End Times

March 31, 2009

Despite divisions, Arabs unite to censure Israel, back Sudan

Filed under: Division of Jerusalem — Steven @ 11:18 pm

Divided Arab states came together this week in Qatar to reiterate their support for the Arab Peace Initiative and to reject the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes.

A Sudanese journalist passes by the logo of annual Arab summit in Doha, Qatar, Sunday.

Leaders at the 21st Arab summit in Doha called on US President Barack Obama’s administration “to take a firm stand in confronting Israel’s continued siege on Gaza, its illegal practices and particularly, the ‘Judaization’ of Jerusalem, expansion of settlement activities and violation of the rights of the Palestinian people and lack of acting in a serious way towards the peace process,” in a final statement issued Monday night.

Members of the 22-nation Arab League also expressed hope that the new US administration will be “an honest broker” in achieving peace in the region and stressed the need “to identify a specific time frame for Israel” to fulfill its obligations to the peace process.

In an apparent reference to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s “economic peace plan,” leaders rejected intentions to reduce the peace process and its political commitments to an economic and security approach “that perpetuates the occupation.”

A just and comprehensive peace in the region would only be achieved with Israel’s withdrawal from “all occupied Palestinian and Arab territories,” a just and agreed upon solution to the Palestinian refugees and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem, the statement said, reiterating the outlines of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Tuesday that he was pleased with the final statement, particularly because it showed the Arab Peace Initiative is still “on the table, and because Arabs are supporting Egypt’s efforts to achieve reconciliation between divided Palestinian factions.”

In addition, Arab leaders agreed to speak “with one voice” to Obama and the Quartet members concerning continue Arab support of the peace initiative.

Erekat said that there was no disagreement from Arab states concerning the wording of the statement.

Charging that Israel bears legal responsibility for “war crimes and crimes against humanity committed towards the Palestinian people” during the Gaza conflict, Arab leaders also “affirmed the determination to prosecute the perpetrators of the crimes and ensure a lack of impunity.”

Palestinian leaders also asked the international community and concerned parties to respect what is agreed upon by Palestinians factions participating in reconciliation talks in Cairo “and not to impose any conditions on it.”

They also called upon the UN Security Council and the international community to “shoulder its responsibilities” and take measures to stop Israeli settlement activities.

Arab leaders also expressed their support for Sudan’s Bashir, “reiterating our solidarity with Sudan and our rejection of the measure of the….International Criminal Court against his Excellency” Bashir, according to a final statement on the issue quoted in the Arab media.

Only three of the 22 Arab League nations are party to the ICC charter, but the declaration was seen as a show of unity with Bashir.

Bashir attended the summit in Qatar along with other Arab leaders and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who urged Sudan to allow the return of international aid groups to Darfur. The conflict between the Arab-led government and ethnic African rebels has claimed at least 300,000 lives and displaced 2.7 million since 2003.

But despite agreement on these and other major issues – including an intention to strengthen reconciliation and solidarity between Arab states – experts say the conference did little to bridge gaps between the feuding nations.

Reconciliation did not extend beyond the declarative level in Doha, said Jonathan Spyer, a senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, Herzliya.

“The divisions in the Arab world between pro-Iranian and pro-American forces were not resolved in Doha by any means, and that division remains the key process in regional affairs,” he said.

The absence of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from the Qatari summit illustrates this point well, he said. Qatar has reportedly angered Egypt for drawing too close to the Iranian axis and for criticizing Cairo for not fully opening the Rafah border crossing during Israel’s recent Gaza offensive.

“Notwithstanding the fact that the Arab League can come together to protect a fellow Arab dictator from the International Criminal Court, or can pay lip service to the Palestinian cause, none of the real existing divisions in the Arab world were resolved in Doha,” Spyer said.

