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UAE says Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s credibility ‘diminishing’

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s credibility is “diminishing”, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Friday.

“Every single day Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif’s reference to team B becomes more farcical and his credibility diminishing.

“Public relations is no real substitute to constructive policies.

“De-escalation in current situation requires wise actions not empty words,’’ Gargash said.

Zarif often uses “Team B” to refer to U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and those in the administration and the Gulf region who share his hawkish stance towards Iran.

Edited by Abiodun Oluleye

Foreign

N/Korean leader oversees test of ‘super-large rocket launcher’ 

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Test

North Korea on Saturday fired from a site on its eastern coast what appeared to be two short-range missiles, which flew some 380 kilometres before landing in the sea.

The North Korean leader said that the “young and promising” scientists behind the new missile system were a “precious treasure and wealth of the country”.

The recent series of missile tests were seen as a response to recently-completed joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which Pyongyang claims are rehearsals for an invasion of North Korea.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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G7 protesters throw stones, French police respond with tear gas 

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Clashes

Protesters threw stones at police who were blocking access to a bridge in the neighbouring town of Bayonne, a dpa reporter observed.

The Police responded with tear gas and water cannon.

Some 68 people were arrested, with 38 of them detained for questioning, news agency AFP reported citing local authorities.

The organisers of a larger and calmer protest earlier in the day subsequently cancelled protest actions scheduled for the perimeter of the summit security zone on Sunday.

Citing what they said was an excessive police presence and heavy-handed security, they said they could not guarantee the safety of protesters at the actions.

They instead called for a “people’s wall” in protest at “the state of siege in the Basque Country,” but without specifying a location.

The evening’s clashes came soon after the summit between leaders of major Western powers and Japan, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, kicked off.

The earlier protest, in the towns of Hendaye and Irun on either side of the Franco-Spanish border some 20 kilometres away, passed off peacefully, with the organizers claiming 15,000 people had taken part.

The activists, who also held a counter-summit with lectures and workshops, argue that while Macron says the G7 should tackle inequality, the main cause of the problem is hardline free-market policies implemented by the leaders of wealthy countries.

French authorities have barred access to much of Biarritz except to residents and local workers for the duration of the three-day summit.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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U.S. officials criticise Macron for putting pressure on Trump ahead of G7 Summit – Reports

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Pressure

According to the publication, a flurry of criticism hit Macron after he had invited Trump to an impromptu lunch, during which the parties discussed a number of issues, including Iran and Amazon wildfires.

 Such a one-on-one lunch was not planned in advance, the newspaper stressed.

Members of the U.S. presidential administration accused the French president of focusing on such “niche” issues as climate change and the development of Africa, which meet his own political interests, the publication said.

According to a senior French official, the French president used lunch to explain his position on controversial issues, in particular, tensions in world trade.

The Group of Seven (G7) Summit officially opened in the city of Biarritz in southwestern France.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Trump notes progress on opening day of G7 Summit

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Progress

“France and President @EmmanuelMacron have done a really great job thus far with a very important G-7.

Lunch with Emmanuel was the best meeting we have yet had.

Likewise, evening meeting with World Leaders went very well. Progress being made!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Before the summit, the French leader invited Trump to an impromptu lunch, during which the parties discussed a number of issues, including trade, tensions in the Persian Gulf, the situation in Libya and Iran.

The Group of Seven (G7) Summit officially opened in the city of Biarritz in southwestern France.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Police hose G7 protesters in south France as summit begins

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Protesters

A few hundred people, many of whom have covered their faces with masks and scarves, have been marching though the city, screaming anti-police slogans.

The march is occurring in the part of the city surrounded by rivers from both sides, with bridges blocked by the police.

At one of the bridges protesters began provoking the police, who hosed them four times in response and then fired teargas at the crowd.

The procession is currently repeating its previous route.

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