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Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton’

U.S. keeps India waiting on Iran sanctions waiver

Posted by Admin on May 7, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/clinton-hopes-india-even-more-cut-iran-oil-051703966–finance.html

By Andrew Quinn | Reuters – 2 hours 48 minutes ago

KOLKATA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaned harder on India on Monday to deepen cuts of Iranian oil imports, saying Washington may not make a decision on whether to exempt New Delhi from financial sanctions for another two months.

Clinton, on a three-day visit to India, said the United States was encouraged by the steps its ally had taken so far to reduce its reliance on Iranian oil but that “even more” action was needed.

The oil issue has become an irritant in ties between India and the United States. India is unwilling to be seen to be bowing to U.S. pressure and is reluctant to become too reliant on Saudi Arabia for its oil needs, which officials say privately would be strategically unwise.

The sanctions threaten to shut out Iranian oil importers from the U.S. financial system unless they make significant and continuing cuts to their crude purchases by an end-June deadline.

India is Iran‘s second-biggest crude customer, so it is crucial to the U.S. strategy of choking off the Iranian economy to force Tehran’s leaders to curb their nuclear programme.

(For slideshow: Hillary Clinton in India, click http://reut.rs/IQVrji)

“We do not believe Iran will peacefully resolve this unless the pressure continues. We need India to be part of the international effort,” Clinton told a townhall-style meeting in Kolkata.

Publicly, India has rejected Western sanctions but privately it has pushed local refiners to start cutting imports. India’s refiners signed new yearly contracts with Iran running from April 1 and Reuters calculations suggest imports could plunge about 25 percent in 2012/2013.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in April that India had already substantially cut Iranian oil imports. But Clinton’s comments on Monday suggested that Washington expected more action before it would grant the sanctions waiver.

The United States in March granted exemptions to Japan and 10 European Union nations. India and China, Iran’s biggest crude importer, remain at risk.

Clinton held up Japan as an example, saying it had cut imports despite having suffered a devastating earthquake and tsunami that crippled its Fukushima nuclear reactor. Japan’s cuts of between 15 and 22 percent were enough to get a waiver.

Washington has not stated specifically what cuts it expects from each country, only that they must be substantial.

“We think India, as a country that understands the importance of trying to use diplomacy to try to resolve these difficult threats, is certainly working toward lowering their purchase of Iranian oil,” Clinton said.

“We commend the steps that they have taken thus far. We hope they will do even more,” said Clinton, who was due to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi later on Monday.

ADEQUATE MARKET SUPPLY

Clinton noted that Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other oil-producing nations were supplying more crude to the markets to offset any loss of supply from Iran.

“If there were not the ability for India to go into the market and meet its needs we would understand that. But we believe there is adequate supply and that there are ways for India to continue to meet their energy requirements,” she said.

She added that the United States would make a decision on whether to exempt India from the U.S. sanctions on Iran in “about two months from now”.

An Indian official privy to the Indian talks with Iran and the United States had earlier expressed hope that Clinton might announce a waiver during her visit. The official said the government had done enough to secure the exemption.

A senior U.S. official said on Sunday that Carlos Pascual, the U.S. special envoy who has been negotiating with Iranian oil importers to cut their imports, would visit India in mid-May to discuss the issue.

Clinton said at the town-hall event that Iran posed a grave threat to the region and that Indians should not view it as a “far-off threat”. Iran had dispatched “terrorist agents” to target Israelis and others in India, she said.

Clinton’s trip coincides with a visit by a large Iranian trade delegation, which is in Delhi to discuss how the two countries can trade via a rupee mechanism set up to skirt sanctions. U.S. officials played down the importance of the Iranian visit.

Trade disputes and frequent U.S. complaints that it is difficult for American companies to do business in India have also strained ties. Ambiguously worded Indian proposals to crack down on tax evasion and tax indirect investments have also alarmed Washington and sown confusion among foreign investors.

Finance Minister Mukherjee announced in parliament on Monday that he would delay by one year, until fiscal 2013/2014, the introduction of the tax evasion measures.

In her meeting with Singh, Clinton was expected to push for the government to open up India’s retail sector to foreign supermarkets such as Walmart – a major economic reform that has stalled and become emblematic of the policy paralysis gripping Singh’s government.

