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‘I think it was Russia’: Trump says on US poll hacking

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NEW YORK (JAN 12, 2017): President-elect Donald Trump has finally conceded that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic institutions during the presidential election.

“I think it was Russia,” he said when asked about the poll hacking at a news conference at Trump Tower here on Wednesday. However, a few minutes later he said perhaps it was another country.

“But you know what, it could have been others also,” he said, hinting at US intelligence officials.

In his first news conference after winning the elections, Trump was asked about the reports that US intelligence chiefs had told the president-elect about Russia possessing damaging information on him.

Responding to the questions, Trump said he was untroubled by the intelligence reports stating that Russia preferred him over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and that President Vladimir Putin ordered the election meddling to benefit him.

“If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what folks: That is called an asset, not a liability,” he said, adding that a strong relationship could allow the two nations to work together on difficult international issues.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sm

However, the president-elect also came up with a message for Putin and said, “He shouldn’t be doing it. He won’t be doing it. Russia will have much greater respect for our country when I am leading it.”

Asia

US Senator Graham calls on PM Khan

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ISLAMABAD: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called on PM Imran Khan here today. 

During the meeting, PM reiterated his government’s commitment to continue working with the US and other regional stakeholders in order to find a political settlement in Afghanistan. Khan further stressed the need for normalizing relations with all neighboring countries to unleash the potential of regional cooperation. Imran Khan said that his economic team was constantly striving to evolve business-friendly policies for potential investors which could be benefited by the US companies.

Senator Graham, lauding PM’s vision apropos political solution to the Afghan conflict,  conveyed his appreciation of Pakistan’s positive role in the ongoing efforts to find a political settlement in Afghanistan. He also appreciated PM’s endeavor vis-a-vis improvement of the economy, elimination of corruption and creation of jobs. He termed Imran Khan’s efforts to normalize relations with neighboring countries as noteworthy.

It is pertinent to mention here that  Lindsey Graham is Chairman of the US Senate’s Judicial Committee and Senior Member of the committees of the House on armed services and budget.

Relevant piece: Prime Minister Imran Khan today reiterated his government’s commitment to continue working with the United States and other regional stakeholders to find a political settlement in Afghanistan.  He also underscored the need for normalizing relations with all the neighboring countries to unleash the potential of regional cooperation. The prime minister was talking to senior US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who called on him. Senator Graham is visiting Pakistan to discuss bilateral ties and review the regional security situation. The prime minister said his economic team was constantly striving to evolve business-friendly policies for potential investors, which could be benefited by the US companies.  In view of the historical linkages between Pakistan and the US, the two sides agreed to deepen the bilateral economic ties particularly in the context of trade and investment cooperation. Senator Graham conveyed his appreciation of Pakistan’s positive role in the on-going efforts to find a political settlement in Afghanistan.

Earlier Senator Lindsey Graham called on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi here today. During the meeting,  views on matters related to bilateral cooperation, situation in Afghanistan, regional and international issues were discussed. Various aspects to increase bilateral cooperation in economic and trade sectors were also pondered over.

 

 

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Asia

US Sp. Envoy Khalilzad’s Pak visit ends today

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ISLAMABAD:  Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, visited Islamabad from 17th to 20th January 2019 to follow up on discussions held in December. 

Special Representative Khalilzad met Prime Minister Khan, Foreign Minister Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Janjua, Chief of Army Staff Bajwa, and members of the diplomatic corps in Islamabad. 

During the consultations, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to advance the Afghan peace process.  Ambassador Khalilzad highlighted that all countries in the region will benefit from peace in Afghanistan.

 

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Crime

Syria: Bomb blast in a bus kills 3 

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BEIRUT: A bomb blast in a bus killed three civilians Sunday in the northern Syrian city of Afrin on the first anniversary of a Turkish attack on the Kurdish-majority region, a war monitor said.
Nine other people, including fighters, were killed in the explosion, said the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Turkish troops and allied rebel groups seized the Afrin region from Kurdish forces in March last year after a two-month air and ground offensive.

 

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