Similarly, Abdel Monem Said Aly, director of the Cairo-based al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies said that while the Arab summit did bring Arab states “a little bit” closer, “reconciliation, in which you have a common vision or common policies or an institutional way to manage differences – I’m not seeing much of that.” At the summit, there was “a little bit of cooling of differences, but not in an institutional or structural way,” he said.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sought Arab support Tuesday for a proposed oil-backed currency to challenge the US dollar, in his latest swipe at Washington’s dominance in global financial affairs.

It’s highly unlikely Chavez, who attended an Arab-Latin America summit in Qatar on Tuesday, will gain any serious momentum for his “petro-currency” proposal, but it represented another attempt to undercut the dollar’s standing as the world’s leading commercial currency.

China has struck deals – most recently this week with Argentina – to conduct trade in currencies other than the dollar. Iran has proposed replacing the dollar with the euro or other currencies to set worldwide oil prices.

Medvedev: No nuclear trade-off with US

Filed under: Endtime Prophecies — Steven @ 11:13 pm

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev indicated he would not increase pressure on Iran over its nuclear program in exchange for the United States backing off on plans to deploy missile-defense elements in Eastern Europe.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

“I don’t think any trade-offs are possible in this respect,” Medvedev said in a transcript of an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. aired Sunday.

The former US administration said putting the anti-missile system in Europe was necessary to block possible attacks by so-called rogue states such as Iran, but Russia says the system is aimed at undermining its own defenses.

The dispute is expected to be the central issue when US President Barack Obama and Medvedev meet on Wednesday in London, where both leaders will take part in the economic summit of the Group of 20 major and developing nations.

Obama and his administration have expressed interest in improving US-Russia relations, which deteriorated during Bush’s eight years in office.

Russia has maintained close relations with Iran and built the Bushehr nuclear plant, expected to go into operation this year, that the West suspects is part of an Iranian push to develop nuclear weapons.

US PRESIDENT George W. Bush and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Lima.

“Our position is based on well-known UN resolutions and approaches set forth by the IAEA, namely that Iran’s nuclear program should be peaceful,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev said Russia is “interested in securing our country and our citizens from threats posed by certain problematic states.

“But the point is that this should be done through common efforts rather than by deploying any missiles or radars along our borders when a real doubt arises as to what lies behind all this. Is it done to make us nervous, or in order to really prevent some threats?” he said.

Russia has repeatedly threatened to target missiles at elements of the proposed missile-defense system if it is built.

Analysis: Despite divisions, Arab peace initiative still reflects broad consensus

Filed under: Division of Jerusalem — Steven @ 4:11 pm

Arab leaders convening in Doha for the 21st Arab League summit are reiterating their commitment to the Arab peace initiative, but some question whether a divided Arab world can even embrace a comprehensive, just peace with Israeal

It appears unlikely that Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu will lend his support to the initiative as written or to the creation of a Palestinian state as envisioned by the Arab world.

The initiative, first introduced in 2002, calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from all territories occupied since 1967, establishment of a Palestinian state on those territories with Jerusalem as its capital, and achievement of “a just solution” to the Palestinian refugee problem. In exchange, Arab states would enter into a peace agreement with Israel and establish “normal relations” with it.

But with divisions still evident between the Western-backed camp led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the pro-Iranian camp that includes Syria, Qatar and Sudan, would Arab states be willing and capable of such a peace with Israel?

While a split Arab world may complicate matters, many experts say the answer is yes.

“The Arab initiative reflects a broad consensus among Arab governments and ruling elites for the need for a political solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, understanding [that] the solution needs to be one that recognizes the State of Israel and [that] conflict with Israel is brought to an end,” said Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, a senior research fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies.

The initiative is not considered a substitute for negotiations, but “lays out the basic principles of what that settlement has to include for it to be acceptable to the Arab world,” he said. And while Israel does not consider the document ideal, “it can be used to help steer the process forward.”

