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Ukraine summit declaration unlikely to be signed by all participants

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Ukraine summit declaration unlikely to be signed by all participants

Vienna, June 16 (IANS/DPA) Not all participants at the Ukraine Peace Summit in Switzerland are expected to sign the final declaration, although more because of the wording than an actual lack of support, according to Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

Diplomatic subtleties in the writing aside, the basic common position would not be affected, Nehammer said on Sunday on the sidelines of the event at the Burgenstock mountain hotel resort near Lucerne.

“That’s why I’m not so worried if not everyone signs now,” said the Chancellor.

The question of the scope of a follow-up conference was also still difficult to answer.

Before Russia also takes a seat at the negotiating table, another conference in a different format is conceivable, Nehammer added. “You have to see it as a process.”

The two-day conference of 92 states and eight international organisations was due to end on Sunday afternoon when the final declaration was also to be published.

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According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the conference, as such, brought significant progress.

Kuleba said that all countries that were not present were also aware of the impetus provided by the meeting.

Overall, the process that has been initiated is welcome, he added.

“We are on the right track,” he said.

Kuleba again stressed the need to support Ukraine militarily with the highest quality weapons possible.

According to him, the stronger Ukraine is, the more willing Moscow will be to negotiate peace.

Press conferences were planned at the end of the conference, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The event aimed to initiate a peace process in which Russia would also be involved in the long term. Officials from Moscow were not invited on this occasion and did not express a wish to attend.

–IANS/DPA

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Iran hosts joint naval drill in Caspian Sea

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Iran hosts joint naval drill in Caspian Sea

Iran hosts joint naval drill in Caspian Sea

Tehran, July 22 (IANS) A joint naval drill kicked off on Monday in the Caspian Sea to ensure shipping security and safety in the region, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

The exercise, codenamed 2024 Hybrid Maritime Search, Rescue and Security, was being staged off the Iranian port city of Bandar-e Anzali and involved the Iranian Navy’s maritime and aerial forces as well as Russia’s SB 45 vessel. Representatives from the Caspian Sea littoral states, including Azerbaijan, also supervised the exercise, Xinhua news agency reported.

Hassani listed the Iranian missile cruisers taking part in the exercise as Peykan (Arrow), Joshan (Armour), Derafsh (Flag) and Separ (Shield), adding the drill also involved two AB 212 helicopters of the Iranian Navy.

He stressed that the drill was aimed at promoting interaction and cooperation between the maritime apparatuses of Iran and other countries bordering the Caspian Sea, namely Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan, adding that the littoral states do not tolerate the presence of non-regional countries in the region.

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He added that the drill would be staged over four days and involve two main phases. The coastal phase will include developing designs, ensuring coordination, and providing relevant training. The tactical phase will involve operations to contain fires, rescue shipwrecked and injured crew members, and conduct aerial photography.

–IANS

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Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

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Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

Jerusalem, July 22 (IANS) A Canadian citizen was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Monday after he attempted to stab security personnel outside the Gaza Strip, in what police described as “a terror attack.”

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) released a press statement saying the suspect arrived at the entrance of Netiv HaAsara, an Israeli community adjacent to the Gaza Strip, after entering Israel as a tourist on Sunday. He stepped out of his vehicle and “threatened with a knife members of the community’s rapid response team operating in the area.”

The team responded with fire and “neutralized” the suspect. The police later pronounced his death, Xinhua news agency reported.

The police released a photo of the kitchen knife and said the suspect used it to perpetrate the attack. Video footage on social networks showed two men opening fire at the suspect before his body was taken into an ambulance.

Israel’s state-owned Kan TV news reported that he was chanting “Free Palestinian!” during the attempted attack and said he was carrying it out because “Israel kills people in Gaza.”

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Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom reported that there were no other casualties.

–IANS

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Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

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Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

Tokyo, July 22 (IANS) Japan and the United States will be holding Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Japan-US Security Consultative Committee (Japan-US 2+2) talks and the Japan-US Ministerial Meeting on Extended Deterrence during the two-day visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Tokyo starting July 28, the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced Monday.

