#Zelensky #UkrainePresident #Ukraine
Kiev, Apr 22 (Canadian-Media): Ukrainian actor Volodymyr Zelensky won the country's presidential election yesterday by gaining 73.2 percent of the votes in the second round as of 1800 hrs local time (1500 GMT), the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency said.
Volodymyr Zelensky/Wikimedia Commons
The exit poll was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation among 13,000 voters. Its margin error was plus or minus 1.3 percentage points.
The results of the second round are set to be announced by the Central Election Commission by May 1 and the new president is expected to take office no later than June 3.
#DonaldTrump, #Japan, #JapanEmperor
Washington, Apr 19 (Xinhua) US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania will travel to Japan at the end of May as the country's first state guests to meet the newly enthroned emperor, the White House said late Thursday.
Donald Trump & Melania Trump/Twitter
"The President and First Lady will also travel to Japan from May 25 to 28, 2019, as the country's first state guests following the enthronement of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito on May 1, 2019," a statement said.
During the visit, Trump will also have a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to "deepen the close bonds between the American and Japanese people," it added.
The White House also noted that Abe would first pay a visit to Washington on April 26-27 to discuss with his hosts recent developments regarding the Korean Peninsula, trade and other issues.
The U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting, known as "2+2" talks, will kick off here on Friday.
The two countries' senior officials will discuss their coordination on the evolving regional security environment including the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and enhancement of the alliance's capabilities and the continued realignment of U.S. armed forces in Japan.
#China, #Philippines, #SouthChinaSea
Beijing, Apr 12 (UNI): China's ministry of foreign affairs has asserted its new sovereignty over the Spratlys Islands in the South China Sea citing historical and legal basis, a foreign ministry spokesperson said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang on Thursday said: "We have taken note of those remarks made by the Philippine officials. The Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands) are within China’s territory, for which we have sufficient historical and legal basis."
He said for thousands of years, Chinese fishermen have been fishing in these waters in the South China Sea. Their rights should not be challenged, Daily Inquirer reported.
The Spokesperson also said: "The disputes involving the South China Sea should be resolved through negotiations between China and countries directly concerned including the Philippines."
“We are committed to upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea in concert with other regional countries. We hope that the Philippine side will join us in strictly implementing the important consensus reached by the two leaders on properly resolving the South China Sea issue and safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea," he added.
The Philippines and China are locked in a longstanding maritime dispute over the South China Sea with Beijing claiming nearly the entire South China Sea, including parts of the West Philippine Sea.
Recently, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Beijing to back off from a disputed island in the South China Sea, warning of “suicide missions” if China touches it.
Duterte said: “I will not plead or beg, but I am just telling you that lay off the Pag-asa because I have soldiers there... If you touch it, that’s another story. Then I will tell my soldiers: ‘prepare for suicide missions’."
On April 7, two Russian destroyers and a tanker docked in the Philippines for a "goodwill visit" amid escalating tensions in the disputed South China Sea, CNN reported.
In January 2013, the Philippines filed a case challenging the expansive claims of China in the South China Sea before the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration.
The arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of the country’s sovereignty over the WPS in July 2016, which China refused to recognise.
China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam have all staked claims to various islands and reefs as well as waterways in the sea, with rich petroleum reserves thought to sit deep beneath the waters.
#ChrystiaFreeland, #G7countries; #NATO; #G7ForeignMinisters’Meeting; #WashingtonDC; #NorthAtlanticTreatyOrganization; #NorthAmerica; #Europe, #SovietUnion; #Venezuela, #Ukraine, #Russia, #NorthKorea, #Libya, #Syria; #G7RapidResponseMechanism; #Sahel, #Africa; #ElsieInitiativeFund; #UniformedWomeninPeaceOperations
Ottawa, Apr 7 (Canadian-Media): Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, concluded yesterday her participation in the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which took place on April 5 and 6, 2019, in Dinard, France, following the NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on April 3 and 4 in Washington, D.C., media reports said.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949 and since then Canada has been a member of NATO.
NATO, the most successful political-military alliance in history, consists of 29 countries from North America and Europe contributing to international peace and security and to defend each other from the possibility of communist Soviet Union taking control of their nation.
The G7, short form of Group of 7, includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
“Canada and its NATO and G7 allies have an important role to play in building a more peaceful and prosperous world...to coordinate our responses to some of the most pressing global challenges and issues...will shape, prepare and inform essential discussions that the G7 leaders will have in Biarritz, France, in August,” said Freeland.
Both Canada’s NATO allies and its G7 partners recognize that a renewed rules-based international order, reinforced democracies and strong alliances ensure a more peaceful and secure world.
