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Germany asks India to continue buying oil from Iran

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Germany asks India to continue buying oil from Iran

In an a rare development, Germany has called US pressure exerted on its allies to comply with sanctions on Iran “irritating, to put it mildly” and expressed hope that India will continue buying oil from Iran.

In an exclusive interview with an Indian TV channel, Neils Annen, the German minister of state for International Affairs on Wednesday said that Germany will act in its own interest and hopes that India, too, will continue buying Iranian oil.

He said, “It will be India’s sovereign decision. I am not a salesman for Iran but I have an impression that India is willing to continue buying oil from Iran and this will be a very important statement.”

The German minister was of the view that efforts now need to be made on devising a financial mechanism to overcome the US sanctions. He said the French government has made a proposal in this regard and that finding a suitable financial instrument to allow companies that want to deal with Iran, “will be complicated but needs to be done.”

The US administration had set a deadline for reducing oil trade with Iran to “zero” by November 4, when Washington implements second layer of sanctions against that country.

Read More: Iran accuses India of bowing to US pressure, warns of withdrawing privileges if it cuts oil import

However, some government source has recently indicated that US administration is softening its stand and was willing to work with countries on a case by case basis.

Two days ago US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had signalled for the first time that his country might consider exemptions from the sanctions for countries as they reduce their dependency on Iranian oil.

Moreover, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday, “We are going to very strongly enforce the Iran nuclear sanctions. We’ve told our counterparts as that we expect them to enforce the sanctions, but if there are specific situations, we’re open to listening.”

Both the high ranking US officials spoke to the reporters aboard Pompeo’s plane as they flew back from Mexico, where they held talks on border security, immigration and trade negotiations.

Germany is one of the US allies in Europe which has developed differences on several issues in recent past including Iran nuclear deal, NATO funding and Paris Climate treaty. US President Donald Trump crossed settled protocol by calling German Chancellor- “Angela, you need to do something about this” during recent NATO meeting in Brussels.

Read More: India under US pressure to cut oil imports from Iran, Govt says exploring all options

German minister’s observations came a day after India and US agreed to continue consultations on the proposed American sanctions on Iran. A day earlier Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi visited New Delhi for discussions on pressing ahead with the energy and connectivity cooperation.

Germany asks India to continue buying oil from Iran

On Tuesday, Marshall Billingslea, the assistant secretary for terrorist financing in the US treasury department and officials from petroleum and foreign ministry on the Indian side held a day-long discussions.

Ahead of the talks with US official, a source privy to the development said that India could convey to the US that it could look at reducing the import of oil from Tehran in return for an exemption from US sanctions on plans to push ahead with the development of Iran’s Chabahar Port, considered to be  a gateway to the landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia.

In 2012, India, when faced with a similar situation, had evolved a Rupee-Rial mechanism to bypass US sanctions and continue trading with Iran. Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. However, India lost huge money due to reduced purchasing of Iranian oil.

Read More: Iran, P4+1 meet ends inconclusive in Vienna

European signatories of the landmark multilateral Iran nuclear deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Britain, France and Germany have been in close contact with Iran and reiterated their willingness to continue trading with Iran. Several European companies have been engaged working with Iran since the implementation of the multilateral nuclear deal.

In May this year, US President Donald Trump had announced Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal to what was termed as ‘the worst deal ever’.

Recently Israel’s public broadcaster published a recording of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that he was responsible for persuading US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year.  He was quoted saying at a Likud party gathering “We convinced the president of the United States…to leave this agreement, we didn’t give up.”

Niels Annen, Germany’s Minister of State, was on a two-day visit to New Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday. He discussed regional and security policy topics with Piyush Goyal, the Finance Minister, M J Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, Vijay Gokhale, the Foreign Secretary and Ajit Doval, the NSA. Gokhale was earlier India’s ambassador to Germany.

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Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto’s parties strike deal on Pakistan coalition Govt, Shehbaz Sharif to be PM

The PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, 68, is set to assume the role of the President of Pakistan again.

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Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government after days of intense negotiations, as per the senior party leaders.

On Tuesday night, in a joint conference, the PPP Chairman Bhutto announced that PML-N president, 72-year-old Shehbaz Sharif will be the Prime Minister of Pakistan once again and the PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, 68, is set to assume the role of the President of Pakistan again.

