VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 20th November, 2018
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PAKISTAN

Differences remain over tough conditions of IMF bailout: Dawn

November 20, 2018

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund are facing differences over tough conditionalities on key areas of an IMF bailout programme, including further increase in energy prices, more taxes and complete disclosure of Chinese financial support. “There are still gaps in the position of the IMF and the position that we have,” Finance Minister Asad Umar said after a series of meetings with an IMF team on Monday. He, however, said the talks were continuing positively and gaps reducing. Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund are facing differences over tough conditionalities on key areas of an IMF bailout programme, including further increase in energy prices, more taxes and complete disclosure of Chinese financial support. “There are still gaps in the position of the IMF and the position that we have,” Finance Minister Asad Umar said after a series of meetings with an IMF team on Monday. He, however, said the talks were continuing positively and gaps reducing. Click here to read...

Taliban say no pact struck with US over deadline to end war: Dawn

November 20, 2018

A three-day meeting between the Tali­ban and the US special envoy for Afghanistan to pave the way for peace talks ended with no agreement, the militant group said a day after the diplomat declared a deadline of April 2019 to end the 17-year-long war. Afghanistan’s security situation has worsened since Nato formally ended combat operations in 2014, as the Taliban battle to re-impose Isla­mic laws following their overthrow in 2001 at the hands of US-led troops. Leaders of the hardline group met US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad at their political headquarters in Qatar last week for the second time in the past month, said spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. “These were preliminary talks and no agreement was reached on any issue,” he said in a statement on Monday. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

EU Says Geneva Conference is An ‘Important Opportunity’: Tolo News

November 20, 2018

The European Council said in a statement on Monday that the Geneva ministerial conference on Afghanistan on November27 and 28 November will be an important opportunity to take stock of progress on mutually agreed reforms made since the Brussels Conference in 2016 and set a forward-looking agenda for peace, stability and sustainable development.

“The Council adopted conclusions on Afghanistan. The Council reaffirms its long-term commitment to support the people of Afghanistan in their path towards peace, security and prosperity. The Council welcomes the provisional application of the Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development (CAPD) as an important step in bilateral relations between the EU and Afghanistan,” it said. Click here to read...

NEPAL

Officials from Nepal, China to meet in Kathmandu next month: Kathmandu Post

November 20, 2018

Officials from Nepal and China are set to meet next month to discuss the prospects of developing the Kathmandu-Kerung railway line connecting the two countries. The neighbours agreed in the last week of August on technical details of the railway link touted as one of the most challenging projects even for China that has mastered advanced railway engineering but haven’t met for further discussion. According to the Department of Railways (DoR), officials from both sides are busy preparing the agenda for the meeting. The two countries are expected to reach an understanding on developing the detailed project report (DPR). Click here to read...

CHINA

China, Brunei lift ties to strategic cooperative partnership: People's Daily

November 20, 2018

China and Brunei on Monday agreed to upgrade their relations to a strategic cooperative partnership. The two countries also pledged to be good partners featuring mutual trust in politics, mutual benefit in economy, mutual understanding in people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and mutual assistance in multilateral affairs. The consensus was reached during talks between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah."The decision made by our two sides to establish a strategic cooperative partnership is to ... deliver greater benefits to our two peoples through our cooperation," Xi said. Click here to read...

Twin satellites boost coverage of Beidou: China Daily

November 20, 2018

With the help of a pair of new satellites, China's domestically made satellite navigation system is ready to roll out wider coverage to areas involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, the system's main designer said. In addition, its use nationwide and worldwide also has grown vigorously. Click here to read...

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