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Pope Meets With Iraqi Ayatollah; Both Call for ‘Peaceful Coexistence’

Pope Francis met with Iraq’s top Shiite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, during a visit Saturday morning to the Shiite holy city of Najaf. Both men issued statements after the meeting urging peaceful coexistence among Iraq’s different religious groups.
 
Amateur video posted on social media showed a group of children in the south of Iraq chanting a welcome message to Pope Francis as he traveled to Najaf Saturday morning to meet with the country’s top Shiite religious authority. Welcome signs were also posted on billboards in many towns and cities.After traveling from Baghdad by helicopter, Pope Francis, accompanied by close advisers, walked through the narrow streets of Najaf to reach al-Sistani’s compound. Chaldean Patriarch Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako sat near the pope, as he chatted with al-Sistani in his office for close to an hour.Neither of the men could be heard on the video but each of their offices issued statements after the meeting calling for “unity among Iraqis and peaceful coexistence.”
 
Arab media reported the meeting between Francis and al-Sistani “took months to arrange,” as the Shiite cleric rarely meets with visiting foreign religious or political dignitaries. Cardinal Sako, however, is said to have close ties to al-Sistani and his advisers, and he wanted both men to deliver a message of peace and unity.Iraq analyst Hassan Mustapha told Arab media that both religious leaders are following what looks like a “roadmap” for reconciliation following the bitter conflicts in recent years.He said that both the pope and ayatollah are renouncing violence and killing, and both would like mankind to live in peace, security and faith. The statements of both, he said, read like a roadmap with al-Sistani denouncing oppression, persecution and religious tyranny while promoting freedom to choose.Al-Sistani reaffirmed that religious authorities must play a role in protecting Iraq’s small Christian community and that they should be able to live in peace and enjoy the same rights of all other Iraqis.Pope Francis, center, prepares to leave after an inter-religious meeting near the archaeological site of Ur, near Nasiriyah, Iraq, March 6, 2021.The pope’s meeting with al-Sistani was followed by a visit to the ruins of Ur, thought to have been the birthplace of the Prophet Abraham. Members of Iraq’s different religious groups held an interfaith meeting before hearing the pope speak.Chaldean religious music preceded the pope’s message along with readings from the Bible and the Quran related to Abraham. The leader of the world’s Roman Catholics urged Iraqis to “unite” and not to “surrender” to violence and oppression. He stressed that “we are all grandsons of (the Prophet) Abraham and we must not try to divide heaven since heaven calls for uniting men.”
 
Dr. Paul Sullivan, a professor at the Washington-based National Defense University, told VOA that “the adherents of the Abrahamic faiths – Islam, Christianity and Judaism have a chance to see similarities over differences.” “Let us hope,” he stressed, “they take this chance and get beyond the blind spots of prejudice and bigotry … to see their common humanity and similarities of belief.”  
Later Saturday the pope was expected to celebrate mass at the Chaldean Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Baghdad.
 
Francis also plans to visit Mosul, Irbil, and Qaraqosh before leaving Iraq.  
 
The pope will hold an open-air mass at the Irbil stadium on Sunday afternoon. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, attendance will be limited to 10,000 people.
 
The Christian presence in Iraq dates to the first centuries of the religion, but only a few hundred thousand Christians remain today.  
 
This is the pope’s thirty-third trip outside the Vatican and his first in the last 15 months due mostly to the COVID pandemic.  
 
The pontiff is scheduled to return to Rome Monday morning.
 

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In Biblical City of Ur, Pope Urges Inter-Religious Tolerance, Fraternity

Pope Francis has addressed an interfaith gathering of Iraq’s religious and ethnic groups in Ur, said to be the birthplace of Abraham, the common patriarch for Jews, Christians and Muslims. He drove home the need for respect and unity, and he used the opportunity to condemn violent religious extremism.  
       