Countries like Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, Egypt and Morocco have all signed on to the agreement, as has Syria – although the latter takes a more “militant” position on it and has made it clear that it is not willing to wait for an unlimited time, Maddy-Weitzman said.

However, the fact that Palestinians are divided between Fatah and Hamas – which is reluctant to recognize Israel and has not signed on to the Arab initiative – certainly makes it more difficult for Israel to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Others argue that Iran, which has helped foster divisions among Arabs as well as Palestinians, will continue to do all it can to prevent Arab states such as Syria, which benefits economically and militarily from its relationship with the Shi’ite state, from making peace with Israel.

Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, argued that Syria was more interested in maintaining regime stability than in retrieving the Golan Heights in a peace deal.

Still others, such as Moshe Dayan Center director Eyal Zisser, said that the divisions in the Arab world could place obstacles in implementing a comprehensive peace initiative, as there may be differences of opinion on the best way to negotiate or execute such a deal. And some wonder whether Lebanon, where the Iranian-backed Hizbullah plays an increasingly dominant role, would also be willing and able to make peace.

Emad Gad, who heads the Israeli unit at al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, argued that Hizbullah would be greatly weakened once Syria and Israel make peace, as weapons would no longer be transferred into Lebanon from Syrian territory.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs recently released a report entitled “The Arab Peace Initiative: A Primer and Future Prospects.” The report, written by Joshua Teitelbaum, argues that while the Arab Peace Initiative represents significant and positive developments on the part of the Arab world, Israel should refrain from accepting the initiative as a basis for peace negotiations “because it contains seriously objectionable elements.”

One of these elements is the assured rejection of all forms of Palestinian refugee patriation in Arab host countries, which means the “refugees would have nowhere to go but Israel,” the report said.

In addition, Israel should also reject the “all or nothing” approach of the Saudis and the Arab League, as “peacemaking is the process of negotiation, not diktat.”

“Peace would be best served by Israel going on the diplomatic offensive and presenting an initiative of its own, emphasizing the positive aspects of the initiative, and including an invitation to Arab leaders to a meeting in Israel to discuss the initiative in its entirety,” the report said.

March 30, 2009

Medvedev to Bolster Military in Russia

Filed under: Endtime Prophecies — Steven @ 2:54 am

MOSCOW — President Dmitri A. Medvedev said Tuesday that Russia would begin a “large-scale rearming” in 2011 in response to what he described as continuing threats to the country’s security.

In a speech before generals in Moscow, Mr. Medvedev cited encroachment by NATO as a primary reason for bolstering the armed and nuclear forces.

Mr. Medvedev did not offer specifics on how much the budget would grow for the military, whose capabilities deteriorated significantly after the fall of Soviet Union.

Russia has increased military spending sharply in recent years, but with the financial crisis and the drop in the price of oil, the country’s finances are under pressure, suggesting that it will be hard to lift these expenditures further.

Even so, Mr. Medvedev’s timing was notable. He is expected to hold his first meeting with President Obama in early April in London on the sidelines of the summit gathering of the Group of 20, which comprises industrialized and developing countries and the European Union.

He has said recently that he is looking forward to the meeting, and both he and Russia’s paramount leader, Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, have expressed measured optimism about improving relations with the United States under the new administration.

The Obama administration played down the significance of Mr. Medvedev’s remarks, with the White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, saying they were “largely for domestic consumption.” He added that “NATO and the United States have worked and will continue to work with Russia on issues of mutual concern, specifically in areas like terrorism and proliferation.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Medvedev’s comments on Tuesday indicated that the Kremlin did not want the United States and its NATO allies to presume that Russia was coming to the table in London from a position of weakness.

“An analysis of the military and political situation in the world shows that there are a range of regions where there remains serious potential for conflicts,” Mr. Medvedev said. “Threats remain that can bring about local crises and international terrorism. NATO is not halting its efforts to widen its military infrastructure near the borders of our country. All of this demands a quality modernization of our armed forces.”

