Hamas, Fatah sign deal on Palestinian reconciliation

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Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement yesterday on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with president Mahmud Abbas calling it a “final” accord. Hurriyet Under the agreement, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by Dec. 1, according to a statement from Egypt’s intelligence agency, which oversaw the talks. Abbas welcomed the deal in comments to Agence France-Presse and said he considered it a ... Read More »

Mexico warns that abandoning Nafta could end broader cooperation with US

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Mexico’s foreign minister has warned that terminating Nafta could bring relations with the US to a breaking point, raising the prospect that bilateral cooperation against drug trafficking and illegal migration could be adversely affected by Donald Trump’s bellicose trade rhetoric. David Agren in Mexico City The Guardian The threat from the foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, came as Donald Trump once again threatened to tear up the three-country trade treaty between the US, Canada and Mexico ahead of a fourth round ... Read More »

How to Turn Battleground Ukraine Into a Success Story

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If the West manages to talk Kiev out of any hasty ill-judged decisions and convince it to accept Moscow’s peacekeeper proposal as it is, then the world will finally see a win-win Anna Tikhonova, Cyril Fokin The National Interest Putin’s early September suggestion that a UN peacekeeping force be sent to the Donbass region triggered a skeptical reaction from the Western block To a certain degree, the Kremlin’s acceptance of the deployment of UN peacekeepers signifies a diplomatic victory of the ... Read More »

Brexit Raises Questions About U.K. Sovereign Bases on Cyprus

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Cyprus and the U.K. will begin talks next week on the status of the two British sovereign bases on the eastern Mediterranean island after Brexit, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said. By Georgios Georgiou and Paul Tugwell Bloomberg “It matters for Cyprus if it’s a hard or soft Brexit,” Kasoulides said in a telephone interview. Agreement between the U.K. and Cyprus on the status of the bases will be part of the withdrawal deal, Kasoulides said. The two sovereign bases, ... Read More »

US 45,000 refugee cap includes Aust intake

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The Trump Administration’s new 45,000 cap on refugees will include people resettled in the US under a deal struck with Australia This week more than 50 refugees who had been in limbo for years Manus Island and Nauru departed for a new life in the US. Lisa Martin, Australian Associated Press Herald Sun Up to 1250 refugees are expected to be resettled in the US. The US resettlement agreement was the subject of a heated phone call between Donald Trump ... Read More »

China reacts to India-Japan cooperation in northeast, says no room for ‘third party’

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The India-Japan joint statement had referred to cooperation between the two sides to develop India’s northeastern states as a “concrete symbol of developing synergies” Sutirtho Patranobis Hindustan Times China on Friday warned third parties against meddling in its boundary dispute with India, specifically mentioning the Arunachal Pradesh sector in an apparent response to Indo-Japanese plans to invest in infrastructure projects in the northeastern… A joint statement issued on Thursday following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart ... Read More »

Russia, Turkey Sign S-400 Deal despite Criticism and Suspicion

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference following their talks in Sochi, Russia, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

Moscow – Moscow and Ankara confirmed on Tuesday that they signed a deal in which Moscow would sell Ankara S-400 missiles. Taha Abed alWahed “Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia. ASHARQ AL-AWSAT A deposit has also been paid as far as I know,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. He stated that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin “are determined on this issue.” This is the largest deal that Turkey signs with a country ... Read More »

Greece completes sale of railway operator to Italy’s Ferrovie

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ATHENS, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Greece concluded on Thursday the sale of railway operator TRAINOSE to Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato and expects hundreds of millions of euros to be invested in the country’s ageing rail infrastructure in the coming years. Reuters Staff Under its current bailout, its third since 2010, Greece was expected to sell TRAINOSE and other state assets to raise 6 billion euros ($6.2) by 2018. Greece will fetch 45 million euros from this sale and expects a ... Read More »

India to invest $17bn on Japanese bullet trains

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Japanese premier Shinzo Abe hails new ‘strategic and global partnership in the Indian-Pacific region’. Al Jazeera India will invest $17bn to build its first high-speed train system, having reached a deal with Japan to help finance the project. Source: News agencies The network, which will run 508km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, was announced on Thursday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “This is the new India, and the flight of its dreams is endless,” he said. “The bullet train project will bring ... Read More »

Cardin: Turkey’s Purchase of Russian missile system may trigger sanctions

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Top Senate Foreign Relations Democrat warns $2.5 billion Turkey-Russia deal might violate new sanctions law that Trump opposed. Andrew Hanna Politico Turkey’s recent purchase of an advanced Russian anti-air weapons system may have violated a U.S. law that would require an automatic imposition of sanctions on the NATO member, a top Democratic lawmaker said today. The letter, sent by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin to Trump administration officials, warns that Ankara’s purchase of Moscow’s S-400 air defense system, which finalized on ... Read More »

ASEAN, Hong Kong wind up FTA negotiations

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Hanoi (VNA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China’s Hong Kong on September 9 announced the conclusion of their negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a related Investment Agreement. The announcement was made at the second ASEAN Economic Ministers-Hong Kong, China Consultations (AEM-HKC) in Pasay city, the Philippines. Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said that the two agreements will be signed in November this year. The agreements are comprehensive in ... Read More »

Vietnam, Serbia agree to build concrete cooperation framework

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Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic, have agreed to build a specific cooperation framework in order to boost bilateral collaboration in all fields, especially in economy, trade and investment. During their talks in Hanoi on September 8, the two officials also emphasised the need to increase political consultations and coordination between the foreign ministries of Vietnam and Serbia. More favourable conditions should be created to facilitate the ... Read More »

The Copenhagen breakthrough in the Timor Sea

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There has been an agreed breakthrough in the long running dispute between Australia and Timor Leste in relation to maritime boundary demarcation and control of the resources in the disputed area in the Timor Sea. Frank Brennan Eureka Street The breakthrough came on 30 August, the 18th anniversary of the bloody referendum at which the Timorese voted for their independence from Indonesia. The terms of the deal remain confidential. But the Permanent Court of Arbitration which is overseeing the Conciliation ... Read More »

Xi, Putin agree to enhance strategic coordination, appropriately deal with DPRK nuclear test

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XIAMEN, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Sunday, calling for enhancing mutual support and strategic coordination. Source: Xinhua Editor: Mu Xuequan The two leaders also agreed to appropriately deal with the latest nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Putin is in the southeastern Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian Province, to attend the ninth BRICS summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries ... Read More »

Hammond Backtracks on Brexit Deal

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Chancellor Philip Hammond has “bent the knee” to Brexit hardliners as he signed a joint article with Liam Fox for the Sunday Telegraph, which said that the UK will definitely leave both the customs union and the single market when it exits the European Union (EU) in… Miltiadis Skemperis Currency Solutions Hammond had called for a transitional deal which could last up to three years, keeping the current trading arrangements with the EU and the rules on movement for workers. ... Read More »

Norway’s push for Arctic oil and gas threatens Paris climate goals – study

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Noway’s role as the world’s biggest fossil fuel exporter undermines its efforts to cut emissions at home, says NGO report Jonathan Watts The Guardian Norway’s plan to ramp up oil and gas production in the Arctic threatens global efforts to tackle climate change, according to a new study. The research says 12 gigatonnes of carbon could be added by exploration sites in the Barents Sea and elsewhere over the next 50 years, which is 1.5 times more than the Norwegian ... Read More »