U.S. envoy to U.N. says 'we need to get Iran' out of Syria | Reuters
By Michelle Nichols | UNITED NATIONS UNITED NATIONS The United States supports the U.N.-led Syria peace talks, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Wednesday, saying Syria could no longer be a 'safe haven for terrorists' and that it was important 'we get Iran and their proxies out.'Haley spoke to reporters after U.N
By Michelle Nichols
| UNITED NATIONS
UNITED NATIONS The United States supports the U.N.-led Syria peace talks, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Wednesday, saying Syria could no longer be a "safe haven for terrorists" and that it was important "we get Iran and their proxies out."Haley spoke to reporters after U.N. Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura briefed the Security Council behind closed doors on 10 days of talks between the warring parties in Geneva, which ended last week. She did not respond to questions on whether the United States believed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, should step down. All eyes have been on how Washington would approach ending the six-year war in Syria, given pledges by President Donald Trump to build closer ties with Russia, especially in the fight against Islamic State. Trump's Syria policy has been unclear."The United States absolutely supports Staffan de Mistura and the work that he's doing, we support the U.N. process, we support the talks in Geneva, we want to see them continue," Haley said.
"This is very much about a political solution now ... and that basically means that Syria can no longer be a safe haven for terrorists, we've got to make sure we get Iran and their proxies out, we've got to make sure that, as we move forward, we're securing the borders for our allies as well," she said.Iran is backing fighters in Syria from Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah.
A crackdown by Assad on pro-democracy protesters in 2011 led to civil war and Islamic State militants have used the chaos to seize territory in Syria and Iraq. Half of Syria's 22 million people have been uprooted and more than 400,000 killed.De Mistura told reporters after briefing the council that he planned to convene another round of peace talks on March 23. He said the most recent round ended with an agenda and a timeline and "some agreement even on substance."
"We did not expect miracles and frankly we did not have miracles, but we achieved much more than many people had imagined we could have. No one left, everybody stayed," de Mistura told reporters. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.