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Syria Attacked: Did Macron convince Trump not to pull out troops?

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PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron seems to have placed himself at odds with the Trump administration over US future in Syria yesterday (15th of April).

According to details Macron had claimed credit for changing Trump’s views, who held that he wanted to pull American troops out of the country, where about 2,000 are fighting IS. 

But White House contradicted his claim that American forces would remain in the region long-term by saying: “The (US) president has been clear that he wants US forces to come home as quickly as possible.”

President Emmanuel Macron sought to clarify his comments on French and US military operations in Syria, saying both countries were committed to finishing the battle against the Islamic State (IS) group and helping the peace process there.

Asked about a difference in position, Macron said both countries had the same military goal but also had the same long-term target of building a stable and peaceful Syria.

“We have one military objective and only one: the war against ISIS,” he told a press conference, using an alternative name for the extremist group that is also sometimes to referred to as Daesh.

“The White House is right to recall that the military engagement is against Daesh and will finish the day that the war against Daesh has been completed. France has the same position,” he said. “I suggested no change last night.”

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Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi visits Shanghai Naval Base

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ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi Saturday (21st of April)  visited Shanghai Naval Base and called on Commander Shanghai Naval Base, Rear Admiral Wang Jianxun.

Upon arrival Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, who is on an official visit to China, was received by Commander Shanghai Naval Base Rear Admiral Wang Jianxun.

A smartly turned out contingent of PLA(N) clad in ceremonial dress presented him the Guard of Honor followed by call on with Commander Shanghai Naval Base, said a press release issued here.

Later, the Naval Chief visited PLA(N) Ship YANG ZAHOU. The Admiral was briefed onboard by the Commanding officer of the ship. He interacted with ship’s crew and appreciated their professional competence. The Chief of the Naval Staff also visited Chinese aviation assets.

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Kim Jong Un says North Korea would halt nuclear tests!

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PYONGYANG: North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong Un has stated here today that he would halt nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches.

Kim Jong Un mainatined since North Korea had successfully developed its arsenal, including miniaturizing warheads to fit them on to missiles,  “no nuclear test and intermediate-range and inter-continental ballistic rocket test-fire are necessary for the DPRK now”.

He told the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party that North’s nuclear testing site was no longer needed, and the Party had decided that nuclear blasts and ICBM launches would cease from today (21st day of April).

Kim Jong Un’s  proclamation has been welcomed by President Trump who is scheduled to meet him shortly. However, it is pertinent to mention here that Pyongyang has not given any indication that it would give up its nuclear arsenal that has the ability to reach USA.

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Chemical attack probe: France wants immediate access!

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PARIS: France urged the Syrian regime and its ally Moscow today to grant weapons inspectors immediate access to the site of an alleged chemical attack, accusing them of “obstruction” aimed at eroding the quality of the evidence.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), who arrived in Damascus last Saturday, needed “full, immediate and unhindered access” to the site in the town of Douma.

Their mission has been put on hold after a United Nations security assessment team were fired at, and officials at the OPCW have said that Russian and Syrian forces have likely removed key evidence.

“At this time the OPCW investigators still have no access to the chemical attack site in Douma. If Russia and Syria ultimately abide by their commitments, it will take (the investigators) at least two weeks,” Le Drian said in a statement.

“The OPCW mission has as its goal establishing whether a chemical attack indeed took place and identifying the nature of the chemical agent used. This obstruction will obviously harm the quality of the investigation,” he added.

“It seems likely that this attitude is intended to make proof and material evidence linked to the chemical attack disappear.” France joined the United States and Britain in launching air strikes a week ago against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, in retaliation against an alleged chemical attack in Douma which local medics said killed at least 40 people.

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