French president pokes at Trump for leaving Paris accord

President Macron (AFP)
Updated 11 March 2018
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French president pokes at Trump for leaving Paris accord

NEW DELHI: French President Emmanuel Macron took a jibe Sunday at President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement.
Macron did not name Trump while speaking at the first meeting of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi. But while hailing the “solar mamas,” a group of women trained as solar engineers, he said the women had continued their mission to promote solar energy even after “some countries decided just to leave the floor and leave the Paris agreement.”
Trump announced last June that the US was withdrawing from the Paris accord, which aims to slow the rise in global temperature by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Heads and ministers of dozens of countries are participating in the daylong solar meeting, co-hosted by India and France.
The Alliance is a treaty-based international body for the promotion of efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It was launched by India and France on the sidelines of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.
“Today is a big change,” Macron told the meeting. “Our solar mamas, who we just listened to, didn’t wait for us. They started to act and to deliver concrete results. They didn’t wait and they didn’t stop because some countries decided just to leave the floor and leave the Paris agreement.”
“Because they decided it was good for them, for their children, their grandchildren. They decided to act and keep acting, and that’s why we are here, in order to act very concretely,” Macron said.
India and France called for affordable solar technology and concessional finance for promoting solar energy.
The meeting will discuss framing regulations and standards, credit mechanisms, crowd funding and sharing of technological breakthroughs to promote solar energy in 121 countries associated with the Alliance. The member countries are fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a unified effort for promoting solar energy and said the Alliance would help to achieve greater global energy security.
“Promoting its development and use can bring prosperity for all and can help reduce the carbon footprint on Earth,” Modi told the conference. “If we want the welfare of planet Earth and of the whole humanity, I am confident that we can come out of our personal confines and like a family, bring unity in our aims and efforts (to promote solar energy).”


Modi’s party abandons Kashmir alliance

Updated 9 min 35 sec ago
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Modi’s party abandons Kashmir alliance

  • Mufti said that her party would continue to seek dialogue and reconciliation in the state
  • A divide between the partners was visible even last month when New Delhi announced the cease-fire

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) quit the ruling coalition in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, blaming its regional partner for a rise in militancy and growing security concerns.
Shortly after the BJP withdrew support from the coalition it formed in early 2015, Mehbooba Mufti, head of its alliance partner the People's Democratic Party (PDP), resigned as the state’s chief minister.
The state will now be ruled by the governor until elections take place.
BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav said on Tuesday that continuing in government had become “untenable.”
“The security scenario has deteriorated causing serious concern about the protection of basic fundamental rights of life and free speech,” he said. “There is grave concern over the deteriorating security situation in the state.”
Kashmir has been at the heart of a dispute between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan over territorial rights. In past months there have been several outbreaks of violence. More than 130 people have been killed in the state this year and at least 120 men have joined extrremist groups.
The BJP move came a day after New Delhi ended a cease-fire against militants for Ramadan.
Last week, extremists shot and killed the editor of a local Kashmiri newspaper and abducted and killed a Kashmiri soldier on his way home to celebrate Eid.
Experts say a political split has been on the cards.
“For the BJP it had become impossible to continue,” said Happymon Jacob, associate professor of disarmament studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. “Ideologically, the two are completely different parties.”
By aligning with PDP — viewed by many as a soft separatist party because it supports talks with Pakistan — the BJP lost face with its Hindu right-wing base, he said.
“But the biggest loser is the PDP. Mufti has no face left, no political mileage, and she will have no stakes in Jammu and Kashmir whenever fresh elections take place.”
The BJP, on the other hand, has now strengthened its rule in the state since the governor does what New Delhi tells him, Jacob said. That includes appointing advisers suggested by the BJP to act as de-facto ministers until a new government is formed.
“They are the victors here,” said Jacob.
Mufti said that her party would continue to seek dialogue and reconciliation in the state.
“We had always said muscular security policy will not work in Jammu and Kashmir. The state can’t be treated as enemy territory. Reconciliation is the key,” she told The Indian Express.
The BJP-PDP alliance, the report quoted her saying, was not for power but to get confidence-building measures put in place.
A divide between the partners was visible even last month when New Delhi announced the cease-fire. At the time, BJP’s state unit said the truce would “demoralize security forces.”