VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: April 29, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Pakistan, China enter second stage of free trade: Dawn
April 29, 2019

Pakistan and China on Sunday embarked on the new phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor by signing memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and socio-economic development and a new agreement on free trade. The MoUs and the second stage Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were signed towards the conclusion of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s second trip to China in six months. Click here to read....

AFGHANISTAN
US Seeking Political Settlement, Not Withdrawal: Khalilzad: Tolo News
April 29, 2019

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad says that the United States is seeking peace and political settlement in Afghanistan and that the withdrawal of foreign forces will be conditions-based. Khalilzad is in Kabul for his sixth visit since last November and he has held five rounds of talks with the Taliban. In his last round of talks in Doha in mid-March, the US and the Taliban agreed in draft on counterterrorism assurances and US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan. “We are seeking peace and a political settlement, not a withdrawal,” Khalilzad said in an interview with TOLOnews on Sunday. “We want a peace which will provide the ground for withdrawal.” Click here to read....

NEPAL
Inclusion of railway in China’s Belt and Road renews optimism in Nepal: Kathmandu Post
April 29, 2019

The incorporation of the Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network, including cross-border railway, in the joint communiqué of the second conference of the Belt and Road Initiative has renewed optimism in Nepal but the question remains: When will the Chinese rail arrive in Nepal and what are the preparations from both sides? The conference, which concluded on Saturday, saw the participation of 40 heads of state, including President Bidya Devi Bhandari, and over 5,000 representatives from 150 countries. Train from China has been one of the most talked-about topics in Nepal in recent years. Click here to read....

CHINA
Ahead of US-China trade talks, veteran negotiators warn that deals can often get lost in translation: South China Morning Post
April 29, 2019

As negotiators from the United States and China grow closer to clinching a deal to end the trade war, both sides will be wary of the complications that can arise from issues of language, interpretation and translation during negotiations. Click here to read....

Xi leads green development as world's largest horticultural expo opens: People's Daily
April 29, 2019

Declaring the opening of the world's largest international horticultural exhibition in Beijing Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his hope that the green development concept embodied by the expo park would be spread to "every corner of the world." Click here to read....

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