Pakistan to participate in OIC Summit on Jerusalem

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi speaks with a Reuters correspondent during an interview at his office in Islamabad, Pakistan September 11, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 12 December 2017
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Pakistan to participate in OIC Summit on Jerusalem

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s prime minister will participate in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit on Wednesday to coordinate a response to US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Most OIC member states are expected to attend.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi “will convey the sentiments of the people and government of Pakistan of the unequivocal support to the people of Palestine,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Monday.
“He will stress upon the OIC for a united stance on the issue… and call upon the US Administration to review its decision.”
Sen. Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq told Arab News: “Pakistan will present its strong and clear position against this decision for the betterment of all the Muslims of the world.”
Haq, who is also secretary-general of Muslim World Congress, added: “The OIC has to perform now. All Muslim countries have pinned their hopes on this summit.”
The summit will be preceded by a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, which Foreign Secretary Khawaja Mohammed Asif will attend.
Religious and political parties have held protests across Pakistan against Washington’s decision.
Islamabad said the US move is a serious violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions, and expressed concern over the implications for Middle East peace and security.
The US Embassy in Islamabad has alerted its consulates and staff to be vigilant and cautious, restricting movement until further notice to avoid any incidents as anti-American sentiment runs high.
Noman Sattar, professor of US studies at Quaid-e-Azam University, told Arab News that “while the Arab League and OIC have taken strong public positions… one can’t be too sure or hopeful” of their ability to influence Washington.


Japan halts missile drills after Trump-Kim summit

Updated 21 June 2018
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Japan halts missile drills after Trump-Kim summit

TOKYO: Japan has halted evacuation drills simulating a North Korean missile attack in the wake of historic talks between Washington and Pyongyang, local media reported Thursday.
Government officials did not immediately confirm the reports, but authorities in one town said they were suspending a drill planned for next week on orders from Tokyo.
The decision comes after US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un met last week in Singapore, with the pair signing a joint document calling for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Yaita in Tochigi prefecture north of Tokyo had been planning an evacuation drill for next week involving some 800 residents including 350 school children, city official Yutaka Yanagida said.
But the city suddenly canceled all preparations late Wednesday after being instructed by the government that “drills should be postponed for the time being following a change in the environment after the US-North Korea summit,” he said.
Contacted by AFP, a Cabinet Office official said the government would announce its policy on evacuation drills on Friday, declining to comment further.
Last year, Pyongyang fired two missiles over Japan and it has splashed others into the sea near the country, sparking a mix of panic and outrage.
Earlier this year, hundreds of Tokyo residents scrambled for cover in the Japanese capital’s first evacuation drill for a military attack by Pyongyang.
North Korea has singled out Japan, a key US ally in the region, for verbal attacks, threatening to “sink” the country into the sea and to turn it into “ashes.”
But the regional mood has turned toward diplomacy since the Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea, which set off a series of diplomatic moves culminating in the Trump-Kim meet.