Trump to highlight Iranian influence at Davos

Donald Trump will discuss Iranian aggression in the region when he meets world leaders in Davos. (REUTERS)
Updated 24 January 2018

Trump to highlight Iranian influence at Davos

LONDON: The US President Donald Trump will raise the need to address Iran’s mounting influence in the Middle East at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week. 
White House officials confirmed that Trump will meet with world leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and British Prime Minister Theresa May when he arrives at the forum on Thursday.
He is also due to deliver a key note speech on Friday before flying back to the US later in the day.
During his meeting with Netanyahu, Trump will “reiterate America’s strong commitment to Israel and efforts to reduce Iran’s influence in the Middle East and ways to achieve lasting peace,” White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said.
Trump has been outspoken in his criticism of the Iranian regime, tweeting his support for protesters during demonstrations taking place across Iran in December and January.
On Dec 31 he tweeted: “Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”
He is also determined to overturn the Iran nuclear deal and will raise the issue with Theresa May during their meeting at the forum.
Trump believes the nuclear deal, which was the signature foreign policy of the Obama administration, was too lenient and has called for new sanctions to be imposed on Iran. 
On Jan 1, the president tweeted: “Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!”
After flying in overnight on Wednesday, Trump will conclude a busy day of meetings by hosting a dinner for European executives on Thursday night.
“The attendees run companies that have sizeable footprints in the United States. They have invested in our economy, we want them to continue to do so and encourage others to join them,” said White House senior economic adviser Gary Cohn.
Part of his focus at the forum, which runs from Jan 23 to 26, will be to promote investment opportunities in the US and encourage global companies to take advantage of the corporate tax cuts he has implemented since taking office a year ago.


Sri Lankan leader appoints Cabinet, state ministers

Updated 13 August 2020

Sri Lankan leader appoints Cabinet, state ministers

  • Spotlight on economy, security as 67 officials take oath in palace ceremony

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa administered the oath of office to 28 new Cabinet ministers and 39 state ministers on Wednesday during a swearing-in ceremony at the Kandy Royal Palace, a week after the Aug. 5 general elections.

“The Cabinet has been formed in a pragmatic and a realistic manner to implement the national program. Special attention was paid to national security, economic development, infrastructure, education, health and sports,” a Presidential Secretariat statement said.

While President Rajapaksa retained the defense portfolio, his brother, Namal Rajapaksa — the 34-year-old son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa — was named minister for youth and sports.

Several senior politicians, including former president Maithripala Sirisena, were left out of the new Cabinet.

The ninth parliament is set to meet on Aug. 20.

Only two members from minority communities, Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and Justice Minister Ali Sabry, were appointed from the Tamil and Muslim communities, respectively.

“I’m delighted to get this portfolio in recognition of my services to the nation, particularly to the legal field,” Sabry said.

He is the second Muslim justice minister to assume office after Rauff Hakeem of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party, led by PM Rajapaksa, polled 6,853,690, or 59 percent of votes, and secured a total of 145 seats in parliament, including 17 of the National List seats.

Sabry said government efforts to limit the coronavirus pandemic had “impressed the nation enough to vote them into power.”

Lawyer Razik Zarook said: “It’s a great victory for the Muslim community. The era of mistrust and suspicion is over, and the foundation is laid to build the bridges of friendship and amity.”

However, international political lobbyist Muheed Jeeran told Arab News that though the Cabinet is promising, it is “full of confusion.”

“Sabry’s appointment has disappointed the nationalist group who want to implement one nation, one law,” he said.

“But it is a joyful moment for Muslims who supported the SLPP. However, it will be difficult for Sabry as justice minister. Will he become the wooden handle of the axe to chop the tree of traditional Muslim laws as per the nationalist agenda, or will he stand for Muslim rights?”