Clinton held talks earlier with Mamata Banerjee, the firebrand chief minister of West Bengal and Singh’s key ally in government, who has blocked the retail reform. Clinton said before meeting Banerjee that she planned to raise the issue but the chief minister said afterwards that it was not discussed.

(Writing by Ross Colvin, additional reporting by Matthias Williams in New Delhi; Editing by John Chalmers and Jeremy Laurence)

 

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Posted in Economic Upheavals, Geo-Politics, War Quotient | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

US to invest in Bengal as ‘partner state': Mamata

Posted by Admin on May 7, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/us-to-invest-in-bengal-as–partner-state—mamata.html

IANS India Private Limited – 49 minutes ago

Kolkata, May 7: Describing her meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as “positive, constructive and creative”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday said the former assured her of American investment in the state for its business and economic development, considering Bengal as a “partner state”.

Banerjee, however, said issues like Teesta water sharing with Bangladesh and foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail were “never raised” in the talks.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting with Clinton at the state secretariat, the chief minister said: “They (the US) will invest in West Bengal as a partner state. For a long time, there has not been any US investment in the state. After the change in political scenario, they said that the US would favour investment in Bengal.”

Banerjee said Clinton has expressed the US’ desire to invest in West Bengal as the state has witnessed a change in its “political scenario” after decades. She said she also urged Clinton to consider American investments in the state’s software, IT and manufacturing, health and education sectors.

Banerjee said state Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh and US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell would coordinate between themselves and jointly monitor the projects, which would be set up under public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.

“We have formed a small group. Ghosh and Powell will coordinate between themselves and monitor the implementation of the projects,” she said.

Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress chief, stressed issues like Teesta water sharing dispute and FDI did not come up in the talks with Clinton as was speculated in the media.

“We only discussed developmental issues. Strategic issues we did not discuss. Teesta and FDI did not come up in the meeting. There issues were never raised,” she stated.

There was speculations in the political circles that Teesta water sharing with Bangladesh and FDI in multi-brand retail would be discussed in the Clinton-Banerjee meet. The Trinamool is strictly opposing foreign investment in retail, while the chief minister had opted out of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s Dhaka trip last year, leading to the agreement on water sharing being dropped.

After the meeting, the chief minister said she was “very delighted” as the talks with Clinton had been “positive, constructive, creative and concrete”.

Informing that the secretary of state appreciated her for implementation of different development programmes after coming to power in the state, the chief minister said she has assured her of US government’s support in the business and economic development of the state, which was facing a severe debt crisis.

“She hailed us for coming to power in the state with huge support and changing the political scenario. She also appreciated our implementation of programmes in mission mode,” Banerjee said.

Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, joining hands with the Congress, ousted the left Front, which had been in power for 34 years, last May.

Posted in Geo-Politics, Global Research, India Forgotten, Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Clinton pitches for FDI in multibrand retail

Posted by Admin on May 7, 2012

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/clinton-pitches-fdi-multibrand-retail-090131043.html

Note from Admin : – As usual one of the biggest most insidiously jobful bitches of the West is as usual again at it, doing what she does best, fulfilling the geo-political strategical wishes of her servant manor masters of the 13 messed up royalty banking bloodlines by coming over to the east, to my country and poking her disgusting dirty little nose into the local politics of local states in my nation.

How the hell is it even allowed to happen by all who notice this. Why the hell would a Secretary of State of the most gluttonous country in the world come over to talk politics with local chief ministers of my country. We are sovereign and independent and we don’t need any form of outside interference and/or assistance with how we should run our nation. Please F**K OFF!!

Bringing in the NCTC Act and FDI Retail Investments from the likes of Wal-Mart and others will wreck the SMBs and Cottage/Rural industries in my nation. They get mowed down by your wicked and greedy MNCs.

One of the prime opposers to this move is the Bengal Chief Minister and top political leader Mamata Bannerjee and so she is right now being coaxed to do the unthinkable and actually listen to the wonderful advice given my Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Great news for the NWO as it rumbles on in full gear forward. Either that peaks in 4 years from now or I am leaving this planet for so many other reasons.

Kolkata, May 7 (IANS) Making a strong pitch for further opening up of the Indian economy, especially with regard to foreign direct investment (FDI) in multibrand retail, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday said it would raise the standard of living in India.

