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Will continue to work with India under Modi 3.0: US

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Will continue to work with India under Modi 3.0: US

Washington, June 21 (IANS) The US reiterated on Thursday that it continues to consider India a “close partner” and looks forward to continuing to work with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in its third term

This reassertion came at the US State Department’s briefing in response to a question.

“India continues to be a close partner of the United States, not just at the government level but at the people the people level we do share close economic ties, close cultural ties, they continue to be a partner that we work with on our Indo Pacific strategy, and we will look forward to continue to do that with the government with Prime Minister Modi’s government,” spokesperson Mathew Miller said.

Prime Minister Modi and President Joe Biden spoke shortly after the election and met briefly on the sidelines of the recent G7 meetings in Italy.

In response to another question about the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan, Miller said: “We value our important relationships with both India and Pakistan. As we have said we support direct discussions between India and Pakistan. But the pace, scope and character should be determined by those two countries, not by us.”

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–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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Flood victims in central Myanmar receive aid from donors

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Flood victims in central Myanmar receive aid from donors

Flood victims in central Myanmar receive aid from donors

Yangon, July 22 (IANS) As devastating floods sweep through central Myanmar, thousands of affected residents are receiving badly needed aid, including food, clothing and shelter, from donors and rescuers.

The water level of the Ayeyarwady River in several towns in the Magway region has exceeded the warning marks in recent days, according to the country’s Meteorology and Hydrology Department, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I have experienced flooding in the past. But this year’s flooding saw the water level rise quicker than in previous years. Rescue teams are helping us move our belongings, and generous donors are providing us with clothes, food, and shelter,” said Hnin Nwe Soe, a resident of Magway township in the Magway region.

“I have three children. I didn’t want to risk their safety, so I moved to the road quickly before the situation became more serious,” Soe said, adding that she had not been to work because transportation had been difficult since the water level started rising.

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Myat Mon, 35, another resident of Magway town, said this is the second time she had encountered flooding, the first being five years ago.

Mon, who currently stays in a temporary tent on the road with her family members, said she survived because of the food, clothes, and money provided by the donors.

“I cannot make money for a living because I cannot go to work. I feel sorrowful for this tragedy,” she added.

Arr Puu Tuu and his team, donors from Yangon who helped door-to-door in the flood-affected areas, said they are helping villages near the Ayeyarwady River in the Magway region by donating rice and drinking water.

Kyaw Gyi, a member of a rescue team in the Magway region, said, “The water started rising on July 12. During the flooding, I distributed food donated by the donors to the victims and went to the flooded areas with boats and helped in carrying things and constructing shelters for the victims.”

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“Due to the rising water level of the Ayeyarwady River, over 3,000 acres of beans and pulses have been submerged, while over 800 cattle have died at our village in Thayet township. Nearly 200 households in the Thayet township in Magway have been evacuated,” said U. Mya Win, ward administrator of Thayet township in the Magway region.

“Additionally, there is a risk of cholera due to unclean water. We are facing a scarcity of drinking water because the wells in our village are underwater,” he said.

In Myanmar, July and August are in the middle of the rainy season, and heavy rains are typical during this period, the weather agency said.

–IANS

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S Korea, Albania discuss ways for stronger security cooperation, new techs

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S Korea, Albania discuss ways for stronger security cooperation, new techs

S Korea, Albania discuss ways for stronger security cooperation, new techs

Seoul, July 22 (IANS) South Korea and Albania discussed ways to enhance cooperation on security, new technologies, and the overall economy, Seoul’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul met with his Albanian counterpart, Igli Hasani, in Seoul to discuss bilateral relations.

During the meeting in Seoul, Cho expressed hope for stronger relations with Albania on a wide range of issues, such as cyber security, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technology sectors, as South Korea is working to boost cooperation with the major European nations in the arms industry and nuclear sectors, among other fields, Yonhap news agency reported.

Cho also called for the two nations to work more closely on joint responses to growing cross-border security threats.

Hasani noted the importance of bilateral relations, particularly in terms of economy and information and technology, and voiced expectations for brisk business-to-business exchanges and stronger ties in the culture and tourism industries.

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Cho stressed the need for stronger unity of the international community to sternly deal with the military ties between North Korea and Russia in violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions that ban arms transfers to North Korea.

According to Seoul’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hasani pledged to join global efforts for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

The Albanian Minister arrived here on Sunday for a five-day stay, marking the first official visit by the European country’s top envoy since 2011.

–IANS

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