AS Urges ISIS Foreign Abuses Trial in Country of Origin

The United States urges its allies to join the handling of hundreds of foreign fighters captured by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The United States wants the militants to be repatriated to their home countries for trial. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to discuss the issue at a meeting in Rome this week with coalition member states fighting against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The SDF has captured thousands of ISIS fighters, including hundreds of foreign fighters from various countries . The issue became even more important after the SDF announced the arrest of two British ISIS members, known to often behead the hostages.

US officials said they would not send the men to a detention camp at Guantanamo, and British leaders say they do not want to receiving the men back.

Kathryn Wheelbarger, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Mattis told reporters that the large number of detainees has caused trouble. Said Wheelbarger, SDF arrested 40 militants every day, and places of detention are full. [ii]

New Zealand urges need for tension in the Korean peninsula

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed her support for economic sanctions against North Korea while also stressing the need for easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Ardern, who this week passed his 100th day with the new post, also said his country needs to maintain close ties with the United States even though the two countries do not always agree.

The 37-year-old female prime minister also expressed her views on New Zealand relations with China, in an interview with the Associated Press news agency. He said his country did not support the views of US President Donald Trump revealed in his first state speech last Tuesday that China was a rival.

He said he did not describe the relations New Zealand and China as Trump disclosed. Furthermore, he said the statement was not because Wellington felt indebted to Beijing considering China was one of the country's largest importers of dairy products.

Ardern says, despite the small size, New Zealand will always voice its opinions and support what its state views are true.

Ardern is currently pregnant with his first child and is expected to be born in June. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will replace his position during a six-week maternity leave. [ab/uh]

US Secretary Urges Gulf Countries to Reduce Tension

The United States urges all parties in Gulf disputes to reduce tensions and work to counter terrorism and Iranian influence in the region.

"It is imperative that all parties minimize rhetoric, refrain from further escalation and work towards a resolution , "said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday.

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE (UAE) and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar, accused him of financing extremist groups and allied with Iran, the enemy of the Gulf Arab states.

Qatar denies the allegations. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Qatar are members of the Gulf Cooperation Board or GCC.

Tillerson and Defense Minister Jim Mattis hosted the US and Qatar Strategic Dialogue with Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Defense Minister Khalid bin Muhammad al-Attiyah at the State Department.

Tuesday's high-level talks came as the Gulf dispute approached the eighth month. Tensions have separated the GCC, a group of US allies who have long been a counterweight to Shi'ite Iran.

"The GCC unites strengthens our effectiveness in many areas, especially on counterterrorism, defeats ISIS and counteracts the spread of the evil influence of Iran," said Tillerson. using acronyms for the ISIS terror group.

American officials say that the rift between Qatar and other Arab countries does not affect US military ties with Qatar, the location of major US military bases in the Middle East. [sp/ii]

Trump Urges Turkey Not to Expand Military Operations in Syria

President Donald Trump urges Turkey to reduce military action in northern Syria to avoid possible conflicts between US and Turkish forces.

The White House said Trump proposed that when speaking on the phone Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The call came when Erdogan announced that Turkey would expand its military operations against the Kurdish martial arts from the Afrin region to Manbij City to bring the Turkish troops closer to the US forces, cooperating with the Kurdish munitions.

A White House statement said Trump was worried "Increased violence in Afrin, Syria, risks damaging our common cause in Syria."

Including, defeating ISIS and helping Syrian refugees return to their homes and avoid civilian casualties.

The statement also said Trump expressed his concern with " devastating rhetoric "that originated in Turkey, but was not detailed what Trump meant.

The Erdogan office said the Turkish President urged Trump to stop supplying US weapons to the Kurdish martial art in northern Syria. Erdogan said his military operation aims to clean up the "terrorist elements" in northern Syria and protect Turkey's national security. [ ps / jm]

US urges Taliban to join peace talks with Afghan government

A senior US official has urged the Taliban to engage in peace talks with the Afghan government.

"Victory can not be achieved on the battlefield, a solution must be pursued through political channels," US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said at a summit "We should be aware of the fact that, although the Afghan government is determined to pursue peace talks with the Taliban, there is no interest coming from the Taliban side," Sullivan said. "It has to change," he added.

He said that any peace deal should include a strong commitment from the Taliban that they will break ties with terrorism, stop violence and accept the Afghan constitution.

"To achieve this goal, we must jointly isolate the Taliban, eliminate their sources of income, and demonstrate a compact and strong commitment that the only way to achieve their goals is at the negotiating table rather than on the battlefield, "he added. [ps/jm]