Tuesday, October 20, 2020

French Senator prepares proposal to recognise Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

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Paris [France], October 20 (ANI/Sputnik): French lawmaker Valerie Boyer says she will submit a proposal to the Senate to recognise the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Republic of Artsakh), where a confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia has been ongoing since the end of last month.

"To oppose the advance of Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh is also to oppose the expansion of Turkish Islam across Europe. This week I will table a text in the Senate to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh and condemn the actions of Turkey and Azerbaijan," Boyer wrote on Twitter.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Le Figaro daily last week that France should adopt a balanced stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Turkey has pledged support to Azerbaijan since hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh resumed at the end of September. The unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh proclaimed independence from Baku after the breakdown of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

On October 9, talks were held in Moscow between the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia with the aim of reaching a Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement. The Moscow meeting resulted in a humanitarian ceasefire that came into force on October 10 but nonetheless failed to hold. A new truce has since been agreed upon. It came into effect at 20:00 GMT on Saturday, October 17, but both sides have been reporting violations.

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia told reporters on Monday that a verification mechanism to ensure compliance with the ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region was needed, and the issue was currently being discussed.

On Sunday, Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in a statement that the UN chief was expecting the conflicting sides in Nagorno-Karabakh to fully abide by the commitments under the most recent humanitarian truce and to immediately resume substantive negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Minsk Group, which is co-chaired by France, Russia, and the United States. (ANI/Sputnik)

V Muraleedharan meets High Commissioner of Ghana Michael Oquaye

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan with Michael Oquaye, High Commissioner of Ghana. (Photo: Twitter/V Muraleedharan)


New Delhi [India], October 20 (ANI): Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Monday met Michael Oquaye, High Commissioner of Ghana, who has completed his tenure in India.

"Happy to meet HE Dr Michael Oquaye, High Commissioner of Ghana, who is completing his tenure in India," said Muraleedharan in a tweet.

During the meeting, the Minister thanked the High Commissioner of Ghana for his efforts towards strengthening India-Ghana relations. (ANI)

Swiss Armed Forces Chief Thomas Sussli tests positive for COVID-19

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Bern [Switzerland], October 20 (ANI/Sputnik): Swiss Armed Forces Chief Thomas Sussli tested positive for coronavirus, he has been in quarantine since Monday, the country's government said in a statement.

"Due to contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus, Army Chief Thomas Sussli took a test today. The result was positive," the statement said.

Sussli currently has no symptoms and continues to work from home.

He is 54 years old and has been the Swiss army chief since January 1, 2020. (ANI/Sputnik)

US sanctions six Chinese companies for trade with Iran

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Washington [US], October 20 (ANI): The United States on Monday (local time) has imposed sanctions on six Chinese companies for their dealings with Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), which is used by Iran to "transport proliferation-sensitive items intended for Iran's ballistic missile and military programs".

"The United States is sanctioning six entities and two individuals for conduct related to IRISL and its subsidiary, Hafez Darya Arya Shipping Company (HDASCO), pursuant to the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act Section 1244 (IFCA 1244)," said State Secretary Michael Pompeo in a statement.

The State Department had designated IRISL and its Shanghai-based subsidiary E-Sail Shipping Company Ltd. on June 8 for their proliferation-related conduct.

The Department had also announced that if any stakeholder is found to be doing business with IRISL or E-SAIL then sanctions will be imposed on them as well.

"Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd.; Reach Shipping Lines; Delight Shipping Co., Ltd.; Gracious Shipping Co. Ltd.; Noble Shipping Co. Ltd.; and Supreme Shipping Co. Ltd. are being designated pursuant to IFCA Section 1244(d)(1)(A) for having knowingly sold, supplied, or transferred to Iran significant goods or services used in connection with the shipping sector of Iran," Pompeo said.

He further said, "Eric Chen (Chen Guoping), Chief Executive Officer of Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd., and Daniel Y. He (He Yi), President of Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd., are also being sanctioned pursuant to Iran Sanctions Act Section 6(a)(11) as a part of this action. Delight Shipping Co., Ltd.; Gracious Shipping Co. Ltd.; Noble Shipping Co. Ltd.; and Supreme Shipping Co. Ltd. each knowingly sold, supplied, or transferred a large container vessel to Iran to be used in connection with the shipping sector of Iran."

