#Canada; #India; #USBasedReferendum2020; #SFJ; IndiaForeignPolicy
Ottawa, Jul 27 (Canadian-Media): The Canada Government refused to recognise US-based 'Referendum 2020,' organised by the pro-Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), media reports said.
When asked from the spokespersons of the Hindustan Times about the Canadian Government’s stand on the referendum scheduled for November this year with an aim to carve out a separate state of Punjab from India, the email response of a spokesperson of the country’s Foreign Ministry, stated: “Canada respects the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India, and the Government of Canada will not recognize the referendum,” and added that the bilateral relationship between Canada and India “is a priority for the Government of Canada.”
Ajay Bisaria, India’s High Commissioner in Ottawa also refused to address this particular matter, but told Hindustan Times, “We continue to engage closely with Canadian partners, including security agencies on a range of bilateral security issues. Canada has been requested to check anti-India activities and to proscribe individuals and entities declared illegal in India.”
Reacting to the developments, Shashi Kant, DGP, Punjab (Retd.) told ANI, "I don't call it a referendum because referendum only happens within the geographical limits of any country. Sitting here, we can't do a referendum on the sovereignty of the USA, United Kingdom or any other country. That is not correct" and added,
"Again, the point is the statement by the Canadian government that they will not recognise the `Referendum 2020' by a US-based organisation. This is a big victory for the Government of India's foreign policy which shows that it's paying dividends. The other countries are very much respecting India's sovereignty".
SFJ, formed with Avtar Singh Pannun as its president and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun as its legal advisor, SFJ pushes for Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda.
Islamabad (Pakistan), Jul 26 (Canadian-Media): Pakistan on July 26 rejected reports of an online magazine called The Klaxon "China's Wuhan lab operating ‘covert operations’ in Pakistan, creating ‘anthrax-like’ pathogens", as a politically-motivated and fake story, media reports said.
Imran Khan. Image credit: Official Facebook page
The report also alleged that the secret facility was making anthrax-like pathogens, which could be used in biological warfare as part of a broader offensive against India and Western rivals.
The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan also issued a statement, saying it "strongly opposes fabricated story on China-Pakistan joint research on Biological weapon".
"There is nothing secret about the Bio-Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) Laboratory of Pakistan referred to in the report," The Foreign Office also said in a statement issued Sunday.
Foreign Office said that Pakistan's bio safety lab, meant for diagnostic and protective system improvement by research and development (R&D) on emerging health threats, has a strong verification mechanism to ensure full compliance by the States Parties to the Convention of Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC).
#US; #GlobalSanctions; #Sudan; YevgeniyPrigozhin; #EvadeSanctions
United States, Jul 16 (Canadian-Media): A statement was issued by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of United States(US), that US has taken action to further limit destabilizing global activity of Yevgeniy Prigozhin by designating entities that have enabled his ability to evade sanctions, this time, in Sudan,
Image credit: Twitter handle
These designations include, continued the statement, apparent cover entity of Private Military Company (PMC) Wagner in Sudan, M Invest, its subsidiary Meroe Gold, and their leaders, Andrei Mandel and Mikhail Potepkin.
The statement continued to say that Prigozhin’s well-documented global malign activities were demonstrated by his designation under multiple U.S. sanctions authorities such as financier of the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Russian troll farm designated by the United States for attempts to interfere in U.S. elections, as well as the PMC Wagner, a U.S. designated Russian Ministry of Defense proxy force expanding Russian influence abroad.
Prigozhin's reliance on a network of front companies and facilitators, including three companies and an individual designated today based in Hong Kong and Thailand – Shine Dragon Group Limited, Shen Yang Jing Cheng Machinery Imp&Exp. Co, Zhe Jiang Jiayi Small Commodities Trade Company Limited, and Igor Lavrenkov, facilitated more than 100 transactions exceeding $7.5 million between 2018 and 2019 that were sent in the interest of Prigozhin, the statement said.
Throughout the course of this financial activity, Lavrenkov was the director and owner of Shine Dragon Group Limited and also a director at Shen Yang Jing Cheng Machinery Imp&Exp. Co. and Zhe Jiang Jiayi Small Commodities Trade Company Limited.
Prigozhin’s role in Sudan highlights the interplay between Russia’s paramilitary operations, support for preserving authoritarian regimes, such as that of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and exploitation of natural resources.
The actions taken, said the statement, will further limit attempts by Prigozhin and his backers to foment disorder or undermine democratic reforms in Sudan.