In Washington, D.C., the NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of NATO.
At the meeting of the G7 foreign ministers in Dinard, France, ministers addressed global peace and security issues related to Venezuela, Ukraine and Russia, North Korea, Libya, and Syria to find ways to combat threats involving cybersecurity, human trafficking, terrorism, violent radicalization, including racism, Islamophobia and right-wing extremism.
Throughout their discussions, G7 foreign ministers stressed the importance of protecting and promoting human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, with a particular focus on the Sahel and Africa.
Ministers committed to continue cooperation on defending democracy, including through the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism established in Toronto last year and welcomed the launch of the Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations.
The Minister spoke about the importance of media freedom and highlighted the International Conference on Media Freedom to take place in London, England, on July 10 to 11, 2019, co-hosted by Canada with the U.K.
During her trip to Washington, D.C., and Dinard, France, Freeland held productive meetings with a number of her ministerial colleagues and said she used these meetings as an opportunity to highlight Canada’s steadfast support for a rules-based international order.
#NuclearWeapons, #NorthKorea, #US, #DonldTrump, #KimJongUn; #MikePompeo; #WorldwideThreatAssessmentReport
Ottawa/Washington, Jan 30 (Canadian-Media): North Korea is unlikely to fully give up its nuclear weapons, a United States (US) intelligence report had said, with a second meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled to take place next month in Vietnam, media reports said.
Trump shaking hands with King Jong Un/CNN
Kim Yong-chol, a top North Korean envoy, recently arrived in Washington and met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
It was during meeting at Singapore Singapore meeting that the two leaders had met for the first time and had issued a commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
According to a Worldwide Threat Assessment (WTA) report, Pyongyang, the capital and largest city of North Korea, for more than one year, had not not conducted, any nuclear-capable missile or nuclear tests.
Pyongyang had declared its support for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, said WTA report and has reversibly dismantled portions of its WMD -- a weapon of mass destruction as a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or any other weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans damage buildings, mountains, or the biosphere -- infrastructure.
"However, we continue to assess that North Korea is unlikely to give up all of its nuclear weapons and production capabilities, even as it seeks to negotiate partial denuclearization steps to obtain key US and international concessions. North Korean leaders view nuclear arms as critical to regime survival, according to official statements and regime-controlled media," WTA report said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#GlobalPolitics; # DonaldTrump, #USShutdown, #TemporaryShutdown
Washington, Jan 26 (Canadian-Media): US President, Donald Trump has accepted the signed a bill into law to temporarily reopen the government ending the longest shutdown of the 35-day closure, media reports said.
The measures taken will fund the government for three weeks until Feb 15.
After 35 days, he backed a deal to fund federal agencies for three weeks, but it includes none of the money he has demanded for a US-Mexico border wall, BBC reported.
Trump had tweeted: "I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall. This was in no way a concession. It was taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it’s off to the races!."
The Senate and House unanimously passed a bill to temporarily end the shutdown.
"If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15 again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency," Trump had said, "We will have great security."
Reporting by Asha Bajaj
#Canada, #China, #XiJinping
Ottawa, Jan 22 (IBNS): An open letter had been written, by more than 100 diplomats and scholars, to Chinese President Xi Jinping, with an appeal to release two Canadians - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - who were imprisoned in China, media reports said.
Both Kovrig, a former diplomat to China, and Spavor, an entrepreneur, were detained in China on suspicion of posing threats to the security of China, days after the arrest of Chinese telecom company Huawei's executive Meng Wanzhou on Dec 1.
Though Wanzhou was granted a bail, she can still be extradited to the US.
Wanzhou was arrested on the request of US authorities, for misleading multinational banks, claimed US, over Iran-linked transactions and that CEO had kept the banks in risk of violating US sanctions.
The letter stated, " Many of us know Michael Kovrig through his work as a diplomat in Beijing and as the senior expert for Northeast Asia at the International Crisis Group, an organization whose mission is to “build a more peaceful world.”"
The letter continued to state, "These meetings and exchanges are the foundation of serious research and diplomacy around the world...However, Kovrig and Spavor’s detentions send a message that this kind of constructive work is unwelcome and even risky in China.
"We who share Kovrig and Spavor’s enthusiasm for building genuine, productive, and lasting relationships must now be more cautious...That will lead to less dialogue and greater distrust, and undermine efforts to manage disagreements and identify common ground."
