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Xenophobia:We’ve no Problem with Governors Participating in WEF- FG

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  • Vows to Get Compensation for Xenophobic Victims 

By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

Federal Government Thursday said that it was not bothered by the attendance of some Nugerian State governors at the World Economic Forum (WEF) taking place in Cape Town, South Africa after the country withdrew its participation 

due to the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals.

Speaking State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama said that Nigerian government would do everything possible to secure compensation for all her citizens affected by the xenophobic attacks in the former apartheid country.

 

Some of the governors who attended the WEF from Nigeria were Ekiti and Kaduna as well as some members of the business class. 

The Federal Government also denied knowledge of the temporary closure of South African High Commission in Nigeria. 

The South African Foreign Affairs Minister, Naledi Pandor was reported to have said that the government had temporarily closed its embassy in Nigeria. 

She also said South Africa was in constant touch with Nigerian authorities to try to restore calm, adding that there was no provision in local law for compensation for damage caused in the attacks.

But Onyeama said, “We are not aware that the South African government has closed down its High Commission here in Abuja or its consulate in Lagos.” 

Fielding question from journalists on whether the participation of some Nigerians including the governors was not an affront on the position of the Federal Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs explained that the governors may have arrived South Africa before the decision was taken. 

Besides, he said that the WEF was not a South African event, rather a global forum but taking place in South Africa. 

”The World Economic Forum process has started a number of days ago and the governors who are there had gone there ahead even before this whole issue materialized, they were already engaged in that. 

“The first thing you have to realize is that the World Economic Forum is not a South African government initiative. It is a Swiss based mechanism and it takes place in different places 

“It is not a question of disobedience because they were actually there already before this decision was taken.” 

On the alleged withdrawal of Nigerian High Commissioner in South Africa, Onyeama said,  “Yesterday (Wednesday) I did make the comment that we have not taken a decision to withdraw or recall our High Commissioner in South Africa, what I pointed out yesterday is this, Mr. President has sent Special Envoy to South Africa. 

“So we are going to wait for the report of the Special Envoy when he comes back in about two days time. And on that basis after we have received the report, it is likely that we must supplement that report by also calling the High Commissioner back for consultation so that Mr. President will be able to get as comprehensive and full a picture of the situation in South Africa. 

“So, the High Commissioner will be coming after the Special Envoy has returned for consultations and then once the President has full briefing from all the actors directly engaged, we will be able to make an informed decision on what further steps to take.”

Asked if South African government had reacted to the position taken by Nigeria, he said, “Regarding reaction from South Africa after it was decided that the Vice President should no longer participate in the World Economic Forum meeting there, we have not received any direct reaction. 

“But of course that is to be expected since we informed the South African authorities that the Special Envoy of Mr. President is coming to his country.”

On compensation, which the South African Foreign Affairs Minister, Naledi Pandor had said that the country had no provision for such in its laws, the Minister said Nigeria government would do everything possible to ensure that the victims were compensated. 

He said,”Our citizens there have suffered lost and it is the responsibility of this government to ensure that they are compensated and we will take measures necessary and do whatever we have to do to ensure that they are compensated.

“I haven’t seen the statement from South African yet, when we see it, we have to look at and study it and we will decide what further measures we need to take.”

Also answering question on the closure of the South African mission offices in Nigeria, Onyeama said that the Federal Government was not aware of such. 

Foreign News

Putin Demands Ukrainian Troop Withdrawal in Exchange for Peace

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the territories annexed by his country is a prerequisite for any settlement of the ongoing war.

Putin said this during a visit to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow ahead of the Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland at the weekend.

If Ukraine also renounces membership of NATO, Russia would be prepared to cease fire and enter negotiations immediately.

His speech was clearly aimed at the current G7 summit in Italy and the Ukraine event opening on Saturday in the Swiss mountain hotel resort of Bürgenstock.

The affiliation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson to Russia is no longer in question, Putin said.

