N. Korean leader regrets test
Oct 20: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il expressed
regret about his country's nuclear test to a
Chinese delegation and said Pyongyang would
return to international nuclear talks if Washington
backs off a campaign to financially isolate
the country, a South Korean newspaper reported
the U.S. makes a concession to some degree,
we will also make a concession to some degree,
whether it be bilateral talks or six-party talks,"
Kim was quoted as telling a Chinese envoy, the
mass-circulation Chosun Ilbo reported, citing
a diplomatic source in China.
told the Chinese delegation that "he is
sorry about the nuclear test," the newspaper
reported. The delegation led by State Councilor
Tang Jiaxuan met Kim on Thursday and returned
to Beijing later that day - ahead of U.S. Secretary
Rice's arrival in the Chinese capital Friday.
China is viewed as a key nation in efforts to
persuade the North to disarm, as it is the isolated
communist nation's main trading partner.
Korea has long insisted that the U.S. desist
from a campaign to sever its ties to the international
financial system. Washington accuses Pyongyang
of complicity in counterfeiting and money laundering
to sell weapons of mass destruction.
North has refused since last November to return
to the nuclear talks, which also include China,
Japan, Russia and South
Korea. Pyongyang has sought bolster its negotiating
position by a series of provocative actions,
test-firing a barrage of missiles in July and
performing its first-ever nuclear test October
die in sectarian violence in Iraq
Oct 18: Four days of sectarian slaughter killed
at least 91 people by Monday in Balad, a town
near a major U.S. air base an hour's drive north
of the capital. Elsewhere, 60 Iraqis died in
attacks and 16 tortured bodies were found.
U.S. command said seven American troops died
in fighting a day earlier. That raised the U.S.
toll to 58 killed in the first two weeks of
October, a pace that if continued would make
the month the worst for coalition forces since
107 U.S. and 10 British soldiers died in January
deaths also are running at a high rate. As many
as 708 Iraqis have been reported killed in war-related
violence this month, or just over 44 a day,
compared to a daily average of more than 27
since the AP began tracking deaths in April
surge in sectarian bloodshed and jump in U.S.
casualties coincide with the run-up to the American
midterm elections in which the Bush administration's
handling of the Iraq war has become a key issue.
U.S. military has kept a low profile in Balad,
where violence began Friday with the slaying
of 17 Shiite Muslim workers. Revenge-seeking
Shiite death squads then killed 74 Sunnis, causing
people to flee across the Tigris River to the
nearby Sunni-dominated city of Duluiyah.
American spokesman did not directly respond
when asked if the Iraqi government had sought
U.S. military assistance in quelling the violence.
force units are partnering with Iraqi police
and Iraqi army units involved in operations
around Balad. We are also providing quick reaction
assets to the Iraqi police and army. The IA
and IP are in the lead with the operations around
Balad," Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said.
two runways at the air base on the outskirts
of Balad are among the world's busiest, launching
27,500 aircraft a month, hundreds of them bomb-laden
jets that support U.S. troops moving against
insurgents. The base is also the supply hub
for all U.S. military operations in Iraq.
President Bush, meanwhile, telephoned Prime
Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday to reassure
him of American support as rumors swirled through
Baghdad that Washington had lost patience with
the Shiite leader during his little more than
four months in office.
spokesman Tony Snow said the president used
the 15-minute conversation to tell al-Maliki
there was no American deadline for the Iraqi
government to be able to stand on its own.
Korea stuns the world with its first nuclear
Oct 9: North Korea carried out an underground
nuclear test on Monday, North Korea's Central
News Agency (KCNA) reported. The test was carried
out at 0706 hrs IST in Hwaderi near Kilju city.
"Our science research section has safely
and successfully conducted an underground nuclear
test on October 9," it said.
added that there was no leak or danger from the
test. South Korea's presidential Blue House said
a tremor had been detected in North Korea on Monday.
It said South Korea's Institute of Geoscience
and Mineral Resources had detected a tremor of
a magnitude 3.58 to 3.7 at 07.00 am.
