Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Sunday congratulated Afghanistan over the successful conduct of presidential elections.
He said making decisions through the ballot box by the Afghan people reflected their determination and keen interest in adopting a democratic culture. He emphasised that participation in the process by the Afghan people would play a significant role in bringing peace and stability to the region.
Xinhua quoted Sharif as saying, "Pakistan would not only help and support Afghanistan in strengthening democracy, but also work in collaboration with the new leadership in Afghanistan for bringing peace and tranquillity in the region."
Afghans voted in landmark presidential and provincial council elections despite Taliban threats and bad weather.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that the US will deploy two more destroyers equipped with anti-missile systems in Japan prior to 2017 in response to the recent provocations by North Korea. In response to North Korea's "pattern of provocative and destabilising actions" that violate UN resolutions, Hagel, at a Tokyo press conference with Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera, said that Washington will move to provide more protection against those threats, raising the size of the US anti-missile fleet deployed in Japan to seven. Washington's decision comes after the North Korean regime on March 26 launched two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles.
Blaming Palestine for the impasse over the peace talks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel may take "unilateral action" against the Palestinians. His comments came after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed 15 international conventions that could pave the way for a renewed attempt to get UN statehood. "Unilateral actions from the Palestinians will be answered with unilateral actions from our side," Netanyahu said during his weekly cabinet meet, the Guardian reported Sunday, adding that he blamed the Palestinians for the current impasse over the US-sponsored peace talks.