Pope Francis traveled to the ruins of the ancient city of Ur, considered the cradle of civilization, to remind people that what binds them is more powerful than what divides. Faithful from the Christian, Muslim, Yazidi and Mandean communities were present Saturday. The pope reinforced his call for inter-religious tolerance and fraternity during the first-ever papal visit to Iraq, where religious and ethnic divisions and conflict have torn apart the social fabric for decades.    The pontiff said that all of Iraq’s communities have suffered too long from terrorism and war. “Hostility, extremism and violence are not born of a religious heart: They are betrayals of religion,” he said. His remarks in Italian were translated into English.     “We are believers and as believers mustn’t stand silent when we see terrorism, when terrorism takes hold of religion for its own gain. It is up to us as religious men and women to destroy evil. We cannot have the light of God be darkened as it has been in this country, where war, violence and terrorism has brought darkness,” the pontiff said.Pope Francis also drew attention to the genocide perpetrated by Islamic State militants against Iraq’s minority Yazidi community and their continuing plight.   “Yazidi men and women, young children were taken from their homes and sold into slavery, subjected to violence. We must remain hopeful for the future. But there are still people to this very day, who are held captive. People who cannot return to their homeland. We pray for freedom of thought, of mind, freedom of religion to be upheld everywhere,” the leader of the world’s Roman Catholics said.Pope Francis has sought to support Christians in Iraq, whose numbers have dwindled from 1.5 million in 2003 to less than 300,000 in this majority Shiite Muslim country, by calling on leaders to protect all minority rights.
 
During his speech, the pope praised “the young Muslim volunteers of Mosul, who helped to repair churches and monasteries, building fraternal friendships on the rubble of hatred, and those Christians and Muslims who today are restoring mosques and churches together.”  He called “the greatest blasphemy” the act of “hating our brothers and sisters.”   

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Pope Francis Meets With Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani

Pope Francis, leader of the world’s Roman Catholics, met Saturday in Iraq with the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a leading Shiite Muslim figure.
 
The historic session between 84-year-old pontiff and the reclusive al-Sistani took place in the 90-year-old Muslim leader’s modest home in the holy city of Najaf.  
 
Al-Sistani said Christians have the same rights as other Iraqis and that they should have peaceful lives.  
 
Al-Sistani is one of the most important figures in Shiite Islam and wields considerable influence in Iraq and beyond.
 
Iraqi Christians are hoping al-Sistani’s statement and Francis’ message of coexistence will help to ease their lives in the mainly Muslim country, where they find themselves frequently under attack from Shiite militia members.
 
A religious official in Najaf told the Associated Press that the meeting was “a private visit without precedent in history, and it will not have an equal to any previous visits.”  
 
The encounter between the two religious leaders also comes against the tense backdrop of the possibility of rocket firings into Iraq from rogue Iranian-back groups and the global COVID-19 pandemic.  
 
After his meeting with al-Sistani, Francis attended an interfaith meeting in the ancient city of Ur where he again delivered his message of peaceful coexistence.
 
“From this place, where faith was born, from the land of our father Abraham, let us affirm that God is merciful and that the greatest blasphemy is to profane his name by hating our brothers and sisters,” Francis said.
 
Ur is believed to be the birthplace of Abraham, revered by three religions – Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
 
Later Saturday the pope will celebrate mass at the Chaldean Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Baghdad.
 
Francis will also visit Mosul, Irbil, and Qaraqosh before leaving Iraq.  
 
The pope will give an open-air mass at the Irbil stadium on Sunday afternoon. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, attendance will be limited to 10,000 people.
 
The Christian presence in Iraq dates to the first centuries of the religion, but only a few hundred thousand Christians remain today.  
 
This is pope’s 33rd trip outside Italy and his first in the last 15 months due in most part to COVID-19.   
 
The pontiff is scheduled to return to Rome Monday morning.
 