“I come with certainly a belief that India can compete with anybody, anywhere. And the more open India becomes over time, the greater is the rise in the standard of living and (the more) the opportunity for the broader number of people,” Clinton said during an interaction at the La Martiniere school for girls here.

“But I also understand politics. And I understand how lots of these decisions are difficult,” she said.

Referring to the US desire to try to open the (Indian) market to multibrand retail, she said the primary reason for this was the “enormous amount of experience that has been brought to India by supply chain management in developing relationships with producers” so that their produce was easily and abundantly available and of larger quantity.

In this connection, she mentioned the factory of Fritolay India, the snack food division of Pepsico, in West Bengal, and said: “There are a lot of benefits that may not be immediately perceived.”

With her visit taking place in the backdrop of speculation that she would raise the India-Bangladesh Teesta treaty with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Clinton said: “Water is an issue about the world that will be increasingly contentious.”

“We have to do a better job of trying to find a win-win solution for everybody because the alternative will be perhaps worst than conflict, leading up to dislocation, destabilisation, refugee flows, famine and other kinds of problems that we are seeing in places like north Africa.”

“We have to work together in the international community,” she said.

Clinton clarified that the US does not have any interest on how water issues are resolved. “But we know from working on our own projections what will be the hard issues in future unless water issues are properly dealt with,” she added.

Besides FDI, she also said the US wants “greater debate” on civil nuclear cooperation.

“We want to have far greater debate and dialogue on FDI and civil nuclear cooperation. US was in conversation with Indian government on those issues for a long time,” she said.

Replying to a question on the Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act passed by parliament last August, Clinton said: “We have made it clear to the government that under the legislation that was passed, it would be difficult for US companies to participate.”

“We’re still discussing this and hoping there’s a way to work it out,” she said.

The US has objected to some provisions of the Indian nuclear liability bill which allows citizens to file tort claims for damages and the nuclear plant operator’s right of recourse against nuclear suppliers.

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Economic Upheavals, Geo-Politics, India Forgotten, Pollution, Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Thousands of Yemenis protest for Saleh to stay out

Posted by Admin on June 7, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110607/wl_nm/us_yemen

By Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf 22 mins ago

SANAA (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Yemeni vice president’s residence on Tuesday, demanding the acting leader for wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh form a transitional council to create a new government.

Outside the peaceful protest in the capital of Sanaa, battles raged in a southern town held by Islamist militants.

Around 4,000 demonstrators in Sanaa, who have been calling for Saleh to step down for five months, called for a “million-man march” for him to stay in Saudi Arabia, where he has been treated for injuries since an attack on Friday.

“The people want to form a transitional council, we will not sleep, we will not sit until the council is formed,” the protesters chanted.

Protesters carried banners saying “The blood of the liberated achieved victory,” while others waved banners saying “Our revolution is Yemeni, not Gulf or American.”

“We will remain in front of the residence of the vice president for 24 hours to pressure him for the formation of a transitional council,” youth activist Omar al-Qudsi said.

“The era of Saleh has ended,” he told Reuters.

Saleh, 69, was wounded on Friday when rockets struck his Sanaa palace, killing seven people and wounding senior officials and advisers in what his officials said was an assassination attempt. He is being treated in a Riyadh hospital.

The volatile situation in Yemen, which lies on vital oil shipping lanes, alarms Western powers and neighboring oil giant Saudi Arabia, who fear that chaos would enable the local al Qaeda franchise to operate more freely there.

They see Saleh’s absence for medical treatment in Riyadh as an opportunity to ease the president out of office after nearly 33 years ruling the impoverished Arab nation.

“We are calling for a peaceful and orderly transition,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron called Vice President Abu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, appointed by Saleh as acting president, and pushed for a ceasefire.

Hadi has insisted that Saleh would return within days.

Saudi officials say it is up to Saleh whether he returns home or not, but they and their Western allies may want to revive a Gulf-brokered transition deal under which the Yemeni leader would quit in return for immunity from prosecution.

“Saleh’s departure is probably permanent,” said Robert Powell, Yemen analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“The Saudis, as well as the U.S. and European Union, are pushing hard for him to stay in Saudi Arabia, as they view the prospect of his return as a catastrophe.

