|Asia News Digest
Medvedev and Hu Express Concern Over Arab Unrest
June 15 (EIRNS)In a joint statement targeted towards the Western leaders, on June 16, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao said: "The sides believe that the search for settling the situation in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa should take place in the legal field and through political means. Outside forces should not interfere in internal processes in the countries of the region."
The two Presidents also called for an end to hostilities between the forces of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and the rebels.
On Syria, Russia has said it opposes the UN Security Council adopting any resolution on Syria, risking a major dispute with the West over the response to the crackdown on Syrian protestors. China has backed Russia's cautious stance, but it has allowed Russia, its fellow permanent Security Council member, to do most of the public talking on the issue. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich confirmed in Moscow that Russia, "as before," was opposed to a UN Security Council resolution on Syria.
U.S. Concerned Over Arrest of Pakistani Informants
June 14 (EIRNS)Pakistan's military intelligence service, the ISI, has arrested five informers who were allegedly involved in providing the location of Osama bin Laden's whereabouts to the Americans. The detention of the informants, including an Army major, who officials claim had copied the license plates of cars visiting bin Laden's compound weeks before the May 2 raid, indicates growing tensions between Washington and Islamabad.
The New York Times, in an article posted on its website June 13, said the fate of the CIA informants who were arrested was unclear, but American officials told the newspaper that CIA Director Leon Panetta raised the issue when he visited Islamabad last week to meet with Pakistani military and intelligence officers. U.S.-Pakistani relations have been strained over the raid by Navy SEALs on Pakistani territory, which was a blow to Pakistan's military, and other issues. Officials said the arrests of the informants was just the latest evidence of the fractured relationship between the two nations.
The Times said that at a closed briefing last week, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee asked Michael Morell, the deputy CIA director, to rate Pakistan's cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism operations, on a scale of 1 to 10. "Three," replied Morell, according to officials familiar with the exchange, the newspaper said.
Saudi Leader in China To Strengthen Ties
June 14 (EIRNS)During the meeting with the Speaker of the Saudi Shura Council, Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim al-Sheikh, in Beijing on June 13, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao assured the Saudi visitor that "China will work with the international community including Saudi Arabia to promote peace, stability and development in the region." The Speaker was on an official visit to China at the invitation of chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, Wu Bangguo.
Wen called on the two sides to conduct closer high-level contacts, support each other's core interests and major concerns, promote comprehensive energy cooperation, expand cooperation in finance, infrastructure construction and agriculture, and enhance cultural exchanges and coordination in international organizations and mechanisms such UN and the G20.
Wu also met with Abdullah on June 13, and called on relevant parties in Southwest Asia to peacefully resolve disputes through political means. "Countries and peoples in the region will find a way of development in accordance to their national situation. Relevant parties should support efforts made by the international community and countries in the region to solve the issues, resume political stability and develop their economies," Wu said.
He added that the legislative bodies of the two countries should further strengthen exchanges on various levels including those regarding parliamentary leaders, special committees, and friendly groups, and enhance cooperation in multilateral parliamentary organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union.