North Korea had announced last week that it would
test a nuclear device saying its hand was forced
by what it called US threats of nuclear war and
economic sanctions. But it said it would not be
the first to use a nuclear weapon.
the announcement, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun
held an emergency meeting of top security officials
at the Blue House. Tokyo backs a hard line toward
Pyongyang, while Seoul and Beijing - leery of
instability on the peninsula - have previously
cautioned against backing the North into a corner.
However, all three agree that Pyongyang should
end its nearly year-long boycott of six-country
talks on ending its nuclear weapons program.
say North Korea probably has enough fissile material
to make six to eight nuclear bombs, but probably
does not have the technology to devise one small
enough to mount on a missile.
terrorism to figure in Indian PM's parleys with
UK, EU leaders
DELHI, Oct 7: Civil nuclear cooperation, terrorism
and deepening of economic ties will figure in
the talks that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will
have with leaders of Britain, Finland and the
European Union during his six-day visit to London
and Helsinki beginning Monday.
Singh will attend the third India-UK Summit meeting
with his British counterpart Tony Blair in London
on Oct 10 and the seventh India-EU summit Oct
13 in Helsinki. On October 12, he would hold bilateral
talks with the Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen,
according to Mr Shiv Shankar Menon, Foreign Secretary.
his first official interaction with the newsmen
after taking over as Foreign Secretary, Mr Menon
said the issue of allowing international community
to have civil nuclear cooperation with India,
in the backdrop of Indo-US deal, will also be
raised by the Prime Minister with leaders of UK,
Finland and EU. At the press conference the Foreign
Secretary was flanked by Ms Sujata Singh, Joint
Secrtary (Western Europe), Mr V Ashok, Joint Secretary
(Central Europe) and Mr Navtej Sarna, Spokesman,
Ministry of External Affairs.
pointed out that the 23-nation EU did not have
a common position on the issue. Many of its members
have expressed support for the cooperation but
some have reservations and India was discussing
the issue individually with member countries.
member countries, he pointed out, were very sympathetic
while some were not. But overall, the mood vis-a-vis
civil nuclear cooperation was sympathetic to India
compared to about two years ago. He said efforts
were on to muster further backing.
of the EU countries are members of the 45-nation
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which will meet
in Vienna later this month and the Indo-US nuclear
deal is expected to figure. The nuclear agreement
is required to be endorsed through consensus by
the NSG, which will have to change guidelines
to allow international community to have civil
nuclear cooperation with India.
Prime Minister will be accompanied by Commerce
Minister Kamal Nath and Minister of State for
External Affairs Anand Sharma.
Menon said that both New Delhi and London have
been victims of terrorism and this would form
a key part of the discussions between the leaders
of the two countries.
and British officials could exchange information
on the safe conduct of the Commonwealth Games
in New Delhi in 2010 and the Olympic Games in
London in 2012. "We have seen substantial
progress in bilateral ties between India and the
UK during the last two years," said Mr Menon.
Cooperation in counter-terrorism between security
agencies would be a core issue in the dialogue.
concerns over cross-border terrorism in the backdrop
of recent evidence that Pakistan's ISI and terror
outfits based there were behind the July 11 Mumbai
serial blasts that killed nearly 200 people would
also figure during talks with the leadership of
Finland and the EU. "We will bring them up
to date with India's experience as victim of terrorism,"
said Mr Menon.
rejected apprehensions that the Indo-Pak anti-terror
joint mechanism would compromise New Delhi's efforts
to highlight Pakistan's role in terrorism. "We
haven't changed our position on terrorism,"
he said. India's position was "very clear"
and "determined by what we see on the ground".
will address the India-UK Investment Summit which
is expected to be attended by over 100 CEOs. The
Prime Minister will travel to Cambridge to receive
an honorary doctorate. He was awarded a similar
honour by Oxford University in July 2005. Prince
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who is chancellor
of Cambridge University, will present the doctorate.
Singh will leave for Helsinki on October 12 on
a three-day visit to attend the 4th India-EU Summit.
Finland is the current EU President. For India,
EU is a "very important economic partner",
Prime Minister will also talk on bilateral issues
with leaders of Finland, bilateral relations with
which have traditionally been warm and friendly.
Firms from Finland are slowly showing interest
in investing in India.