Mr. Medvedev emphasized that Russia would not be deterred in this plan by the financial crisis.

The announcement underscored how the Kremlin has offered the new administration a calculated mix of positive pronouncements about relations and policies that could be described as unfriendly.

The day after Mr. Obama won the election in November, Mr. Medvedev declared that Russia would deploy missiles on its western border aimed at Europe if the United States proceeded with an antimissile system proposed for Poland and the Czech Republic by the Bush administration.

Mr. Medvedev later seemed to soften the threat, though he did not withdraw it. Last month, apparently at the urging of the Kremlin, the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia announced that it would close an important American air base that is used to assist NATO forces in Afghanistan.

But the Kremlin said it would allow NATO to transport non-lethal supplies by railroad across Russian soil to Afghanistan. And last week Mr. Medvedev said, “We have every possibility of opening a new page” in relations when he meets with Mr. Obama.

Mr. Medvedev’s announcement on Tuesday comes as the Kremlin has already begun an effort to overhaul the operations of the armed forces, which are still run largely according to Soviet-style dictates.

While Russia’s far larger military easily triumphed over Georgia’s in the conflict in August, the fighting exposed what many experts described as flaws in training, weapons and equipment.

Rising Powers Challenge U.S. on Role in I.M.F.

Filed under: One World Goverment — Steven @ 2:48 am

WASHINGTON — Barely six months ago, the International Monetary Fund emerged from years of declining relevance, hurriedly cobbling together emergency loans for countries from Iceland to Pakistan, as the first wave of the financial crisis hit.

Now, with world leaders gathering this week in London to plot a response to the gravest global economic downturn since World War II, the fund is becoming a chip in a contest to reshape the postcrisis landscape.

The Obama administration has made fortifying the I.M.F. one of its primary goals for the meeting of the Group of 20, which includes leading industrial and developing countries and the European Union. But China, India and other rising powers seem to believe that the made-in-America crisis has curtailed the ability of the United States to set the agenda.

They view the Western-dominated fund as a place to begin staking their claim to a greater voice in global economic affairs.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, who once worked at the fund, has called for its financial resources to be expanded by $500 billion, effectively tripling its lending capacity to distressed countries and cementing its status as the lender of last resort for much of the world.

Japan and the European Union have each pledged $100 billion; the United States has signaled it will contribute a similar sum, though its money will take longer to arrive because of the need for Congressional approval. China, with its mammoth foreign exchange reserves, is the next obvious donor.

Yet officials of China and other developing countries have served notice that they are reluctant to make comparable pledges without getting a greater say in the operations of the fund, which is run by a Frenchman, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and is heavily influenced by the United States and Western Europe.

A senior Chinese leader, Wang Qishan, said Friday that Beijing was willing to kick in some money, but he called for an overhaul of the way the fund is governed. China wants its quota — which determines its financial contribution and voting power — adjusted to reflect its economic weight better.

China’s contribution, Mr. Wang said, should not be based on the size of its reserves but on its economic output per person, which is still modest. Some American officials now expect a pledge on the order of $50 billion from China.

“Their arms may yet be twisted, but they simply do not want to pony up based on vague promises of governance reform,” said Eswar S. Prasad, a professor of economics at Cornell University who has discussed the matter in recent days with Chinese and Indian officials.

Given the inevitability that these countries will have a growing influence, the London summit meeting, which begins Thursday, is likely to be remembered “as the last hurrah for the U.S. and Europe rescuing the world economy,” said Simon Johnson, a professor at M.I.T. and a former chief economist of the fund.

One reason the I.M.F. has emerged as such a popular cause is that the United States has been unable to rally countries behind its other major priority: economic stimulus. The European Union opposes further stimulus packages in 2010, arguing that its social safety net makes an increase in government spending unnecessary.

European and American officials are also still divided, to a lesser degree, on how to rewrite international financial regulations. France and Germany are more receptive than the United States to giving regulators supranational authority to scrutinize global banks and other financial companies.