“Prior to his departure, the country was slipping inexorably into a civil war. However, his removal has suddenly opened a diplomatic window to restart the seemingly failed GCC-mediated proposal. It seems Saudi Arabia and other interested parties are unwilling to allow Saleh to derail it this time.”

CLASHES IN SOUTH

Saudi Arabia is worried by the activities of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has staged daring if not very effective attacks on Saudi and U.S. targets.

The army said it had killed dozens of Islamist militants including a local al Qaeda leader in the southern town of Zinjibar, capital of the flashpoint Abyan province.

A local official said 15 soldiers had been killed in the battles for control of the town seized by militants some 10 days ago.

Some of Saleh’s opponents have accused the president of deliberately letting AQAP militants take over Zinjibar to demonstrate the security risks if he lost power.

The fighting has reduced Zinjibar, once home to more than 50,000 people, to a ghost town without power or running water.

Fighting also flared again in the city of Taiz, south of Sanaa, where anti-government gunmen have clashed sporadically with troops in the past few days.

A Saudi-brokered truce was holding in the capital after two weeks of fighting between Saleh’s forces and tribesmen in which more than 200 people were killed and thousands forced to flee.

POWER TRANSFER

Saleh has defied pressure to accept the transition plan brokered by the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Three times, he has backed away from signing it at the last minute.

“The transition seems to be on track as per the GCC initiative. There will be many obstacles down the road, but without Saleh’s destructive presence, we can overcome them,” said Yemeni political analyst Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani.

The future of Yemen, where shifting alliances of tribal leaders, generals and politicians compete for power, is uncertain. Saleh’s sons and relatives remain in the country, commanding elite military units and security agencies.

Other contenders in a possible power struggle include the well-armed Hashed tribal federation, breakaway military leaders, Islamists, leftists and an angry public seeking relief from crippling poverty, corruption and failing public services.

Youthful protesters have been celebrating Saleh’s departure, but are wary of any attempt by the wily leader to return.

“In the near term, the biggest challenge is to set up a viable political reform process that has the general backing of the population, and allows Yemen to return to normal after months of unrest,” the EIU’s Powell said.

“In the medium term, Yemen’s biggest challenge is economic — already the poorest country in the Middle East, it is running out of oil and water, and unless it can find alternative drivers of growth an economic collapse is entirely feasible,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Nour Merza in Dubai, Arshad Mohammed in Washington and Alistair Lyon in London; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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US has no plans to ‘assassinate’ Gaddafi, Obama tells lawmakers

Posted by Admin on March 27, 2011

http://in.news.yahoo.com/us-no-plans-assassinate-gaddafi-obama-tells-lawmakers-20110325-231651-149.html

By ANI | ANI – Sat, Mar 26, 2011 11:46 AM IST

Washington, Mar 26 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has told congressional leaders that the US military would not be used to assassinate Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, sources familiar with Friday’s briefing at the White House have said.

“There was a discussion of how we have other ways of regime change. It’s not our role to do anything at this point from a kinetic point of view. It is our goal for regime change, but we’re not going to do it from a kinetic point of view,” Politico quoted Maryland Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, as saying.

Another source briefed on the one-hour meeting confirmed that claim, saying: “It’s not just military efforts that can force his removal.”

The president, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen and Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, were among the administration officials briefing lawmakers involved in the Friday meeting and conference call.

Although many lawmakers have complained against Obama’s decision to strike Libyan defenses in support of a “no-fly” zone without prior congressional approval, Ruppersberger praised Obama’s handling of the situation.

“He took decisive action. He took action that was focused, and he did it pursuant to a world coalition,” Ruppersberger added.

Earlier, Arizona senator John Mccain while supporting the President’s decision to intervene militarily in Libya, remained concerned that the current efforts might not be enough to avoid a ‘stalemate and accomplish the US objective of forcing Gaddafi to leave power’.

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West moves to help Libya uprising, Gadhafi digs in

Posted by Admin on February 28, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110228/ap_on_re_af/af_libya

TRIPOLI, Libya – The U.S. military deployed naval and air units near Libya, and the West moved to send its first concrete aid to Libya’s rebellion in the east of the country, hoping to give it the momentum to oust Moammar Gadhafi. But the Libyan leader’s regime clamped down in its stronghold in the capital and appeared to be maneuvering to strike opposition-held cities.