Sanctions won't derail enrichment
(Iran), Oct 5: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
warned Wednesday that sanctions will not stop
Iran from enriching uranium after a European negotiator
conceded "endless hours" of talks had
made little progress and suggested the dispute
could wind up at the U.N. soon.
talks had been seen as a last-ditch attempt to
avoid a full-blown confrontation between Iran
and the UN
Security Council after Tehran ignored an August
31 deadline to suspend enrichment - a key step
toward making nuclear weapons - or face punishment.
latest comments - and the view of senior U.N.
diplomats that nearly two years of intermittent
negotiations had failed - suggested an emerging
consensus that the time has finally come to consider
Security Council sanctions.
maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful
purposes and does not violate international law.
Its refusal to give up enrichment compounds the
failure of more than three years of U.N. inspections
to banish suspicions that Tehran might have a
secret weapons program. The conflict picked up
steam after last year's election of the hard-line
Ahmadinejad, whose tough stance on the nuclear
issue is wildly popular in Iran - even among moderates.
Solana, the European official who has been negotiating
with the Iranians, told the European Parliament
on Wednesday that the Iranians had made "no
commitment to suspend." The dialogue with
the Iranians "cannot last forever" and
it was up to Tehran "to decide whether its
time has come to end," he said.
said his talks had found "common ground"
on some issues "but we have not agreed in
what is the key point, which is the question of
suspension of activities before the start of the
negotiations." He suggested that if the talks
ended, the standoff should be moved to the Security
a speech shortly afterward, Ahmadinejad warned
that sanctions would not dissuade his country
from pursuing nuclear technology, including the
enrichment of uranium. "You are mistaken
if you assume that the Iranian nation will stop
for even a moment from the path toward using nuclear
energy, due to your nagging," he told the
West, speaking to a crowd of supporters outside
27 years they haven't allowed us to use technologies
that they possess," Ahmadinejad added. "This
nation is powerful and won't give in to one iota
an apparent response to Solana, the Iranian president
said his nation favored continued negotiations.
"We are for talks. We can talk with each
other and remove ambiguities. We have logic. We
want talks to continue," he said.
Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice and foreign ministers from five other major
powers were expected to meet, possibly Friday
in London, to discuss the situation.
said the Security Council could meet as early
as Monday to start work on a resolution imposing
the first of a series of sanctions meant to make
Iran roll back its program.
was initially referred to the Security Council
in February by the International
Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog,
which said Tehran's suspicious activities represented
breaches of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The Vienna-based agency also said it could not
be sure Iran was not trying to make weapons.
United States insisted that Tehran halt enrichment
as a precondition for further talks on its nuclear
program, but Iran ignored the August 31 deadline
set by the Security Council. The Americans then
agreed to let Solana hold more talks with the
Iranians after Russia, China and France spoke
out against a rush to sanctions.
first, both Solana and Iran's top negotiator,
Ali Larijani, had signaled progress in the talks.
On Tuesday, however, diplomats said Larijani told
Solana that the hard-line Iranian leadership had
rejected even a limited enrichment freeze. One
diplomat said Western council members - the United
States, Britain and France - favor an embargo
on sales of nuclear or missile technology to Tehran
as a first sanctions step. That would be followed
by other sanctions, including travel bans on Iranian
officials and the freezing of their assets.
has so far shown little concern about the prospect
of such sanctions - perhaps because such limited
sanctions would not greatly hurt the country overall.
Russia and China, both veto-wielding council members,
traditionally oppose sanctions, and the United
States could still face a tough fight getting
them to agree to any truly punitive measures.
officials have said they intend to start with
trying for relatively lower-level punishments
as a way to persuade Russia and China to sign
on. China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya, asked
whether Beijing would support possible sanctions
if Iran doesn't suspend uranium enrichment, said
Wednesday that over the last few weeks "there
has been some progress" in the Solana-Larijani
talks so the door isn't completely shut. "But
I do hope that diplomatic means is still the best
way to achieve a solution on this Iranian nuclear
issue," he said.
U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he hadn't
heard Solana's comments, but if Solana was saying
that Iran now had a choice of whether to suspend
enrichment or face sanctions "it will be
a very sad moment."
were very supportive of Mr. Solana's efforts and
still are if he intends to continue those efforts.
Of course, it was our hope that those efforts
would be successful and things will be resolved
diplomatically," Churkin said. "We do
not want any extra work load here in the Security
Council anyway, and of course, it's a very important
matter and we are hoping Mr. Solana will be successful."
