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Ukraine’s Bid To Join NATO Is Premature – Joe Biden



President Joe Biden said this week that Ukraine is not yet ready to join NATO, calling the prospect of its membership in the international alliance “premature” amid its war with Russia.

“I don’t think it’s ready for membership in NATO,” Biden said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that aired Sunday. “I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war.”

Biden added that Ukraine still has work to do to meet all of the qualifications for membership, cautioning the process is “going to take a while.” But he reiterated his pledge to provide the country with security guarantees in the interim, stressing that the U.S. would ensure Ukraine has the weaponry it needs to defend itself against Russia.

Biden’s vow came shortly after he agreed to send cluster munitions to Ukraine, overriding humanitarian concerns about the bombs by arguing that it was crucial to provide Kyiv with more artillery. The president on Sunday left for an international trip that will include the NATO summit in Lithuania, where he will seek to rally the organization’s support for Ukraine.

“It was a very difficult decision on my part,” Biden said of approving the cluster munitions. “But the main thing is, they either have the weapons to stop the Russians now from their — keep them from stopping the Ukrainian offensive through these areas, or they don’t. And I think they needed them.”

Biden during the interview also expressed optimism that Sweden would soon gain entry to NATO, and touted the alliance’s ability to remain united in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I believe Putin has had an overwhelming objective from the time he launched 185,000 troops into Ukraine, and that was to break NATO,” he said. “So holding NATO together is really critical.”

During the wide-ranging discussion, Biden also was asked about the White House’s posture toward China. The president said he was confident the U.S. could reach a “stable point” with its international rival and would work toward establishing a “working relationship with China that benefits them and us.” But he also indicated he believes that China’s overarching goal is to become the largest economic and military power in the world.

“China has enormous potential capacity, but enormous problems as well,” he said. “I think there’s a way we can work through this.”

Biden warned Chinese President Xi Jinping against providing more support to Russia in its war against Ukraine, he added, emphasizing the economic blow if American corporations pulled out of the nation at the same pace as they have in Russia.

“I said, this is not a threat, this is an observation,” Biden said. “And if you notice, he has not gone full-bore on Russia.”

Biden also waved away questions about his age amid concerns over the ability for an 81-year-old seeking reelection to excite the Democratic base ahead of the 2024 election, arguing that he possesses “wisdom” only gained through his decades in politics.

“We’re uniting democracies,” he said, pointing to the continued support for Ukraine across Europe. “I think we have enormous opportunities. And I just want to finish the job, and I think we can do that in the next six years.”


IMF/World Bank meetings to hold in Marrakech despite devastating Moroccan earthquake



IMF/World Bank

The managements of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), together with Moroccan authorities have agreed to hold their 2023 Annual Meetings in Marrakech despite recent devastating earthquake in the country.

This is contained in a joint statement signed by World Bank President, Ajay Banga; IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva; and Kingdom of Morocco Minister of Economy and Finance, Nadia Fettah Alaoui.

They however said that the meetings, scheduled between Oct. 9 and Oct. 15, would hold by “adapting the content to the circumstances”.

“Since the devastating earthquake in Morocco on Sept. 8, the World Bank and the IMF staff have worked in close coordination with the Moroccan authorities and a team of experts to thoroughly assess Marrakech’s capacity to host the 2023 Annual Meetings.

“In undertaking this assessment, key considerations were that the meetings would not disrupt vital relief and reconstruction efforts, and that the safety of the participants can be assured.

“Based on a careful review of the findings, the Managements of the World Bank and IMF, together with the Moroccan authorities, have agreed to proceed with holding the 2023 Annual Meetings in Marrakech from October 9 to 15,” they said.

According to them, the meetings would be conducted in a way that does not hamper the relief efforts, and respects the victims and Moroccan people.

“At this very difficult time, we believe that the annual meetings also provide an opportunity for the international community to stand by Morocco and its people, who have once again shown resilience in the face of tragedy.

“We also remain committed to ensuring the safety of all participants,” they said.

The World Bank plays a key role in the global efforts to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

Working in more than 100 countries, the bank provides financing, advice, and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development.

The IMF is a global organisation that works to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for all of its 190 member countries.

It does so by supporting economic policies that promote financial stability and monetary cooperation, which are essential to increasing productivity, job creation, and economic well-being.

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Zelensky among leaders arriving in New York for high-level UN summit



Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is among the world leaders descending on New York on Monday as the United Nations prepares to kick off a high-level summit.

The summit is aimed at rescuing its largely ignored Sustainable Development Goals for economic growth.

The UN General Assembly in New York, would formally start on Tuesday and will last a week.

It is set to focus on dusting off its 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at avoiding poverty, hunger, poor education and poor health care, among other things.

In 2015, the countries of the world set themselves these central goals for global development with the key aim of ending hunger and extreme poverty by 2030.

However, the pandemic, the Ukraine war and a debt crisis in poor countries are among the setbacks that have left the UN well off its target.

According to the UN, if things continue as they are, 575 million people will still be living in great poverty and more than 600 million in hunger in 2030.

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