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Saudi Arabia, Russia sign key cooperation agreements



Vladimir Putin

Riyadh, Oct 15 Saudi Arabia and Russia signed key agreements in different sectors during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Riyadh.

During the signing ceremony on Monday, Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud highlighted that the two countries had started a new phase of cooperation and integration aimed at achieving prosperity and progress for both sides, Xinhua news agency reported.

“In the Saudi-Russian Joint Committee, we are working together to harmonize … objectives of the Kingdom Vision 2030 with … objectives of the strategic development plans of Russia, and as a result, the Saudi-Russian high-level strategic cooperation agreements are to be exchanged here today,” he said.

“We aim, through the agreements, to develop many economic and development fields … and strengthen trade relations,” he added.


China slams US over Hong Kong bill





Beijing, Nov 20 China on Wednesday condemned the passing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 in the US Senate.

The US Senate passed the legislation on Tuesday despite strong opposition from the Chinese government, Xinhua reported.

“The move grossly interfered in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs, seriously violated international laws and the basic norms governing international relations and blatantly bolstered the opposition and radical violent criminals in Hong Kong, which once again laid bare in front of the whole world the overbearing nature of some US politicians and their evil attempt to contain China’s development,” said Yang Guang, Spokesperson, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of China’s State Council.

Yang said that the continuous violent activities in Hong Kong have seriously trampled the rule of law and social order, disturbed Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, challenged the bottom line of the “one country, two systems” principle.

He added that some of the violent behaviours were inhumane and appalling.

“Facts have proved that the biggest risk facing Hong Kong now is rampant violence, not the so-called issue of democracy and human rights,” Yang said, adding that the behaviours of some US politicians have completely confused right and wrong and confounded black and white, and are double standards with total disregard to principles.

Yang underscored the Chinese government’s unswerving determination to protect national sovereignty, security and development interests, implement the “one country, two systems” policy and oppose any external force in interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs.

“Nothing can stop the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” he said, noting that Hong Kong will maintain long-term prosperity and stability with the strong support of the motherland and the law-based rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents will be fully protected.

“We advise some US politicians to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, and abandon those foolish moves that benefit nobody but instead hurt themselves,” he said.

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Twitter warns UK’s Conservative Party for renaming a/c





London: Micro-blogging platform Twitter has warned Britain’s Conservative Party that it will take “decisive corrective action” against it if it continues to mislead the public after it temprarily renamed its Twitter handle as a fact-checking organization during a key political debate.

The Conservative Party came under fire for rebranding one of its official Twitter accounts @CCHQPress as “factcheckUK” during a live TV debate between its leader Boris Johnson, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday.

After the debate, the account reverted to its original branding, reports Metro.

“Twitter is committed to facilitating healthy debate throughout the UK general election.

“Any further attempts to mislead people by editing verified profile information — in a manner seen during the UK Election Debate — will result in decisive corrective action,” the micro-blogging platform said in a statement.

UK-based fact-checking agency Full Fact also criticized the Conservative Party.

“It is inappropriate and misleading for the Conservative press office to rename their twitter account ‘factcheckUK’ during this debate,” it said.

The CCHQPress account carries a blue verified badge by Twitter.

“The badge remained in place after they changed the name and branding during the debate. Though the handle stayed the same, only the name “factcheckUK” showed up for users on retweets,” the report said.

Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly defended the rebranding. “The Twitter handle of the CCHQ press office remained CCHQPress, so it’s clear the nature of the site,” he told the BBC.

The Labour Party tweeted: “The Conservatives’ laughable attempt to dupe those watching the #ITVDebate by renaming their Twitter account shows you can’t trust a word they say.”

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Middle East

Turkey threatens to “look elsewhere” if F-35 dispute continues




Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Ankara, Nov 20 : If the US stance on delivery of F-35 fighter jets does not change, Turkey would be forced to “look elsewhere” to meet its defense necessities, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

“If the current disagreement on F-35 fighter jets continues, Turkey must look elsewhere to meet its medium-term needs,” Erdogan said while addressing his party members at the parliament on Tuesday.

The Turkish president was referring to his meeting last week with US President Donald Trump in Washington.

Turkey would not step back from its deployment of the Russian S-400 air defense systems, Erdogan said.

“There are efforts to turn the S-400s into a key problem of the bilateral matters. We have agreed (with Trump) to seek ways to resolve the S-400 issue through our officials we have instructed,” he stated.

Turkey’s procurement of the Russian S-400 missile defense systems prompted the Trump administration to suspend Ankara from the F-35 fifth-generation joint strike fighter program in July.

Russia has expressed its readiness for a potential agreement with Turkey on the sale of Russian Su-35 or Su-57 aircraft.

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