Ambassador John Bolton, asked about the possibility
of the U.N. Security Council discussing sanctions
against Iran, said: "We haven't discussed
sanctions here in New York for weeks, many weeks,
lots of weeks. But as soon as I'm instructed,
I'm prepared to begin as soon as the cable comes
million Iraqis flee sectarian violence
Sept 29: A quarter of a million Iraqis have fled
sectarian violence and registered as refugees
in the past seven months, data released on Thursday
showed, amid an upsurge in attacks that has accompanied
the Ramadan holy month
Qaeda's leader in Iraq called for the kidnapping
of Westerners to swap for a Muslim cleric jailed
in the United States, according to an Internet
sectarian killing continued in Baghdad, where
police said they had found the bodies of 40 victims
-- bound, tortured and murdered -- in the last
24 hours, a total that has become almost commonplace
in the capital over the last few weeks.
United States says violence in Iraq has surged
in the last two weeks, and this past week, the
first of Ramadan, saw the most suicide bombs of
any week since the war began in 2003.
registered refugee figures showed 40,000 families
-- 240,000 people -- claiming assistance, up from
27,000 families in July. The figures do not include
an uncounted number of Iraqis who have moved home
without claiming aid.
reason for this increase is that the security
situation in some provinces has deteriorated considerably,
forcing people to leave their homes in fear for
their lives," said Migration Ministry spokesman
new leader of Al Qaeda's Iraq branch called on
his followers to capture Westerners to swap for
Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind cleric jailed
for life in the United States after the 1993 bombing
at the World Trade Center.
call on every holy fighter in Iraq to strive during
this holy month (Ramadan)... to capture some dogs
of the Christians so that we can liberate our
imprisoned sheikh," said Abu Hamza al-Muhajir,
in an audio recording on the Internet.
also known as Abu Ayub al-Masri, succeeded Iraq's
Qaeda chief Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi when he was
killed by U.S. forces in June.
commanders say have focused their efforts on the
capital Baghdad over the past two months and say
they have managed to reduce the number of sectarian
death squad killings in the scattered neighborhoods
they have targeted.
the killers seem to have moved to other neighborhoods
and violence has not subsided in the city as a
car bomb and a roadside bomb exploded in quick
succession in the Sadoun district of central Baghdad
on Thursday, killing four people and wounding
38, police said. At least five other bombs struck
in the capital in the morning, killing at least
three and wounding 30.
rounds landed on a district in the southwest of
the capital killing four. Other bombs struck in
Mosul, Kirkuk and Numaniya. A woman and two children
were among five people killed in an air strike
in Ramadi, hospital officials said.
squads were returning to one of the areas the
Americans had cleared, Ghazaliya, because police
were allowing the killers back in, said a senior
U.S. military official who briefed reporters under
condition he not be named.
would ascribe that to probably some measure of
some element in MoI facilitating the re-entry
of folks into the area," said the official,
referring to the Ministry of the Interior which
oversees the police.
described a surge in death squad killings since
February by members of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's
Mehdi Army, including some who were "rogue"
and no longer under Sadr's control.
death squads have been seeking out victims using
lists of targets and placing them before clerics
who give religious sanction to their killings,
he said, giving one of the most detailed descriptions
of U.S. intelligence on the violence.
June they have carried out mass kidnappings, often
of dozens of people stopped at roadblocks and
separated out by their religion. They are held,
tortured and killed.
'probably' hiding in Pak: Karzai
YORK, Sept 26: Three days ahead of the trilateral
summit with US Prez George W Bush and Pak Prez
Pervez Musharraf, Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has
said the al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is "probably"
in Pakistan and he can be captured if "collectively
(Osama) is not in Afghanistan. I can tell you
that for sure," Karzai said during NBC's
"Meet the Press" programme. When asked
if he is in Pakistan, the Afghan leader replied:"Probably
he is there. That's what the reports say now that
to comment on a report of the Rand Corporation,
which was privately endorsed by offcial circles,
that essentially accused the Pakistani government
and forces of being in collusion with the Taliban,
he said: "We have a serious problem in this
regard. When I said we must go to the sources
of terrorism, where they are trained, where they
are equipped, where they are given money, where
they are given motivation and sent to kill international
coalition forces, engineers, doctors, Afghans,
that's what I meant."
