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Diplomatic Relations

USA POLITICS: US Sanctions Continue to Backfire as China Opens $10 Billion Credit Line for Iran

USA POLITICS: US Sanctions Continue to Backfire as China Opens $10 Billion Credit Line for Iran

The significant credit line will primarily use euros and yuan to bypass the US sanctions. China is seen to be opening trade to the region as part of a trillion-dollar “One Belt, One Road” strategy to increase ties to Africa and Europe. China is the biggest recipient of Iranian oil, and accounts for almost a third of Tehran’s overall trade.

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IRAN POLITICS: Rouhani Goes to New York for ‘Very Important’ Talks

IRAN POLITICS: Rouhani Goes to New York for ‘Very Important’ Talks

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his planned meetings on JCPOA in New York are “very important,” adding there is need for clarifications which have to be made about the nuclear accord. Apart from the JCPOA, he will also talk about bilateral ties with world countries, regional issues as well as international developments including the ongoing crisis in Myanmar.

“The opponents of the JCPOA are restricted to two or three countries, including some in the US, who feel cheated. They believe that a feast has been set out but that they are deprived of going to the table and having something,” Rouhani said.

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MEXICO POLITICS: In First, US Defense Chief Jim Mattis to Attend Mexican Independence Day Events

MEXICO POLITICS: In First, US Defense Chief Jim Mattis to Attend Mexican Independence Day Events

Jim Mattis’ planned trip on Friday would be only the fifth by a U.S. defense secretary to Mexico, said Pentagon spokesman Army Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis.

“Secretary Mattis’ visit to Mexico reaffirms our commitment to the bilateral defense relationship and to the North America community,” Davis said.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: DPRK Warns US of ‘Greatest Pain’, Rejects Sanctions

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: DPRK Warns US of ‘Greatest Pain’, Rejects Sanctions

North Korea was condemned globally for its latest nuclear test on Sept. 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is “ready to use a form of ultimate means”, Pyongyang’s ambassador, Han Tae Song said without elaborating.

“The forthcoming measures by DPRK will make the U.S. suffer the greatest pain it ever experienced in its history,” he said.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani Urges Venezuelans to Unite Against US

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani Urges Venezuelans to Unite Against US

“We have no doubt that the new methods of the US government cannot last for long,” Rouhani said on the sidelines of the first science and technology summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Astana.

Rouhani underlined the importance of unity and further cooperation among independent countries in the face of US efforts to create divisions.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Expels North Korean Ambassador Because of Pyongyang Nuclear Test

MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Expels North Korean Ambassador Because of Pyongyang Nuclear Test

An official at the Mexican Foreign Ministry said, however, that President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government was not breaking diplomatic ties with North Korea. The developments come amid high tensions over the North Korean missile and nuclear programs. South Korea, the US, and Japan have been worried by the North’s weapons programs, which Pyongyang has been defiantly advancing as countermeasures to their animosity.

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USA POLITICS: Dennis Rodman Offers to ‘Straighten things Out’ Between Trump & North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un

USA POLITICS: Dennis Rodman Offers to ‘Straighten things Out’ Between Trump & North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman, who regularly visits North Korea and meets its leader Kim Jong-un while promoting sports, wants to “straighten things out” between Donald Trump and Kim. Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Rodman was asked about

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia Ready to Develop Ties With Both Koreas: Vladimir Putin Says

RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia Ready to Develop Ties With Both Koreas: Vladimir Putin Says

Russia is ready to develop ties with both Koreas, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday having met his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in at the EEF on Tuesday. The trilateral projects might include “piping Russian gas to Korea, and integration of the electric grids and railway systems of Russia, South and North Korea,” Putin stated.

“Implementation of the initiatives will not only have economic benefits, but will also contribute to strengthening trust and stability in the Korean Peninsula,” Putin stressed.

“It is obvious that the Korean Peninsula’s problems cannot be solved only with sanctions and pressure. One should not give in to emotion and drive North Korea into a corner.”

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Sanctions Doubts Grow as North Korea Warns of ‘Gift Packages’ for United States

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Sanctions Doubts Grow as North Korea Warns of ‘Gift Packages’ for United States

Sanctions have done little to stop North Korea boosting its nuclear and missile capacity as it faces off with U.S. President Donald Trump who has vowed to stop Pyongyang from being able to hit the mainland United States with a nuclear weapon.

Han Tae Song, ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva said, “The U.S. will receive more ‘gift packages’ from my country as long as its relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the DPRK.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday accused North Korean leader Kim Jong Un of “begging for war” with a series of nuclear bomb and missile tests. She urged the 15-member Security Council to impose the “strongest possible” sanctions to deter him and shut down his trading partners.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: French President Macron Held Talks With Julio Borges

VENEZUELA POLITICS: French President Macron Held Talks With Julio Borges

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said he had filed complaints with the ambassadors of France and three other European countries planning to meet with the Venezuelan opposition figures during their European tour for interference in the nation’s internal affairs.

