VOA

From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Steve Miller reporting.
President Donald Trump held a joint news conference with the president
of Romania at the White House on Friday. President Trump spoke about
his recent foreign trip and Romania's commitment to defeat Islamic
State. "Romania has been a valuable member of the coalition to defeat
ISIS, and it's the fourth largest contributor of troops in Afghanistan."
He also commended Romania's pledge to increase their contributions to
NATO to more than two percent of its GDP.
When the president was asked about former FBI Director James
Comey's testimony Thursday, Trump said he felt vindicated and that he
be "100 percent" willing to testify under oath.
British Prime Minister Theresa May took a high risk political gamble
and lost. But May is resisting calls to quit.
After visiting the queen on Friday, she announced she would try to form
a minority government supported by the Democratic Unionist Party from
Northern Ireland.
"Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years and
this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work
together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom."
A year after the Brexit vote, Britain appears as divided as ever between
young and old, left and right, and pro- and anti-Europe. Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reaffirmed his backing for Qatar in its
dispute with other Gulf nations.
Erdoğan said Turkey would provide food and medicine to help Qatar
ease its isolation despite the other nations' displeasure. On Wednesday,
Turkey's parliament passed legislation permitting the deployment of
troops in Qatar.
Iran's leadership on Friday accused the United States and Saudi Arabia
of supporting the attacks on Tehran that killed 17 people this week.
VOA's Philip Alexiou.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday's attacks were
only increase hate for the U.S. and Saudi governments.
The Ayatollah made the statement in remarks of condolences for the
victims. He said the twin attacks on parliament and the tomb of former
leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini "will not damage the Iranian
nation's determination."
Extremist group Islamic State has claimed responsibility. Iranian
officials continue a crackdown that followed the attacks. Officials said
that they have detained 41 suspects in the capital city and the country's
western Kurdish provinces in raids on suspected safe houses.
A White House official has confirmed to VOA that President Donald
Trump, the secretary of state and the secretary of defense discussed
South Korea's suspension of deployment of a U.S. anti-ballistic-missile
system.
Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon will travel to Tokyo
and Seoul June 12 to 15 to reaffirm U.S. commitments and continue
close coordination on the maintenance of stability and prosperity in the
region.
North Korea has launched several land-to-sea missiles on Thursday. And
RAND Corporation defense analyst Bruce Bennett said these tests do
serve a purpose. "These are to demonstrate new capabilities, to suggest
that they are advancing and covering new areas, but also to give Kim
Jong Un some internal cover from the hits he's taking from the Security
Council and elsewhere, trying to demonstrate that Kim Jong Un is still a
god." The Thursday missile tests were North Korea's fourth in a span of
one month. Turkey's prime minister says Iraqi Kurds' plan(s) to hold a
referendum on independence are "irresponsible" and will create new
problems for the region.
Earlier this week, Iraqi Kurds announced they will hold a referendum on
September 25 to decide whether to split with the rest of Iraq and form an
independent region.
Kurds have long been called the world's largest group of stateless people
and are spread among Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey.
In Turkey, the Kurdish minority have been engaged in an armed conflict
with (the) Turkish government for decades. Ankara fears Iraqi Kurds'
independence could fuel the violence within Turkish borders.
Drivers in electric vehicles embarked Friday on a week-long trek around
Switzerland as part of a grassroots movement to fight global warming.
The seventh World Advanced Vehicle Expedition rally is the brainchild
of an environmentally-minded Swiss former teacher who wants to
promote plug-in vehicles over carbon-spewing combustion engines.
The rally takes teams over 1,600 kilometers.

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