UAE foreign minister’s India visit boosts ties

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in New Delhi on July 9, 2019. (WAM photo)
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in New Delhi on July 9, 2019. (WAM photo)
Updated 09 July 2019

UAE foreign minister’s India visit boosts ties

  • Both consider enhancing energy security amid Iran sanctions
  • The UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner and fourth-largest energy supplier

NEW DELHI: The UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday, concluding a three-day official visit.

The two discussed regional issues including terrorism, energy security and brewing tensions in the Middle East. “We talked at length about further improving economic and cultural relations between India and the UAE,” Modi tweeted after the meeting.

The Indian Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said Modi had “reiterated his strong commitment to work with the UAE leadership to take the relationship to higher levels in all spheres of cooperation, including in trade and economy, energy, tourism and contact.

“The foreign minister stated that India-UAE relations have never been better. He also outlined the UAE’s vision to enhance bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefit of the people of both countries and for peace, prosperity and stability in the region.”

Sheikh Abdullah also met his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and discussed a wide range of bilateral issues.

“The two discussed issues related to trade and investment, defense and security and energy security,” said Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Sheikh Abdullah’s visit comes at a time when the issue of energy security is high on New Delhi’s agenda after the imposition of US sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

The UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner and fourth-largest energy supplier. Modi visited the Gulf nation twice in his first term in the office — during his first visit in 2015 the countries upgraded their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

The UAE invited India as its guest to the 46th Council of Foreign Ministers meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which it chaired in Abu Dhabi in March.

It is home to a 3.5 million-strong Indian community, the largest in the Gulf region.

New Delhi-based West Asia expert Zakir Hussain said: “Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed’s visit is the first interaction between the Modi regime since it returned to power in May 2019 and the UAE.

“The visit comes at a time when India is looking for a predictable source of energy supply after the disruption of the oil supply from Iran.

“Modi’s recent landslide victory in the election puts his government under great pressure to create more jobs and I am sure New Delhi must have discussed ways and means to expedite UAE investment in India.”


US officials block police ‘extreme tactics’ as protests enter 12th day

Updated 06 June 2020

US officials block police ‘extreme tactics’ as protests enter 12th day

  • A federal judge in Denver ordered city police to stop using tear gas, plastic bullets and other ‘less-than-lethal’ devices
  • Two police officers in Buffalo, New York, were suspended without pay on Thursday

WASHINGTON: Officials across the United States are moving to rein in police following accusations of excessive force being used against demonstrators, with protests over the killing of a black man in custody set to enter their 12th day on Saturday.
George Floyd, 46, died on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee to the neck for nearly nine minutes.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has ordered that all flags at state facilities be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday in honor of Floyd, who was originally from the state’s Fayetteville city.
On Friday, marches and gatherings took place in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Miami, New York and Denver, among other places, while protesters massed again, in the rain, in front of the White House. The night-time protests were largely peaceful but tension remains high even as authorities in several places take steps to reform police procedures.
A federal judge in Denver ordered city police to stop using tear gas, plastic bullets and other “less-than-lethal” devices such as flash grenades, with his ruling citing examples of protesters and journalists being injured by police.
“These are peaceful demonstrators, journalists, and medics who have been targeted with extreme tactics meant to suppress riots, not to suppress demonstrations,” US District Judge R. Brooke Jackson wrote in the ruling.
In Minneapolis, Democratic city leaders voted to end the use of knee restraints and choke-holds, where pressure is applied to the neck, while California Governor Gavin Newsom said he would end state police training of carotid restraints similar to the technique used on Floyd.
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said his state should lead the way in passing “Say Their Name” reforms, including making police disciplinary records publicly available as well as banning choke-holds.
“Mr Floyd’s murder was the breaking point,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement. “People are saying enough is enough, we must change.”
Black Lives Matter activists have called for cities to defund police departments. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat who in April proposed increasing law enforcement funding, this week reversed course and said he would seek some $150 million in cuts to the Los Angeles Police Department.

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In another sign of how attitudes have changed, National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league had made mistakes in not listening to players, in a video denouncing racism in the United States.
The NFL has been locked in a debate with players over kneeling protests during the playing of the national anthem.
Two police officers in Buffalo, New York, were suspended without pay on Thursday and placed under investigation after a video showed them shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground.
But the decision was met with pushback from the officers’ colleagues, with all 57 members of the police tactical unit quitting in protest at their treatment.
The demonstrations have erupted as the public and businesses struggle to recover from sweeping lockdowns imposed to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Disease experts have said the protests could spark new outbreaks.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has sparred with US President Donald Trump over his sometimes heavy-handed response to the rallies and marches in the nation’s capital, had the slogan “Black Lives Matter” painted in massive yellow letters on a street leading to the White House.
After nightfall, Bowser had light projections spelling out the words beamed onto nearby buildings, which she said on Twitter was a “night light” aimed at Trump.