Canada & global community condemn death sentence to its national in China on drug smuggling charges
#ChineseCourt; #Canadian; #CanadaChinaRelations #deathpenalty #DrugSmuggling; #AmnestyInternational; #WilliamNee
Ottawa, Jan 14 (Canadian-Media): China's death sentence to a Canadian, Robert Schellenberg on Monday for drug smuggling to China had been condemned by Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada as well as by the human rights groups like Amnesty, media reports said.
Robert Schellenberg (ctre)/NewYorkTimes
In spite of Schellenberg's previous appeal against his original 15-year sentence for retrial, China's court reportedly decided on execution.
"It is of extreme concern to us as a government, as it should be to all our international friends and allies, that China has chosen to begin to arbitrarily apply the death penalty … as in this case," Trudeau told journalists in capital city Ottawa.
William Nee, a Hong Kong-based China researcher with Amnesty International, was also reportedly horrified as drug-related offenses did not meet the criteria of death penalty.
"This is all the more shocking given the rushed nature of the retrial, and the deliberate way in which the Chinese authorities drew attention to this case," Nee had told Reuters.
“The sudden re-trial and apparent rush to judgment has highlighted the numerous flaws in China’s judicial system. We hope that Robert Schellenberg and his defence counsel are given adequate time to prepare and respond to the prosecution’s new evidence when the case is finally brought up for appeal," said Nee
Canada will always intervene, said Trudeau, when a Canadian is sentenced to death in another country.
According to Amnesty, China executes more people than any other country in the world; however, the number of death sentences imposed and number of executions carried out are shrouded in secrecy.
"The authorities continue to execute a significant number of individuals for drug related and other offences which do not meet the “most serious crimes” threshold to which the use of the death penalty must be restricted under international law."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#permanentresidencetoCanada; #ZaghlolKassab; #SaddamHussein; #CanadianFederalCourt; #Canadianrefugeelaw
Ottawa, Dec 28 (Canadian-Media): A Canadian visa officer’s decision to refuse permanent residence to a former Iraqi government official Zaghlol Kassab under Saddam Hussein’s regime was overturned by Canadian Federal Court, media reports said.
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein/Courtesy of National Post
Federal court judge Michael Manson ordered that Kassab's application for permanent residence be reassessed by a new officer when he realized the previous visa officer had ignored evidence suggesting Kassab had little real power within the regime and that the major part of his work related to the country’s electricity grid.
The federal court of Appeal, however must justify how Canadian officials should determine whether someone is too high up in a regime engaged in human rights abuses to be admitted to Canada as a refugee and consideration of factors by visa officers when assessing such cases.
Kassab, his wife and his two daughters had experienced several instances of religious persecution while living in Iraq and in 2014 was forced to move to Jordan.
In 2016 when Kassab and his family applied for permanent residence in Canada as sponsored refugees, only Kassab’s wife and two daughters were granted permanent residence in Canada.
Kassab's decision remained pending due to a pending investigation of his employment under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq from 1979 until 2003 even though he did not fit into the category of Canadian refugee law which does not admit foreign nationals to Canada if they were senior officials in a government that engaged in terrorism, human rights violations or war crimes.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#NorthAmericanFree-TradeAgreement; #Canada, #U.S.; #Mexico; #WorldTradeOrganisation; #DonaldTrump; #ChrystiaFreeland; #JustinTrudeau; #EuropeanUnion
Ottawa, Aug 30 (Canadian-Media): A great progress had been made in North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations this week between U.S. President Donald Trump and Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, both of whom hoped a deal could be reached by the end of the week, media reports said.
Freeland, Trudeau & Trump/twitter
NAFTA, which came into force on January 1, 1994, is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America.
Trump had warned that he could levy tariffs on Canadian-made cars if Ottawa does not come on board and added he would proceed with a deal with Mexico alone.
Friday deadline was set by Trump for the three countries to reach an agreement to allow Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign it before he leaves office at the end of November.
Canada had offered to give American farmers more access to its protected dairy market if U.S. agreed to preserve a key dispute-settlement mechanism -- developed for Canada's first trade deal with the U.S. negotiated in the 1980s -- that hinders U.S. from pursuing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases.
Mexico had already agreed to eliminate the mechanism, said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Monday.
By giving greater acceess to Canada’s supermarkets, Canadians could reportedly expect to pay lower prices for milk, cheese and other dairy products.
Freelnad had expressed the hope that for effective resolution, only specific issues should be brought to the negotiating table.
The three NAFTA partners could reportedly commit to dispute settlement through World Trade Organisation (WTO) reform.
The U.S. already agreed to that with the European Union
Despite U.S. pressure to reach an agreement this week, Trudeau had warned that Canada would not be pushed into accepting a bad one.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)