The Latest: US, China vow to cooperate on NKorea nuke threat

AP News
Posted: Sep 19, 2016 7:25 PM
The Latest: US, China vow to cooperate on NKorea nuke threat

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest on the high-level U.N. General Assembly meetings (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

The U.S. and China are vowing to coordinate more closely on addressing the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.

President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met Monday in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. The White House says they both condemned North Korea's recent nuclear test.

The White House says the two countries agreed to cooperate more aggressively in the U.N. Security Council and "in law enforcement channels" on the North Korea issue. They also discussed economic ties between the U.S. and China.

A White House statement describing the meeting makes no specific reference to maritime issues. But the White House says the leaders discussed climate change, trade and other key issues.


5:10 p.m.

President Barack Obama says the upcoming battle to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul will be challenging but is critical to defeating the Islamic State group.

Obama met Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (HY'-dahr ahl ah-BAH'-dee) while in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. He says the extremist group has embedded itself "deeply" in Mosul but that the U.S. and its partners are confident they can be in a position to move forward in Mosul "fairly rapidly."

Obama says much of the challenge is to rapidly provide humanitarian assistance to people displaced by the fight. He says he plans to ask Congress and other countries to step up to support those humanitarian efforts.

He says hopefully there will be progress by the end of the year.

Abadi says IS must be "crushed on the ground." He's calling the group a "huge threat" and a "dangerous terrorist organization."


4:15 p.m.

Japan's prime minister has committed $2.8 billion in assistance to help tackle the global refugee crisis.

His counterpart from China is pledging $100 million in new aid.

The commitments came as leaders from the 193 U.N. member states addressed a summit Monday on the plight of the world's 65.3 million displaced people.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Japanese assistance would cover the period between 2016 and 2018. The aid is for the Mideast, North Africa and other parts of the world.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said large movements of refugees and migrants could affect regional stability and trigger serious political and security concerns.

He said China is also considering setting aside for refugee assistance a portion of a $1 billion China-U.N. development fund it announced last year.


3:40 p.m.

A human rights advocate says the arrest of an Afghan-born man in connection with bombings in Manhattan and a New Jersey shore town shouldn't fuel the misconception that accepting more refugees will lead to more terrorist acts.

Philippe Bolopion, deputy director of global advocacy for Human Rights Watch, said Monday that efforts to single out certain communities and make them responsible for the acts of a few individuals will likely backfire.

"We certainly hope that this arrest will not be a distraction from trying to better assist 65 million people that are on the move, half of whom are children, whose lives are being thrown into chaos by conflict or persecution," Bolopion said on the sidelines of the U.N. Summit on Refugees and Migrants.

The suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan and not a recent refugee. But his foreign birth could possibly fuel xenophobia.


3:20 p.m.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will work together to support hopes of a Mideast peace agreement.

After their meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, Kerry's spokesman said the pair discussed "constructive ideas" to advance a two-state solution with Israel.

Spokesman John Kirby said Kerry stressed the U.S. commitment to Mideast peace along with concerns about Palestinian violence and Israeli settlements.

He said Kerry and Abbas would "work with key partners to advance the prospects for peace while opposing all efforts that would undermine that goal."


3:15 p.m.

A Yazidi woman who was held captive by the Islamic State group and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney are urging the United Nations and governments to help prosecute members of the extremist group for genocide and other crimes, noting that not one of them been tried for the atrocities committed by the group.

Special U.N. Ambassador Nadia Murad and Clooney spoke Monday at a gathering of foreign ministers called "The Fight Against Impunity: Bringing Da'esh to Justice" held on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Da'esh is an Arabic acronym for IS.

Murad, 23, was captured by IS in 2014 but escaped. She says she was raped and prayed for death while in captivity.

Murad, who was named a U.N. special ambassador last week, called for an international commission to gather evidence against IS. She called on the world to "stop the extermination of my people."

Clooney, Murad's legal representative, said Yazidi victims "want to appear before a judge." She urged the U.N. Security Council to focus on "genocide against Yazidis."

Clooney earlier told NBC's "Today" show that she discussed with her husband, George Clooney, her effort to legally fight the IS group. She says he understands "this is my work."


1:25 p.m.

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon is accusing the Islamic militant group Hamas of diverting international aid to its "terror infrastructure" and called on the United Nations to implement a strategy to end the practice.

Danon said Hamas is infiltrating humanitarian organizations in Gaza and using strategically placed operatives to divert funds.

The ambassador called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to implement a comprehensive oversight mechanism to ensure an end to the practice. He said he has contacted various U.N. agencies and international aid organizations to make similar demands.

Danon said Israel "will not relent until the U.N. and other aid organizations begin to track and follow every dollar that enters the Gaza Strip."


1:00 p.m.

Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh is lashing out at wealthy countries that have not taken in even a handful of refugees.

Speaking at the U.N.'s summit meeting on Refugees and Migrants on Monday, Judeh said that his country was hosting 1.3 million refugees from the Syrian conflict — equivalent to 20 percent of Jordan's population — while larger and wealthier countries had not even received "a handful."

He says the plight of migrants from the seven-year Syrian conflict brought "shame" on the international community. He called for more funding to help Jordan bear the cost of hosting refugees, expedited resettlement of refugees in third countries and a political settlement to the Syrian conflict.


10:55 a.m.

The U.N. human right chief says the summit on refugee and migrants was necessary because the international community has failed to protect those caught in the world's conflict zones.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein on Monday praised the political consensus reached in approving the New York Declaration on Migrants and Refugees, but warned against complacency and self-congratulation.

"The bitter truth is, this summit was called because we have been largely failing. Failing the long-suffering people of Syria, in not ending the war in its infancy. Failing others in now chronic conflict zones, for the same reason. Failing millions of migrants who deserve far more than lives marked by cradle-to-grave indignity and desperation," Zeid told world leaders gathered for the high-level General Assembly meeting in New York.


9:30 a.m.

World leaders and foreign ministers from 193 countries have approved wide-ranging document aimed at providing a more humane and coordinated response to the refugee crisis.

The 22-page "New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants," is not legally binding and lacks concrete commitments but calls on countries to protect refugees' human rights, boost humanitarian aid and increase resettlement of refugees.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the day-long session Monday, calling on world leaders to commit to "upholding the rights and dignity of everyone force by circumstance to flee their homes in search of a better life."

A second summit to be hosted by President Barack Obama on Tuesday will seek concrete pledges from leaders to help bear the cost of assisting and resettling the world's 65.3 million migrants and refugees.