US President Donald Trump holds talks with Xi Jinping over North Korea

US President Donald Trump today held talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on wide-ranging issues, including North Korea’s nuclear programme and trade ties.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday the Sino-U.S. relations are “at a new historic starting point.”
“China is willing to work together with the United States to respect each other, seek mutual benefit and reciprocity, focus on cooperation, and manage and control differences,” Xi said during talks with visiting U.S. President Donald Trump.
Since Wednesday afternoon, the two presidents have had in-depth exchanges of views on bilateral ties and issues of common concern, and reached broad consensus, he said.
“We believe Sino-U.S. relations concern not only the well-being of both peoples, but also world peace, prosperity and stability,” Xi said.
The presidents agreed that cooperation is the “only correct choice” for China and the United States, and a better future would only be achieved through win-win cooperation, according to Xi.
They agreed to maintain the leading role of head-of-state diplomacy in developing bilateral relations, Xi noted.The two leaders met in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People for talks following the US president’s royal welcome in the capital.
Trump said he and his counterpart believed that the North Korean crisis can be solved.  US President Donald Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday that he believes, like Xi, that a solution can be found to the North Korean nuclear issue, a day after warning Pyongyang of the grave danger of developing nuclear weapons.
Speaking alongside Xi in the Chinese capital, Trump also said it was disappointing that his predecessors had let the bilateral trade balance get out of kilter.
“But we will make it fair and it will be tremendous for both of us,” Trump said, expressing respect for Xi.
Trump is pressing China to tighten the screws further on North Korea and its development of nuclear weapons. At least modest progress is hoped for, although there are no immediate signs of a major breakthrough, a US official said earlier on Thursday.
Referring to Xi, Trump said: “I do believe there’s a solution to that, as do you.”
In a show of the importance China puts on Trump’s first official visit, Thursday’s welcoming ceremony outside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People overlooking Tiananmen Square was broadcast live on state television unprecedented treatment for a visiting leader.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday he and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump have reiterated firm commitment to achieving denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and solving the nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation.
Xi made the remarks when meeting with the press alongside Trump after their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
“On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, we have reiterated firm commitment to achieving denuclearization on the peninsula and maintaining the international nuclear non-proliferation regime,” Xi said.
“The two sides will continue to fully and strictly implement UN Security Council resolutions and stay committed to solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation,” he told reporters.
The two sides are also willing to work with various parties concerned to explore ways of realizing lasting peace and order in Northeast Asia and will continue to maintain communication and cooperation on the issue, the president said.
During their talks earlier Thursday, the two presidents stressed that the two countries have common goals in eventually solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation, and reiterated the commitment to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region.
Trump said during the talks that the United States hopes to work with China to push for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
The U.S. side highly values China’s important role in the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Trump said.
China has maintained that it is doing all it can and insists it is fully enforcing UN sanctions.The two leaders also discussed China’s huge trade surplus with the US. Trump is scheduled to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and attend a reception followed by a state dinner and cultural performances.

Priti Patel resigned

British Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel resigned yesterday amid a political storm over her secret meetings with Israeli officials.
She was summoned back from Kenya by Prime Minister Theresa May after it was revealed that she met senior Israeli officials during a family holiday in the summer. It is a significant breach of diplomatic protocol.
During the visit, Ms Patel, who paid for the trip herself, met with a dozen politicians and organizations, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official.
The British Prime Minister rebuked the departing Minister, even as Ms Patel offered a fulsome apology yesterday in her resignation letter.
Patel’s departure will throw Ms May’s Conservative government into further chaos after the sudden resignation last week of Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, who stepped down after getting involved in a sexual harassment scandal.

Pakistani Rangers in New Delhi to hold talks

A high-level delegation of Pakistani Rangers arrived in New Delhi yesterday to hold talks with the Border Security Force (BSF) on a host of issues. The talks come in the backdrop of strained ties between the two countries with a number of incidents of ceasefire violations and killings of civilians and troops.
Official sources said, the 19-member Pakistani delegation is led by the Director General of the Rangers (Sindh) Major General Muhammad Saeed while the Indian side will be headed by BSF Chief KK Sharma.
Issues of smuggling of drugs, especially along the International Border in Punjab, arms and detection of under-ground tunnels will also be discussed between the two sides during the talks.

Smog situation in Delhi

The smog situation in Delhi and adjoining areas is expected to improve after tomorrow. Talking to AIR, MeT department official Devendra Pradhan yesterday said, the city will continue to witness dense smog for the next two days adding that pollution is an important factor behind the problem.
The toxic haze hanging over Delhi thickened, leading to near zero visibility at many places, even as air quality slid further.
The National Green Tribunal yesterday lashed out at the Delhi government and the Central Pollution Control Board for not issuing orders to shut down construction and industrial activities in the capital despite the worsening air quality. It also ordered Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments to spell out the steps have they taken to prevent crop burning in the states adjacent to the national capital.
All schools in Delhi, adjoining areas and Punjab will remain closed till Sunday in view of the pollution.
The Health Ministry has issued an advisory for the people of Delhi asking them to remain indoors if they have breathing difficulty and try to keep children indoors as much as possible.
The entry of trucks except those carrying essentials has been banned in the national capital. Civil construction work has also been banned.The Delhi Metro has decided to run extra trips from today in view of the weather scenario.

Polling begins for 68 member Himachal Pradesh Assembly

Elections to the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly are being held today in a single phase. Polling, which began at 8 AM, will end at 5 PM. 337 candidates, including 19 women, are in the fray, with more than 50 lakh voters eligible to exercise their franchise.
7,525 polling booths have been set up, of which nearly 1,300 have been identified as critical and vulnerable. For the first time, Electronic Voting Machines with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) are being used at all polling booths. Briefing media in Shimla last evening, State Chief Electoral Officer Pushpendra Rajput said, the EVMs and VVPATs are fully safe and secure.
Apart from State Police and Home Guards, 65 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure free and fair polls.
While BJP and Congress are locking horns in all 68 seats, BSP is contesting in 42, CPI(M) in 14 and CPI in 3 seats.
The counting of votes will be taken up on the 18th of next month. Meanwhile, the Election Commission has asked media to refrain from publishing any articles or programmes related to prediction of election results of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat Assemblies. In an advisory, the poll panel said, no such item should be published from 8 AM today till 6 PM on the 14th of next month, when the second and final phase of Gujarat Assembly elections will be held.
The Commission said, prediction of results in any manner, including by political analysts and astrologers, is a violation of Section 126 A of Representation of People Act. The section is aimed at preventing electors going to vote from being influenced by the predictions.

India signed joint work programmes with IEA and other members

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri Raj Kumar Singh led the Indian delegation in the International Energy Agency (IEA) Ministerial, being held in Paris. The Minister emphasised the importance of clean energy and assured achievement of 175GW of renewable target of India while addressing the Plenary Session on Driving the Transitions to Clean Energy.
At the Ministerial, India signed joint work programmes with IEA and other key members of the IEA Family i.e. Brazil, Chile, India, Indonesia and Thailand. The event focusses on energy security, clean energy technology and government-industry dialogue on investment and digitalization, which would provide major opportunities for efficiency gains in the energy sector in the future.
On the side-lines of the IEA Ministerial, the Minister had a delegate level discussion with the French Minister of State for Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Ms. Brune Poirson. Shri Singh also had a very fruitful discussion on various issues of Power and New & Renewable Energy with the US Secretary of Energy, Mr. James Richard Perry.


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