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.


Reinstated Sri Lanka PM promises ‘new era’

Ranil Wickremesinghe was reinstated on Sunday, two months after his sacking. (AFP)
Updated 2 min 30 sec ago
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Reinstated Sri Lanka PM promises ‘new era’

  • Lawmakers clashed after shock decision from president
  • Peace not yet restored, says NGO

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s new prime minister, who was reinstated on Sunday after being sacked almost two months ago, pledged to learn from past failures and to improve people’s living conditions.
Ranil Wickremesinghe was dismissed by the president on Oct. 26, 2018, and replaced by his predecessor in a controversial power grab that triggered international condemnation and even fisticuffs in parliament.
Wickremesinghe made his first public appearance since being reinstalled at a rally in Colombo’s Galle Face Green, addressing thousands of people.
He told them: “We will take renewed efforts without any religious, racial prejudices. We will ameliorate the living conditions of the people.” 
He also said he planned to register a new political party on Friday, under the name of the National Democratic Front.
President Maithripala Sirisena said he respected parliamentary democracy and denied that his actions - including an attempt to dissolve parliament - were unconstitutional.
“I made a statement that I will not give Ranil Wickremesinghe the post of prime minister, even if a request is made by all the 225 Parliamentarians and it is my own personal political opinion, and my view is still the same, but I have decided to invite 
Ranil Wickremesinghe as I am a leader who respects parliamentary tradition and democracy.
“My recent moves including the dissolution of parliament, prorogue parliament, remove the prime minister and the appointment of a new prime minister, not according to his sole discretion, but after receiving the advice of legal experts, and those steps were taken for the betterment of the country and there was no intention to violate the constitution of the country.” 
Alan Keenan, Sri Lanka project director from the International Crisis Group, tweeted that the crisis would continue. 
"Peace is clearly not yet restored,” he said. “The next few months will almost certainly see the fights continue in new forms.”
But others were more optimistic. 
US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz welcomed the weekend’s political developments, as did the Australian High Commission in Colombo and the European Union. 
“As steady friends of Sri Lanka, we welcome the peaceful and democratic resolution of the political crisis in accordance with the constitution,” the EU said Monday. “We commend the resilience of Sri Lanka's democratic institutions and will continue to support its efforts towards national reconciliation and prosperity for all.”
Wickremesinghe is expected to name his cabinet ministers on Tuesday.