Blinken and Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoko Kamikawa, along with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defence Minister Minoru Kihara, will also align their views on the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region during the ‘2+2’ meeting.

The four ministers will take into account the outcomes of security and defence cooperation during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Washington in April this year besides discussing future cooperation toward realising a ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific.

The talks, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, will focus on strengthening the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-US alliance, and the direction of security and defence cooperation in the region.

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“The four ministers will hold a Japan-US Ministerial Meeting on Extended Deterrence, and will discuss bilateral cooperation to continue to strengthen US extended deterrence, which is enhanced by Japan’s defence capabilities, taking into account the progress of discussions centered on the Japan-US Extended Deterrence Dialogue,” it said.

–IANS

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Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

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Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

Pyongyang, July 22 (IANS) In a first, Russia’s Prosecutor General is visiting North Korea as the two countries continue to bolster ties following the summit meeting between their top leaders last month.

Igor Krasnov arrived in Pyongyang on Monday and will meet with his counterpart and discuss bilateral cooperation with other officials during his visit, his office said in a statement.

Krasnov received a warm welcome from the representatives of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office upon his arrival at the airport in the North Korean capital.

A major highlight of his visit will be the signing of a cooperation programme between the Prosecutor General’s offices of Russia and North Korea for 2024-2026, along with an updated agreement.

“This visit marks a significant milestone in the relations between the prosecutors’ offices of both countries, which have maintained constructive ties over the past decade based on a Cooperation Agreement signed in 2010,” stated the Russian Prosecutor General’s office.

On Sunday, representatives from the supervisory agency and the Military University of the Russian Ministry of Defence delivered a series of lectures in Pyongyang which majorly covered the main directions and specifics of the activities of the Russian prosecutor’s office.

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Moscow believes that Krasnov’s visit also highlights the ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation and mutual understanding between Russia and North Korea in legal and prosecutorial matters.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Pyongyang – his first trip to North Korea in 24 years – at the invitation of the country’s leader Kim Jong-un.

–IANS

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Typhoon Prapiroon brings rainstorms, strong gusts to China (Ld)

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Typhoon Prapiroon brings rainstorms, strong gusts to China (Ld)

Typhoon Prapiroon brings rainstorms, strong gusts to China (Ld)

Beijing, July 22 (IANS) Many parts of south China witnessed rainstorms and gusty winds from Sunday to Monday morning due to Typhoon Prapiroon, the fourth typhoon of the year, according to local meteorological authorities.

From 8 a.m. local time on Sunday to 10 a.m. on Monday, torrential rain hit eastern, central, and western Hainan.

A total of 12 cities and counties in the island province of Hainan, including the provincial capital Haikou, saw rainfall exceeding 100 mm, Xinhua news agency reported.

The coastal areas and waters off Hainan experienced widespread gusts, with the strongest recorded in Wancheng Town in Wanning City, reaching 38.2 metres per second.

After making landfall in Wanning City around 1:30 a.m. (local time) on Monday, the typhoon moved into the eastern waters of the Beibu Gulf by 10 a.m. (local time)

The meteorological observatory of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region raised the emergency response level for a major meteorological disaster (typhoon) from Level IV to Level III at 9:30 a.m. (local time) on Monday and maintained the yellow alert for a typhoon.

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China has a four-tier emergency response system for flood control, with Level I being the most urgent response and a four-tier, colour-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe warning, followed by orange, yellow, and blue.

Eight cities in Guangxi experienced strong winds, with the maximum wind speed recorded in the Weizhou Town of Beihai City, reaching 24.8 metres per second.

During the period, torrential rains hit 19 townships across nine cities in the region, with the maximum rainfall reaching 38.3 mm in the Qiexue Township of Donglan County, according to the regional meteorological observatory.

According to the weather forecast, the centre of the typhoon will move northwestward at a speed of around 15 km per hour, possibly making a second landfall between the Guangxi city of Qinzhou and the Vietnamese city of Haiphong.

The cities of Beihai, Qinzhou, Fangchenggang, and Chongzuo are expected to see an accumulated rainfall of up to 200 mm from Monday to Wednesday due to the typhoon.

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–IANS

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