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August 25, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Ecuadorian President and Iranian Foreign Minister meet in Quito, Ecuador. Image credit - naticastillog / depositphoto

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Indonesia and Sri Lanka sign MOU on election management

The Election Commission of  Sri Lanka and the General Election Commission of Indonesia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in election management on 24 August.

The MOU was signed to promote democratic values through electoral cooperation. It covers information exchanges and promotion of training programs in electoral management.

India commissions development grant for Hambantota

The Cabinet has approved a proposal made by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Mahinda Amaraweera, to sign an agreement with the Indian government for a livelihood development project in the Hambantota district.

Under the project the Indian government will provide a grant of LKR 300 million, a portion of which will be spent on developing fishing villages in the district.

Finance Minister to attend South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Conference  

The Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake, has left for Islamabad to attend the 8th Finance Ministers Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

The Summit, to be held on 26 August, will address regional economic cooperation, investment opportunities, and will evaluate past targets and agreements.


Ecuadorian President meets Iranian Foreign Minister over oil markets

After a meeting with Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that Iran had discussed improving the positions of Iran and Ecuador in global oil markets.

Iran has been increasing its oil output since Western sanctions were eased in January, and had previously refused to collaborate with OPEC and other oil-producing countries such as Russia, to stabilize production.

US Vice President meets Turkish President over recent coup

The Vice President of the US, Joe Biden, has met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss Fethullah Gülen, a US-based Turkish cleric accused of masterminding a coup against President Erdoğan.

Vice President Biden stated that the US had no reason to harbour a fugitive who would ‘attack an ally and attempt to overthrow a democracy’. He also stated that the US would abide by its legal system, and that Gülen would be extradited if sufficient evidence was found to prove his guilt.

Colombia and FARC sign peace agreement

Colombia’s government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) rebels have reached a peace deal after nearly four years of talks in Cuba, on 24 August. Under the agreement, which will end a 52 year long war, the FARC will lay down arms and reintegrate into civilian life. The accord will be put to a plebiscite on 2 October.

The agreement follows a bilateral ceasefire finalized in June. The ELN, a smaller guerrilla group in Colombia, has stated that it wants to negotiate a similar peace deal, however it has yet to cease kidnapping civilians and attacking infrastructure.

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