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Daily Archives: November 2, 2010

Moscow not to recall ambassador to Tokyo over Kurils row, says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

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November 02, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Russia will not recall its ambassador to Japan following a diplomatic row over the disputed Kuril Islands, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

The dispute over four of the islands, which both countries have laid claim to since they were occupied by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, was sparked when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Kunashir Island on Monday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Japan announced it was temporarily recalling its ambassador to Russia, Masaharu Kono.

Lavrov said Japan’s move was its own domestic affair.

“On the whole, we are puzzled by the continuing escalation of emotions from the Japanese side,” the minister said, adding that Medvedev was planning to visit another Kuril Islands.

Prior to Medvedev’s visit, Japan said the arrival of the Russian leader could complicate bilateral relations, but Russia’s Foreign Ministry rejected the comments saying Medvedev “defines the routes of trips across his country on his own.”

The visit was the first trip by a head of state of Russia or the former Soviet Union to the South Kuril Islands.

Tokyo’s continued claim over four South Kuril Islands (Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai) to the northeast of Japan has so far prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal peace treaty to end World War II hostilities.

OSLO, November 2 (RIA Novosti)

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Photostream : British Prime Minister David Cameron meets French President Nicolas Sarkozy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron at Lancaster House on November 2, 2010 in London, England. Mr Cameron and Mr Sarkozy are attending a Franco-British Summit and are likely to agree to a new military expeditionary joint force. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) is welcomed by British Prime Minister David Cameron to Lancaster House in central London, for an Anglo-French summit on November 2, 2010. Britain and France usher in an unprecedented era of cooperation at a summit in London Tuesday with a deal to create a joint military force and share aircraft carriers and nuclear testing facilities. Cameron and Sarkozy will sign two treaties which they say will allow both nations to remain global players while cutting defence budgets following the financial crisis. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron and enters Lancaster House on November 2, 2010 in London, England. Mr Cameron and Mr Sarkozy are attending a Franco-British Summit and are likely to agree to a new military expeditionary joint force. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L), and British Prime Minister David Cameron, pose for photographers ahead of an Anglo-French summit at Lancaster House on November 2, 2010 in London. Britain and France will sign defence treaties at a summit in London setting out cooperation on issues including military planes and aircraft carriers, Prime Minister David Cameron said. (Photo by Leon Neal/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (4th L), and British Prime Minister David Cameron (4th R), pose for photographers ahead of an Anglo-French summit at Lancaster House in central London on November 2, 2010. Britain and France will sign defence treaties at a summit in London Tuesday setting out cooperation on issues including military planes and aircraft carriers, Prime Minister David Cameron said. (Photo by LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

 
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U.S. says backs Japan in dispute with Russia over Kuril Islands

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sparked a diplomatic row with Japan when he visited Kunashir Island, near Japan's northernmost Hokkaido Island, on Monday.

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Photostream : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits Kunashir Island: http://wp.me/pYE9h-31J


November 02, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — The United States backs Japan in its dispute with Russia over the Kuril Islands and keeps on calling on both countries to reach a compromise, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State said.

“We are quite aware of the dispute. We do back Japan regarding the Northern Territories. The United States for a number of years has encouraged Japan and Russia to negotiate an actual peace treaty, regarding these and other issues,” Philip Crowley told a daily press briefing.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sparked a diplomatic row with Japan when he visited Kunashir Island, near Japan’s northernmost Hokkaido Island, on Monday.

The visit was the first trip by a head of state of Russia or the former Soviet Union to the South Kuril Islands. The Soviet Union seized four of the Kuril Islands (Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai) from Japan at the end of World War II and Tokyo has demanded their return ever since. The dispute has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal peace treaty.

Japan said the move was “regrettable,” and had “hurt the Japanese people’s sentiments.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that he saw “no connection” between the trip and Russian-Japanese relations.

WASHINGTON, November 2 (RIA Novosti)

 
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Netanyahu says no realistic US proposals to freeze settlements

File photo : U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) walk from the podium after delivering statements to the press from the Colonnade outside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington September 1, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Jason Reed )

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November 02, 2010 (KATAKAMI / Rantburg.Com / KUNA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday there were no American proposals to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank, noting that the political situation was in a stalemate status.

“The American administration is busy with the Congress elections so they will not discuss the settlement freeze now, and until now there is no realistic American proposal to end this crisis,” Netanyahu said during a session of the Likud bloc members at the Knesset.

Netanyahu, quoted by the Yediot Ahronot website, said “The Paleostinians’ taking a unilateral step to declare the Paleostinian state will make the two parties pay high prices and these steps will not solve the dispute.” Paleostinian Authority President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas said last Thursday the Paleostinians could submit a request to the UN and the US to recognize a Paleostinian state on the pre-1967 war borders if the direct peace talks with the Israelis failed to resume.