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Portugal Envoy Urges US to Counter Chinese Bid at Key Seaport

Once the seat of a powerful maritime empire, Portugal is attracting attention from today’s great powers. Analysts warn that unless the U.S. moves quickly, China will soon expand its control over a key Portuguese seaport.A month from now, the fate of a new terminal at the Port of Sines on Portugal’s southwestern coast is scheduled to be decided.Sines is “the first deep water port if you go from the United States to Europe, so it’s a very important infrastructure,” Domingos Fezas Vital, Lisbon’s ambassador to the United States, said in a phone interview.In 2012, the People’s Republic of China acquired a stake in one of the four terminals at the port, drawing attention to Beijing’s strategic design.“We now have an international bid for a fifth terminal, which will be a second container terminal,” Fezas Vital told VOA. “We would very, very, very much like to have American companies competing for this bid; I think it will be very important to have an American presence in Sines.”He said it was unimportant whether that bid was “American only (or) American together with friends and allies.”Eric Brown is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute with a focus on Asia and global strategy.“It’s clear when you look at the PRC’s Maritime Silk Road — the oceans-focused component of the Belt and Road Initiative — that one of their ambitions is to control the littorals of Eurasia and large parts of Africa,” he said in a phone interview. “And I would say that in the grander imaginings of things, that also includes Latin America.“One of the ways in which they’re attempting to acquire that control is through politically directed economic investments through state-owned enterprises and state-directed enterprises in critical ports that skirt the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, and increasingly the North Sea and the Baltic states,” he said.Seen from that perspective, “control of Sines, which is important for the Iberian economy and for southwestern Europe as a whole, is of enormous consequence,” he said.Brown sees Chinese behavior as that of a “power trader,” an idea recently put forward by Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. PortugalThe thesis that Germany acted as a “power tradet” that used trade as a key instrument to gain commercial and military advantage over its adversaries was originally put forth by the late economist Albert O. Hirschman in a book entitled FILE – Ship containers are moved at the Port of Sines, in Sines, Portugal, Feb. 12, 2020.In order to not lose out to Chinese state-backed bids for key infrastructure projects like the Port of Sines, Washington may just have to take a page from Beijing’s playbook, Prestowitz suggested, and put more government muscle behind corporate initiatives.While American conservatives have traditionally been most skeptical about government efforts to direct the economy, Prestowitz welcomed a Republican-led move under former President Donald Trump in 2019 to reorganize two existing agencies into the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.The move, he said, was a good start toward giving the United States the tools to fight back against China.Atkinson, for his part, proposes the establishment of a NATO-like trade alliance that would be able to respond “bravely, strategically, and expeditiously” to Chinese economic expansionism and power projection.

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Stop ‘Fussing and Whining’ Over COVID Response, Says Brazil President

