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Trump visit is to strengthen Israel against Iran: Tillerson

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Trump visit is to strengthen Israel against Iran: Tillerson

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Iran has destabilized the Middle East

By Abu Turab

US President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia is aimed to “stand in unity” with Israel against Iran.

In an exclusive interview to NBC on Sunday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “I think there is a broad view and consensus among all in the region, among all Arab nations, among Israel and among others of Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region.”

In a recent interview to al-Arabia TV, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is also the Defence Minister, had rejected the possibility of normalising ties with Iran and threatened military intervention in Iran. He said, “We will not wait until the battle is in Saudi Arabia, but we will work so the battle is there in Iran.”

Arguing the purpose of Trump’s maiden foreign trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, Tillerson said, “I think the important aspect of this visit that the President is making is to bring a message of unity’ among the followers of these religions (Judaism, Christianity and Muslims) in the face of the threats posed by Daesh (IS) and al-Qaeda.”

When NBC anchor Chuck Todd asked if Trump was going to touch sectarian conflicts (Sunni-Shia) in the region, Tillerson said, “However, there is a strong element of the role that the nation of Iran plays in support of terrorism.”

Meanwhile, renowned writer Patrick Cockburn, in his article published in the Independent on May 12, said, “The next week’s meeting of Donald Trump, the most dangerous man on the planet, with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a source of instability in the Middle East, is a threat to peace.”

Cockburn is an Irish journalist who has worked as Middle East correspondent for the Financial Express and Independent. His professional assignments took him to Moscow and Washington as well. He has written three books on recent Iraq history and received several prizes. Renowned American journalist Seymour Hersh has described him the “best western journalist at work in Iraq today”.

The writer criticised the Prince’s aggressive and reckless foreign policy approach, especially his aggression against Yemen and Saudi support for al-Qaeda linked militants in Syria. He said the 31-year-old Deputy Crown Prince “has won a reputation for impulsiveness, aggression and poor judgment in the two-and-a-half years he has held power”. Cockburn said the Prince would seek Trump’s help in his confrontation with Iran.

Press TV, Iran’s official network, in its May 5 report, said that Trump is planning to sign a multi-billion dollar weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, including the possible sale of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system, developed by Lockheed Martin, similar to the one the US has sent to South Korea.

Trump will also offer a $11.5-billion deal for four multi-mission warplanes and technical support, which was approved by the State Department in 2015, but could not be finished because of disagreements on both sides.

Saudi Arabia had distanced itself from Washington after former US President Barack Obama’s push for the historic nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers.

It would be interesting to note that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was founded on May 25, 1981, a few months after then Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in September 1980. The GCC member states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE, all US allies in the region, extended full moral and material support to Saddam Hussein for crushing the newly-established government after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

In 2011, Saudi Arabia moved a proposal to transform the GCC into a ‘Gulf Union’ with tighter economic, political and military coordination to counterbalance the Iranian influence in the region.

According to the Saudi Gazette, Riyadh will host three different summit meetings including US-Saudi, US-GCC and US-Leaders from Arab and Islamic States, which are part of the Islamic Alliance to combat terrorism.

This alliance is engaged in the war against Yemen since March 2015. Till date over 12000 civilians have been killed while 3.3 million people, including 2.1 million children, are currently suffering from acute malnutrition.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Bear takes 400 selfies with a sensory camera in USA’s Colorado, Twitter user amused

According to reports, the OSMP authorities had installed nine cameras to cover and click images of the wildlife land which is situated and spread out across 46,000 acres.

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The notion of clicking selfies has transgressed and gone beyond species as an amusing story has come to light from USA’s Colorado’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) where a bear hijacked a sensory camera and took 400 selfies. According to reports, the officials of Space and Mountain parks in Colorado had installed a camera in order to shoot the wildlife activities.

It was reported that when the officials took out the snaps that the sensory camera had clicked, they learnt that 580 images were clicked and out of the 580 images, the 400 of the images were selfies taken by a bear.