In Washington, Defense Department spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said the naval and air forces were deployed to have flexibility as Pentagon planners worked on contingency plans, but did not elaborate. The U.S. has a regular military presence in the Mediterranean Sea.

The European Union slapped an arms embargo, visa ban and other sanctions on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, as British Prime Minister David Cameron told British lawmakers Monday he is working with allies on a plan to establish a military no-fly zone over Libya, since “we do not in any way rule out the use of military assets” to deal with Gadhafi’s embattled regime.

In the most direct U.S. demand for Gadhafi to step down, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the Libyan leader must leave power “now, without further violence or delay.”

France was sending two planes with humanitarian aid, including medicine and doctors, to Benghazi, the opposition stronghold in eastern Libya, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said. That would be the first direct Western aid to the uprising that has taken control of the entire eastern half of Libya. Fillon said it was the start of a “massive operation of humanitarian support” for the east and that Paris was studying “all solutions” — including military options.

The two sides in Libya’s crisis appeared entrenched in their positions, and the direction the uprising takes next could depend on which can hold out longest. Gadhafi is dug in in Tripoli and nearby cities, backed by security forces and militiamen who are generally better armed than the military. His opponents, holding the east and much of the country’s oil infrastructure, also have pockets in western Libya near Tripoli. They are backed by mutinous army units, but those forces appear to have limited supplies of ammunition and weapons.

In the two opposition-held cities closest to Tripoli — Zawiya and Misrata — rebel forces were locked in standoffs with Gadhafi loyalists.

An Associated Press reporter saw a large pro-Gadhafi force massed on the western edge of Zawiya, some 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli, with about a dozen armored vehicles and tanks and jeeps mounted with anti-aircraft guns. An officer said they were from the elite Khamis Brigade, named after the Gadhafi son who commands it. U.S. diplomats have said the brigade is the best equipped force in Libya.

Residents inside the city said they were anticipating a possible attack.

“Our people are waiting for them to come and, God willing, we will defeat them,” one resident who only wanted to be quoted by his first name, Alaa, told AP in Cairo by telephone.

In Misrata, Libya’s third largest city 125 miles (200 kilometers) east of Tripoli, Gadhafi troops who control part of an air base on the city’s outskirts tried to advance Monday. But they were repelled by opposition forces, who include residents armed with automatic weapons and army unites allied with them, one of the opposition fighters said.

He said there were no casualties reported in the clashes and claimed that his side had captured eight soldiers, including a senior officer.

The opposition controls most of the air base, and the fighter said dozens of anti-Gadhafi gunmen have arrived from further east in recent days as reinforcements.

Several residents of the eastern city of Ajdabiya said Gadhafi’s air force also bombed an ammunition depot nearby held by the opposition. One, 17-year-old Abdel-Bari Zwei, reported intermittent explosions and a fire, and another, Faraj al-Maghrabi, said the facility was partially damaged. The site contains bombs, missiles and ammunition — key for the undersupplied opposition military forces.

State TV carried a statement by Libya’s Defense Ministry denying any attempt to bomb the depot. Ajdabiya lies about 450 miles (750 kilometers) east of Tripoli along the Mediterranean coast.

Gadhafi opponents have moved to consolidate their hold in the east, centered on Benghazi — Libya’s second largest city, where the uprising began. Politicians there on Sunday set up their first leadership council to manage day-to-day affairs, taking a step toward forming what could be an alternative to Gadhafi’s regime.

The opposition is backed by numerous units of the military in the east that joined the uprising, and they hold several bases and Benghazi’s airport. But so far, the units do not appear to have melded into a unified fighting force. Gadhafi long kept the military weak, fearing a challenge to his rule, so many units are plagued by shortages of supplies and ammunition.

Gadhafi supporters said Monday that they were in control of the city of Sabratha, west of Tripoli, which has seemed to go back and forth between the two camps the past week. Several residents told The Associated Press that protesters set fire to a police station, but then were dispersed. Anti-Gadhafi graffiti — “Down with the enemy of freedom” and “Libya is free, Gadhafi must leave” — were scrawled on some walls, but residents were painting them over.

