VIF Neighborhood News Digest: January 13, 2020
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PAKISTAN

Pakistan to have coherent national security policy by year end: Moeed: Dawn

January 13, 2020

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning Moeed Yousuf on Sunday said Pakistan is going to have a coherent national security policy with an inclusive economic diplomacy by the end of this year, ensuring security in all respects for every Pakistani. He was speaking at a session on Defining National Security at the Afkar-i-Taza ThinkFest here at Alhamra. Journalist Ejaz Haider moderated the session. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

Ghani’s Close Aides Slated for Top Diplomatic Missions: Documents: Tolo

January 13, 2020

A list seen by TOLOnews shows that a number of President Ashraf Ghani’s close aides have been chosen for Afghanistan’s key diplomatic offices abroad. The list has been leaked amid efforts by the government to bring reforms to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). Click here to read...

BANGLADESH

PM reaches UAE for 3-day visit: Dhaka Tribune

January 13, 2020

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reached the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a three-day official visit to attend the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020. A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the prime minister and her entourage landed at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 8:30pm on Sunday (Local Time), reports UNB. Bangladesh Ambassador to the UAE Muhammad Imran received the prime minister at the airport. The prime minister is being accompanied by Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid and State Minister for Foreign Affairs ShahriarAlam. Click here to read...

MYANMAR

Xi’s Myanmar visit to move ahead China-backed port: Myanmar Times

January 13, 2020

Myanmar and China are expected to ink a deal on the US$1.3 billion Kyaukphyu port project during President Xi Jinping’s visit this month. The Chinese embassy in Yangon announced today that President Xi will travel to Myanmar on January 17, marking his first visit to the Southeast Asian country in 19 years and the first as China’s leader. This year marks the 70th anniversary since the People’s Republic of China and Myanmar established formal diplomatic recognition. Xi’s visit is seen as an attempt to further cement bilateral relations and pushing ahead the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor scheme as well as other projects under the Belt and Road Initiative. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA

Release of intelligence officers welcomed: Daily Mirror

January 13, 2020

Release of Army Officer Sunil Ratnayake and 34 officers attached to the State Intelligence from prison was a welcome move, UNP MP Ajith P Perera said today. MP Perera told a press conference held at the Opposition Leader’s officer that the decision of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was a welcome move. “President pledged during the Presidential Election campaign that he would release all military personnel, who are detained would be released. Click here to read...

NEPAL

Ruling party’s indecision over Speaker puts a halt to the House business: The Kathmandu Post

January 13, 2020

The federal parliament is being held hostage to the internal dynamics of the ruling Nepal Communist Party. Although some have pointed to the refusal of Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe to resign as the obstacle, party leaders point to an internal failure to reach consensus on the new Speaker, four months after Krishna Bahadur Mahara resigned over rape allegations. Dozens of meetings between Prime Minister and party Co-chair KP Sharma Oli and Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal in the last three months have yielded no results. Oli has continued to lobby for his UML member Subas Nembang and Dahal for his Maoist comrade Agni Sapkota. Party insiders said that Dahal could even back Pampha Bhusal for Speaker if gender is to be an issue. Click here to read...

BHUTAN

Bhutan’s forest (coniferous) prone to fire: Kuenselonline

January 13, 2020

In less than a decade, Bhutan recorded a total of 1,403 forest fire incidents. About 99 percent of fires were anthropogenic in nature and occurred in winter. These man-made disasters are further intensified by extreme climatic events. The highest numbers of fire incidents were recorded in Thimphu—104 incidents and Wangduephodrang recorded the highest areas burnt—40,923 acres. The officials from forest department said the causes of the fires were either accidental or intentional. The major causes were burning of agriculture debris, carless smokers, campers and picnickers, roadside bitumen burning, spark due to electrical short circuit from power transmission lines in forests, among others. Click here to read...

CHINA

Taiwan poll can't change reunification trend: China Daily

January 13, 2020

In the run-up to the election in Taiwan, candidates chose different cards to play – for example, people's livelihoods versus "political sovereignty". To secure a second term, Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party played the "independence" card against the call for reunification, and used the "US card" to seek Washington's endorsement for their dirty game. Click here to read...

Tsai meets with US, Japanese envoys: Taipei Times

January 13, 2020

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met separately with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen and Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chairman Mitsuo Ohashi, expressing the hope to improve bilateral ties with the two countries. Click here to read...

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