VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 3rd December, 2018
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PAKISTAN

Trump writes to PM Khan seeking Islamabad's assistance in Afghan peace talks with Taliban: Dawn

December 3, 2018

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said he has received a letter from US President Donald Trump seeking Islamabad's assistance in the Afghan peace process, reported DawnNewsTV. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed the same to Reuters, saying: "President Trump has written a letter. He has asked for Pakistan's cooperation to bring the Taliban into talks." The prime minister, in a meeting with journalists, said that he had received the letter earlier today. In the letter, he said, Trump has asked Pakistan to play its role in the peace talks which seek to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan. Click here to read..

AFGHANISTAN

Khalilzad Resumes His Trip For Afghan Peace Mission: Tolo News

December 3, 2018

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar with an interagency delegation from December 2 to 20, the US Department of State said in a statement on Sunday. Khalilzad will meet with Afghan government officials and other interested parties to support and facilitate an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan, empowering the Afghan people to decide their nation’s fate, the statement said. “Special Representative Khalilzad will be in communication with President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, and other Afghan stakeholders to coordinate closely on efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table with the Afghan government and other Afghans,” the statement said. Click here to read..

NEPAL

Constitutional bodies, PM’s Office locked in a dispute: Kathmandu Post

December 3, 2018

Four constitutional bodies and the Prime Minister’s Office are embroiled in a dispute after the latter sought details of their unfinished tasks within 15 days. Citing the “instruction” by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, the PM’s Office shot off separate letters last Tuesday to the constitutional bodies and ministries, asking them to submit details of their projects and pending works within two weeks. Earlier, the prime minister organised a three-day session at his office evaluating the tasks undertaken by all the ministries in the past four months and expressed serious reservations over the lack of timely progress on several projects. Click here to read..

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka president weighs backing down in crisis over parliament – sources: Channel News Asia

December 3, 2018

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is considering dropping an attempt to dissolve parliament, sources close to the president said, possibly easing weeks of political deadlock. The country has been in a crisis since Sirisena replaced Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa last month, and then issued an order dissolving parliament and called for a general election. The sources said the president may now rescind the order, effectively pre-empting a court ruling that they expect to overturn his decision anyway. Sri Lanka's top court stayed the dissolution order pending a hearing on its constitutionality that starts on Tuesday, allowing parliament to resume meeting. Click here to read..

CHINA

Xi, Trump agree to ease trade tensions: China Daily

December 3, 2018

President Xi Jinping and his United States counterpart, Donald Trump, agreed on Saturday to continue bilateral trade negotiations, stop the imposition of new tariffs and exchange visits at an appropriate time. Click here to read..

Spotlight: Xi demonstrates China's critical, constructive role in G20: Xinhuanet

December 3, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Group of 20 (G20) leaders concluded a fruitful summit Saturday, exchanging in-depth views on building consensus for fair and sustainable development. The group issued a declaration after the two-day summit, sending a positive signal to the international community and market and maintaining the cooperative momentum among the G20 economies. Xi put forward a four-point proposal, urging the group to steer the world economy responsibly, stay committed to openness and cooperation, and play a leading political role in nurturing favorable conditions for international trade and fighting climate change. Click here to read..

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