on whether he is talking about Pakistan, he said
"whatever the source is". "If it
is violated, then we will be very skeptical and
that will exactly be a sanctuary for terrorism
in that part of Pakistan" Karzai added.
maintained that Afghanistan had provided the location
to Islamabad of Osama bin Laden and argued that
if "all" cooperate the al Qaeda chief
could be nabbed. "We have provided, from
time to time, for the past so many years, information
to our friends, our brothers, our neighbors in
Pakistan about sanctuaries, about training grounds,
about personalities associated with terrorism.
came back to us and said that some of the information
was old, but that it was true sometime before
that and that we hope that more action will be
taken" the Afghan leader said.
Asked if Pakistan can capture bin Laden the Afghanistran
leader remarked," I don't have so much information
to speculate on that. But if you all tried to
collectively, he would not be able to hide".
ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee,
Jane Harman said the Bush administration failed
to nab bin Laden after cornering him at Tora Bora
and that there is now a fair degree of certainty
that the al Qaeda chief is in Pakistan.
missed a chance. We had him cornered at Tora Bora
in Afghanistan. And under this administration,
no action was taken. We also know, I think for
a fair certainty, that he's in the tribal area
of Pakistan. I don't believe he's in Afghanistan.
Resources were not focused on this problem as
we got bogged down in Iraq. Now we have more resources
on the problem. But we should have been able to
capture him within the last five years" Harman
said in a news channel late Edition.
military ousts prime minister
Sept 19: Thailand's army commander ousted Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a military coup
Tuesday night while he was in New York, circling
his offices with tanks, declaring martial law
and revoking the constitution. A military spokesman
said army Commander-in-Chief Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin
would be acting prime minister
a Muslim in this Buddhist-dominated country, is
known to be close to Thailand's revered monarch,
King Bhumibol Adulyadej. An announcement on national
television signed by army Sondhi Boonyaratkalin
ordered all troops to report to their duty stations.
senior army general, speaking on condition of
anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation,
said the armed forces chiefs were meeting with
the king to discuss forming an interim government,
suggesting it would probably be led by civilians.
soldiers and armored vehicles moved through a
drizzly Bangkok, an announcement from the military
had earlier declared a provisional authority loyal
to the king. It declared that a "Council
of Administrative Reform" had seized power
in Bangkok and nearby provinces without any resistance.
It recognized the king as head of state.
armed forces commander and the national police
commander have successfully taken over Bangkok
and the surrounding area in order to maintain
peace and order. There has been no struggle,"
the announcement said. "We ask for the cooperation
of the public and ask your pardon for the inconvenience."
who has faced calls to step down amid allegations
of corruption and abuse of power, was in New York
at the U.N. General Assembly, and he declared
a state of emergency in an audio statement via
a government-owned TV station in Bangkok.
least 14 tanks surrounded Government House, Thaksin's
office. A convoy of four tanks rigged with loudspeakers
and sirens rolled through a busy commercial district
of Bangkok, warning people to get off the street
for their own safety.
spokesman Col. Akara Chitroj said Deputy Prime
Minister Chitchai Wannasathit had been removed
from his post. An army general, speaking on condition
of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the
situation, said Chitchai and Defense Minister
Thammarak Isaragura na Ayuthaya - two Thaksin
loyalists - had been arrested. "The government
is no longer administering the country,"
a vain attempt to stave off the coup, Thaksin
in his state-of-emergency declaration from New
York had ordered Sondhi to report to Chitchai
immediately, effectively dismissing him.
Thaksin, who had been scheduled to address the
General Assembly on Wednesday night, switched
his speech to Tuesday at 7 p.m. EDT.
coup went largely unnoticed in Bangkok's popular
tourist districts, where foreigners packed bars
and cabarets, oblivious to the activity about
two miles away. But word raced among street vendors
hawking T-shirts, who packed up their carts quickly
and started heading home.
of people gathered at Government House taking
pictures of themselves with the tanks. "I
don't agree with the coup, but now that they've
done it, I support it because Thaksin has refused
to resign from his position," said university
student Sasiprapha Chantawong. "Allowing
Thaksin to carry on will ruin the country more
than this. The reputation of the country may be
somewhat damaged, but it's better than letting
Thaksin stay in power."
