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October 17, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Prime Minister Wickremesinghe arrives in Brussels, Belgium. Image Credit - Rostislavv / depositphotos

Reading Time: 2 min read


President meets leaders at BRICS-BIMSTEC summit

President Sirisena has met with Asian leaders on the sidelines of the BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit in Goa, India. At a meeting with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on 16 October, Prime Minister Modi emphasised the importance of Sri Lanka’s role in South Asia.

President Sirisena also met with the Foreign Minister of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, who commended Sri Lanka’s democratic progress, and President Xi Jinping, who discussed enhancing cooperation on the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative.

Prime Minister travels to Brussels to regain GSP+

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has arrived in Brussels, Belgium, to lead negotiations on Sri Lanka’s bid for EU tariff concessions through the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+).

The Prime Minister is scheduled to meet with officials from the EU and the European Council,  Prince Laurent of Belgium, and the Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, on 17 October.

Sri Lanka extends support to UN Secretary-General designate

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, has released a statement congratulating UN Secretary-General designate, António Guterres, and reiterated Sri Lanka’s pledge to collaborate with the UN in upholding the principles of the UN Charter.

Minister Samaraweera stated that Sri Lanka looks forward to ‘the continued support and assistance of the UN’ under the able leadership of Mr. Guterres.


BRICS leaders adopt Goa Declaration at Eighth Summit

The BRICS nations unanimously adopted the Goa Declaration, under the theme of “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions” at the Eighth BRICS Summit in Goa, India. The leaders vowed to counter terrorism and strengthen cooperation within the BRICS countries to improve economic prosperity.

President Xi Jinping, has also pledged to foster closer partnerships with India and Russia to promote China’s relations in global trade.

Iraq begins key offensive against Islamic State

The Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, has announced that the operation to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State has begun. The ‘Popular Mobilization Units’, which are primarily Shiite paramilitary forces, are expected to coordinate with Iraqi Security Forces, and have stated that they are targeting ISIS tunnels.

The announcement comes as the Kurdish Peshmerga forces launch a coordinated strike east of  Mosul, and as Turkish-backed Syrian rebels capture the culturally important Syrian town of Dabiq, which is currently held by ISIS forces.

Kigali deal to phase out hydrofluorocarbons

Over 170 countries have agreed to a binding accord to offset climate change by cutting the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are mostly used in refrigerators and airconditioners. The deal was reached in Kigali, Rwanda, on 15 October.

The Kigali deal envisions wealthier countries aiding poorer countries in the transitional period to reduce HFCs. The agreement is an amendment to the Montreal Protocol of 1987, which deals with protecting the ozone layer.

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