Ukraine should withdraw its army from the parts of these regions that it still controls, he added.

The Kremlin leader said he was stating Russia’s minimum demands in order not to freeze the conflict but to resolve it once and for all.

At the same time, Putin repeated the demands he made when he ordered the invasion of the neighbouring country in February 2022: The creation of a neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free Ukraine.

The country should also be disarmed and “denazified,” said Putin, using a term widely interpreted in the West as meaning the instalment of a Russia-approved leadership in Kiev.

Russia currently occupies around a fifth of Ukraine’s territory, including the Crimean peninsula, which it illegally annexed in 2014.

Ukraine has so far adhered to its stated goal of retaking the occupied territory, including Crimea.

President Volodymyr Zelensky is also calling for the prosecution of Russian war crimes and Russian reparations for the destruction caused. (dpa/NAN) 

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Biden Accuses Trump of Using ‘Hitler’s Language in Newspaper Mock-up

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U.S. President Joe Biden has accused his predecessor and likely election opponent Donald Trump of using Nazi rhetoric following the publication of a video referencing a “unified Reich.’’

Trump is using “Hitler’s language’’.

That’s not America’s, Biden said in a campaign video released.

In the short clip, the Democrat held a phone in his hand and said, referencing the video, is this on his official account? Wow.

Earlier, on Monday, Trump had shared a video which was later deleted on his social media site Truth Social, showing mocks of newspaper articles that would be written if Trump won the presidential election in November.

Among the bits of text featured was a subheading referring to the creation of a unified Reich.

The term, empire in German, is often associated with the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945.

The word Reich in the video presumably refers to the founding of the German Reich in 1871, with the text being taken from a Wikipedia entry on World War I, according to U.S. media.

The video was created using a ready-made newspaper article mask.

According to the reports, it has also been used in other clips circulating online,.

Other newspaper headlines in the video published on Trump’s platform also make reference to World War I.

Trump’s team later confirmed that the clip had been removed from his account.

A spokeswoman for his campaign team said that “it was not a campaign video, it was created by a random account online and reposted by a staffer who clearly did not see the word.’’

Biden also attacked the Republican, who is hoping to return to the White House, at a campaign event in Boston on Tuesday.

The 81-year-old said that “the threat that Trump poses is greater in the second term than it was in the first,’’ according to reporters travelling with him.

He called Trump a little unhinged and accused him of seeking revenge after losing the 2020 presidential election.

Biden and Trump were all but guaranteed to face off on Nov. 5 in a rematch of the 2020 vote.

They both achieved the required number of delegates to be nominated as candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties respectively.

Trump has been using radical rhetoric in his election campaign, including hateful and dehumanising language, as well as making racist statements and inciting hatred against minorities.

The 77-year-old also compared Biden’s government to the Gestapo, the official secret police of Nazi Germany. (dpa/NAN)

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France Rejects Recognising Palestinian state at Present

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France’s Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné has rejected the idea of recognising Palestine as a state at the moment.

“Our position is clear:  recognition of Palestine is not taboo for France,” the minister said on Wednesday after a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Israel Katz in Paris.

The minister, however, said that  decision in favour of the recognition must be beneficial and would be made at the right time.

He said that such a decision should  enable decisive progress at the political level.

“It is not just a symbolic question or a question of political positioning, but a diplomatic instrument in the service of a solution with two states living side-by-side in peace and security.

“France does not believe that the conditions have been met to date for this decision to have a real impact on this process,” Séjourné said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Norway, Ireland and Spain said they would recognise Palestine as a state on May 28.

Katz’s visit to Paris followed France’s position in favour of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which chief prosecutor applied for arrest warrants on Monday against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

The Paris Foreign Ministry stated that it supported the ICC, its independence and the fight against impunity in all situations.

After the meeting with Katz, Séjourné wrote on X: “I reaffirmed France’s priorities: immediate release of the hostages, ceasefire, massive humanitarian aid and two states living in peace and security.”

(dpa/NAN)

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