White House said it was monitoring the events.
Frederick Jones, a spokesman for the National
Security Council, said President Bush's national
security advisers had seen various reports of
military movements as well as reports of a declaration
of a state of emergency. "We are monitoring
developments closely, but the situation at the
moment is unclear," Jones said. "We
look to the Thai people to resolve their political
differences in a peaceful manner and in accordance
with principles of democracy and rule of law."
was the first coup in Thailand since 1992, when
an attempt by Prime Minister Suchinda Kraprayoon,
a military general, to retain power was countered
by mass street demonstrations and Suchinda's ouster.
After that, the military vowed to remain in its
barracks, in contrast to earlier decades when
military coups were a staple of Thai politics.
coup came a day before a major rally - the first
in months - was to take place in Bangkok by a
anti-Thaksin coalition. Massive rallies earlier
this year forced Thaksin to dissolve Parliament
and call an election in April, three years early.
The poll was boycotted by the opposition and later
annulled by Thailand's top courts, leaving it
without a working legislature.
Thai Rak Thai Party twice won landslide election
victories, in 2001 and 2005 and had been expected
to win the next vote on Oct. 15, bolstered by
its widespread support in the country's rural
March, Sondhi sought to ease speculation the military
might join the political fray, as it last did
in 1992 and more than a dozen other times during
earlier crises. "The army will not get involved
in the political conflict. Political troubles
should be resolved by politicians," Sondhi
said at the time, echoing comments of other top
military officials. "Military coups are a
thing of the past."
Monday, Thaksin had said he might step down as
leader of Thailand after the upcoming elections
but would remain as partly leader, despite calls
for him to give up the post.
first sign of the coup came when army-owned TV
channel 5 interrupted regular broadcasts with
patriotic music and showed pictures of the king.
Later, several hundred soldiers were deployed
at government installations and major intersections
critics wanted to jettison his policies promoting
privatization, free trade agreements and CEO-style
to Thaksin gained momentum in January when his
family announced it had sold its controlling stake
in telecommunications company Shin Corp. to Singapore's
state-owned Temasek Holdings for a tax-free $1.9
billion. Critics allege the sale involved insider
trading and complained a key national asset moved
to foreign hands.
also has been accused of stifling the media and
mishandling a Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand
that flared under his rule. In the mostly Muslim
south, separatist insurgents have waged a bloody
campaign that has left at least 1,700 dead, mostly
civilians, since 2004. Citizens there have complained
of rights abuses by soldiers and discrimination
by the country's Buddhist majority.
a 78-year-old constitutional monarch with limited
powers, has used his prestige to pressure opposing
parties to compromise during political crises.
He is credited with helping keep Thailand more
stable than many of its Southeast Asian neighbors.
He is the world's longest-serving monarch, celebrated
his 60th year on the throne with lavish festivities
in June that were attended by royalty from around
Thais had been counting on him to pull the country
through its political crisis, which has left it
with no functioning legislature and only a caretaker
government after the inconclusive election. Bhumibol
was born in Cambridge, Mass. He became the ninth
king of Thailand's Chakri dynasty on June 9, 1946,
succeeding his older brother, Ananda, killed by
an unexplained shooting.
then, he has reigned through a score of governments,
democratic and dictatorial. He has taken an especially
active role in rural development. In 1992, demonstrators
against a military strongman were gunned down
before the king stepped in to end the fighting
and usher in a period of stability.
Pakistan to set up anti-terror mechanism
Sept 17: Taking a significant step to build trust,
India and Pakistan today decided to set up a joint
anti-terrorism institutional mechanism and agreed
to resume the foreign secretary-level talks soon.
an hour-long meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf
in Havana, the two sides emphasised that the peace
process must be maintained and its "success
was important" for both the countries and
the future of the region.