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center has recorded more than 116 million global coronavirus cases. The U.S. is on the verge of having 30 million infections, followed by India with 11 million and Brazil with 10.8 million.Earlier this week, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had callous words for fellow Brazilians unhappy with the president’s response to the pandemic.“Stop all this fussing and whining,” the president said. “How long are you going to keep on crying?” Bolsonaro was speaking in the Brazilian state of Goiás, where almost 9,000 people have died.Only the U.S. has more COVID deaths than Brazil. According to Hopkins, the U.S. has more than 522,000 COVID deaths, while Brazil has reported more than 262,000.Russia’s statistics agency said Friday more than 200,000 Russians diagnosed with COVID-19 have died, more than double the figure used by the government’s coronavirus task force.The figures released Friday from Rosstat, a government agency that releases coronavirus data infrequently, said it had recorded 200,432 deaths through January. Those figures include nearly 70,000 people who had the virus at the time of death, but whose main cause of death was not deemed to be COVID-19.The tally is significantly more the government’s coronavirus task force’s data, which had recorded 88,285 deaths as of Friday. The government’s task force does not count deaths in which the virus was present but is not ruled the main cause.Using the figures from Rosstat, Russia would have the third most COVID-19 fatalities in the world, behind only the United States and Brazil.Rosstat also reported Friday that Russia has recorded 394,000 more deaths since the start of the pandemic until the end of January than in the previous period — suggesting that coronavirus-related deaths in the country could be even higher.In another development Friday, the World Health Organization said investigators who conducted an inspection in China to determine origins of the COVID-19 virus would release a report on their findings in mid-March.Peter Ben Embarek, who led the mission, clarified at a regular coronavirus news briefing Friday in Geneva that an interim report would not be released as previously reported.“To clarify, there was never a plan for an interim report, first of all,” Embarek said. “It was hoped we would get a summary report out,” but “the director-general [Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] will receive that report from the team in the near future and we will discuss the recommendations.”The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday the WHO team decided not to release its interim account “amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington.”Another international group of scientists has called for the WHO to conduct a new inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. The scientists calling for a new probe said in an open letter Thursday that the WHO team “did not have the mandate, the independence, or the necessary accesses to carry out a full and unrestricted investigation.”The scientists also noted in their letter that the WHO investigators in China were accompanied by their Chinese counterparts.The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.Throughout his term, former U.S. president Donald Trump strongly suggested, without evidence, the coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan laboratory.A global team of inspectors began its four-week investigation in Wuhan in January and finished it last month.Italy on Friday surpassed 3 million confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. The health ministry reported 24,036 new confirmed cases Friday, the third straight day this week that daily new caseloads exceeded 20,000 cases.The government said it would further tighten coronavirus restrictions in three of its 20 regions after health officials warned of the increase of cases of more contagious variants.France reported 23,507 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, which is down from the previous week, however officials said the number of people in intensive care with COVID-19 reached its highest level this year.Canada’s drug regulator announced Friday that it had approved Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, the fourth such inoculation to get approval. Canada has also approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.Mickey Mouse may once again scamper on Disneyland’s streets, according to California officials who said Friday the state’s theme and amusement parks could open as early as April 1.There are, of course, COVID-19 restrictions on the openings. The parks would open under restricted capacity. They would also have to be in a county that is not under certain constraints, designed to slow the coronavirus transmission rate.A purple county has the most restrictions due to its coronavirus rate of infection, under California’s color-code system. Disneyland is in a purple country, but at the present rate of transmission, officials expect the theme park would likely be eligible for reopening sometime in April.

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Pope Meets with Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah

Pope Francis, leader of the world’s Roman Catholics, met Saturday in Iraq with the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a leading Shiite Muslim figure.The historic session between 84-year-old pontiff and the reclusive al-Sistani took place in the 90-year-old Muslim leader’s modest home in the holy city of Najaf.Al-Sistani said Christians have the same rights as other Iraqis and that they should have peaceful lives.Al-Sistani is one of the most important figures in Shiite Islam and wields considerable influence in Iraq and beyond.Iraqi Christians are hoping al-Sistani’s statement and Francis’ message of coexistence will help to ease their lives in the mainly Muslim country, where they find themselves frequently under attack from Shiite militia members.A religious official in Najaf told the Associated Press that the meeting was “a private visit without precedent in history, and it will not have an equal to any previous visits.”The encounter between the two religious leaders also comes against the tense backdrop of the possibility of rocket firings into Iraq from rogue Iranian-back groups and the global COVID-19 pandemic.After his meeting with al-Sistani, Francis attended an interfaith meeting in the ancient city of Ur where he again delivered his message of peaceful coexistence.“From this place, where faith was born, from the land of our father Abraham, let us affirm that God is merciful and that the greatest blasphemy is to profane his name by hating our brothers and sisters,” Francis said.Ur is believed to be the birthplace of Abraham, revered by three religions – Islam, Judaism and Christianity.Later Saturday the pope will celebrate Mass at the Chaldean Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Baghdad.Francis will also visit Mosul, Erbil, and Qaraqosh before leaving Iraq.The pope will give an open-air Mass at the Erbil stadium on Sunday afternoon. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, attendance will be limited to 10,000 people.The Christian presence in Iraq dates to the first centuries of the religion, but only a few hundred thousand Christians remain today.This is pope’s 33rd trip outside Italy and his first in the last 15 months due in most part to COVID-19.The pontiff is scheduled to return to Rome on Monday morning.

