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Legal Pathways Needed to Stem Migrant Deaths on the Mediterranean

GENEVA The U.N. refugee agency is calling for more resettlement places and other legal pathways to stop the alarmingly high number of deaths of refugees and migrants along the perilous Central Mediterranean Sea route from Libya to Italy.This has been...

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Cautious Optimism in India About US Suspension of Aid to Pakistan

NEW DELHI There is cautious optimism in India about the U.S. suspension of about $ 1.9 billion in security aid to Pakistan to pressure it to take action against terror groups. But analysts in New Delhi say the move is unlikely to prompt Islamabad to stop providing safe havens to groups that are active in Kashmir such as the Hizbul Mujahideen.

India's reaction to Washington's tough new posture has been muted, with only a brief statement from a junior minister following President Donald Trump's New Year tweet that Pakistan had rewarded past U.S. aid with nothing but lies & deceit.

It has abundantly, abundantly vindicated India's stand as far as terrorism is concerned and as far as Pakistan's role in perpetrating terrorism is concerned, according to Jitendra Singh.

Washington's warnings in recent days that it will ratchet up the pressure if Islamabad fails to take "decisive action" against terror groups has won quiet appreciation in New Delhi, which has long complained that it is a victim of attacks by terror groups that find sanctuaries inside Pakistan.

It is too early to judge what he [President Trump] might do, but the perspective is fresh and new, said Arvind Gupta, director at the research organization Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi.

At the same time, many in India feel that Washington's main concern will be to ensure that Islamabad takes action against groups that target Afghanistan, such as the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban because its primary focus is on stabilizing Afghanistan. There is also some skepticism about how far Washington will go in imposing punitive measures on Islamabad due to its reliance on Pakistan for access to the war torn country.

'Wait and watch'

Analysts say New Delhi is in a wait and watch mode to see how the new policy will unfold in coming months.

Would they [the United States] really proceed further, number one? Number two, whether it will take the Indian front also into consideration and stick to it, questions Sukh Deo Muni, a South Asia expert at New Delhi's Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses.

There has been increasing sensitivity in Washington to India's concerns on terrorism following a closer strategic embrace between the two countries � last August the U.S. administration named the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit as a global terrorist group and added its chief, Syed Salahuddin, to its list of global terrorists. Hizbul is one of the frontline groups active in Kashmir, the territory divided between the two countries.

And in an indication that India's concerns are being taken seriously as the United States firms up its new policy on Pakistan, the U.S. ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster, said on Thursday that Washington has made it clear it will not tolerate cross border terrorism or terrorist safe havens anywhere.

However, when asked why the terror groups active against India were not named during the announcement of suspension of aid to Pakistan, Juster simply said, "Pakistan is important too for the situation in Afghanistan" and stability will not be possible without its contribution.

There are also some worries in India that continuing U.S. pressure will push Islamabad further towards China and expand Beijing's footprint in the South Asian region � an outcome New Delhi does not want to see. We are already seeing that the Chinese are probably going to set up a naval base in Jiwani (Pakistan). You have already seen that China, Pakistan and Afghanistan have formed a new grouping, said Gupta, referring to the first dialogue of the foreign ministers from the three countries hosted by Beijing in December.

Still, amid increasing frustration in India over efforts to make headway with Islamabad on combating terrorism, the new U.S. policy represents a ray of hope. Formal talks between the two rivals have been virtually frozen for two years but the national security advisers of the two countries met in Bangkok last month to hold a dialogue, which New Delhi said focused on terrorism.

But officials and analysts admit that there is little progress. "We've had a hard line policy for some time and it has not really yielded results, because we are still having attacks across the border, points out Manoj Joshi at New Delhi's Observer Research Foundation. So if the U.S. gets into the picture, the U.S. has much more clout than us and is able to do something about it, it is obviously something New Delhi would be happy with. As far as India is concerned, it's a plus for us.

Source: Voice of America

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Palestinian government seeks continued financial aid for UNRWA

Ramallah, (UNA-OIC) - The Palestinian government called on Monday on the United Nations General Assembly and international community to continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to help it continue wi...

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Palestinian FM: Arab ministerial meeting rejects Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Amman (UNA-OIC) � Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr. Riyad al-Malki said the Arab ministerial meeting, held in the Jordanian capital on Saturday, to follow up the repercussions of the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, stressed the need to find the best ways to counter this null and void decision.

The foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, took part in the meeting.

Al-Malki noted the importance of supporting Palestinian efforts to go to the United Nations and the institutions of international law to confront all attempts to change the status of occupied Jerusalem, including attempts to impose facts on the ground.

He emphasized the need to intensify and coordinate Arab positions and efforts and to communicate with the international community to shoulder its responsibilities toward preserving the historic and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the issue of Jerusalem, the launch of an effective international effort to end the Israeli occupation and establish the sovereign and independent State of Palestine on 1967 borders, as well as the right of return for refugees in implementation of Resolution 194 and on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative and UN resolutions.

Malki said the ministers sent a clear message that the Arabs and Muslims stand united on the issue of Jerusalem, and reject any actions that run counter to international law and effect the Holy City's status. They also agreed on the importance of taking legal and political measures to limit the consequences of the US decision and to explain its gravity, in addition to confronting all illegal Israeli measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to mobilize international support for the recognition of the State of Palestine on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, to preserve the two-state solution.

He pointed out that an expanded Arab ministerial meeting will be held on Jerusalem at the end of the month.

Source: Interantional Islamic News Agency

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‫شركة Gemalto تُدشّن أول بطاقة بيومترية EMV للمدفوعات اللاتلامسية

المصادقة البيومترية تحل محل كود التعريف الشخصي، مما يعمل على تسهيل المعاملات اللاتلامسية ذات القيمة الأعلى ضمان أقصى حماية شخصية عن طريق عمليات التسجيل الآمنة داخل الفروع وتخزين البيانات البيومترية الحساسة على البطاقة لا توجد مشكلات بشأن عمر البطارية – إذ يتم تشغيل بطاقة المجسات البيومترية عن طريق وحدة الدفع أمستردام، 4 يناير 2018 – […]

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