VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: May 28, 2019
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PAKISTAN

Qureshi makes light of no invitation for PM to Modi’s oath-taking: Dawn
May 28, 2019

Pakistan has played down a decision by the Indian government not to invite Prime Minister Imran Khan to Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying India’s ‘internal politics’ did not permit him to extend an invitation. “His [Modi’s] entire focus [during the election campaign] was on Pakistan-bashing. It was unwise to expect that he can get rid of this narrative [soon],” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a news channel in the evening. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

Afghan Politicians, Taliban To Attend Meeting In Moscow: Tolo
May 28, 2019

A delegation of prominent Afghan politicians among them former President Hamid Karzai and chairman of the High Peace Council (HPC) Mohammad Karim Khalili are expected to participate in a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday as the two countries mark 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations at a time that Afghanistan is passing through a difficult situation in the view of current conflict. Meanwhile, close sources to the Taliban have said that a delegation from the Taliban’s political office in Doha will also attend the Moscow meeting. The meeting will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday. “It is expected that these efforts will pave the way for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban,” said HPC spokesman Ghafoor Ahmad Jawed. Click here to read...

NEPAL

Sunday’s blasts indicative of an intelligence failure, analysts say: Kathmandu Post
May 28, 2019

Two deadly explosions that killed four persons in the Capital on Sunday have raised serious concerns over a possible intelligence failure in the KP Sharma Oli administration’s security apparatus. The Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal is believed to be behind Sunday’s blasts, which, according to police, were accidental. CPN cadres were attempting to rig cooking gas cylinders as explosives when the cylinders exploded, according to police. These blasts come amid the administration’s continued assurance that it has largely reined in the Chand party. Click here to read...

MALDIVES

Maldives Ex-Leader Mohamed Nasheed Tipped As New Speaker: NDTV
May 28, 2019

The former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed has been nominated as the country's parliamentary speaker and is set to be sworn in Tuesday, a party official said. Nasheed was unanimously chosen to head the People's Majlis, or the parliament, by his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) which won a near three quarter majority in the 87-member assembly in April. "He is unanimously chosen as the Speaker," a party official told AFP. "He will be sworn in at the inaugural session of the new parliament elected at the historic April vote." Nasheed -- who until six months ago was still in exile -- has vowed to use his party's thumping mandate to usher in a new era of stability and democracy in the Maldives. Click here to read...

CHINA

China looks to Russia, Central Asia for support amid tensions with US: South China Morning Post
May 28, 2019

Beijing is stepping up efforts to seek support from regional and global players such as Russia and Central Asian nations as its geostrategic rivalry with Washington heats up. Click here to read...

Beijing stresses equality in any Washington trade deal: People's Daily
May 28, 2019

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday that equality is a must in reaching a trade deal with the United States.US President Donald Trump said on Monday in Japan that Washington isn't ready to strike a trade deal with China, but he's leaving open the possibility that the two nations could reach an agreement someday. Click here to read...

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