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India, Pakistan need to resolve issues on their own:US

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Washington:  Expressing the hope that Pakistan would be a responsible stakeholder on security issues, in particular the nuclear issue, the US has said that New Delhi and Islamabad need to work on issues between them peacefully on their own.

“US Secretary of State, John Kerry spoke on his concerns about tensions between India and Pakistan right now and various other issues”, State Department spokesman John Kirby recalled  on Tuesday,  in response to a question at his daily press briefing. “Kerry has also talked about ‘our continued belief that both sides need to work on  these issues peacefully and on their own’”, he said.

On being asked if Pakistan’s nuclear programme is safe from terrorist hands in the context of former Pakistani President Pervez  Musharaff’s reported threat that Islamabad may use the nuclear weapon against India, Kirby said: “I’m certainly not going to talk about intelligence issues here. But our expectation continues to be that Pakistan will be a responsible stakeholder on security issues, in particular the nuclear issue”.

In response to a question about child labour and child trafficking in India, China and several other countries, Kirby said, “Obviously, this is a concern that we have around the world  ,i.e, the issue of child labour and certainly human trafficking. “It’s something that we are constantly talking to our friends and partners about. It’s a significant concern. “Our positions, our stance on them have not changed, and we’re going to continue to work at this just as hard as we can”.

At the White House too, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in response to a question about child labour that as a general matter, President Barack Obama ‘believes strongly that we need to be serious about combating child trafficking’ and that the administration has devoted significant time and consideration, and even resources, to international efforts to try to fight human trafficking.

“This is something that the President has talked about frequently, not just with his national security staff, but in his conversations with other world leaders and even in the context of international meetings at the United Nations,” Earnest said.

Asked if Obama had talked with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about public health issues in the context of Yoga Day, the spokesman said that he was not aware that the President had any conversations with world leaders on this topic or not but obviously the President and the First Lady have made public health and the health of the American people a top priority of their administration.
(IANS)

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Iran Denounces US as Actual “Head of Global Terrorism”

China, an economic partner of Iran, urged countries outside the Middle East to promote peace and stability in the region and to avoid any acts of aggression

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iran, terrorism
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a ceremony marking "National Day of Nuclear Technology," in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2019. VOA

Steve Herman contributed to this report from the White House; Carla Babb – from the Pentagon.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced the United States Tuesday as the actual “head of global terrorism,” one day after the U.S. designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization.

The move was the first time the U.S. designated part of another government as a terrorist organization.

“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” President Donald Trump declared in a statement. “The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”

The U.S. action, which takes effect next week and includes the IRGC’s elite secretive Quds Force, means it will be a federal crime to provide any type of support to the IRGC.

iran, terrorism
In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting with a group of Revolutionary Guards and their families, in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2019. VOA

Rouhani said the U.S. designation would only bolster the reputation of the Revolutionary Guards and promote harmony among Iranians.

“This mistake will unite Iranians and the Guards will grow more popular in Iran and in the region,” Rouhani said. “America has used terrorists as a tool in the region while the Guards have fought against them from Iraq to Syria.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a group of guards Tuesday, describing the U.S. action as a “vicious move” that “will bear no fruit.” After Iran’s legislature convened for an open session in Tehran Tuesday, lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted, “Death to America.”

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani criticized the U.S. decision as the “climax of stupidity and ignorance.” Supreme National Security Council spokesman Keivan Khosravi warned without elaborating that “any unusual move by American forces in the region will be perceived as the behavior by a terrorist group.”

China, an economic partner of Iran, urged countries outside the Middle East to promote peace and stability in the region and to avoid any acts of aggression.

iran, terrorism
After Iran’s legislature convened for an open session in Tehran Tuesday, lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted, “Death to America.” VOA

“We oppose power politics and bullying by any countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

Minutes after the announcement from the White House on the designation Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the IRGC “organizes and executes terror campaigns around the world.”

ALSO READ: “Chinese Human Traffickers Operating Illegal Matchmaking in Pakistan”, Says Pakistan Media

U.S. officials, in comments to reporters, are also referring to the IRGC as a “death cult” that, they say, is the true face of Iranian foreign policy.

Pompeo declined to say, when asked by a reporter, whether the terrorist designation means that the U.S. military will target IRGC leaders the same way it does those of the Islamic State group. Iran responded Monday to the U.S. action by putting U.S. military forces on its list of terror groups. (VOA)