“The United States is desperately trying to assert leadership, as if it were 10 years ago, when the U.S. set the agenda,” said Kenneth S. Rogoff, an economist at Harvard and another former chief economist of the fund.

With more countries slipping into crisis by the week, there is general agreement that the fund needs additional resources. Since last year, the I.M.F. has made nearly $50 billion in loans to 13 countries. It is streamlining the process for making loans and loosening its strings, hoping to counter the resentment that built up against it during past crises because of its stringent demands.

At a preparatory meeting two weeks ago, finance ministers of the Group of 20 agreed to “very substantially” increase financing, though the Europeans favored an extra $250 billion, not $500 billion.

Whatever their reservations about financing, the Chinese have seized on the fund for another purpose: to tweak the United States. The governor of China’s central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan, recently proposed that the American dollar be phased out as the world’s default reserve currency. As a replacement, he suggested using special drawing rights, or S.D.R.’s, the synthetic currency created by the fund that is used for transactions between it and its 185 member countries.

Few economists view that idea as a realistic one, at least for years to come. But the mere assertion that the dollar’s pre-eminence is waning — a theme picked up by Russian officials as well — sends a message.

“I don’t think the Chinese or Russians really believe the S.D.R. is a viable currency,” said Mr. Prasad, the Cornell economist. “But they’re laying down a very clear marker that they’re going to be much more assertive about their role.”

Mr. Geithner took the remarks seriously enough that he publicly reaffirmed the primacy of the dollar.

The United States will address China’s status this week, when it announces details of a new high-level strategic and economic dialogue with Beijing, led by Mr. Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a senior administration official, who spoke anonymously because the information was not yet public. The announcement will come after the first meeting between President Obama and the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, in London.

The Obama administration has personal reasons to support the fund. Mr. Geithner was the I.M.F. director of policy planning from 2001 to 2003, after his first stint in the Treasury Department. He recruited Edwin M. Truman, another former Treasury official and a longtime advocate of the fund, as a temporary adviser to develop policies for the Group of 20 meeting.

Just before leaving his academic position at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Mr. Truman proposed that the fund issue $250 billion in S.D.R.’s on a one-time basis to be allocated to all its members, as another way of increasing its resources. Western European countries, he said, could use their S.D.R.’s to lend money to their troubled Eastern neighbors.

That proposal is in a current draft of the statement to be issued at the Group of 20 meeting. If all the American proposals for the fund are adopted, its resources will approach $1 trillion — a big number, even in these extraordinary times.

Yet for Mr. Johnson of M.I.T., it merely shows how difficult it is for the United States to marshal support for anything else.

“They can’t agree on fiscal policy; they can’t agree on regulations,” he said. “The only thing left is the I.M.F.”

Filed under: Endtime Prophecies — Steven @ 2:43 am

Welcome to the new Global Edition.

Combining the international reporting of The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, the Global Edition provides readers with a 24/7 flow of geopolitical, business, sports and fashion coverage from a distinctly global perspective.

EU Pressure on Netanyahu to Accept Arab State Inside Israel

Filed under: Division of Jerusalem — Steven @ 2:40 am

(IsraelNN.com) The European Union (EU) has resorted to making vague threats against Israel’s Prime Minister-designate, Binyamin Netanyahu, in order to force him to say that he supports the creation of an Arab state of “Palestine” alongside Israel (“the two-state solution”).

EU members spoke on the subject after a weekend session of EU foreign ministers that was held at the Hluboka castle in the Czech Republic – which is the EU’s current rotating president.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Swarzenberg was asked whether a failure to reach a two-state agreement between Israel and the PA would hurt the EU’s relations with Israel, and answered: “The relations would certainly become problematic. We shall discuss the repercussions of this matter in one of our next meetings,” he said.