In the capital, several hundred protesters started a march in the eastern district of Tajoura, which has been the scene of frequent clashes. After the burial of a person killed in gunfire last week, mourners began to march down a main street, chanting against the Libyan leader and waving the flag of Libya’s pre-Gadhafi monarchy, which has become a symbol of the uprising, a witness said.

But they quickly dispersed once a brigade of pro-Gadhafi fighters rushed to the scene, scattering before the gunmen could fire a shot, the witness said. He and other residents in the capital spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

There were attempts to restore aspects of normalcy in the capital, residents said. Many stores downtown reopened, and traffic in the streets increased.

Tripoli was in turmoil on Friday, when residents said gunmen opened fire indiscriminately on protesters holding new marches. But since then, the capital has been quiet — especially since foreign journalists invited by Gadhafi’s regime to view the situation arrived Friday.

Long lines formed outside banks in the capital by Libyans wanting to receive the equivalent of $400 per family that Gadhafi pledged in a bid to shore up public loyalty.

One resident said pro-Gadhafi security forces man checkpoints around the city of 2 million and prowl the city for any sign of unrest. She told The Associated Press that the price of rice, a main staple, has gone up 500 percent amid the crisis, reaching the equivalent of $40 for a five-kilogram (10-pound) bag.

Bakeries are limited to selling five loaves of bread per family, and most butcher shops are closed, she said.

Some schools reopened, but only for a half day and attendance was low. “My kids are too afraid to leave home and they even sleep next to me at night,” said Sidiq al-Damjah, 41 and father of three. “I feel like I’m living a nightmare.”

Gadhafi has launched by far the bloodiest crackdown in a wave of anti-government uprisings sweeping the Arab world, the most serious challenge to his four decades in power. The United States, Britain and the U.N. Security Council all slapped sanctions on Libya this weekend.

In Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was meeting Monday with foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany and Italy, pressing for tough sanctions on the Libyan government. A day earlier, Clinton kept up pressure for Gadhafi to step down and “call off the mercenaries” and other troops that remain loyal to him.

“We’ve been reaching out to many different Libyans who are attempting to organize in the east and as the revolution moves westward there as well,” Clinton said. “I think it’s way too soon to tell how this is going to play out, but we’re going to be ready and prepared to offer any kind of assistance that anyone wishes to have from the United States.”

Two U.S. senators said Washington should recognize and arm a provisional government in rebel-held areas of eastern Libya and impose a no-fly zone over the area — enforced by U.S. warplanes — to stop attacks by the regime. But Fillon said a no-fly zone needed U.N. support “which is far from being obtained today.”

Sabratha, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Tripoli — a city known for nearby Roman ruins — showed signs of the tug-of-war between the two camps. On Monday, when the journalists invited to Libya by the government visited, many people were lined up at banks to collect their $400. When they saw journalists, they chanted, “God, Moammar and Libya.”

Ali Mohammed, a leader from the Alalqa tribe, the main tribe in the area, said in previous days Gadhafi opponents burned the main police station, an Internal Security office and the People’s Hall, where the local administration meets. “I then held a meeting with the protesters to stop these acts the people said they will control their children and since then there has been no problems,” he said.

“The thugs and rats were roaming the streets and they attacked the police station and then they disappeared,” said resident Taher Ali, who was collecting his $400. “They are rats and thugs. We are all with Moammar.”

An anti-Gadhafi activist in Sabratha told The Associated Press in Cairo by telephone that the opposition raided the police station and security offices last week for weapons, and had dominated parts of city. But then on Sunday, a large force of pro-Gadhafi troops deployed in the city, “so we withdrew,” he said.

“The city is not controlled by us or them. There are still skirmishes going on,” he said.

In Tripoli, a government spokesman blamed the West and Islamic militants for the upheaval, saying they had hijacked and escalated what he said began as “genuine” but small protests demanding “legitimate aand much needed political improvements.”

“On one hand, Islamists love to see chaos … this is paradise for them,” he said. “The West wants chaos to give them reason to intervene militarily to control the oil.”

“The Islamists want Libya to be their Afghanistan … to complete their crescent of terror,” he said. “This is not the first time the Islamic militants and the west find common cause.”

