VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 7th December, 2018
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PAKISTAN
US general addresses Pakistan concerns on India’s role: Dawn
December 7, 2018

Two key elements of an Afghan peace deal — Pakistan’s concerns over India’s growing influence in Afghanistan and what the US could do to allay those concerns — were both highlighted at a congressional hearing this week. Lt Gen Kenneth McKenzie, the next chief of the US Central Command (Centcom), raised both points in a written response to the US Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing the other day. He also said that as Centcom chief, he “will make Pakistan a priority engagement”. Click here to read....

AFGHANISTAN
Political Parties Form Negotiating Teams For Peace: Tolo News
December 7, 2018

As US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad continues his efforts for brokering purposeful talks with the Taliban, aimed at ending the conflict in Afghanistan, some of Afghanistan’s mainstream political parties on Thursday said they have established independent peace negotiating teams to talk to the Taliban. Jamiat-e-Islami, which is led by acting minister of foreign affairs Salahuddin Rabbani, General Abdul Rashid Dostum-led The National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar-led Hizb-e-Islami are among the three parties which have created their own separate teams to negotiate with the Taliban insurgents. Click here to read....

SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka to be declared as a mine-free country by 2020: Daily FT
December 7, 2018

Sri Lanka acceded to the Mine Ban Convention, very well known as the Ottawa Convention, in 2017 which came into force from 1 June. The objective of the Mine Ban Convention is to end the suffering and casualties caused by the Anti-Personal Mines (APM) and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) by banning the production, use, stockpiling, and transfer of APM and ERW, clearing the mine fields and providing support and assistance to victims and to educate on mine risk to those who are prone to the threat. Click here to read....

CHINA
Li urges ethical approach to research: China Daily
November 7, 2018

Premier Li Keqiang urged scientists and research institutes to exercise more integrity and professionalism and to achieve excellence. Misconduct, he said, including ethical violations, should be seriously investigated and punished. Click here to read....

China demands immediate release of Huawei CFO: FM: People’s Daily
November 6, 2018

Both the Chinese government and people on Thursday called for the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of China’s Huawei Technologies, after it was reported that she was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States. Click here to read....

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