Monday, 14 May 2018: US delegation arrives in Jerusalem ahead of embassy move, Iran sets deadline for EU, Pompeo offers aid to North Korea in exchange for forfeiting nukes


US delegation arrives in Jerusalem ahead of embassy move: US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other members of the US delegation arrived in a tense Jerusalem on Sunday to celebrate the relocation of the United States embassy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Sunday for other countries to follow the US President Donald Trump’s example and relocate their embassies to Jerusalem, calling it „the right thing to do.“ US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Mideast peace process “is most decidedly not dead” even as the move to open the new US embassy in Jerusalem angers Palestinians and raised anti-US sentiment in the region. About 38 percent of the city’s residents are Palestinian. On Saturday, hundreds of Palestinians, who have been protesting the embassy move, marched through the streets of Gaza, carrying the body of a protester shot by Israeli troops Friday. Tens of thousands of Israelis marched in Jerusalem Day celebrations on Sunday. Revelers waved Israeli flags, singing and dancing through the city’s streets. Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic have blocked an EU resolution that condemns the move of the US embassy.,,,,

Iran sets deadline for EU: Iran’s parliament’s website has announced that European countries have 60 days to provide guarantees to safeguard Iran’s interests, after the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement. US National Security Adviser John Bolton on Sunday doubled down on President Donald Trump’s threat that European countries could be sanctioned by the US if they continue to be involved with Iran. Bolton’s statement came as he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to amplify the reasons behind the Trump administration’s deal to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and explain how it will work, given that the international community, other than Israel and some Arab nations, has not jumped on board with Trump. Bolton, who has in the past suggested the US government should push for a change in government in Iran, said on Sunday that is not the Trump administration’s current policy. The new US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, said the row over Washington’s planned imposition of punitive tariffs on European goods would not trigger a trade war, adding that Trump only wanted „a level playing field“.,,,

Pompeo offers aid to North Korea in exchange for forfeiting nukes: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has offered economic help to impoverished North Korea if it gives up its nuclear weapons, as the two countries prepare for a historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. A day after returning from a trip to Pyongyang, Pompeo said he had good and substantive conversations with Kim during his visit, during which he secured the release of three Americans who had been detained in North Korea. Pompeo has also said that North Korea will receive sanctions relief should they follow through with total denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Pompeo, speaking on CBS News‘ „Face the Nation“ on Sunday said that the regime will benefit from private investment, not assistance from US taxpayers, in exchange for abandoning its nuclear weapon programme. Trump thanked North Korea for saying on Saturday that it would dismantle its nuclear test site between May 23 and 25.,,

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Paris attacker was on police watch list: The knife-wielding attacker who went on a stabbing rampage in Paris, killing one person and wounding four more, was born in Russia’s Chechnya region, a judicial source said. The attacker was shot dead by police after stabbing five people in a popular tourist district near the Paris opera house Saturday night, when sidewalks and restaurants were filled with people. He was on a police anti-terror watch list of people suspected of having radicalised views and posing a potential security risk, though he had no criminal record. The attacker’s mother and father were taken into police custody for questioning. A friend of the attacker was also detained for questioning. Counterterrorism investigators want to know if the assailant had help or co-conspirators. Isis claimed responsibility for the attack, but provided no evidence to back the claim or details about his identity. “Once again France has paid a price in blood but it will never give an inch to the enemies of freedom,” President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter. “In the name of all French people, I salute the courage of the police officers who neutralised the terrorist.”,,

Catalonia’s radical separatists clear way for new leader: Catalonia’s most uncompromising separatists said Sunday that they won’t block the former leader of a pro-independence group from being elected as the restive Spanish region’s new leader. The far-left CUP party decided that its four regional parliament members will abstain during an investiture session scheduled for Monday, which should leave another lawmaker, Quim Torra, with more “yes” than “no” votes. Torra’s election is expected to end the Spanish government’s takeover of running Catalonia’s affairs that started with an illegal declaration of independence by the regional parliament in October. Separatist parties maintained a slim majority in regional elections in December, but Spanish courts have blocked their previous efforts to elect two separatists in jail awaiting trial and fugitive former regional President Carles Puigdemont. They have until 22 May to form a new government or new elections will be triggered.

Italy’s 5-Star, League talks progress: Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the far-right League spent the weekend locked in talks to forge a common policy programme and called the head of state on Sunday to report on their progress towards naming a prime minister. There was still no word on who would lead the nascent government, but after the talks they called President Sergio Mattarella on Sunday evening to say they were ready to propose an agreed name for prime minister, a 5-Star source said. The parties were adversaries before the March 4 vote which produced a hung parliament, but have been negotiating since Thursday to fuse their very different election platforms into a contract of mutually acceptable policy commitments. An Italian court has lifted a ban on Silvio Berlusconi holding public office, Corriere della Sera reported on Saturday.,

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Difficult to shield German firms after U.S. withdrawal from Iran deal: Germany wants to help its companies continue doing business in Iran after the US decision to reimpose sanctions against Tehran, but it could be difficult to shield them from any fallout, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Sunday. Germany – along with France and Britain – has said it remains committed to the nuclear deal. The foreign ministers of the three European powers will meet their Iranian counterpart in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss a way forward. Maas said the Europeans wanted to ensure that Iran would continue to abide by the rules and restrictions of the nuclear agreement.

Germany: FDP chief causes stir with comments on migrants in bakery

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Lieberman warns Iran after Eurovision win: Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon on Saturday with “Toy,” a pop anthem about female independence. Following the contest, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a Eurovision-themed warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad: „Assad, learn from what is going on today. Tell Khamenei that you are not his toy. He has no business in Syria,“ Lieberman tweeted. Israel has repeatedly signalled alarm over Iran’s presence in Syria.,



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