Archive for the ‘negotiations’ Category

Pakistan to Talk With Militants, New Leaders Say

March 22, 2008
March 22, 2008
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Faced with a sharp escalation of suicide bombings in urban areas, the leaders of Pakistan’s new coalition government say they will negotiate with the militants believed to be orchestrating the attacks, and will use military force only as a last resort.That talk has alarmed American officials, who fear it reflects a softening stance toward the militants just as President Pervez Musharraf has given the Bush administration a freer hand to strike at militants using pilotless Predator drones.

Many Pakistanis, however, are convinced that the surge in suicide bombings — 17 in the first 10 weeks of 2008 — is retaliation for three Predator strikes since the beginning of the year. The spike in attacks, combined with the crushing defeat of Mr. Musharraf’s party in February parliamentary elections, has brought demands for change in his American-backed policies.

Speaking in separate interviews, the leaders of Pakistan’s new government coalition — Asif Ali Zardari of the Pakistan Peoples Party and Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N — tried to strike a more independent stance from Washington and repackage the conflict in a more palatable way for Pakistanis.

They said they were determined to set a different course from that of President Musharraf, who has received generous military financial help of more than $10 billion from Washington for his support.

“We are dealing with our own people,” said Mr. Sharif, who was twice prime minister in the 1990s. “We will deal with them very sensibly. And when you have a problem in your own family, you don’t kill your own family. You sit and talk. After all, Britain also got the solution of the problem of Ireland. So what’s the harm in conducting negotiations?”

Mr. Zardari said: “Obviously what they have been doing for the last eight years has not been working. Even a fool knows that.”

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Taiwan’s Ma Rules Out Hu Meeting, Vows Expanded Ties If Elected

March 14, 2008

By James Peng and Stephen Engle

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s leading presidential candidate, ruled out directly negotiating with China and meeting with its leader in the next four years while promising to quickly expand travel and investment ties to the mainland if he’s elected.

Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate ...
Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou is greeted by excited supporters during a campaign rally in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, March 14, 2008. Taiwan will hold its fourth directly-elected presidential poll on March 22, 2008.
(AP Photo/Wally Santana)

“I don’t see that as possible,” Ma said of a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Ma’s first term. “Because of the sensitivity of cross-strait relations, I think both sides want to avoid direct contact between officials.”

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China in efforts to bridge U.S., North Korea differences

March 6, 2008

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is in discussions with the United States and North Korea on how to bridge differences and restart talks on ending the North’s nuclear ambitions, a senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il waves to soldiers during his ...
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il waves to soldiers during his inspection of the Korean People’s Army Unit 1159 in this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency on December 2, 2007. The exact date and location for this photo are not disclosed. China has urged North Korea to come forward and deliver on a nuclear disarmament pact before President George W. Bush leaves office early next year, diplomatic sources said on Thursday.
(Korea News Service/Reuters)

Talks on disarming North Korea have been on hold since Pyongyang missed an end-2007 deadline to give a complete inventory of its nuclear arms program as agreed under a multilateral deal.

“China has raised all kinds of means with both the American and the North Korean sides,” Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei told reporters on the sidelines of China’s annual parliament session.

“We are still discussing these means.”

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Secret talks led to Pakistan cease-fire

February 7, 2008
By ISHTIAQ MAHSUD, Associated Press Writer

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan – Two Pakistani officials said Thursday that their government held secret talks with Taliban fighters and tribal elders near the Afghan border before a cease-fire just announced by the militants.
The officials familiar with the talks said they took place at an undisclosed location in South Waziristan, a semiautonomous region that is home to scores of al-Qaida and Taliban fighters, many of whom fled there from neighboring Afghanistan after the U.S-led invasion in 2001. The officials would not say who represented the government or how long the dialogue had been going on.

Militant representatives included Siraj….

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Supporters of Pakistan's slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto ...
Supporters of Pakistan’s slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto chant slogans as they arrive to attend a ceremony marking the end of the 40- day mourning period, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, Pakistan. About 10,000 mourners gathered at the tomb of Bhutto to mark the end of the mourning period for her death, as her party prepared to resume campaigning for crucial Feb. 18 elections.
(AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

U.S., Poland Closer to Deal on Missile Defense

February 2, 2008

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 2, 2008; Page A16

The United States and Poland broke a logjam yesterday in negotiations over U.S. plans to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, with the Bush administration committing “in principle” to help Poland modernize its armed forces.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) shakes hands with ...
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) shakes hands with Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski after a news conference at the State Department in Washington February 1, 2008. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Poland is “satisfied that our arguments have got through,” Foreign Affairs Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said. At a news conference yesterday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sikorski said that “separate” dialogues would now continue “both on the missile defense base and on the modernization.”

Talks on the Pentagon‘s plan to place 10 missile interceptors in Poland stalled after the new Polish government, which took office in November, proved less receptive to the shield than its predecessor. With the public increasingly….

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China against threatening Iran with war

September 18, 2007

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is opposed to threatening Iran with war over its nuclear program and stands for a diplomatic solution, a government spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The United States, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China have backed two rounds of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment and other sensitive work that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

“We believe the best option is to peacefully resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations….

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I see a new future for Pakistan, says Bhutto

September 9, 2007

In an exclusive interview with Jason Burke, the ex-premier outlines plans to help her ‘nation’s poorest’

Sunday September 9, 2007
The Observer

Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, vowed yesterday she would go ‘back to basics’ and invoke her late father’s name to win her way back into power in her country.Bhutto, who was exiled from Pakistan eight years ago after two stints in government that both ended amid accusations of incompetence and scandal, said her campaign would be inspired by the old slogan of her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) – ‘food, clothing, shelter’.

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