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Japan, China strike deals during Abe visit as ties improve

Japan and China signed $2.6 billion in business deals and touted their warmer ties on Friday during a rare visit to Beijing by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as both face trade challenges from US President Donald Trump. Abe met Chinese President Xi Jinping after a full day of activities that included talks with Premier Li Keqiang and an honour guard with Japan's flag raised outside the Great Hall of the People across from Tiananmen Square. Relations between Asia's two biggest economies have improved in recent years…

As US, North Korea plan to meet, Iran warns against Trump deals

NEW YORK: A US push to change the Iran nuclear deal was sending a “very dangerous message” that countries should never negotiate with Washington, Iran’s foreign minister warned as US and North Korean leaders prepare to meet for denuclearization talks. Speaking to reporters in New York on Saturday, Mohammad Javad Zarif also said that for French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel “to try to appease the president (Donald Trump) would be an exercise in futility.” Trump will decide by May 12…

France signs deals worth $16 billion in India; to deepen defense, security ties

PARIS/NEW DELHI: French and Indian companies signed contracts worth 13 billion euros ($16 billion) on the first day of President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India on Saturday, the French presidency said in a statement. The deals include a contract for France’s Safran to supply airline Spice Jet with engines, water system modernization by Suez in the southern city of Davangere and a contract between industrial gas company Air Liquide) and Sterlite. Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – addressing a news…

UAE central bank bars deals with Qatar-linked people

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) central bank has instructed local banks to stop dealing with 59 individuals and 12 entities with alleged links to Qatar and to freeze all their assets, the state news agency WAM reported on Friday. This came after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain who have isolated Qatar by cutting all diplomatic and transport links with it this week put dozens of figures with links to the country on blacklists. Read More: Trump takes side, backs Saudi efforts to isolate Qatar "In another…

US, Saudi Arabian firms sign tens of billions of dollars of deals as Trump visits

RIYADH: US and Saudi Arabian companies signed business deals worth tens of billions of dollars on Saturday during a visit by President Donald Trump, as Riyadh seeks help to develop its economy beyond oil. National oil firm Saudi Aramco said it signed $50 billion of agreements with U.S. firms. Energy minister Khalid al-Falih said deals involving all companies totaled over $200 billion, many of them designed to produce things in Saudi Arabia that had previously been imported. Business leaders on both sides were keen to…

Siemens, SAP sign cooperation deals with Saudi Arabia: officials

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia wants German companies Siemens and SAP to play an important role in furthering the kingdom's "digital transformation", company officials said on Sunday during German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to the country. Top executives at the engineering conglomerate and the business software company who were traveling with Merkel signed declarations of intent to work with the Saudi authorities, the officials said. Saudi Arabia is pushing a long-term economic transformation dubbed "Vision 2030" to reduce…

Iran’s Rouhani seeks deals with new friend Russia

MOSCOW: Iran's president met Russia's prime minister on Monday in a bid to develop a warming relationship that has been greatly strengthened by both sides' involvement on the same side of the war in Syria. Beginning a visit to Moscow, President Hassan Rouhani told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: "I hope that a new turning-point in the development of our relations will be reached." Iranian arms purchases and Russian investment in the Iranian energy sector are likely talking points for Rouhani, less than two months before…