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Palestine, Kashmir conflicts take stage at UN where Ukraine dominated

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Addressing hostilities thousands of kilometres apart and sharing little more than their decades of longevity, Palestine’s Abbas and Pakistan’s Sharif deliver similar messages at UN General Assembly, accusing their powerful neighbour of brutality.

Two of the world’s most persistent conflicts have punctuated debate at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), as the annual gathering of world leaders deviated from the dominating issue of the war in Ukraine.

Addressing hostilities thousands of kilometres apart and sharing little more than their decades of longevity, leaders of Palestine and Pakistan nonetheless delivered similar messages on Friday, accusing a neighbour –– Israel and India ––of brutality and urging world leaders to do more.

“Our confidence in achieving a peace based on justice and international law is waning,” Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas said. “Do you want to kill what remains of hope in our souls?”

With Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank in its 55th year and no substantial peace talks in 13 years, it was stark if perhaps unsurprisingly pessimistic assessment. Israel’s prime minister backed a two-state solution to the conflict in his own speech a day earlier — but there is almost no prospect for one in the near term.

READ MORE: Voiceless no more: The Russell Tribunal on Kashmir

Sharif accuses India of its own colonial ambitions

Speaking to the UNGA after Palestine’s president, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan similarly addressed a 75-years-old conflict, accusing India of a “relentless campaign of repression” in India-administered Kashmir.

Kashmir has been claimed by both sides since British rule of the subcontinent ended 75 years ago and Pakistan and India were born.

Rebels in the India-administered portion of Kashmir have been fighting New Delhi’s rule since 1989. Most Muslim Kashmiris support the rebels’ goal of uniting the territory, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

India calls the Himalayan region an “integral part” of its nation and is against holding an UN-backed plebiscite there. Pakistan sees Kashmir as an unfinished business of partition and its “jugular vein.”

Sharif urged world leaders and the UN to “play their rightful role” in resolving the fight and said India “must take credible steps” too.

“At the heart of this longstanding dispute lies the denial of the inalienable right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination,” Sharif said, outlining what he called India’s “relentless campaign of repression” and “serial brutalisation” of Kashmiris.

Sharif accused India of its own colonial ambitions by trying to change Kashmir’s demographics from majority Muslim to majority Hindu.

India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, might provide a rebuttal to Sharif when he gets his turn at the rostrum on Saturday.

READ MORE: Palestine slams Liz Truss’ ‘review’ of Israel embassy site

Debate shifts from Ukraine

After days of world leaders returning again and again to Ukraine, Sharif and Abbas provided a reminder of the other conflicts facing the international community.

Throughout the first three days and 104 leaders’ speeches, many criticised how Russia had managed to block UN action on Ukraine because of the veto it wields as a permanent member of the Security Council.

Abbas shifted the attention to the power of Israel and its allies, which he said meant no matter how many hundreds of resolutions passed, none would be implemented.

“Do you know who is protecting Israel from being held accountable? The United Nations,” he said in a speech more than three times the 15-minute limit leaders are asked to respect.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Joshua Lavine, issued a statement calling Abbas’ speech “a lie-filled rant.”

READ MORE: Lapid calls for ‘two-state solution’ to end Israel-Palestine conflict

Source: TRT World 

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Developmental projects of Maldives progressing substantially

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India’s Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar has affirmed that the developmental projects of the Maldives carried out with the assistance of India have been progressing considerably. The remarks were made by the minister during the Confederation of Indian Industry (CIIs) Annual Business Summit.

Speaking at the summit, Minister Jaishankar stated that some developmental projects were slightly politically influenced, hindering the progress. However, he assured that the progress of the projects have propelled at a notable rate.

Following the Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer’s official visit to India at the invitation of Minister Jaishankar, discussions were held highlighting the spectrum of initiatives across the nation has been kickstarted through loans and grants from the Government of India during the previous administration. He emphasised the current government’s commitment to prioritising the resumption and completion of these projects.

Meanwhile, the Government of India has reaffirmed its commitment to the development and prosperity of the Maldives by extending a budgetary support of USD 50 million to be repaid within a term of one year.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Police officers complete training to prevent maritime terrorism acts

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A team of 22 police officers has successfully completed a specialised training programme focused on thwarting maritime terrorism activities.

Entitled “Training on Strengthening Capabilities to Disrupt Maritime Crimes as Related to Terrorist Threats,” the program was conducted through a collaborative effort between the Maldives Police Service (MPS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Running from May 13 to 15, the intensive training equipped participants with essential skills and knowledge crucial for combating threats in maritime environments.

The concluding ceremony, graced by the presence of Chief Superintendent of Police Ibrahim Adnan Anees, Head of Marine Police, along with senior officials from the Marine Police Department, UNODC’s Head of Office Enrico Boninsegna, and course instructor Kenneth Alferdo Pennington, highlighted the significance of such initiatives in enhancing national security.

Addressing the gathering, Adnan underscored the importance of ongoing education and skill development, urging participants to actively apply the knowledge garnered from the program in their professional endeavors.

The training, conducted at Dhoonidhoo, Kaafu Atoll, imparted vital insights into the prevention and detection of maritime terrorism activities, emphasizing protocols for safe navigation in high-risk areas. Furthermore, officers received guidance on investigative procedures essential for effectively addressing such crimes, thereby bolstering the nation’s capabilities in combating maritime threats.

Source(s): PsmNews

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President reverts land act amendment to parliament

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has reverted the Ninth Amendment Bill to the Maldives Land Act to Parliament for further consideration.

This bill, which seeks to establish criteria for recipients of residential land and mandates that land be allocated within three months of the publication of the permanent list of recipients in the gazette, was initially passed during the twenty-second sitting of Parliament’s first session this year and sent to the President’s Office for ratification on May 2.

In returning the bill, President Muizzu invoked Article 91(a) of the Constitution, which grants the President the authority to return legislation to Parliament for reconsideration.

The President’s Office has confirmed this, indicating the need for further review and potential revisions to the proposed amendment.

Source(s): PsmNews

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