GENEVA: Russia on Tuesday urged a United Nations nuclear disarmament forum to show its support for the “fragile” Iran nuclear accord by signing onto a statement, co-written by China, backing the deal.
The head of the arms control unit at Russia’s foreign ministry, Vladimir Yermakov, called on UN members to support the landmark pact with Iran to not “keep silence in hope that the situation will somehow blow over.”Addressing the preliminary review meeting of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Yermakov described the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as “quite a fragile compromise.”
US President Donald Trump has fiercely criticised the complex deal. If he refuses to waive sanctions against Tehran by a May 12 deadline, the accord may unravel.
Russia and China, both supporters of the pact known as the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA), have drafted a statement affirming their “unwavering support for the comprehensive and effective implementation” of the deal. Yermakov urged all nations at the UN nuclear meet to sign on.
“We believe there is a demand for such a collective message by the (meeting) and hope that the document will find broad support,” he said.
The Russian official then took a thinly veiled shot at Trump’s call to renegotiate the JCPOA in hopes of getting better terms for the United States. “Any attempts to amend (the) text for someone’s benefit will inevitably... have powerful negative consequences for regional global stability and security,” Yermakov said.
His comments came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vowed in Beijing Monday that China and Russia would block any attempts to “sabotage” the Iran nuclear agreement. During a first day of discussions on the NPT in Geneva Monday, a long line of speakers had already voiced their support for the Iran deal, including the UN’s top representative for disarmament affairs Izumi Nakamitsu.European leaders are also scrambling the save the deal. French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington this week lobbying Trump to preserve the pact, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel due in the US capital on Friday. Philippines apologises to Kuwait over ‘maid rescues’
MANILA, April 24, 2018 (AFP) - The Philippines’ top diplomat apologised Tuesday after videos emerged of embassy staff helping Filipinos flee from allegedly abusive employers in Kuwait.
Kuwait had branded the rescues a violation of its sovereignty, adding fuel to a simmering diplomatic row between the two nations sparked by the murder of a Philippine maid.
The first of two clips, which spread on social media after being released by the Philippine foreign ministry last week, shows a woman running from a home and jumping into a waiting vehicle.
Another depicts a person sprinting from what looks like a construction site and then speeding off in a black sport utility vehicle.
“I apologise to my counterpart and we apologise to the Kuwaiti government, the Kuwaiti people and the leaders of Kuwait if they were offended by some actions taken by the Philippine embassy in Kuwait,” Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano told reporters in Manila.
Three Filipinos who drove vans for the embassy in the operations were believed to be held by Kuwaiti authorities. —AFP