China's foreign minister Wang Yi (L) shakes hands with North Korea's foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on May 2, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Here is a brief look at Press TV Newsroom's headlines from 09:00 GMT to 17:00 GMT, May 2, 2018.


China-North Korea ties

China’s foreign minister has arrived in the North Korean capital for a 2-day visit regarded as part of Beijing’s attempts to improve ties with Pyongyang. Wang Yi is the first Chinese foreign minister to visit North Korea in 11 years. He will hold talks with his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho during his stay which follows a landmark inter-Korean summit. The two top diplomats met in Beijing last month, days after the North Korean leader travelled to China for talks with the Chinese president. China, long regarded as Pyongyang’s main diplomatic ally, supported a series of UN sanctions against the North over its nuclear and missile programs.

Syria evacuation deal

Syrian media say the government has reached a new evacuation deal with foreign-backed militants. Under the agreement, the militants and their families will leave the northern countryside of Homs and the southern countryside of Hama. Officials say the anti-Damascus groups will hand over their heavy weaponry and head to the city of Jarablus and the province of Idlib. The Syrian government has stepped up its operations against militants across the country in the past year, taking control of strategic areas, including Eastern Ghouta.

Iran Rejects Morocco claims

Iran has rejected Morocco’s allegation that the Islamic Republic is cooperating with the Polisario Front. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed as totally unfounded and untrue, Morocco’s accusations that Iran and Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah arm and train Polisario militants. Qassemi reiterated that a central plank of Iran’s foreign policy is non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Earlier, Hezbollah also denied any such involvement. The comments come after Morocco announced it has severed diplomatic ties with Iran over what it called Tehran’s support for the Polisario Front. Moroccan foreign minister accused Iran and Hezbollah of training and arming Polisario fighters via the Iranian embassy in Algeria.

Libya attack

A group of militants have targeted an official building in the Libyan capital, killing at least seven people. A spokesperson for the Libyan electoral commission in Tripoli reported the attack, adding that a bomber was among the assailants. Khaled Amari, who fled the building during the incident, added that the attackers had entered the offices and set them on fire. The electoral commission has been registering voters ahead of new elections that the United Nations wants be held in Libya before the end of the year.

China calls for upholding Iran deal  

China has once again reiterated its support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying all signatories should continue upholding the landmark agreement. China’s foreign ministry stressed that the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Tehran’s compliance with the deal, known as the JCPOA. The foreign ministry said Beijing has noted reports about Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiling what he claimed was evidence of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons plan as well as the reactions it sparked. China said the IAEA is the only international body with the right to supervise the agreement and make judgments about it. Meanwhile, France again reiterated its commitment to the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries. Paris, however, called for broader negotiations to prevent “an escalation in the region”.

UNRWA Gaza funding

The education program of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Palestine is at risk because of the US decision to reduce its contribution to the UN. Over half a million students might be deprived of their right to education in the upcoming academic year.

Armenia political tensions

The Armenian president has called for negotiations amid ongoing political tensions that led to the prime minister's resignation last week. In a statement, Armen Sarkissian expressed regret that the political crisis continues while all sides admit it could put Armenia’s future in jeopardy. The Armenian acting prime minster also urged the country’s political forces to enter dialogue to find a solution to the crisis. Karen Karapetyan called for “civilized, practical, and fast decisions” to end the upheaval. The comments come as the opposition leader has stressed that the only solution to the problem is the ruling party’s recognition of the protesters’ victory without any conditions.

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