls for far more spending — a program that at a minimum will cost $1.2 trillion over 30 years, without inflation taken into account. Most of that money would go to new generations of bombers and new submarines, and a rebuilding of the land-based nuclear missile force that still dots giant fields across the West.

While those systems are the most vulnerable to attack, and the most decrepit part of the force, they are also among the most politically popular in Congress, because they provide jobs in rural areas.

In some cases, Mr. Trump’s plan speeds ahead with nuclear arms that Mr. Obama had endorsed, such as a new generation of nuclear cruise missiles. The low-flying weapons, when dropped from a bomber, hug the ground to avoid enemy radars and air defenses.

Other weapons, though, are completely new. For example, the policy calls for “the rapid development” of a cruise missile that would be fired from submarines, then become airborne before reaching its target. Mr. Obama had eliminated an older version.

It also calls for the development of a low-yield warhead for some of the nation’s submarine ballistic missiles — part of a broader effort to expand the credible options “for responding to nuclear or non-nuclear strategic attack.” But critics of the low-yield weapons say they blur the line between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons, making their use more likely.

Andrew C. Weber, an assistant defense secretary during the Obama administration who directed oversight of the nation’s nuclear arsenal, called the new plan a dangerous folly that would make nuclear war more likely.

“We’re simply mirroring the reckless Russian doctrine,” he said. “We can already deter any strike. We have plenty of low-yield weapons. The new plan is a fiction created to justify the making of new nuclear arms. They’ll just increase the potential for their use and for miscalculation. The administration’s logic is Kafkaesque.”

One of the most controversial elements of the new strategy is a section that declares that the United States might use nuclear weapons to respond to a devastating, but non-nuclear, attack on critical infrastructure — the power grid or cellphone networks, for example.

All of the new or repurposed warheads would come from the National Nuclear Security Administration, an arm of the Energy Department that officials say is already stretched thin.

“We’re pretty much at capacity in terms of people,” Frank G. Klotz was quoted as saying after retiring last month as the agency’s head. “We’re pretty much at capacity in terms of the materials that we need to do this work. And pretty much at capacity in terms of hours in the day at our facilities.”  (The New York Times)

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Trump’s State Of The Union Address: Winners And Losers |The Republican News

Aaron Blake
a man in a suit and tie: President Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the House chamber on Tuesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)       © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post

 

President Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the House chamber on Tuesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) President Trump delivered his second address to Congress and his first official State of the Union address Tuesday night. And a year after that address earned plenty of praise, Trump did his best to re-create its aspirational, highflying tone. At least for most of the speech.

So what were the big takeaways? Below: some winners and losers.

WINNERS

Strength metaphors

Trump began by saying the state of the union was “strong because our people are strong.” He said of dealing with countries such as China and Russia: “Weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.” He said of dealing with the Islamic State: “Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.” He talked about the country being in the process of “regain[ing] its strength.” He pushed to “annihilate” terrorists. Trump was going for a muscular speech — quite literally.

Trump’s illusion of unity

a group of people posing for the camera: Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) acknowledges Trump's introduction during the State of the Union address. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)© Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) acknowledges Trump’s introduction during the State of the Union address. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

One of the biggest applause lines in Trump’s 2017 speech was when he declared, “The time for trivial fights is behind us.” Democrats and even many Republicans hoped it signaled a new day. It was false hope. Whatever you think of Trump, his M.O. is almost always to drive a wedge between the two sides of American politics, solidifying his base and causing his critics to become outraged. Trump alluded to the same mythical brand of unity Tuesday.

“Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for . . . the people we were elected to serve,” he said. The past 11 months, though, have proven over and over that Trump has little interest in making such unification a reality. And even in his speech, Trump decided to raise highly divisive issues such as national anthem protests and crimes by undocumented immigrants.

Steve Scalise

In a speech that began with Trump praising heroes who had sacrificed for their country, the House majority whip got arguably the biggest ovation. Trump labeling him the “legend from Louisiana” was a particularly memorable tribute for the congressman who was shot at a congressional baseball practice and returned to Congress after months of rehab.

Tax cuts

Perhaps as was to be expected, Trump reserved a big chunk of his speech for the lone signature legislative accomplishment of his first year: tax cuts. He mentioned the word “tax” 16 times and painted a picture of a growing American economy that just got a shot in the arm. The tax cuts were severely unpopular when they passed, but Republicans have hitched their wagon to them. And after a long year, the Republicans in the room sure seemed happy to have the chance to brag about something.

LOSERS

The truth

Trump is no stranger to hyperbole and straight-up false claims, and his first State of the Union was no exception. He said the United States is “now an exporter of energy to the world.” Wrong. He said Congress passed and he signed “the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history.” Wrong. He said,“We have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.” That might be true, but because available records don’t go back beyond a few decades, we simply don’t know. Trump even claimed that his tax cuts were leading to bonuses — many of which were “thousands and thousands of dollars per worker.” The most publicized bonuses, though, were generally $1,000. These are part of Trump’s everyday talking points, so hearing them in this speech wasn’t jarring. But it is notable that the White House uses bogus and unproven claims even on this stage.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump arrives for the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald J. Trump arrives for the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. Brevity

The longest State of the Union on record since the 1960s was President Bill Clinton’s in 2000. It clocked in at just under one hour and 29 minutes. Trump’s speech Tuesday night didn’t exceed that, but for a time, it seemed it might. The final clock on Trump’s speech was more than one hour and 20 minutes, which was the third-longest on record, according to the American Presidency Project. He clearly wasn’t considering those of us with young children.