Joint Statement issued after the meeting said
the two countries will continue search for "mutually-acceptable
options" for a "peaceful negotiated
settlement of all issues, including Kashmir, in
a sincere and purposeful manner."
two leaders, who met in the aftermath of the Mumbai
blasts which led to a chill in the bilateral ties,
"strongly condemned all acts of terrorism".
that terrorism is a scourge that needs to be dealt
with, Singh and Musharraf decided to put in place
an "India-Pakistan anti-terrorism institutional
mechanism to identify and implement counter-terrorism
initiatives and investigations."
decision to set up the new mechanism comes on
the heels of India asking Pakistan to take concrete
action on the ground to stop terrorism emanating
from that country if it wanted the peace process
to move forward.
expresses total opposition to terror
Sept 17: In a strong endorsement of India's position,
the 118-nation Non-aligned Movement (NAM) on Sunday
expressed its total opposition to terrorism in
all its forms and manifestations and asked countries
to combat the menace, including by prosecuting
and extraditing its perpetrators.
midnight oil and bringing to an end months of
negotiations, the two-day NAM summit adopted the
Havana Declaration and the 'Final Document' in
the early hours of the day urging countries to
refrain from extending political, diplomatic,
moral or material support to terrorism under the
UN Charter and also asking them to fulfill global
obligations not to give it any support.
held in Cuba, an inveterate anti-US campaigner,
the conference condemned unilateralism and attempts
to exercise hegemonic domination in international
relations, a favourite phraseology of Cuba for
decades to attack Washington.
resolved to oppose and condemn the categorisation
of countries as "good or evil" based
on unilateral and unjustified criteria and the
adoption of a doctrine of pre-emptive attack,
including by nuclear weapons.
a paragraph that could cause discomfort to Pakistan,
the 91-page final document expressed deep concern
that the terrorist groups, including former Taliban,
were regrouping in the southern and eastern parts
of Afghanistan. Equally of concern was that the
efforts of international community to fight terrorism
were being undermined by support, protection and
shelter that these forces of destablisation continued
to receive, it said.
the document did not take the name of any country,
sources said during the negotiations Pakistan
had raised some objections to the wording.
campaign for reform of the United Nations, especially
the Security Council, found support when the declaration
and the document expressed concern over the lack
of progress in the discussions in the UN General
Assembly on the question of equitable representation
and increase in the membership of the Council.
It called for efforts to make the Council more
democratic, more representative, more accountable
and more effective.
concerns of countries like India on board on the
issue of terrorism, the document said criminal
acts intended or calculated to provoke a state
of terror among the people "for whatever
purposes, wherever, by whomever, against whomsoever
committed are, in any circumstance, unjustifiable,
whatever the considerations or factors that may
be invoked to justify them."
asked the countries to fulfill their obligations
under international and humanitarian law to combat
terrorism, including by prosecuting or extraditing
the perpetrators of terrorist acts and by not
instigating or financing terror acts against other
document called for the conclusion of a comprehensive
convention for combating international terrorism.
a veiled attack on US, the summit opposed unilateralism
in international relations as well as unilaterally
imposed measures by certain states and the use
of force and pressure to achieve their national
the context of talk of clash of civilisations,
the NAM countries sought a dialogue among cultures,
civilisations and religions.
than 200 Taliban die in Afghanistan
(Afghanistan), Sept 4: Warplanes and artillery
pounded Taliban fighters hiding in orchards Sunday
during a big Afghan-NATO
offensive that the alliance said killed more than
200 militants in its first two days. Four Canadian
soldiers also were killed.
the estimate is confirmed, the battle would be
one of the deadliest since U.S.-led forces ousted
the Taliban regime five years ago. Reporters could
not reach all the combat zone because officials
barred traffic from all but one road in this part
of southern Kandahar province.
Medusa was launched Saturday to flush out Taliban
fighters from Panjwayi and neighboring Zhari district.
NATO spokesman Maj. Scott Lundy said alliance
and Afghan troops had gained ground and disrupted
the militants' command system so guerrillas were
moving in confusion.
Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said Taliban
casualties were high, but could not confirm the
NATO report of more than 200 dead. A NATO statement
said its figure was derived from "surveillance
and reconnaissance assets operating in Panjwayi
and Zhari districts, as well as information reported
by various Afghan officials and citizens living
80 other suspected Taliban were arrested by Afghan
police and a further 180 fled the area, it said.
The alliance said it had no reports of civilian
casualties, despite the heavy weight of fire being
used. But a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry,
Gen. Zahir Azimi, said earlier that an undetermined
number of civilians were killed.