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US Detained Nearly 100,000 Migrants at Mexico Border in February, Sources Say

U.S. border agents detained nearly 100,000 migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in February, according to two people familiar with preliminary figures, the highest monthly total since a major border surge in mid-2019.The figures, which have not been previously reported, show the scope of a growing migrant influx at the southwest border as U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, seeks to roll back some of the restrictive policies of former President Donald Trump, a Republican. February was Biden’s first full month in office.Last month’s total would represent the highest tally for the month of February since 2006. The sources who provided the figures to Reuters spoke on the condition of anonymity.An increasing number of children arriving at the border without a parent or legal guardian has forced U.S. officials in recent weeks to scramble for housing options and take steps to speed up their release to sponsors in the United States.February’s number of detained migrants represents an increase over 78,000 in January. February’s total appears to be the highest monthly number since June 2019 during a large border surge that Trump cited as justification for a broad immigration crackdown.A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said official statistics for last month likely will be released next week.U.S. Border Patrol agents caught more than 4,500 migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in a single day on Wednesday, according to government figures shared with Reuters, a sign that illegal entries could continue to rise in March.Republicans have criticized Biden for rolling back Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, saying the shift will lead to more illegal immigration.Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House of Representatives, sent a letter to Biden on Friday that requested a meeting to discuss the issue, saying he had “great concern” with the administration’s approach to border.”We must acknowledge the border crisis, develop a plan, and, in no uncertain terms, strongly discourage individuals from Mexico and Central America from ever making the dangerous journey to our southern border,” McCarthy wrote in the letter.The recidivism rate among migrants attempting to cross the border illegally increased over the past year under a Trump-era policy known as Title 42. That policy, issued on public health grounds amid the coronavirus pandemic, allowed U.S. authorities to rapidly expel migrants caught crossing. In some cases, migrants attempt to cross the border again.Biden exempted unaccompanied children from the policy in February.

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EU Threatens Retaliations, Tariffs in Northern Ireland Dispute with Britain