The deep state

This speech was hardly a screed against secret operators within the government trying to take him down, but Trump made several allusions to the idea that the American government hasn’t been on their side. “Americans love their country, and they deserve a government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return,” he said at one point. He added: “For the last year, we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their government.” He even at one point alluded to a proposal to allow Cabinet secretaries to remove government employees who “fail the American people.” At a time when he and his supporters are increasingly pointing to alleged bias in law enforcement and Trump is reported to want to get rid of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, those words seemed thicker.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump claps during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald J. Trump claps during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. Bipartisanship

The speech began with dozens of Democratic members of Congress not even present because they were boycotting. And for much of the speech, it seemed as though the rest of them might as well have stayed home, too. Even as Trump hailed uncontroversial and nonpartisan things such as rising wages, millions of jobs created and a new low in the black unemployment rate, Democrats didn’t stand. When Trump made the above plea for unity, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) disbelief practically leaped out at you during a brief cutaway on CSPAN’s cameras.

Immigration reform

Before he got to the details of his immigration proposal, Trump spent a lengthy period of the speech focused on crime committed by illegal immigrants. He even spotlighted four parents of teenagers who were killed by MS-13 gang members. It seemed geared toward assuring immigration hawks that he isn’t going soft by allowing “dreamers” a path to citizenship. But Democrats view this as an effort to demonize all of the undocumented population, and by the time Trump talked about specific proposals, they were having basically none of it.  (The Washington Post)

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Buhari, Service Chiefs Meet Over US ‘Stringent’ Conditions On Fighter Jets |RN

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

President Muhamamdu Buhari, on Thursday, met behind closed doors with the nation’s security chiefs as part of efforts aimed at end the spate of insecurity across the country.

Top on the agenda were the stringent conditions imposed by the United States government for the sale of 12 Super Tucano A29 planes and other weapons worth $495 million.

The meeting which last three hours was held inside the President’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, led the security chiefs to the meeting.

The new Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar, attended the security meeting for the first time since his recent appointment.

In attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, and Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

Dan Ali, who briefed State House corespondents after the meeting, said while the US government insists that the payment must be made by February 20, 2018, it also maintained that the aircrafts can only be available in 2020.
Apart from that, the US government has also forbidden Nigerian personnel from being sent to understudy the production process of the aircrafts as Nigeria had done in the case of other countries.

The minister said the council has approved that the Ministry of Defence meets with the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, to iron out out the contending issues.

The Donald Trump administration, last December, agreed to proceed with the sale of the aircrafts to Nigeria after the Obama administration had delayed it following bombing of a refugee camp in January last year by the Nigerian Air Force.

He said, “The contract include cost which is $494 million to acquire the Super Tucano A29 plans as well as training, where the facilities will be accommodated and continuous servicing among others.

“Some of the stringent measures include that we will start having them from 2020, which is two years from now. They are also thinking of not allowing our technicians to be part of the production inspection.

But this is what we normally do in all the defence contracts, we send our personnel to go and understudy especially when it comes to specialized aircrafts like in Russia, our personnel are permanently based in where the production is being done for this MI35 helicopters.”

On the curtailment of the proliferation of light arms, Dan-Ali said the council has set up committee to work out modalities to transform the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM) to a National Commission.

He said the members of the National Commission are drawn from all security services with the Office of the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Defense as well as Ministry of Interior and will be headed by a retired General.

He added: “In compliance with the presidential directive for the establishment of National Commission on the Control of small Arms and Light Weapons in the country, the Ministry of Defence in conjunction with the office of the National Security Adviser has set up a committee to work out modalities to transform the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM) to a National Commission.”

The said he informed the meeting that in line with the decision of the present government to increase the strength of the Armed Forces to address manpower problem, the three services have in the last two years enlisted and recruited qualified Nigerians.

He said the Ministry of Defence is also building befitting accommodation for members of the Armed Forces in the six geopolitical zones.

According to him, “similar accommodations were built by Defence Headquarters and commissioned by the HMOD in Abuja last month. This has gone a long way to solving accommodation problem and boosting the morale of personnel serving in Abuja.”

He also spoke on the the Military Pension Verification Exercise was conducted in all the 36 states and FCT during the period under review, saying that yhe process enabled the Military Pension Board to update its data payroll and ensure financial savings for the government.

He said he also stressed to the council, the need for the relevant security agencies to as a matter of urgency tackle “the propagation of hate speeches especially through the social media particularly by some notable Nigerians.”

The minister revealed that the council also discussed the remote and immediate causes of the frequent farmers/herdsmen deadly clashes in the country, which he blamed on the blockage of cattle routes and the establishment of anti-grazing laws by some states and the existence of local militias.

