Don’t turn Daesh fight into battle against all Muslims: German minister

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. (AFP)
Updated 18 February 2017
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Don’t turn Daesh fight into battle against all Muslims: German minister

MUNICH: German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen warned on Friday against turning the fight against Daesh into a battle against all Muslims.

“We should take care not to turn this fight into a front against Islam and Muslims in general,” von der Leyen said, according to the text of her speech, in a thinly veiled warning to the US.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would issue a new executive order to replace his controversial directive suspending travel to the US by citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries. He has said the directive was aimed at protecting the country from terrorist attacks.

Daesh militants, meanwhile, are developing a network of passageways and tunnels in the narrow alleys of west Mosul that will enable them to hide and fight among the civilian population when Iraqi forces launch an attack that is expected any day now.

Residents said the fighters have been opening passages in the walls between houses to allow them to move from block to block undetected, disappear after hit-and-run operations and track government troop movements.

Separately, a terrorist group has executed 41 fighters from Al-Qaeda’s former Syria affiliate and allied factions in infighting between the extremists in Syria’s Idlib province, a monitor said Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Jund Al-Aqsa group had executed the 41 fighters in the town of Khan Sheikhun on Monday but the deaths were only confirmed on Friday amid fierce fighting between the radical factions.


Xi says China must lead way in reform of global governance

Updated 56 min 24 sec ago
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Xi says China must lead way in reform of global governance

  • China has sought a greater say in global organizations in line with its growing economic and diplomatic clout
  • Beijing has cast itself a responsible member of the international community

BEIJING: China must lead the way in reforming global governance, the foreign ministry on Saturday cited President Xi Jinping as saying, as Beijing looks to increase its world influence.
China has sought a greater say in global organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and United Nations, in line with its growing economic and diplomatic clout.
Since taking office in late 2012, Xi has taken a more muscular approach, setting up China’s own global bodies like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and launching his landmark Belt and Road project to build a new Silk Road.
Beijing has cast itself a responsible member of the international community, especially as President Donald Trump withdraws the United States from agreements on climate change and Iran, and as Europe wrestles with Brexit and other issues.
China must “uphold the protection of the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests, proactively participate in and show the way in reform of the global governance system, creating an even better web of global partnership relationships,” Xi said in comments reported at the end of a two-day high-level Communist Party meeting.
This would help create conditions for building a modern, strong socialist country, the ministry cited him as saying at the meeting attended by officials from the foreign and commerce ministries, the military, the propaganda department and the Chinese embassy in the United States.
While Xi did not provide details, the statement cited him as mentioning the importance of the Belt and Road, and other key diplomatic platforms like his “community of common destiny,” a lofty concept meant to guide China’s relations with the world.
This proposes a “new style” of international relations is proposed that is “win-win” and of “mutual benefit” for all, but many Western nations remain critical of China’s behavior over issues such as the contested waters of the South China Sea.
Xi added that China must strengthen its relations with developing nations, who he described as natural allies, but also learn from all other nations.
He made no direct mention of issues like the trade dispute between China and the United States, North Korea, or self-ruled Taiwan, claimed by Beijing as its own and considered China’s most sensitive territorial and diplomatic issue.