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October 4, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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The EU and Afghanistan sign an agreement on migrant issues. Image Credit - radekprocyk / depositphotos

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Prime Minister seeks greater ties with Commonwealth

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for stronger economic and trade ties among Commonwealth countries, following the UK’s decision to leave the EU . The Prime Minister also stated that the Kotte Declaration, related to the protection and promotion of human rights, could be used as a model for economic integration.

The Kotte Declaration was adopted by parliamentarians of Asian Commonwealth countries, in Sri Lanka in February 2016.

Swiss Federal Councillor to visit Sri Lanka

The Head of the Federal  Department of Justice and Police of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, will visit Sri Lanka during the next week.

Federal Councillor Sommaruga is expected to encourage the establishment of an agreement to repatriate Sri Lankan refugees in Switzerland, and express Switzerland’s interest in assisting Sri Lanka’s reform process.

Sri Lankan and Indonesian Police Chiefs meet

The Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundara, has met with the Chief of Indonesian National Police, Tito Karnavian, at the Sri Lankan Police Headquarters. The two chiefsdiscussed enhancing cooperation to combat transnational crimes, including human smuggling and terrorism.

The chiefs also addressed the possibility of enhancing the skills of police forces in both countries, through training programmes at the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation.


Russia suspends arms control agreement with the US

Russia has suspended an arms control agreement on the disposal of surplus weapons-grade plutonium with the US. President Putin also submitted a draft bill to Parliament, which stated the conditions under which the agreement would be resumed.

The agreement, which aims to ensure that both countries dispose of their surplus plutonium, created for nuclear weapons, follows the US decision to halt talks with Russia over the conflict in Syria.

EU and Afghanistan sign agreement on asylum seekers

The EU and Afghanistan have signed an agreement, titled ‘The EU-Afghanistan Joint Way Forward on Migration issues’, which aims to resolve issues resulting from irregular migration.

The agreement permits EU member states to deport an unlimited number of Afghan asylum seekers, whom the Afghan government is obliged to accept. Afghanistan has the second largest group of asylum seekers in the EU, with 196,170 applying last year.

Oil prices continue to fall despite OPEC agreement

Iran and Libya have increased oil production, despite an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last week to limit production levels.

OPEC’s oil output is expected to increase to 33.60 million barrels per day in September from 33.53 million barrels per day in August. OPEC will decide on the production ceilings of its member countries in late November.

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