VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: June 18, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Pakistan, World Bank sign loan agreement worth $918 million: Dawn
June 18, 2019

Pakistan on Tuesday signed three loan agreements worth a total of $918 million with the World Bank. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh witnessed the signing of the agreement between Country Director World Bank Patchamuthu Illangovan and Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed. The representatives of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa signed their respective project agreements. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Troop Pullout Timeline Key For Intra-Afghan Talks: Shaheen: Tolo News
June 18, 2019

The Taliban has set the timeline on foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan as a precondition for engaging in intra-Afghan talks as a delegation from the group is visiting China to meet with officials in Beijing as part of a peace process ahead of their possible talks with the US officials in Qatar. Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for Taliban's Qatar office, said that it is only the Afghan people who will determine the future government in the country, but he did not mention anything about talks with the Kabul government. “The exact date will be announced today or tomorrow that when the seventh round [of talks] will start. It is clear that when the Americans announce their decision on the timeline of the withdrawal of their forces [from Afghanistan], it will open the way for intra-Afghan talks so that we can decide on the future government and intra-Afghan talks,” said Shaheen. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Nepali delegation leaves for Beijing to discuss railways in pursuit of cross-border links: Tolo News
June 18, 2019

As developments over infrastructural connections to both the northern and southern neighbours come to a head, a Nepali delegation consisting of senior officials left for Beijing on Monday to hold talks with Chinese officials on preparing a detailed project report for the proposed Kerung-Kathmandu railway line. The delegation, led by Devendra Karki, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Transportation, includes officials from the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance, and the Nepali Embassy in Beijing. This will be the fourth railway meeting between Nepal and China. Click here to read...

MALDIVES
Maldives may scrap agreement with China to build observatory in Indian Ocean: Why deal had miffed New Delhi: Times Now
June 18, 2019

Narendra Modi’s visit to the Maldives – his first to a foreign country after taking charge as prime minister for the second term – has probably bagged its first success: an agreement with China to build an Indian Ocean observatory may be scrapped by the Ibrahim Mohamed Solih administration. According to a report in The Times of India, the agreement signed between the then Maldivian president Abdulla Yameen and Beijing is no longer on the table. The paper quoted a senior government official. Click here to read...

CHINA
Op-ed: BRI “eroding national sovereignty” is false argument: People's Daily
June 18, 2019

So far, no Belt and Road agreement has been forced or reached unequally. By fanning the “erosion of national sovereignty” and slandering the BRI, the US is trying to sabotage the relationship between China and Belt and Road countries with the so-called “great power competition” mentality. Click here to read...

US trade stance to hit global value chain: China Daily
June 18, 2019

Companies and experts warned that intensifying Sino-US trade disputes could lead to a breakdown of the global value chain, as the United States Trade Representative started a seven-day public hearing on the proposed additional tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese exports on Monday. Click here to read...

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