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Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel capital

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WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump plans to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday and set in motion the relocation of the US Embassy to the ancient city, senior US officials said, a decision that upends decades of US policy and risks fuelling violence in the Middle East.

Senior administration officials called Trump’s expected recognition of Jerusalem an affirmation of ‘reality’ — both historical and current, pointing out that the city is already home to Israel’s parliament, supreme court and other government sites.

Palestinians, however, also claim Jerusalem as their capital, and Trump’s anticipated announcement has touched off an uproar in the Arab world.

Trump, in a landmark speech, will announce he has ordered the State Department to begin developing a plan to move the embassy from Tel Aviv in what is expected to be a process that takes three to four years, the officials said.

Trump will sign a national security waiver that authorises him to delay the embassy relocation for now, since the US diplomats do not yet have a building in Jerusalem to move into, security arrangements or housing for diplomats, the officials said.

Trump’s endorsement of Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital would reverse long-standing US policy that the city’s status must be decided in negotiations with the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The international community does not recognise Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions.

The officials, who briefed reporters ahead of Trump’s speech at 1 pm EST (1800 GMT) on Wednesday, insisted that Trump’s decision, intended to fulfill a key campaign promise, was not meant to pre-judge the outcome of eventual talks on the final status of Jerusalem or other major disputes between the two sides.

Instead, one of the officials contended that Trump’s announcements reflected the “historic reality” of Jerusalem as the center of Jewish faith and the “modern reality” that it is the seat of Israeli government.

Such arguments are not likely to sway the Palestinians and the broader Arab world.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, who all received telephone calls from Trump on Tuesday, joined a mounting chorus of voices warning that unilateral US steps on Jerusalem would derail a fledgling US-led peace effort that has stymied previous US administrations and unleash turmoil in the region.

The White House said Trump had also spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close US ally and longtime proponent of a US embassy move to Jerusalem.

Netanyahu was the only leader whose office did not release a statement following the call. A senior Israeli minister welcomed Trump’s decision while vowing that Israel would be prepared for any outbreak of violence.

Reuters/GNN

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Korean Pop Cover Dance Competition -2018 to be held in Kathmandu

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KATHMANDU- Korean Pop Cover Dance Competition -2018 is to be held in the capital on December 14 with the objective of cultural exchange between Nepal and Korea by means of dance.

The dance competition is taking place at the Rastriya Naachghar at Jamal at 1 pm on December 14. Twenty six dance groups are competing in the contest being organized by Struck Pop in association with Youth for Change.

The Invincible Events and Management is managing the event.

The 26 dance troupes were selected from total 150 groups through the first selection round held in Butwal, Narayangadh, Dharan, Pokhara and Kathmandu.

The team coming out first in the competition will bag Rs 30,000; the team standing second Rs 20,000 and the team coming third Rs 10,000, the founding director of Struck Pop, Sresh Moktan, said.

Struck Pop is a Korean dance troupe constituted in 2015. It has been carrying out various activities related to Korean dance since its inception.

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