He said in compliance with the presidential directive for the establishment of National Commission on the Control of small Arms and Light Weapons in the country, the Ministry of Defence in conjunction with the office of the National Security Adviser has set up a committee to work out modalities to transform the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM) to a National Commission.

Asked if the solutions to the clashes were discussed, Dan-Ali said, “Yes we did. First I mentioned about this commission on proliferation of arms into the country. You see, whatever crisis that happens at any time, there is remote and immediate causes.

“Look at this issue (killings in Benue and Taraba), what is the remote causes of this farmers crisis. Since the nation’s Independence, we know there use to be a route whereby the cattle rearers take because they are all over the nation. You go to Bayelsa, Ogun, you will see them. If those routes are blocked what do you expect will happen?

“These people are Nigerians. Is just like one going to block shoreline, does that make sense to you? These are the remote causes of the crisis. But the immediate cause is the grazing law.

These people are Nigerians and we must learn to live together with each other. Communities and other people must learn how to accept foreigners within their enclave. Finish!”

Asked if he was justifying the killings because of the blocking or the routes, the minister said, “you are going away from what I came here to do. However, this is internal security, I can provide some answers. I have told you that the remote cause is part of the grazing law. Since independence there are clear routes where these people pass.

“On the issue of arms, there are all over. In that killings you are talking about they are also militias that also did the killings. Some people were caught with arms and they call themselves Forest Guards or whatever with AK47. There is no where in this country where arms are allowed to be carried apart of legitimate security forces. So anybody carrying any arm is doing so illegally.

Militias were caught in the same land doing the same killings, so the killings are not done by any particular group, is a communal issue.”

Asked which one will Nigerians believe, the fact that the killings were done by foreign terrorists or local militias, Dan-Ali said, “Of course that is why I said they are militias. Militias are part of illegal immigrants. They are the people”. (The Sun)

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UN Security Council Draft Resolution Would Render Trump’s Jerusalem Recognition “Null and Void”

President+Donald+Trump+Signs+Executive+Orders

UN Security Council draft resolution would render Donald Trump’s Jerusalem recognition ‘null and void’

The UN Security Council is considering whether to render all decisions about the status of Jerusalem void, just days after US President Donald Trump acknowledged the city as Israel’s capital.

The 15-member UN Security Council is reviewing a draft resolution that would rescind such decisions and demand that “all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem,” according to a draft obtained by Reuters. The draft does not mention Mr Trump or the US specifically.

The one-page draft resolution affirms that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council”.

The draft resolution also instructs member states not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. The UN maintains that the status of Jerusalem is a “final status issue” that should be negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The document was drafted by Egypt, and diplomats say it has broad support – though it will likely be vetoed by Washington. A UN Security Council resolution needs nine votes in its favour and no vetoes from the US, France, Britain, Russia or China in order to pass.

Mr Trump acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this month, fulfilling  a campaign promise and satisfying his conservative voter base. The announcement also set in motion a plan to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the Holy City.

Israel considers the Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.

Mahmoud Abbas: US decision on Jerusalem has violated international law

Mr Trump’s decision broke with nearly 70 years of US policy, and angered many of the country’s international allies. France, Germany and Saudi Arabia and the UK all condemned the decision. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, firmly stated that the bloc would not be following the US President’s lead.

Source: (Independent)

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Trump To Move US Embassy In Tel Aviv To Jerusalem |The Republican News

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The official Palestinian news agency says President Donald Trump informed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas of his plans to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem.

The WAFA agency says Trump informed Abbas of his decision in a phone call Tuesday.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh says Abbas warned Trump of the dangers of such a decision to Mideast peace efforts as well as security and stability in the region and the world.

The statement did not say if Trump told Abbas when he plans to move the embassy.

The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and have warned they would halt contacts with Washington if Trump makes unilateral decisions about the status of the city.

Jerusalem, home to key Muslim, Christian and Jewish shrines, is the combustible centerpiece of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

(Source: AP)

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2019 Presidency: We’ve Not Endorsed Any Candidate – U.S. |The Republican News

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United States Deputy Secretary of State, Mr John Sullivan

From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

Ahead of general elections in Nigeria, the United States of America declared it has not endorsed any candidate for the presidency in 2019.

US Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, disclosed this in his comments during the closing ceremony of the US-Nigeria Bi-national Commission in Abuja.

He said this in response to a question on the level of involvement of President Donald Trump’s administration in the 2019 elections in Nigeria.

Sullivan said any statement by the United States, with regards to the 2019 elections, would be in support of the Nigerian people and democracy in the country.

“What we want to do, is to ensure to the extent that we can assist, free and fair elections and we won’t pick those candidates.

“We won’t pick any candidate, we won’t endorse any candidate, we want to support the Nigerian people and democracy in Nigeria,” Sullivan said.

He had earlier said the support of the US to Nigeria is usually for the people and not in support of any particular candidate.

“Any statement by the United States, in the events of the 2019 elections, would be in support of the Nigerian people and democracy in Nigeria and not in support of any particular candidate.

“We want free and fair elections, we are not picking candidates, the Nigerian people should pick their candidates and choose among them and make the final choice for themselves,” Sullivan added.   (The Sun)

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