Zarif: Relations with Neighbors Top Priority— Silent on Saudi Arabia

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described relations with neighbors, and facilitating economic affairs, as Iran’s “top foreign policy priority.” Mr. Zarif made these remarks while answering questions from members in the Iranian Parliament. He cited his trip to Pakistan to congratulate Imran Khan after he became Prime Minister, saying he was the first foreign minister to do so.

MBS Denies Ordering Khashoggi Murder in Turkey

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he assumed “full responsibility” for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the regime, but denied ordering the murder. “This was a heinous crime but I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia especially because it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government,” the Crown Prince said in an interview with the US TV program 60 Minutes on Sunday.

Cease Fire at the G20: Trump and Xi Declare Truce on Trade

It’s said that nothing ever really gets done at the G20, which is currently meeting in Osaka, Japan.  Nineteen member countries and the European Union agreed to a new deal to tackle climate change.  Guess who was the lone holdout.  President Trump was harshly criticized, at home and abroad, for praising Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who ordered the killing of Washington Post columnist (who had legal residency in the U.S.) Jamal Khashoggi.  There was one cautiously positive development to emerge from the summit, however.  Trump and Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed to restart talks and temporarily de-escalate the trade war.

G20 in Osaka: The Summit Opens in Harmony

Nineteen countries are meeting this Friday and Saturday in Osaka, Japan, for the G20. “Welcome to Osaka,” said Shinzo Abe, Japan Prime Minister, who hosts the G20 on Friday and Saturday.

“Together, I hope we will achieve a beautiful harmony in Osaka,” he said in reference to the meaning of “Reiwa,” the name of this new era. Flanked on one side by President Trump, on the other side of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two great rivals of the moment, Shinzo Abe called for “finding common ground rather than highlighting the clashes.” “We have time” to resolve the tensions.