Call for nuclear disarmament
Iran’s deputy foreign minister has called for global nuclear disarmament, saying it is the responsibility of all governments to eliminate the threats of these weapons. Reza Najafi made the remarks in the US city of New York, during a United Nations General Assembly meeting on the international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. The Iranian diplomat said the Islamic Republic strongly rejects preservation, storage, proliferation, and development of nuclear weapons at global and regional levels. Najafi stressed the implementation of the 1995 UN Resolution on the Middle East, which endorses a region free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. The Iranian diplomat called Israel's nuclear weapons an obstacle to the UN resolution. Najafi said the regime poses a threat to peace and security in the region and beyond.
Jordan reopens Syria crossing
Jordan has fully reopened its main border crossing with Syria, in a step to restore extensive business ties with Damascus. The Nasib-Jaber crossing was a transit route for hundreds of trucks a day before the Syria conflict started in 20-11. Jordan’s state carrier, Royal Jordanian, will also resume flights to Syria next Sunday after a decade-long hiatus. Bilateral trade between Amman and Damascus amounted to over a billion dollars a year before the start of the war. Jordan was a staunch supporter of militants fighting to topple the Syrian government.
Kishida becomes Japan's new PM
Japan’s former foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, wins a ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership race that sets him on course to become the next prime minister. Kishida managed to get 257 votes while his rival, former defense minister, Taro Kono, got the remaining 170 votes. That after neither of the two managed to obtain a majority in an initial voting. The winner of the party poll is almost certain to become premier because of its majority in parliament's lower house. Incumbent Prime Minister Yasuhide Suga is not seeking re-election after just one year in office. Suga's decision came after his government’s approval ratings sank below 30 percent as Japan struggles to deal with its worst wave of Covid-19 infections.