VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: June 26, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Pakistan, EU sign new strategic engagement plan: Dawn
June 26, 2019

Pakistan and the European Union on Tuesday inked their Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP), which is expected to provide the framework for greater cooperation and stronger ties between the two sides. The SEP was signed by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini at a ceremony in Brussels. The new strategic engagement plan for steering their bilateral relationship was agreed upon after protracted negotiations at the fourth round of Pakistan-EU strategic dialogue held in Islamabad in March. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Pompeo Hopes There Is A Peace Deal Ahead Of Afghan Elections: Tolo News
June 26, 2019

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who arrived in Kabul for an unannounced visit on Tuesday said that he hopes that Afghanistan will achieve a peace deal ahead of the Presidential Elections – scheduled for September 28. “I hope we have a peace deal before September 1st. That’s certainly our mission,” he said. In his visit to Kabul, Pompeo held talks with Afghan leaders. He said that in his meetings with President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, they agreed that peace is their highest priority and that Afghanistan must never serve as a platform for international terrorism. He said that the United States is ready to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan but added that the US has not provided the Taliban with the timeline. Click here to read...

NEPAL
With growing internal rifts and criticism from outside, a Cabinet reshuffle is likely: Kathmandu Post
June 26, 2019

With tensions growing within the ruling Nepal Communist Party over ideological differences, Co-chairmen KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal are considering a Cabinet reshuffle while also filling up several vacant party positions. The communist-led government faces widespread criticism over contentious bills, even as internal issues over party unification continue to fester. The leadership is now attempting to address these concerns and belay external criticism by working simultaneously on a Cabinet reshuffle and power sharing, as rifts continue to widen between various party factions led by Oli, Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka blasts: Probes of ex-defence secretary, police advised
June 25, 2019

Sri Lanka's attorney general advised the acting police chief to launch a criminal investigation of the former defence secretary over "major lapses" that contributed to security failures before the Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people. Attorney General Dappula de Livera said on Monday he decided to recommend an investigation of Hemasiri Fernando based on the findings of a special board of inquiry appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena after the April 21 blasts. Click here to read...

CHINA
President calls for greater teamwork with Africa: China Daily
June 26, 2019

President Xi Jinping has called on China and African nations to increase communication and synergy and deepen solidarity and cooperation to strive for concrete progress in the implementation of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Click here to read...

Xi Focus: Xi requires deepening CPC's self-reform: Xinhuanet
June 25, 2019

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has called for deepening the self-reform of the Party in the new era. Xi made the remarks while presiding over a group study session of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau on Monday. He asked the whole Party to remain true to its original aspiration and keep its mission firmly in mind. Click here to read...

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