Speaking to reports, Bhutto said the PPP and PML-N have achieved the required number, and now they were in a position to form the government.

He said the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party-backed candidates and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) could not achieve a simple majority in Parliament to form government in the Centre.

Bilawal hoped that the political alliance with PML-N to form a coalition government would result in a positive market response since the cash-strapped country faced a hung Parliament after the February 8 elections.

Independent candidates, who were supported by the 71-year-old Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, managed to secure 93 seats in the National Assembly.

Shehbaz Sharif, in his speech, expressed confidence that his PML-N party, along with the PPP, now has the necessary numbers to form the next government. He also thanked the leadership of both parties for successfully concluding the talks.

According to the reports, the former prime minister highlighted the unity between the two political parties and their strong position to form the government at the Centre.

The PML-N secured 75 seats in the election, while the PPP came in third with 54 seats. Additionally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has agreed to support the two parties with their 17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly or the lower house of Parliament.

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Poland Minister Wladyslaw T Bartoszewski says India is a superpower, should play role in World affairs

The Polish Minister said it is time to take the relations between the the two countries to a higher level. He said India has developed into a phenomenal country and is the 5th largest economy in the world. The minister said the Polish economy has also developed and both the countries have much more to offer each other.

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Secretary of state at the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Poland Wladyslaw T. Bartoszewski on Monday said that India should play a bigger role in global politics. He said India is a superpower now and hence India should play a role that fits superpower at the global scale. He said the relations between Poland and India have been extremely good. He said they have not had any problems.

The Polish Minister said it is time to take the relations between the the two countries to a higher level. He said India has developed into a phenomenal country and is the 5th largest economy in the world. The minister said the Polish economy has also developed and both the countries have much more to offer each other.

He said the Polish government wants India to play a more active role in World Politics. He said India is the largest democracy in the world and shares values with Poland as to how the world should be organised. The Polish Minister said he is looking to partner with India. He said Poland is looking at potentially creating the India-Central Eastern European Forum to discuss amongst a few countries.

He said there are a lot of topics and Poland wants to partner with India to play its role in the world affairs. Bartoszewski highlighted the remarkable economic growth India has made under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said Warsaw would like to work in closer co-operation with New Delhi. India and Poland share strong bilateral ties.

After the Ukraine war began, Poland helped in India’s Operation Ganga by aiding in the evacuation of Indian students from the war struck country in 2022.The Polish minister commented on the Russia-Ukraine war which has been going on since the last two years. He said the war will end if immediately if Russian President Vladimir Putin withdraws his forces from neighbouring Ukraine.

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71st Miss World contestants visit Raj Ghat and pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi

The 71st Miss World will take place between February 18 and March 9 which will unfold across various venues, including the Bharat Manadapam in New Delhi. 120 contestants from countries around the world will participate in various competitions and charitable initiatives, serving as ambassadors of change.

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Miss World contestants, accompanied by Julia Morley, chairman and CEO of the Miss world Organisation, visited the Raj Ghat, also known as the Gandhi memorial, on Monday, where they paid their respects to Mahatma Gandhi. The 71st Miss World participants also visited the Gandhi Museum.

The 71st Miss World will take place between February 18 and March 9 which will unfold across various venues, including the Bharat Manadapam in New Delhi. 120 contestants from countries around the world will participate in various competitions and charitable initiatives, serving as ambassadors of change.

Julia Morley, chairman and CEO of the Miss World Organisation said in a statement that her love of India is no secret and having the 71st Miss World Festival in this country means a lot to her. She thanked Jamil Saidi for his herculean efforts to make the return of the event to India a reality. She said the Miss World Organization has assembled the best team for the 71st edition.

The 71st Miss World will end with a dazzling grand finale at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. India last hosted the international pageant in 1996. Manushi Chhillar was the most recent Indian to win the pageant, having bagged the crown in 2017. Previously, Reita Faria Powell, Aishwarya Rai, Diana Hayden, Yukta Mookhey, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas have also won the competition.

India is currently hosting Miss World 2024 in Delhi and Mumbai after 28 years. The competition will begin on  Februray 18, with the grand finale scheduled  on March 9, the 71st Miss World Pageant will feature 120 contestants from 120 countries and territories, which includes India and will feature various competitions and charitable initiatives. The 21-day fashion and beauty event will feature a variety of events that will empower young women as change agents and future leaders.  

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