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September 5, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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US and Russia fail to reach agreement on Syrian conflict, at G20 summit in Hangzhou, China. Image credit - zhudifeng / depositphotos

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Foreign Minister visits Slovenia

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, has travelled to Slovenia at the invitation of the Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karl Erjave, to attend the Bled Strategic Forum 2016: ‘Safeguarding the Future’.

While in Slovenia, Minister Samaraweera will speak as a panelist in a discussion titled ‘Human Security: You and I Matter’ at the Bled Strategic Forum. He will also meet with high-level officials of the Slovenian government, including the President, Borut Pahor, and the Prime Minister, Miro Cerar.

Prime Minister concludes Indian Ocean Conference

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has returned to Sri Lanka following the conclusion of the Indian Ocean Conference in Singapore. During his address at the conference, the Prime Minister discussed strengthening cooperation between countries in the Indian Ocean region, and stated that ‘it is time for Indian Ocean countries, especially Asian nations, to take the lead in determining their own future’.

While in Singapore, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also met with the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal, and discussed the political challenges of Asian countries and the developmental plans for Kandy, Colombo, the Hambantota Economic Corridor, and the Eastern region.

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Malaysia assaulted

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ibrahim Ansar, has been assaulted by an unidentified group of people at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 4 September.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the assault and affirmed that the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Malaysia is working with Malaysian law enforcement and other local authorities to identify the perpetrators.


US and China ratify Paris Agreement

The US and China have jointly ratified the Paris Agreement, bringing the climate change agreement closer to being put into force.

The Paris Agreement will come into effect once countries representing at least 55%
of total global greenhouse gas emissions and 55% of the global population, have ratified the agreement. The US and China account for approximately 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

South Sudan accepts regional protection force

South Sudan has agreed to allow a 4,000-strong regional protection force to enter the country. The regional protection force will be in addition to the 12,000 UN peacekeepers currently deployed in South Sudan.

The decision was made following a meeting between the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the ambassadors of the 15 UN Security Council member states. South Sudan initially rejected the proposal, viewing it as a breach of national sovereignty.

US and Russia yet to agree on solution for Syria

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, have not yet finalised a solution for the conflict in Syria. Following a meeting in Geneva on 26 August, both parties met for a second time on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in China.

The parties are expected to resume discussions at the UN General Assembly meeting, scheduled for September in New York. US President, Barack Obama, stated that the the US and Russia still face ‘grave differences’ over a solution to ending the Syrian conflict.

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