German Foreign Minister Franz-Walter Steinmeier said that “we Europeans insist that, regardless of the governments on both sides, the two-state solution must top the agenda.”

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said that the upgrading of trade relations between the EU and Israel depends on the conclusion of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Some of the EU foreign ministers seem to be drawing encouragement from U.S. President Barack Obama’s statements on the subject this week. Obama’s commitment to the Middle East “peace process” early in his term means “there is real hope for progress in the region,” Swarzenberg said.
 
This is the second time in less than a month that the EU has threatened Israel with dire consequences if it does not agree to the “two-state” solution. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana warned that the EU would “reevaluate its ties with Israel” if the new government does not continue down the road to the creation of a PA state.

“Let me say very clearly that the way the European Union will relate to an [Israeli] government that is not committed to a two-state solution will be very, very different,” he said earlier this month.

March 29, 2009

Consensus on financial restructuring must evolve in G-20 meet

Filed under: One World Goverment — Steven @ 4:16 am
 

Consensus on financial restructuring must evolve in G-20 meet:Report
New Delhi, March 28, IRNA — An apprehensive world caught in coils of economic slowdown is looking at April 2 meeting in London of G-20 government heads for some concrete action that could restore global confidence on an early recovery.
To restore confidence in global economy, the first thing to be done for the G-20 participants is to agree on restructuring of financial markets with a lynx-eyed vigilance on global finances.

Prominent economists have pointed out that the core problem is not much bad lending but the ‘global imbalances’ that flushed the banks of the developed countries with foreign currency reserves of many Asian countries like China.

The amount is estimated at over three trillion dollars. These economists say, as the Wall Street Journal has pointed out that the banks went on a free lending spree because of these funds parked with them which then led to sub prime lending and resultant collapse, believes the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Welcoming the decision of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to attend the meeting despite pressures of general election and his own personal health, ASSOCHAM in a report said that his presence both as head of government and as eminent economist would add weight to Indian representation at this economic summit.

The remedy for this is to have a system of dumbing down such reserves by promoting their lending to infrastructure projects in developing and poorer countries and keeping a regulatory and monitory authority over the accumulation of such funds.

The agenda for the London meeting already includes reform of international financial institutions like the IMF, World Bank and Financial Stability Forum. But the problem is that while the richer nations are prepared for restructuring of institutions like IMF they are not willing to give greater say in them for the developing countries.

If the heads of governments of richer countries are not prepared for a more equitable and just sharing of decision making in international finance, the G-20 would fail to make any progress towards global recovery.

In an earlier statement on the global financial crisis also ASSOCHAM had suggested that there should be a mechanism to have frank assessment of global financial situation and policies.

Former IMF expert Steven Dunaway has now proposed changing of the IMF rules to allow its experts to provide this sort of frank assessments outside the IMF board.

But the G-20 should agree to go by such assessment in time to prevent the disease getting to the core through international liaises faire as it has done now.

The London meeting is being held at a time of alarming spread of protectionist fever among richer countries.

Warning against this trend, Newsweek international editor, Fareed Zakaria has said that if richer countries resort to protectionism in response to popular pressures on them, it would lead to trade wars and protectionism and trade wars one started, are hard to reverse.

“We are already seeing this protectionism and trade wars between US and its neighbors and America and Europe.”

Even within united Europe the trade war sentiment has emerged so strong that many commentators fear the economic integration of the continent would break down and even the Euro currency would break up.

Here again as in the case of sharing decision making process in international finance, government heads have to demonstrate statesmanship rather than economic rhetoric.

The richer nations, led by the US, were the first to call for expanding global trade decades back as a means of spreading prosperity; at the first sign of a crisis they are also becoming the first to go back into the protectionist shell.

President Barak Obama moves to tie government support to American industry and banks to reduction in outsourcing of US manufacture and services and stopping of immigration of skilled people like nurses need to be questioned by the Asian participants in G-20 in this context.

