Russia rejects UN draft resolution on Kosovo's future status
Russia has rejected the latest UN draft resolution on Kosovo, calling it a hidden attempt to achieve independence for the province despite vehement opposition from its Serb minority.
The sponsors of the resolution - the United States and European Union nations - called the draft circulated last week the "final attempt" to reach an agreement on core issues with Moscow, which has strong cultural ties to Serbia.
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin all but said on Monday that Moscow would veto the resolution if the sponsors call for a vote, saying the chances of its adoption "are zero.'
France's UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said the sponsors would consult with their capitals on the next steps. The options include dropping the resolution, revising it again to try to address Russia's concerns or calling for a vote.
A meeting of top diplomats from the so-called Contact Group on Kosovo - consisting of the US, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Russia - is expected to take place on July 25 in Berlin, according to Security Council diplomats.
There is widespread concern in the Security Council and the region that the province's ethnic Albanian leaders could declare independence unilaterally if the council does not approve a path to independence.
While Kosovo remains a province of Serbia, it has been under UN and NATO administration since a 78-day NATO-led air war that halted a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in 1999.
Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf supporters and the Lahore Police clashed on Wednesday as the former managed to push their way through the containers deployed on the streets and braved tear gas shelling after answering the ousted prime minister's call for a long march onto Islamabad.
Chinese President Xi Jinping defended China's record in a meeting with UN's top human rights official on Wednesday, saying there is no “flawless utopia” and criticised countries that lecture others on human rights and politicise the issue. Xi and Bachelet meeting comes in the backdrop of fresh allegations of systemic abuse carried out by the Chinese government against the minority Muslim UIghurs in Xinjiang. Beijing has denied the allegations.
Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has written to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to urge India to acquit Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik from all charges and ensure his immediate release from prison so that he can be reunited with his family.
Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday said he anticipated a day when his country could engage India not just for diplomatic reasons but also economic. Zardari was quoted by news agency PTI as acknowledging Pak's relations with India have not been 'moving forward'. The minister said the best way forward on domestic and international levels is to leave aside political bickering and explore and unlock his country's huge untapped potential.
A new satellite-based initiative that will link naval facilities in India, Singapore and the South Pacific and allow Indo-Pacific countries to track illegal fishing and “dark shipping” is one of the most significant steps taken by the Quad since its revival in 2017. These initiatives appear clearly aimed at positioning the Quad, which groups India, Australia, Japan and the US, as a counterweight to China's increasing influence and assertive in the region.