 
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Political Parties Blasted for Indonesia's Mount Merapi Volcano Aid

Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X

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November 02, 2010 Sleman, Yogyakarta (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA GLOBE) — Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X has criticized Indonesian political parties for potentially increasing the trauma suffered by victims displaced by the Merapi volcano disaster.

“At the moment, the problem is that ambulances and other vehicles are flying the flags of certain organizations and political parties, and sound their sirens too loudly,” Hamengkubuwono said at the main disaster mitigation post in Sleman on Monday.

He said the ambulances and vehicles passing by the post impacted on the concentration on members of the Disaster Mitigation Agency and had the potential to traumatize the evacuees.

“Moreover, the ambulances are not carrying patients who need emergency aid. So please, do not exaggerate in helping the victims, it may cause panic,” the governor said.

Hamengkubuwono said the Yogyakarta provincial administration, as well as the Sleman district administration, would not hinder volunteers and donors from helping the Merapi victims.

“They are very welcome to help the victims. It’s up to them to deliver the aid to the main post, directly to the shelters or to the evacuees themselves,” he said. “We hope the bureaucracy will not pose an obstacle to them. The most important thing is that the help must be rendered whole-heartedly.”

Political parties have previously been criticized for politicizing the Situ Gintung disaster on the outskirts of Jakarta just prior to the last year’s legislative and presidential elections.

 
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Photostream : Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano spews hot ash again

In a picture taken from Kemalang, Klaten, in central Java Mount Merapi spews hot clouds of ash on November 2, 2010. Mount Merapi in Indonesia' s Central Java province early Tuesday spewed cloud of hot ash again, but there is no reports of casualties and material losses. The new blasts occurred at 5:25 am and 5:32 am but caused no panic among the residents living near the volcano, which has erupted dozens of time since October 26. The hot ash spread toward southern direction by 3 kilometers, Metro TV reported. The volcano's eruptions have killed 38 people and forced about 70,000 people take shelter, officials said on Monday. Photo : Getty Images / AFP PHOTO / ADEK BERRY

In a picture taken from Kemalang, Klaten, in central Java Mount Merapi spews lava on November 2, 2010. Mount Merapi in Indonesia' s Central Java province early Tuesday spewed cloud of hot ash again, but there is no reports of casualties and material losses. The new blasts occurred at 5:25 am and 5:32 am but caused no panic among the residents living near the volcano, which has erupted dozens of time since October 26. The hot ash spread toward southern direction by 3 kilometers, Metro TV reported. The volcano's eruptions have killed 38 people and forced about 70,000 people take shelter, officials said on Monday. (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

In a picture taken from Ndeles, Klaten, in central Java Mount Merapi spews hot clouds of ash on November 2, 2010. The new blasts occurred at 5:25 am and 5:32 am but caused no panic among the residents living near the volcano, which has erupted dozens of time since October 26. The hot ash spread toward southern direction by 3 kilometers. The volcano's eruptions have killed 38 people and forced about 70,000 people take shelter, officials said on Monday. With an altitude of 2,968 meters, mount Merapi is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. The previous eruption of Mount Merapi in 2006 killed two people. A 1994 eruption claimed 60 lives. A major eruption in 1930 killed more than 1,000 people. (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

In a picture taken from Kemalang, Klaten, in central Java Mount Merapi spews hot clouds of ash on November 2, 2010. The new blasts occurred at 5:25 am and 5:32 am but caused no panic among the residents living near the volcano, which has erupted dozens of time since October 26. The hot ash spread toward southern direction by 3 kilometers. The volcano's eruptions have killed 38 people and forced about 70,000 people take shelter, officials said on Monday. With an altitude of 2,968 meters, mount Merapi is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. The previous eruption of Mount Merapi in 2006 killed two people. A 1994 eruption claimed 60 lives. A major eruption in 1930 killed more than 1,000 people. (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

A man rides a motorcycle as Mount Merapi spews hot clouds of ash in the background at Kemalang, Klaten, in central Java on November 2, 2010. The new blasts occurred at 5:25 am and 5:32 am but caused no panic among the residents living near the volcano, which has erupted dozens of time since October 26. The hot ash spread toward southern direction by 3 kilometers. The volcano's eruptions have killed 38 people and forced about 70,000 people take shelter, officials said on Monday. With an altitude of 2,968 meters, mount Merapi is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. The previous eruption of Mount Merapi in 2006 killed two people. A 1994 eruption claimed 60 lives. A major eruption in 1930 killed more than 1,000 people. (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

 
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Photostream : Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard meets Indonesian President Yudhoyono

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard inspects a guard of honour at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta during her official visit to Indonesia November 2, 2010. REUTERS/Supri (INDONESIA)

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, left, walks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono prior to their meeting at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday. (AP/Dita Alangkara/Jakarta Post)

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, left, walks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono prior to their meeting at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard (L) walks with Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta during her state visit to Indonesia November 2, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni )

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard (L) is invited to inspect the guard of honour by Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta during her state visit to Indonesia November 2, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Supri )

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, left, shakes hands with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono prior to their meeting at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

 
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