According to reports, the OSMP authorities had installed nine cameras to cover and click images of the wildlife land which is situated and spread out across 46,000 acres. The sensory cameras work on motion sensing and when an animal steps in the frame, the camera automatically captures the pictures of the subject that is in front of it.

The cameras also have features of taking pictures at night by using infrared light which cause less disruption to the animals who can get irritated by the flash.

The Tweet shows the images of the bear posing from all angles as it, for a moment, seems to be a model that is accustomed to pose for pictures.

See Tweet here:

Twitter reactions

After the tweet showing the selfies of the bear surfaced, many users came forward to add their take on the incident as one user wrote and said this pose by the bear looks to be inspired from the film Lolita.

One user wrote and praised the posing skills of the bear as the user wrote and said that the bear looks good and could be a professional model. Another user also amusingly added and wrote that they used to be as handsome as the bear a while ago. The user also wrote and said that nature is the champ.

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US intervention prevented India-Pakistan nuclear war post 2019 Balakot strike: Mike Pompeo

A timely intervention by the Trump administration prevented a potential nuclear war between India and Pakistan after the 2019 airstrikes, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has claimed in his new book.

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former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo

A timely intervention by the Trump administration prevented a potential nuclear war between India and Pakistan after the 2019 airstrikes, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has claimed in his new book.

In his book, “Never Give an Inch”, a memoir of his time as a top diplomat in Donald Trump regime and earlier as the CIA chief, Pompeo writes that the world doesn’t properly know how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to spilling over into a nuclear war in February 2019.

The Indian Air Force on February 26, 2019 launched targeted airstrikes inside Pakistan targeting terrorist training camps of terror outfit of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

India’s response came after 41 CRPF men were killed in a suicide bombing in Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14, 2019.

India shot down an F-16 during an aerial combat in which an Indian warplane was shot down by Pakistan and the pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured.

Pompeo, seen by many as a potential future presidential contender, reveals that he was in Hanoi for a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, when he woke up to an urgent call from a senior Indian official.

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The official told Pompeo that he believed that Pakistan was prepping their nuclear weapons for a strike and India was preparing its own response.

Pompeo says he told the official to give the US time to sort things out and eventually US diplomats managed to convince the arch rivals that neither of them was going for the nuclear option, thus deescalating the situation.

The former Trump diplomat in his book says he believes that Pakistan “probably enabled” the Kashmir attack. Pompeo says he spoke to the Pakistan’s “actual leader” then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, alluding to the weakness of civilian governments in the country.

Pompeo says that no other nation could have done what the US did that night to avoid “a horrible outcome.”

Pompeo had publicly defended India’s right to act during his stint as US secretary of state.

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India invites Pak foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto to SCO meet

India has reportedly invited Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial, to attend in the foreign ministers’ and chief justices’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

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Pak foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto

India has reportedly invited Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial, to attend in the foreign ministers’ and chief justices’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

As per reports, India, who was appointed to chair the regional grouping in September 2022, has sent the invitations to Bhutto and Bandial through the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

The invites come as a surprise to many as bilateral ties between the two subcontinental neighbors are going through a rough patch in recent times.

India is set to host key ministerial meeting summit in Goa in the first week of May of the nine-member Asian grouping which also consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and its new member Iran, which will attend its first SCO meeting as a full member.

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The last meeting of the SCO was held in Samarkand in Uzbekistan.

Pakistan has yet to respond to the invite and if Bilawal Bhutto accepts, it will be the first such visit from a Pakistani foreign minister in nearly a decade since Hina Rabbani Khar paid a visit to India in 2011.

India-Pakistan ties have been at an all-time low since 2019 when the Centre abolished Article 370 which formerly bestowed special status upon the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad is seeking its restoration and considers the Kashmir issue, a burning point between the two nations.

Making matters worse, last month, Bilawal Bhutto sparked a row when he called PM Modi the “butcher of Gujarat”.

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