___

AP correspondents Hamza Hendawi, Bassem Mroue and Ben Hubbard in Cairo, and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.

 

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China knows less about NKorea than thought

Posted by Admin on November 30, 2010

Logo used by Wikileaks

BEIJINGChina knows less about and has less influence over its close ally North Korea than is usually presumed and is likely to eventually accept a reunified peninsula under South Korean rule, according to U.S. diplomatic files leaked to the WikiLeaks website.

The memos — called cables, though they were mostly encrypted e-mails — paint a picture of three countries struggling to understand an isolated, hard-line regime in the face of a dearth of information and indicate American and South Korean diplomats’ reliance on China’s analysis and interpretation.

The release of the documents, which included discussions of contingency plans for the regime’s collapse and speculation about when that might come, follows new tensions in the region. North Korea unleashed a fiery artillery barrage on a South Korean island that killed four people a week ago and has since warned that joint U.S.-South Korean naval drills this week are pushing the peninsula to the “brink of war.”

The shelling comes on the heels of a slew of other provocative acts: An illegal nuclear test and several missile tests, the torpedoing of a SouthKorean warship and, most recently, an announcement that in addition to its plutonium program, it may also be pursuing the uranium path to a nuclear bomb.

The memos give a window into a period prior to the latest tensions, but they paint a picture of three countries struggling to understand isolated and unpredictable North Korea.

In the cables, China sometimes seems unaware of or uncertain about issues ranging from who will succeed North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to the regime’s uranium enrichment plans and its nuclear test, suggesting that the North plays its cards close to its chest even with its most important ally.

Questioned about the enriched uranium program in June last year, Chinese officials said they believed that was program was “only in an initial phase” — a characterization that now appears to have been a gross underestimate.

China is Pyongyang’s closest ally — Beijing fought on the northern side of the Korean War and its aid props up the current regime — and its actions have often served to insulate North Korea from foreign pressure. It has repeatedly opposed harsh economic sanctions and responded to the latest crises by repeating calls for a return to long-stalled, six-nation denuclearization talks that the North has rejected.

But China would appear to have little ability to stop a collapse and less influence over the authorities in Pyongyang than is widely believed, South Korea’s then-vice foreign minister, Chun Yung-woo, is quoted telling American Ambassador Kathleen Stephens in February.

China lacks the will to push Pyongyang to change its behavior, according to Chun, but Beijing will not necessarily oppose the U.S. and South Korea in the case of a North Korean collapse.

China “would be comfortable with a reunified Korea controlled by Seoul and anchored to the US in a ‘benign alliance’ as long as Korea was not hostile towards China,” Chun said.

Economic opportunities in a reunified Korea could further induce Chinese acquiescence, he said.

The diplomatic cables warn, however, that China would not accept the presence of U.S. troops north of the demilitarized zone that currently forms the North-South border.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China would not comment specifically on the cables.

“China consistently supports dialogue between the North and South sides of the Korean peninsula to improve their relations,” Hong said at a regularly scheduled news conference.

In the leaked cable, Chun predicts the government in Pyongyang would last no more than three years following the death of ailing leader Kim Jong Il, who is seeking to transfer power to his youngest son Kim JongUn, a political ingenue in his 20s.

Chun also dismisses the possibility of Chinese military intervention if North Korea descended into chaos.

Despite that, China is preparing to handle any outbreaks of unrest along the border that could follow a collapse of the regime. Chinese officials say they could deal with up to 300,000 refugees, but might have to seal the border to maintain order, the memos say, citing an unidentified representative of an international aid group.

Chinese officials are also quoted using mocking language in reference to North Korea, pointing to tensions between the two neighbors in contrast to official statements underscoring strong historical ties.

Then-Deputy Foreign Minister He Yafei is quoted as telling a U.S. official in April 2009 that Pyongyang was acting like a “spoiled child” by staging a missile test in an attempt to achieve its demand of bilateral talks with Washington.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that WikiLeaks acted illegally in posting the leaked documents. Officials around the world have said the disclosure jeopardizes national security, diplomats, intelligence assets and relationships between foreign governments.

Five international media organizations, including The New York Times and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, were among those to receive the documents in advance. WikiLeaks is also slowly posting all the material on its own site.

 

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