Trump says US deal with Russia on Syria will save many lives

US President Donald Trump, right, and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talk while on their way to a family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam on Saturday, November 11. (Kremlin pool photo via AP)
Updated 11 November 2017
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Trump says US deal with Russia on Syria will save many lives

HANOI: US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Syria would save many lives after the two met at a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.
“We agreed very quickly,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew from the APEC meeting in the resort city of Danang to Vietnam’s capital Hanoi. “It’s going to save tremendous numbers of lives.”
The Kremlin earlier said Trump and Putin had agreed on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that a political solution was needed on Syria and that they would continue efforts to fight Daesh.
“We spoke intermittently during that roundtable. We seem to have a very good feeling for each other and a good relationship considering we don’t know each other well,” Trump said, adding that he and Putin had two or three very short conversations.
Trump said Putin had reiterated that he did not meddle in last year’s US presidential elections, which brought Trump to the White House.
Trump said a good relationship with Russia was important.
“In fact it would be a great thing ... because he could really help us in North Korea. We have a big problem with North Korea and China is helping us,” Trump said. “If Russia helped us in addition to China that problem would go away a lot faster.”
Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping was a good man who “wants to do right,” but he wanted Xi to ratchet up more pressure on North Korea.


Jordan’s king urged to bolster UNESCO resolutions on Jerusalem

Girls play in their school yard in the Palestinian village of Khan Al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem. Israel has frozen plans to demolish the village that has drawn the world’s attention. (AFP)
Updated 24 October 2018
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Jordan’s king urged to bolster UNESCO resolutions on Jerusalem

  • The call came in an open letter to King Abdullah in his capacity as custodian of Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites
  • If a UNESCO fact-finding mission arrives in Jerusalem too late, it may not find real facts to be documented: letter

AMMAN: Religious and political figures in Jerusalem urged Jordan’s king to coordinate with the Palestinian president and the UN to obligate Israel to implement resolutions passed by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) regarding the city.

The call came in an open letter to King Abdullah in his capacity as custodian of Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites. 

“If a UNESCO fact-finding mission arrives in Jerusalem too late, it may not find real facts to be documented,” the letter said.

“The mission will find only an altered status quo, faked history, and important monuments and archaeological layers would be removed or Judaized.”

Wasfi Kailani, director of the Hashemite Fund for the Restoration of Al-Aqsa Mosque, told Arab News: “The issue of Jerusalem is always a high priority for the king, and Jordan will be studying the appeal from all aspects before making a decision as to the next steps.”

Hanna Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim-Christian Committee and a signatory to the letter, told Arab News: “This appeal reflects clear Christian-Muslim unity in the face of continued and daily Israeli violations, especially in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

He expressed hope that the issue will reach the International Criminal Court (ICC), but said: “Unfortunately, US hegemony has rendered many of these institutions totally impotent.”

The latest UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem — sponsored by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan — said: “The Old City of Jerusalem and its walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam.” 

It reaffirmed that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem… are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”