#Canada; #UK; #US; #Russia; #CyberAttack; #Covid19Research
Ottawa, Jul 16 (Canadian-Media): COVID-19-related vaccine research in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. had been at the risk of being stolen by a Russian-backed hacker group, according to intelligence agencies in all three countries, media reports said.
Covid19 Vaccine Research. Facebook Page
APT29, also known as Cozy Bear and the Dukes, is reported to be behind the malicious activity, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), responsible for Canada's foreign signals intelligence, said.
The group was accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 U.S. election.
A number of organizations across the globe have been attacked during the pandemic by the Russian actors by using custom malware known as WellMess and WellMail, the three targeted countries Canada, the UK, and the US said.
Britain's National Cyber Security Centre's head, Paul Chichester, said the allies "condemn these despicable attacks against those doing vital work to combat the coronavirus pandemic."
Cyber attack. Image credit: Twitter handle
CSE released a statement July 16 morning in co-ordination with its international counterparts, which said that the group "almost certainly operates as part of Russian intelligence services," an allegation the Kremlin immediately denied.
"These malicious cyber activities were very likely undertaken to steal information and intellectual property relating to the development and testing of COVID-19 vaccines, and serve to hinder response efforts at a time when health care experts and medical researchers need every available resource to help fight the pandemic," the CSE statement says.
Image credit: Twitter Handle
When CSE was asked if the malicious hits were successful and which facilities in Canada were targeted, CSE spokesman refused to comment or confirm details about specific cybersecurity incidents.
In response to inquiries by CBC, Evan Koronewski, CSE spokesperson pointed to a recent threat bulletin that reported a Canadian biopharmaceutical company was compromised by a foreign cyber threat actor back in mid-April.
CSE said that investigations during May was in progress by the authorities, when discrepancies of possible security breaches were witnessed at Canadian organizations doing COVID-19-related research but did not say who was behind the attacks or where they were coming from.
Ever since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, CSE had been warning that Canadian intellectual property linked to the pandemic is a "valuable target" for state-sponsored actors.
The Russian news agency RIA said Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denied the allegations, said these were not backed up by proper evidence.
#USDepartmentOfState; #UnitedKingdom; Huawei; 5GNetworks, #NationalSecurity
US Department of State, Jul 14 (Canadian-Media): The news of United Kingdom's (UK)'s plans to ban Huawei from future 5G networks as well as to phase out untrusted Huawei equipment from existing networks was welcomed by the the United States (US) Department of State, said US Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo in a press statement.
Huawei. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
With a decision to prohibiting the use of untrusted, high-risk vendors like Huawei for its national security, the UK has joined a growing list of countries from around the world that are standing up for their national security, said Pompeo.
Pompeo said that the US Department of State will continue to work with its British friends to foster a secure and vibrant 5G ecosystem, which is critical to Transatlantic security and prosperity and added there is a building momentum in favor of secure 5G.
Pompeo said that democracies such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Sweden are joined by the UK in banning Huawei from future 5G networks.
Other organizations, said Pompeo, which have prohibited the use of Huawei equipment in their networks include Clean carriers like Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK and KT in South Korea, NTT in Japan, and others.
Jio Infocomm Limited, is an Indian telecommunications company and subsidiary of Jio Platforms, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
Telstra Corporation Limited is an Australian telecommunications company which builds and operates telecommunications networks.
Composed of 95 subsidiary companies, SK Group is the third largest conglomerate (chaebol) in South Korea. It changed its name from Sunkyong Group to SK Group in 1997. The cornerstone of SK Group is its energy & chemicals division.
KT Corporation, formerly Korea Telecom, is South Korea's largest telecommunications company.
Ranked 55th in Fortune Global 500 companies, NTT is a Japanese telecommunications company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
Countries need to be able to trust that 5G equipment and software will not threaten national security, economic security, privacy, intellectual property, or human rights, said Pompeo.
#US; #USSecretaryOfState; #DominicanRepublic; #Abinader, #CarribeanRegion
US, Jul 14 (Canadian-Media): Michael R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State, spoke Jul 14 with Dominican President-elect Luis Abinader Corona to congratulate him on his victory in the July 5 election, US Department of State reported.
Luis Abinader Corona. Image credit: Facebook Page
People of the Dominican Republic were commended by Secretary Pompeo for a successful, free, fair, and transparent election and reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to working with the Abinader administration.
The importance of U.S.-Dominican cooperation to security and prosperity in the Caribbean region and throughout the Western Hemisphere was also underscored by the Secretary.