Relations between Britain and the European Union were thrown into a fresh crisis Friday, just weeks after the two concluded a trade deal to end the long-running saga of Brexit, the British departure from the bloc after four decades of membership.EU officials say they plan to launch legal action soon against Britain for its unilateral decision to delay by several months the implementation of part of the Brexit deal that requires customs checks on goods being traded between Britain and its Northern Ireland province.The delay, London says, will give traders and consumers in British-ruled Northern Ireland time to adjust to the new and complicated trading arrangements that require, among other things, health inspections and certificates for food and livestock shipments.Britain and the EU agreed to the new rules to avoid the establishment of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which would have breached the U.S.-brokered 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.’Very negative surprise’Under the Brexit deal, the British province remains in Europe’s tariff-free single market. Since the final Brexit deal was inked in December, the province’s supermarkets have complained of shortages of basic British food staples.Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s vice president, told the Financial Times that the announcement midweek by the British government of a delay in implementation was a “very negative surprise.”On Thursday, EU officials threatened to impose trade tariffs on Britain and to suspend parts of the Brexit trade deal if London didn’t back down. Sefcovic said officials were preparing a legal action, which would most likely be brought before the European Court of Justice, and “it would be really something coming to our table very soon.”FILE – Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, left, speaks with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok during a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the Europa building in Brussels, Dec. 9, 2019.Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, told reporters the EU would have no option but to resort to legal action because it was negotiating with a partner “it simply couldn’t trust.” Because of the dispute, the European Parliament this week announced it was postponing setting a date for ratifying the Brexit deal.The dispute may appear at first glance to be a dry and even obscure trade matter, but analysts say it has the potential not only to worsen already frayed relations between Britain and Europe but also risks dangerous political developments in Ireland.Those in turn could impact Britain’s relationship with the Biden administration, which has emphasized that Brexit should in no way undermine the Good Friday peace agreement.That agreement ended decades of sectarian violence between mainly Protestant pro-British loyalist groups and the mainly Catholic IRA, which waged an insurgency to try to push British forces out of Northern Ireland and London to relinquish control of the province.Pressure on JohnsonLondon’s decision to delay implementation for six months of the protocol requiring customs checks came as lawmakers from Britain’s ruling Conservative Party and from pro-British unionist parties in Northern Ireland increased their efforts to persuade Prime Minister Boris Johnson to abandon or to renegotiate the Brexit deal with the EU.They argue the Northern Ireland protocol is unworkable and will increase costs for the province’s businesses, which in turn will be passed on in higher prices to consumers. The province’s supermarkets say they have found it hard to get staple British food products because imports have been blocked at ports by an overzealous application of the Brexit trading rules, as well as confusion over what paperwork is required.The Conservative and unionist lawmakers also fear that the new trading arrangements will end up tearing the province away from Britain.Ominously, Northern Ireland’s loyalist paramilitary groups warned Johnson this week that they were withdrawing their support for the Good Friday peace agreement until the Brexit protocol was abandoned. Their withdrawal prompted fears of a return to violence, although David Campbell, a leading loyalist figure, said loyalist opposition to the Brexit deal would be “peaceful, democratic and constitutional.””We are looking to the prime minister to use every effort he can to rectify the problems with the protocol. Let’s hope that those issues are resolved,” Campbell told the BBC. “I have no doubt that but for the present pandemic you would have already seen street protests and demonstrations. Our history shows that street protests and demonstrations are very difficult to control and maintain peacefully.”A hope for no violenceAfter the announcement by loyalist groups, Jonathan Powell, a chief negotiator for the British government in the 1998 peace talks, said he was dismayed.”I think it’s a mistake, but I do pin my hopes on the promise that they will not go back to violence and that there’s no intention of returning to the old days. I think we should deal with this as a political issue to which people object strongly and find the solution that way,” he said in a broadcast interview.FILE – Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster, center,  speaks to journalists at European Union headquarters in Brussels, April 11, 2019.The first minister of Northern Ireland’s devolved government, Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, accused the EU of taking a “very belligerent approach” to the difficulties caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol. She welcomed Johnson’s decision to delay implementation.Johnson has threatened before to scrap customs checks on trade between Britain and Northern Ireland — a threat that nearly wrecked the overall Brexit deal signed in December. This time he’s said a delay is needed to avoid significant immediate disruption to everyday life in Northern Ireland. He has said the move is “temporary and technical” and designed “to ensure there are no barriers in the Irish Sea, to make sure things flow freely.”Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, warned British ministers recently that their efforts to negotiate a trade deal with the U.S. would be rebuffed if Brexit ended up wrecking the 1998 peace agreement.Just before last November’s U.S. presidential elections, Joe Biden was similarly blunt, saying in a tweet: “We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.” He added: “Any trade deal between the U.S. and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”  

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Meghan Markle, Ahead of Oprah Interview, Says She’s ‘Ready to Talk’

Meghan Markle, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, says she is now “ready to talk” along with husband Prince Harry, ahead of a highly anticipated weekend airing of an interview with Oprah Winfrey.Markle credits her newfound freedom for opening up about the limitations put on her by the royal family and her appreciation for making her own decisions.”It’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say, ‘Yes … I’m ready to talk,’ ” she said.Markle believes now is the time to share her side of the story and how life has changed since leaving the royal family.“We’re on the other side of a lot of, a lot of life experience that’s happened,” Markle said. “And also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then, that wasn’t my choice to make.”Markle and Prince Harry, who tied the knot in May 2018, stunned the royal family in January when they announced they would step down from their official royal duties to live independently in Montecito, California.Since coming to Montecito, the couple announced their new commonwealth project, Archewell Foundation, named after their son Archie. Teaming with chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, the foundation said it would create Community Relief Centers in regions of the world prone to climate disasters.Sunday’s interview comes after Buckingham Palace announced Wednesday it would be launching an investigation into claims Markle bullied her staff while still living as a royal in London.“I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” Markle said.Oprah with Meghan and Harry will air this Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on the CBS television network. 

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