Washington, Oct 16 (AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump has welcomed Italian President Sergio Mattarella to the White House for talks.
The leaders are expected to discuss trade, digital taxes and countering Chinese trade practices they consider unfair during meetings Wednesday.
White House officials declined to say whether Trump and Mattarella will discuss Turkey.
Vice President Mike Pence is set to depart later Wednesday for Turkey to try to negotiate a cease-fire after Turkey began attacking Kurdish fighters and civilians in Syria. Turkey launched the military operation after Trump announced he was moving U.S. troops out of harm's way.
Mattarella is scheduled to participate in a joint news conference with Trump, and later join Trump at a reception celebrating Italian Americans.
Washington, Oct 16 (AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump says U.S. troops are "largely out" of a region of Syria where Turkish forces are attacking Kurdish fighters.
Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters allied with the U.S. after Trump pulled troops from the region this month. As he met Wednesday with Italy's president, Trump said: "If Syria wants to fight to take back their land, that's up to them and Turkey."
Trump adds: "There's a lot of sand that they can play with."
But as Trump defends removing troops from northeastern Syria, he's talking up his recent decision to send more troops to Saudi Arabia to help the kingdom defend against Iran.
Trump says the U.S. is sending missiles and "great power" to the Saudis, and adds: "They're paying for that."
Guangzhou, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- South China's Guangdong Province has set up a 1-billion-yuan (about 141 million U.S. dollars) emergency assistance fund to provide temporary support for veterans and special-care recipients facing hard living conditions, local authorities said on Tuesday.
The fund covers a wide range of beneficiaries with permanent residential registration in the province, including Red Army veterans, soldiers transferred to civilian work, ex-servicemen and dependents of martyrs, according to the Guangdong Department of Veterans Affairs.
Allocated by the provincial government and cities above the prefecture-level in Guangdong, the fund will be used to assist the recipients in dealing with critical illnesses, major incidents, family misfortunes and other special cases, said the department.
Khartoum, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Chairman of Sudan's Sovereign Council Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan on Wednesday issued a constitutional decree declaring cease-fire in all parts of the country.
The constitutional decree stated that the declaration of the cease-fire came "to prepare the atmosphere for achieving peace and security in all parts of Sudan."
The decree instructed all concerned authorities to immediately implement the cease-fire as of the date of its issuance.
The constitutional decree came hours after the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)/Northern sector, led by Abdelaziz al-Hilu, announced suspension of negotiations with Sudan government until all the movement's demands are responded to, including declaration of cease-fire and release of the movement's detainees.
South Sudan's capital Juba has been hosting peace talks between Sudanese government and armed groups from Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions.
Sudan's Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement, and the SPLM/Northern sector are participating in the talks with the government.
Damascus, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and the visiting UN special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen on Wednesday stressed the need for ongoing coordination to make the work of the recently-formed constitutional committee successful, according to the state news agency SANA.
Both sides stressed that the work of the constitutional committee, which is tasked with reviewing and revising the Syrian constitution, should be led by Syrians themselves without foreign interference.
Meanwhile, both sides also discussed the current situation in northeastern Syria, where Turkish is on a crushing offensive against Kurdish forces and the possible repercussion such a military operation could have on the work of the constitutional committee.
Al-Moallem stressed that Syria will counter the forces that are encroaching upon its sovereignty and independence, noting that it's the duty of the Syrian army to protect the Syrians in northeastern Syria.
Syria will counter the Turkish aggression by all means possible, al-Moallem reiterated.
For his side, Pedersen informed al-Moallem of the latest updates on the launching of the constitutional committee's work, voicing readiness to exert all efforts to make success the work of the committee.
Pedersen arrived in the capital Damascus on Tuesday evening on a visit that comes as the Syrian constitutional committee, which was formed last month, will be convening in Geneva later this month.
During Pedersen's visit to Damascus last month, the UN announced that a Syrian constitutional committee made up of opposition, civil society and government members has been finalized after almost two years of negotiations.
The 150-member committee, proposed during a peace conference hosted by Russia in January 2018, will rewrite the Syrian constitution.