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China says it is open for talks with India

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Beijing. June 30 : China on Friday indicated it was open for talks with India, saying a “meaningful dialogue” over the border stand-off is the “pressing issue”.

This is a climbdown for Beijing which earlier ruled out any talks until India withdrew its troops from “Chinese territory”.

“Diplomatic channels are unimpeded between India and China for talks on the stand-off in Sikkim,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

“The pressing issue is to have a meaningful dialogue for the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Doklam area in Sikkim sector,” Lu added.

Lu again charged Indian troops with trespassing the Chinese border. India has denied the allegation.

He also rejected Bhutan’s claims over Donlong, calling it Chinese territory.

By Gaurav Sharma

IANS

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India, Mongolia agree to jointly fight terror, boost trade

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Ulaanbaatar, April 25: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday discussed terrorism with her Mongolian counterpart Damdin Tsogtbaatar and the two agreed to collaborate to confront those who design and support terror outfits.

Sushma Swaraj, who arrived in the Mongolian capital here on Tuesday after wrapping up her China visit, also called upon the country’s business community to seize economic opportunities from India’s growth.

She co-chaired the sixth round of the India-Mongolia Joint Consultative Committee (IMJCC), focusing on a range of issues including economic, energy, political, strategic, educational and cultural ties along with Tsogtbaatar.

She is the first Indian Foreign Minister to visit Mongolia in 42 years.

In 2015, Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit this landlocked Asian country. It had ruffled China’s feathers.

Addressing the media here after the IMJCC meeting, Sushma Swaraj said: “We discussed global challenges affecting humanity, particularly terrorism, and agreed to collaborate bilaterally in the international arena to root out this evil.”

She said India sees Mongolia as a factor of stability in East Asia, adding that the country’s social and economic development is the key to peace and prosperity in the region.

India is currently helping Mongolia build its first oil refinery with a $1 billion line of credit, to reduce its dependence of neighbouring nations.

“We reviewed the progress in our on-going collaborative projects, including the refinery project selected by the government of Mongolia for implementation with the support of $1 billion dollar Indian line of credit.

“We directed our officials to coordinate follow up action on each side for the expeditious implementation of these projects. Our strong political ties must be complemented by commensurate levels of trade, economy and investment.”

Stating that India has today emerged as one of the fastest growing large economies in the world, Sushma Swaraj said that with its rich natural resources and strong aspiration for development, Mongolia can be an important partner in India’s growth story.

“Foreign Minister Tsogtbaatar and I agreed to explore possible ways to identify new areas of cooperation in all sectors of mutual interest and to enhance our bilateral trade and investments. We discussed economic cooperation in areas such as infrastructure development, energy, services and IT,” Sushma Swaraj said.

“I call upon the Mongolian business community to seize economic opportunities arising out of India’s growth.”

In Wednesday’s meeting, both sides agreed to remove institutional and logistical impediments to boost trade, tourism and people-to-people contacts.

“I reiterated to Foreign Minister Tsogtbaatar our continued commitment for capacity building programmes for the people of Mongolia, including in areas such as, training in English language and IT,” the Indian External Affairs Minister said.

She said both the nations have identified new areas of cooperation that include IT, infrastructure, energy and services.

“We look forward to more students visiting India for pursuing vocational education & training under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme, also known as ITEC, and through scholarships offered by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations,” she said.

“We would encourage students from Mongolia to pursue studies in Indian art, music and culture which would further reinforce our cultural links.”

Sushma Swaraj also encouraged Mongolian students to visit India and enroll in fields like Buddhist studies.

IANS

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Third US judge rules against Trump’s bid to end DACA

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Washington, April 25: A third US federal judge based here has ruled against President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme (DACA).

John Bates, Judge of the District of Columbia Circuit, on Tuesday gave the Department of Homeland Security 90 days to come up with better explanation for winding down the program, else he would enter an order reinstating DACA in its entirety.

DACA is an American immigration policy that allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children to receive a renewable two-year deferral from deportation and become eligible for a work permit.

After the White House announced its plan to end DACA in September, federal judges in New York and San Francisco also ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting new applications for protection under DACA.

“Each day that the agency delays is a day that aliens who might otherwise be eligible for initial grants of DACA benefits are exposed to removal because of an unlawful agency action,” Bates wrote,

He also called the Trump administration’s move to end DACA “unlawful”, “capricious”, and “virtually unexplained”, Xinhua news agency reported.

In February, the US Supreme Court had declined to hear the administration’s appeal of the San Francisco ruling.

Some 700,000 undocumented immigrants, most of them brought to the US as children, had signed up for DACA introduced by the then Barack Obama government in 2012.

IANS

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Trump warns ‘bigger problems’ if Iran restarts n-programme

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Donald Trump

Washington, April 25: US President Donald Trump warned on Tuesday that Iran will have “bigger problems” if it restarts its nuclear programme.

Meeting with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House, Trump said “it won’t be so easy for them to restart” the programme.

“They’re not going to be restarting anything. If they restart it, they’re going to have big problems, bigger than they ever had before,” he said, Xinhua reported.

When asked whether he would be willing to stay in the Iran deal, also known as JCPOA, Trump said the deal was “insane,” “ridiculous” and “should never have been made.”

The JCPOA, short for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is an international agreement reached on July 14, 2015 between Iran and six world major countries, namely China, France, Russia, Britain, the United States and Germany, plus the European Union.

The West pledged to relieve sanctions on Iran in exchange for a halt in Tehran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

In January, Trump set 120-day time for US lawmakers and the European signatories of the deal to fix the deal’s “terrible flaws”.

Trump has stressed that the United States and its European allies involved should fix the “Sunset Clauses” in the deal by May 12, otherwise he would withdraw from the agreement.

The “Sunset Clauses” stipulate when restrictions imposed on Iran’s nuclear program expire, which critics say would allow Tehran to advance its programme.

However, Macron who arrived Monday in Washington for the first state visit since Trump took office last year is expected to persuade Trump to stay in the deal.

“The Iran deal is an important issue but we have to take a far broader picture which is security in the overall region,” Macron said.

He added that “what we want to do is to contain Iran and its presence in the region.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday urged the European parties to help protect the nuclear deal against Trump’s threats.

“European leaders should encourage President Trump not just to stay in the nuclear deal, but more importantly to begin implementing his part of the bargain in good faith, Zarif tweeted. “It’s either all or nothing … there’s no Plan B on JCPOA.”

IANS

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