Putin to meet with Israeli PM, Iranian official in Moscow

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech as he attends the International Cybersecurity Congress in Moscow, Russia July 6, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 11 July 2018
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Putin to meet with Israeli PM, Iranian official in Moscow

  • Netanyahu said before boarding a flight to Moscow that he would have a “very important meeting” with Putin
  • A senior Iranian adviser traveled to Moscow on Wednesday for a meeting with Putin

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold separate meetings with the Israeli prime minister and a senior Iranian official before his summit with US President Donald Trump next week.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before boarding a flight to Moscow that he would have a “very important meeting” with Putin on Wednesday to “discuss Syria, Iran and Israel’s security needs.”
Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also traveled to Moscow on Wednesday for a meeting with Putin.
Both the United States and Israel are concerned about Iran’s growing military presence in Syria, where it has provided crucial aid to President Bashar Assad’s forces. Russia, another key ally of Assad, has said it is unrealistic to expect Iran to fully withdraw from the country.


Sri Lanka president seeks talks to end power struggle

Updated 12 min 19 sec ago
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Sri Lanka president seeks talks to end power struggle

  • For 19 days, Sri Lanka had two claimants to the prime minister’s post
  • Both sides have also warned that a prolonged power vacuum could lead to unrest

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday called crucial talks with political leaders in a bid to end a power struggle with the prime minister he sacked last month.
The Indian Ocean nation has been paralyzed since October 26 when Sirisena deposed Ranil Wickremesinghe as premier and replaced him with a former rival Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Wickremesinghe insists he is still prime minister while parliament voted twice last week to reject Rajapaksa.
“President Sirisena will chair a meeting of representatives of political parties in parliament today,” his office said in a statement.
“The president has called this meeting in order to end the current political unrest and conflict situation and to allow the normal functioning of the parliament.”
Brawling erupted in parliament with Rajapaksa loyalists smashing furniture, throwing chilli powder and projectiles at rivals in a bid to disrupt a no-confidence motion against the disputed prime minister.
After the second vote against Rajapaksa on Friday, Wickremesinghe demanded that his government be restored, but there has been no response from Sirisena yet.
Wickremesinghe has said Sri Lanka needs “stability” and that he was ready to work with Sirisena despite the personality clash that triggered the constitutional crisis.
After sacking Wickremesinghe on October 26, Sirisena dissolved parliament on November 9, but the Supreme Court suspended his action and restored parliament pending a full hearing into the legality of his actions.
For 19 days, Sri Lanka had two claimants to the prime minister’s post, but on Thursday parliament speaker Karu Jayasuriya held that he would recognize neither as premier. Officially, Sri Lanka no longer has a government.
Legislators say that with the administration at a stand still key sectors such as tourism are taking a serious battering.
Both sides have also warned that a prolonged power vacuum could lead to unrest.