The last few decades have seen world trade and global output rising as the nations entered into various agreements to promote freer trade and greater spread of global manufacture.

In the last 25 years global GDP doubled and trade increased by 7.5 times.

Countries like India have become great markets for industries like automobiles that are facing saturated demand in their original countries. What is needed is for the developing countries and poorer nations to build infrastructure on a massive scale which would also generate demand for manufactures and services from richer countries including America and Japan.

India alone needs as much as $500 billion in the next three years as Dr. Manmohan Singh had pointed out at the last G-20 meeting in Beijing.

The world would be watching the London meeting with the expectation that there would be statesmanship at the level of government leaders to generate hope across the global markets that early recovery and return to growth mode would result.

March 28, 2009

Dpty Russian FM: No need for halting Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities

Filed under: Endtime Prophecies — Steven @ 1:03 am

 

Dpty Russian FM: No need for halting Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities
Moscow, March 28, IRNA – Deputy Russian Foreign Minister in Disarmament and International Security Affairs Sergei Ryabkov said here Friday international community has no reason for halting Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities.
According to IRNA reporter in Moscow, Ryabkov made the comment in an interview with the Moscow-based ‘Echo Radio’, adding, “Iran has remained committed to its responsibilities within the NPT and this means that the international community has no reason for demanding that that country should halt its peaceful nuclear activities.”
He meanwhile said that the international community has certain questions regarding Iran’s nuclear activities that need to be answered.
Ryabkov said, “The issues related to Iran’s nuclear program need to be solved merely diplomatically.”
Pointing out that the required prerequisites for solving the matter are already met, he said, “The United States and the other involved parts in Iran’s nuclear case should take full advantage of this emerged opportunity.”
The deputy Russian foreign minister said, “Iran’s nuclear case would be discussed during the early April meeting of the US and Russian presidents in London.”
He referred to the text of a recent letter written letter that the US President Barrack Obama has sent to the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in which he has proposed the decreasing of both countries’ nuclear stock plies, adding, “This matter, too, would be discussed at that summit meeting.”
Ryabkov said elsewhere in the interview, “India, Pakistan and Israel are not NPT members, but their nuclear capability cannot be ignored.”
Regarding the US claim about Iran’s missile threat for Europe and the United States, he said, “Iran is not equipped with the required technology to manufacture missiles capable of reaching the US soil, and even the European countries, and any non-biased observer would confirm the fact.”

Tony Blair urges global cooperation in handling crisis

Filed under: One World Goverment — Steven @ 1:00 am
 

 

    SINGAPORE, March 26 (Xinhua) — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said here Thursday that the current economic crisis cannot be handled by one country alone and both the developed world and the developing world should be involved in overcoming it.

    Giving a speech on “Faith and Globalization” to some 600 people at the National University of Singapore, Blair said that the characteristic of globalization is its fast moving speed producing enormous changes, and the consequences are that the world is pushed together and the power is shifting east.

    He said that the upcoming G20 summit which will take place in London is a neat illustration.

    “Ten years ago it would be a G8, today it is a G20,” Blair said, adding that it would be “unthinkable today as well as foolish” to have a world summit on their economy without China, India, Brazil and other emerging and developing countries.   “Nobody believes that it is a crisis can be handled by one country alone, it’s got to be handled cooperatively, together, globally, and it’s got to be done in a way involved not just the developed world but the developing world,” Blair added.

    He said that the crucial challenges in the world today are in some ways about globalization and require global solutions.

    “The simple most import consequence is that they reflect the world that is being pushed together, in which incidentally no longer is it the west, Europe and the America that is dominant,” said Blair, “An alliance has to be forged across the east and the west.”

    Blair also stressed the importance of interfaith understanding in solving challenges facing the world.

    “Where there is ignorance there is fear, where there is fear there is often conflict. Alternatively, where there is understanding there is more likely to be respect and where there is respect there is more likely to be peace,” said Blair.

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