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Tillerson breaks protocol, meets Erdogan without translator 

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Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State, File Photo

Ankara, Feb 16: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson broke protocol by meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan without an American translator or policy aides, the media reported.

The meeting took place on Thursday for over three hours where the translation was done by Turkish Foreign Minister Mehmet Cavusoglu, reports CNN.US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson broke protocol by meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan without an American translator or policy aides, the media reported.

Tillerson was in Ankara to discuss growing tensions over the US military’s anti-Islamic State (IS) alliance with the YPG, a Kurdish militia in Syria.

Turkey has sent its troops into Syria to challenge the YPG and threatened to push into a town where US forces train Kurds and others. The Pentagon has responded forcefully, warning Ankara not to follow through.

Asked about the unusual nature of the meeting, a State Department official said that Tillerson has “met before with President Erdogan, and he’s okay with the Foreign Minister (Cavusoglu) doing the translation. They have a good, strong working relationship”.

Tillerson and Erdogan “engaged in a productive and open conversation about a mutually beneficial way forward in the US-Turkey relationship. We look forward to continued progress with our important NATO ally in conversations with Foreign Minister Cavusoglu tomorrow (Friday)”.

But former State Department officials said the meeting strayed from normal protocol.

“If the meeting is not conducted in English, it is foolhardy in the extreme not to have at his side a State Department translator, who can ensure that Tillerson’s points are delivered accurately and with the proper emphasis,” former State Department spokesman John Kirby told CNN.

“That Tillerson eschewed this sort of support in what he knew would be a tense and critical meeting with President Erdogan smacks of either poor staff work or dangerous naïvete on his part,” Kirby added.

Turkey was the last stop of Tillerson’s five-nation trip followed by his visits to Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon, CNN reported.

Tillerson’s meeting with Erdogan followed a Sunday visit by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

After McMaster’s meeting with Cavusoglu warned that Turkey-US ties had hit a critical point and would either be repaired or be completely damaged.

IANS

India

India asks Saudi Arabia to take corrective steps on bank note

The world map on the new 20 Riyal banknote, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

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Anurag Srivastava

New Delhi, Oct 30: India has asked Saudi Arabia to take corrective steps on the misrepresentation of its territorial boundaries on a new bank note.

The world map on the new 20 Riyal banknote, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India has asked Saudi Arabia to take “urgent corrective steps” in the matter, and emphasized that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of the country.

“We have seen the banknote referred by you which gives an incorrect depiction of India’s external territorial boundaries. The note was issued by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority on October 24 to mark the occasion of Saudi presidency of the G20,” the MEA spokesperson said.

“We have conveyed our serious concern to Saudi Arabia, both through their Ambassador in New Delhi as well as in Riyadh, for this gross misrepresentation of India’s external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked Saudi Arabia to take urgent corrective steps in this regard,” Srivastava said.

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Croatia announces new measures amid rise in Covid cases

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Zagreb, Oct 28 Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, Croatia’s National Civil Protection Headquarters has announced new measures.

The measures include mandatory physical distancing, a ban on all public events with more than 50 people, the new limit of the number of people attending weddings and funerals and the provision that public events and gatherings can last up to 10 p.m. while weddings until midnight, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sports competitions can be held without spectators, according to the measures, which banned the sales of alcoholic beverages from midnight to 6 a.m.

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Tech

Rawalpindi cops banned from posting on TikTok

Police officers in Rawalpindi have been banned from posting on the short video-making app, TikTok, after a video went viral, the media reported on Tuesday

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Tik Tok

Police officers in Rawalpindi have been banned from posting on the short video-making app, TikTok, after a video went viral, the media reported on Tuesday.

The police department of the Pakistan twin city has warned that if a video of any officer goes viral on social media, irrespective of whether it is TikTok, Facebook or YouTube, strict departmental action will be taken, The Express Tribune reported.

The new rules were communicated on Monday in a letter issued by Rawalpindi CPO Ahsan Younas to divisional SPs, circle officers and station house officers.

The letter stated that posting videos on social media and going viral presents a negative image of the department.

After the video went viral, at least one officer has been suspended.

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