US Dept of State, Jul 11 (Canadian-Media): The United States congratulates the people of Singapore on the country’s 13th general election on July 10 and congratulates Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong and the People’s Action Party on their victory, media reports said.
Image credit: Twitter handle
The United States and Singapore have enjoyed more than 50 years of valuable partnership since we established diplomatic relations in 1966. Our friendship is deeply rooted in our shared values and a common desire for peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region. We look forward to working with the newly elected government of Singapore to strengthen our economic and security cooperation. I am confident that our partnership will continue to flourish.
#Wasington; #USDptOfState; #UICGSP; #Covid19Pandeic; #VaccineDevelopment
Washington, Jul 7 (Canadian-Media): U.S.-India cooperation on a full range of international issues was discussed by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale and Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla during a virtual Foreign Office Consultations on July 7, 2020, media reports said.
Image credit: Twitter handle
Concrete steps were taken to strengthen the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership (UICGSP) established by their leaders.
Included in the discussions were ongoing threats to the rules-based international order, bilateral and multilateral diplomatic cooperation, maritime security, and the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was agreed by Hale and Shringla to consult closely on all challenges and endeavor to support each other’s objectives.
They also agreed that U.S.-India health partnership will continue to play a critical role in the world’s recovery from COVID-19, including cooperation on pharmaceutical and vaccine development.
In addition, Hale and Shringla affirmed the U.S. and Indian visions of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where all countries can prosper, and agreed to work with other Indo-Pacific partners to bring these visions to reality.
Both officials look forward to this year’s U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and pledged to remain in close contact on regional and international issues of mutual concern.
#Canada; #US; #NAFTA; #CUSMA; #USMCA; #Covid19
Ottawa, Jul 6 (Canadian-Media): Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would not join his North American counterparts in Washington, D.C., this week to celebrate the updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal, called CUSMA in Canada and USMCA in the United States (US), which came into force on July 1, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Facebook page
U.S. President Donald Trump is hosting a bilateral meeting on July 8 for Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Washington.
Trudeau's main concern for not attending the Washington meeting was COVID-19 pandemic as Canadian public health rules would mean he would have to quarantine for two weeks upon his return.
"While there were recent discussions about the possible participation of Canada, the prime minister will be in Ottawa this week for scheduled cabinet meetings and the long-planned sitting of Parliament," Chantal Gagnon, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office, said in a statement.
Trudeau said he was also concerned about the proposed issue of tariffs on aluminum and steel that the Americans have floated recently, in reference to a Trump's statement last month at reintroducing tariffs on Canadian aluminum.
Tariffs imposed by the U.S. on steel and aluminum in 2018 led to a nearly yearlong trade argument.
In retaliation, Canada levied tariffs on U.S. goods until a deal to lift them was reached in May, 2019.
Ever since Trump first demanded the NAFTA trade pact be reopened, Chrystia Freeland, the foreign affairs minister at that time was overseeing its development and spent months shuttling back and forth between Ottawa and Washington in 2018 and 2019 in continuing to oversee the deal even after being named deputy prime minister after the election last October.
On June 29 an Order in Council was passed to transfer the responsibility of implementing the NAFTA deal to International Trade Minister Mary Ng, as outlined in the legislation.
#Canada; #HongKongNewLaw; #ExtraditionTreaty; #"OneCountryTwoSystems"
Ottawa, Jul 4 (Canadian-Media): Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said July 3 during his news conference that Canada is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong after studying responses to the new security law and also updating Canada's travel advisory for Hong Kong.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Facebook page
Canada will also treat sensitive goods being exported to Hong Kong as if they were being sent to mainland China.
"Effective immediately, Canada will not permit the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong," Trudeau said in a news conference.
With the new security laws imposed by China on Hong Kong this week, Beijing has more power to police anti-government protests and other activities.
Canada is a firm believer in "one country, two systems", said Trudeau and added the new law is a threat to the "one country, two systems" philosophy that was supposed to last 50 years after Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.
Canada's relationship with Hong Kong, including freer trade and travel than is allowed between Canada and mainland China, depends on that principle, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said in a separate statement.
"This process demonstrated disregard for Hong Kong's basic law and the high degree of autonomy promised for Hong Kong under the 'one country, two systems' framework," Champagne said.
"Hong Kong's role as a global hub was built on that foundation. Without it, Canada is forced to reassess existing agreements."
"We will continue to support the many connections between Canada and Hong Kong while also standing up for its people," Trudeau said.
About 300,000 Canadians live in Hong Kong.
"In the days and weeks to come, we're also looking at additional measures, including around immigration," Trudeau said.