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In this  July 19, 2016, file photo, Arthur Sinodinos is sworn in as Senator for New South Wales by the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove at Government House in Canberra, Australia. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

U.S. deal about more than subs, Australia’s ambassador says

- The Washington Times

Australia’s decision to throw over France in favor of a nuclear submarine deal with the U.S. and Great Britain may have generated the most headlines recently, but the new Anglophone partnership known as AUKUS (Australia-United Kingdom-United States) is about much more than any one particular weapon system, Canberra’s ambassador to the United States said this week.

In this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, file photo, Afghan security personnel gather at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.  (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File) **FILE**

Asad Khan, Pakistan envoy, says U.S., Taliban forced to negotiate

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: America has exhausted all of its military options in Afghanistan and is left with little choice but to forge ahead in peace talks with the Taliban, Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Asad M. Khan said Monday, underscoring the high stakes of grueling negotiations.

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Pakistani Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal talks to media outside the accountability court where Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. A Pakistani court has postponed the indictment of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for a week after his children, who are co-defendants in the case, did not appear in court. The court on Monday set Oct. 9 for the indictments against Sharif, his two sons, daughter and son in-law. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

Pakistan critical to Trump Afghanistan war plan, top official says

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: The U.S. needs Pakistan if President Trump's war plan for Afghanistan is to have a chance of succeeding, Pakistan's top internal security official said in an interview Tuesday, warning that bad blood between Washington and Islamabad risks triggering an era of instability across the region.

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 still mortal threat to Middle East, Qatar foreign minister 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)

Choo Mi-ae, South Korean party leader, 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)

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdish delegate, urges U.S. to push Iraq deal

- 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)

Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan's ambassador, welcomes Trump's plan for long-term U.S. occupation

- 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.

Europol's director Rob Wainwright said as many as 2,500 European-born fighters are likely to be in "various stages of returning" to the continent after joining the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. (Associated Press/File)

Europe braces for ISIS fighters returning from battlefield

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: Europe's top intelligence and counterterrorism officials are bracing for a surge of battle-hardened Islamic State foreign fighters returning home to the continent as the jihadi group loses its territorial base in the Middle East, the head of the European Union's main law enforcement agency says.

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)

Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Pakistan's ambassador, awaits Trump's Afghanistan policy

- 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.

In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, rescue workers work the site of airstrikes in  the al-Sakhour neighborhood of the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday Sept. 21, 2016. Ibrahim Alhaj, a member of the volunteer first responders known as the Syria Civil Defense, said 24 people were killed in a series of bombings in several parts of the besieged city Aleppo on Wednesday.  (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

Raed Salah, White Helmets activist in Syria, sees hope with Trump

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: When the U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syria airfield last month in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack, it drew praise from across the Middle East from those frustrated by America's perceived lack of strategy toward the region's bloodiest conflict.

Then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui at the State Department in Washington, Monday, March 13, 2017. The foreign minister was in Washington again in July 2019 to participate in the expanding "U.S.-Tunisia Strategic Dialogue" and hold talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP Photo/Molly Riley) ** FILE **

Khemaies Jhinaoui, Tunisia foreign minister, hopes for Donald Trump outreach

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: Tunisia's top diplomat says the Trump administration should "reach out more" to the tiny North African nation for collaboration against the evolving threat posed by the Islamic State -- and to bolster the fragile island of democracy Tunisians are struggling to uphold in the Arab world.

"Irrespective of who controls the House and Congress, we want to work very closely with the U.S. on every level of government and intend to do so with President Trump," said Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser, who emphasizes the importance of NATO. (Associated Press)

Estonia sees crucial roles for U.S., NATO despite Trump doubts

Like much of Europe -- like much of the world -- many Estonians acknowledge being bemused and sometimes confused by President Trump's first weeks in the White House. But the tiny Baltic country's top diplomat knows that when you are a stone's throw from Russia, you cannot afford to argue with the leader of the free world.

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.

"It is essential to cut the financial links between ISIS leadership and operations in the so-called 'caliphate,'" said Juan Zarate, who was a national security adviser for President George W. Bush. (Associated Press)

Islamic State financing needs a crackdown, U.S. expert says

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: The Obama administration has dented the Islamic State's money-making operations with airstrikes against the terror group's oil-smuggling empire and blacklisting its known financial facilitators from the international banking system.

Retired Gen. John R. Allen (Associated Press/File)

John Allen sees ISIS war lasting decades

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: U.S. leaders must be prepared to fight extremism and radical jihad emanating from the Middle East for "decades," says a retired Marine Corps four-star general who has spent the past decade on the military and diplomatic battlefields of America's war on terrorism.