Minister's visit to boost trade ties
DELHI, Sept 3: The Netherlands' Minister for Foreign
Trade, Mrs Karien van Gennip's five-day visit
will further strengthen bilateral economic relations,
promote Indo-Dutch trade and investment and cooperation
in the field of science and technology.
is substantial room for growth in India-Netherlands
economic relations", she said in a recent
interview. With 8.5 per cent growth last year
India is a good market for trade, investment and
companies are increasingly looking at India for
expanding their business. India is one of the
three priority countries for the Dutch Trade Board,
a public-private partnership set up by the government
a year ago, that aims to promote and increase
from the Netherlands to India (Euro 911 million
in 2005) are increasing yearly. Dutch foreign
investment in India ranks third position, while
the Netherlands emerged as the largest recipient
of overseas Indian investment in the first nine
months of FY06 ($244 million).
theme of her mission is globalization, innovation
and co-operation in research and development.
In this regard special attention will be given
to IT, life sciences, with a focus on biotechnology
and non-conventional energy.
will be reflected in a number of company visits
and other activities such as a visit to the Centre
for Cellular & Molecular Biology in Hyderabad
and the participation of Minister van Gennip in
CONNECT 2006 in Chennai. Highlight in Chennai
will be the World premier of the showcasing (outside
the Netherlands) of a solar boat, as an example
of Dutch innovative design and technology.
special feature of her visit to India will be
the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the
two Netherlands Business Support Offices in Chennai
her two days of parleys in New Delhi beginning
Monday, she would meet the Minister for Commerce
and Industry, Mr Kamal Nath, the Minister for
Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Mr Vilas Muttemwar,
and the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram.
Monday she will open the matchmaking event hosted
by CII and address a FICCI round table entitled
"India-Netherlands: connecting innovative
gateways". The minister will visit Hyderabad
on September 6 and Chennai on September 7 and
Hyderabad, she will call on the Chief Minister
of Andhra Pradesh, Mr Y. S. R. Reddy and in Chennai
she will pay a courtesy call to the Chief Minister
of Tamil Nadu, Mr M.K. Karunanidhi.
She is accompanied by a business delegation, headed
by Mr. Rutger Koopmans, Chairman of the Netherlands-Indian
Chamber of Commerce and Trade (NICCT) and comprising
companies from various sectors, mostly IT and
life sciences. Apart from the business delegation,
the Minister is accompanied by representatives
of the Rijksmuseum, the Concertgebouw Orchestra
and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).
visit comes nearly two weeks after the detention
of 12 Indian nationals by the Dutch police on
board a Mumbai-bound US airliner following a mid-air
India had officially protested and summoned the
Dutch Ambassador in New Delhi and lodged a protest
against the detentions.
Iraqi violence claimes 59 lives
Aug 28: A series of deadly suicide bombings and
shootings across Iraq killed at least fifty nine
people in a brutal response to premier Nuri al-Maliki's
attempts to stitch his wounded country back together.
day after Maliki won a promise from tribal leaders
to rein in Iraq's violent factions, bombers carried
out deadly attacks across the country, with four
targeting the northern Kurdish minority that left
15 people dead. The Sunday's savagery has a blow
to Maliki's authority on a day in which he once
again insisted that Iraq is not slipping into
all-out sectarian conflict.
violence is on the decrease, and our security
ability is increasing," Maliki said in an
interview with a news television. "I want
to assure he who loves Iraq that Iraq will never
be in a civil war," he said.
after the interview was broadcast, gunmen stormed
a market in Khallis, a mainly-Shiite town north
of Baghdad, and sprayed automatic fire indiscriminately
into a crowd, killing 14 people and wounding 25.
two near simultaneous suicide car bomb attacks
on Kurdish targets killed 10 and wounded 50 more
in the ethnically mixed northern Iraqi city of
Kirkuk, police Brigadier General Burhan Tayib
told the news agency in the city. One attack hit
a religious shrine owned by the family of Iraq's
Kurdish President Jalal Talabani, the other the
home of a Kurdish police chief, Colonel Ahmed
Abdallah's, whose son was among the dead, Tayib
still has time to avoid sanctions: US