"Since the June 2020 designation of IRISL and E-Sail pursuant to E.O.13382, Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd. and its subsidiary, Reach Shipping Lines, have provided services to IRISL, E-Sail, and HDASCO to help these Iranian shipping entities evade the consequences of US sanctions."

The State Secretary said that Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd. has worked on behalf of IRISL and its subsidiaries to conceal these Iranian entities activities in the People's Republic of China (PRC) including by lying to Chinese companies about the roles of IRISL and its subsidiaries in shipments and by falsifying documents and engaging in other deceptive practices so that Chinese government, industry, and maritime stakeholders would not know about IRISL and its subsidiaries activities in the PRC. (ANI)

Indian Ambassador meets Yash Aradhya ahead of French Formula 4 Championship

Ambassador of India to France Jawed Ashraf with sports athlete Yash Aradhya. (Photo: Twitter/India in France)


Paris [France], October 20 (ANI): The Ambassador of India to France Jawed Ashraf on Monday met sports athlete Yash Aradhya, who is in France to take part in French Formula 4 Championship.

"Ambassador @JawedAshraf5 met & encouraged, young&enthusiastic motor sports athlete Yash Aradhya who is in France to take part in French Formula 4 Championship. Yash is Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Shakti Puraskar Awardee," India in France said in a tweet.

Aradhya is the first motorsports star to win the prestigious Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar.

He started his career in the JK Tyre National Go-karting Championship eight years back, racing for Akbar Ebrahim's Meco Motorsports and has steadily moved up, eventually making it to Formula Racing.

He has taken part in international championships too including the CIK FIA Academy Trophy in 2015 in Spain, Belgium, and France. He was also nominated by FMSCI to represent India in the Rotax World Finals in 2017 to race in Portugal. In 2019, he took part in the FIA Motorsport Games held in Rome.

Yash debuted in the Formula-4 South East Asia Championship in the 2019 season and claimed the first 2 podium finishes to underline his talent. (ANI)

UN may close 26 aid programmes in Yemen by 2021 due to lack of funds: Spokesman

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New York [US], October 20 (ANI/Sputnik): The United Nations will be forced to reduce or shut down 26 humanitarian programmes in Yemen by the end of this year unless additional funding is received to respond to the country's deteriorating humanitarian crisis, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing on Monday (local time).

"The lack of funding is crippling: humanitarian operations in the country - 16 of the UN's 41 major programmes - have already been reduced or shut down. 26 more will close or be reduced by the end of the year unless additional funding is received," Dujarric said.

The UN spokesman called on all donors to pay the outstanding pledges and increase support given that the humanitarian response plan for Yemen is funded only at 42 percent.

Dujarric explained that the humanitarian situation on the ground continues to worsen and is being complicated by the recent escalation in violence which has contributed to the displacement of more than 8,000 Yemenis in October alone.

Moreover, millions are facing the threat of hunger amid the skyrocketing food prices that are now 140 per cent higher than the average prices recorded before the conflict, Dujarric said.

In addition to 20 million people who are already food insecure, 10 more million might soon be lacking access to food, Dujarric added. (ANI/Sputnik)

Indian envoy Vikram Doraiswami calls on Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury

Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami with Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury. (Twitter/India in Bangladesh)


Dhaka [Bangladesh], October 20 (ANI): Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami on Monday called on Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury.

"HC Sh. Vikram Doraiswami (@VDoraiswami) called on Hon'ble Speaker of Jatiya Sangsad, H.E. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury today, 19 Oct 2020," said India in Bangladesh in a tweet.

Earlier this month, Doraiswami had called on Bangladesh Minister of Liberation War Affairs AKM Mozammel Haque and discussed matters related to the commemoration of 50 years of the Liberation War.

Last month, both countries agreed to initiate "air travel bubble" flights to meet urgent requirements of certain categories of travellers on both sides during the pandemic. (ANI)

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