“These types of expressions are absurd and offensive to the functioning of Venezuelan democracy and its institutions,” Arreaza said.
The developments came two days after a Venezuelan activist was barred from leaving the country in order to join the opposition European tour.

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Putin: North Korea Sanctions ‘Useless’ and ‘Ineffective’

RUSSIA POLITICS: Putin: North Korea Sanctions ‘Useless’ and ‘Ineffective’

On Sunday, Donald Trump tweeted that the US was considering stopping all trade with countries that do business with North Korea, prompting a stern response from China.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday any such move would be unfair and unacceptable but added on Tuesday that the use of military force to resolve issues on the Korean peninsula was never an option.

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CHINA POLITICS: Beijing’s Anger at West to Overshadow Tougher Action on North Korea

CHINA POLITICS: Beijing’s Anger at West to Overshadow Tougher Action on North Korea

Over the past week, China’s foreign ministry has repeatedly hit back at calls from Western countries and Japan for China for to do more to rein in North Korea, saying that pushing for dialogue was an equally integral part of the U.N. resolutions, and that escalating sanctions alone had been evidently ineffective.

“On the one hand, sanctions have continued to be put in place via resolutions and on the other hand North Korea’s nuclear and missile launch process is still continuing,” ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said last week.

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia Hands Note of Protest to US Over Plans to Search Trade Mission

RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia Hands Note of Protest to US Over Plans to Search Trade Mission

Moscow last month ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia by more than half, to 455 people to match the number of Russian diplomats in the United States, after Congress overwhelmingly approved new sanctions against Russia.

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INDIA POLITICS: End of Border Standoff With China Satisfies India, But It Will Not Lower its Guard

INDIA POLITICS: End of Border Standoff With China Satisfies India, But It Will Not Lower its Guard

For India, the lesson is that even though the standoff has been resolved, future flare-ups cannot be ruled out.

“The problem is essentially the aggressive stance that China has adopted on all territorial matters with all countries and here the manner in which it has tried to alter the status quo on the ground by building this road, which we have stopped,” said Jayadeva Ranade, a former China specialist at the Indian government’s National Security Advisory Board. He warned that they might repeat Doklam next year or try something else.

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USA POLITICS: US ‘Should & Will’ Get Along With Russia: Trump

USA POLITICS: US ‘Should & Will’ Get Along With Russia: Trump

“I hope that we do have good relations with Russia. I say it loud and clear, I’ve been saying it for years: I think it’s a good thing if we have great relationships, or at least good relationships with Russia,” the US president Trump said during a joint news conference with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto.

“It’s a big country, it’s a nuclear country, it’s a country that we should get along with, and I think we will eventually get along with Russia,” Trump added.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: ‘US Wants to Recolonize Venezuela’: Daniel Shaw

VENEZUELA POLITICS: ‘US Wants to Recolonize Venezuela’: Daniel Shaw

Daniel Shaw, a Latin America expert said, President Trump’s so-called smart sanctions on Venezuela are in line with Washington’s agenda for “regime change” and “recolonization. America is using a propaganda campaign on elections and democracy in Venezuela as a pretext to hurt the oil-rich country.”

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AFRICA POLITICS: United States to Stop Issuing Visas to Citizens From Eritrea, Guinea, Sierra Leone

AFRICA POLITICS: United States to Stop Issuing Visas to Citizens From Eritrea, Guinea, Sierra Leone

“We follow a standard process to implement a visa suspension as expeditiously as possible in the manner the secretary determines most appropriate under the circumstances to achieve the desired goal. That process includes internal discussions with, and official notification to, affected countries,” a State Department official said.

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LEBANON POLITICS: Changes to Proposed US Anti-Hezbollah Sanctions Allay Lebanon’s Fears

LEBANON POLITICS: Changes to Proposed US Anti-Hezbollah Sanctions Allay Lebanon’s Fears

Lebanon’s government, central bank and private banks have lobbied U.S. politicians and banks hard this year – and continue to do so – to persuade Washington to balance its tough anti-Hezbollah stance with the need to preserve stability.

Their main message has been that the last thing needed by the United States, which backs the Lebanese army in its fight against Islamic State and other militants spilling over from Syria, is another failed state in the Middle East.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Trump Signs New Sanctions Against Venezuela ‘Dictatorship’ PDVSA Debt

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Trump Signs New Sanctions Against Venezuela ‘Dictatorship’ PDVSA Debt

“These measures are carefully calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule, protect the United States financial system from complicity in Venezuela’s corruption and in the impoverishment of the Venezuelan people,” the White House said in a statement.

“We will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles,” it said.

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CAMBODIA POLITICS: Hun Sen Attacks American’s Interests

CAMBODIA POLITICS: Hun Sen Attacks American’s Interests

Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge guerrilla who is now one of China’s closest allies, has ratched up steps against the United States this year from ending joint military exercises to demanding forgiveness of war-era debt from the 1970s.

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