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Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani attends the US Qatar Strategic Dialogue at the State Department, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

ISIS remains mortal threat to Middle East, Qatari envoy warns

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: Islamic State remains a mortal threat to the region despite its recent battlefield defeats, Qatar’s foreign minister warned in an interview Wednesday, cautioning that the terrorist group could rise again if Washington and its Arab allies fail to address the root causes fueling religious extremism.

"It has been clear from the outset [of his presidency] that President Trump is willing to do what it takes to bring the North Koreans to the negotiating table," said Choo Mi-ae, a leader of South Korea's Democratic Party. (Associated Press/File)

South Korean party leader Choo sees promise in Trump’s hawkish stand on North Korea

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: President Trump has broken with his predecessors in making North Korea’s nuclear programs a priority from the first day of his administration, improving the prospects for a negotiated solution to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula despite the angry rhetoric and provocative moves from both Washington and Pyongyang, the head of South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party said in an interview.

Kurdish leaders remain committed to a political settlement but say their famed peshmerga militia forces are ready to take up arms to defend their homeland. (Associated Press/File)

Kurds seek more help from Trump administration to keep peace with Iraq

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: The Trump administration must do more to push a negotiated settlement between the Iraqi government and the country’s Kurdish minority over a blocked Kurdish push for independence, the Iraqi Kurds’ top representative in Washington said in an interview, warning that the current truce may not hold and the Kurds will fight back if pushed too far.

Hamdullah Mohib (left), Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States, said the Trump administration's plan for a long-term occupation in his country is the right way to capitalize on gains made in the past 16 years of war. (Associated Press/File)

Afghanistan welcomes Trump plan for long-term U.S. partnership

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: A country that has long fiercely resisted foreign occupiers is ready to accept a long-term U.S. military presence to ensure stability and security, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Washington said in an interview, adding that Kabul is also ready to forge stronger ties with regional powers such as Iran and India to defeat terrorism and serve as a check to neighboring Pakistan.

Pakistani Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said his country will have plenty of economic opportunity in coming years that could be at risk from violence in neighboring Afghanistan. (Associated Press/File)

Afghanistan terror threatens to nip Pakistan’s budding economy; ambassador waits for Trump strategy

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: Pakistan’s military has swept terrorist groups from the nation’s once-lawless tribal areas, but the gains could be put at risk if the security situation across the border in Afghanistan is not brought under control, Islamabad’s diplomat in Washington said, stressing that his nation is waiting for the Trump administration to clarify its strategy for the Afghanistan conflict.

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Former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari advises critics of President Trump to give his foreign policy a chance. (Associated Press)

Pakistan's former president urges Trump to send envoy to region

- The Washington Times

President Trump should quickly appoint a high-level envoy to South Asia to underscore U.S. leadership in the region and seize an opportunity missed by the Obama administration to coordinate a top-level response to the regional terrorist threat, said former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

Pakistan and India face tension after an attack earlier this month on an Indian military base in Indian Kashmir that left many soldiers dead. (Associated Press)

Pakistan says India risks 'self-destructive war' by escalating Kashmir tensions

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: The top Pakistani official in the volatile dispute over Kashmir warned in an interview that India is dangerously escalating a war of words over the divided territory between the two nuclear-armed powers, vehemently denying that Islamabad was behind a recent attack that killed 18 soldiers at an Indian military base there.