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July 27, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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UN extends peacekeeping mandates in the Central African Republic, Cyprus, and Iraq. Image credit - pio3 / depositphotos

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Foreign Minister of Canada visits Sri Lanka

The Canadian Foreign Minister, Stéphane Dion, will arrive in Sri Lanka for an official two-day visit on 27 July.

Minister Dion will call upon President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and he is scheduled to have bilateral discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera. He will also travel to Jaffna on 29 July to meet with government officials.

Sri Lanka reiterates plans for trade deals

The government has stated that it expects to negotiate trade deals with China, India, and Singapore, before March 2017. The framework for the deals will follow the government’s plan to increase exports and investment.

Negotiations with China are to be held from 2-4 August, while discussions with India regarding the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement are to follow on 9-10 August. Singapore is expected to send its representatives in mid-August.

Central Bank attracts foreign investment

Central Bank Governor, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, has stated that the Central Bank will implement macroeconomic policies that would improve the investment climate for foreign firms in Sri Lanka.

The statement was made at a conference with a Japanese delegation, where Sri Lankan officials discussed the possibility of Japanese-Sri Lankan cooperation on future development projects. Dr. Coomaraswamy also discussed negotiating a partnership with China, as well as expanding existing trade agreements with India and Pakistan.


UN extends peacekeeping mandates

The UN Security Council has extended the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus until 31 January 2017. The Security Council welcomed negotiations between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders to reach a feasible solution. The Prime Minister of Turkey, Binali Yildirim, also backed UN-led reunification talks for Cyprus.

The UN Security Council has also extended the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq until 31 July 2017, and the peacekeeping mandate of 10,750 military personnel in the Central African Republic until 15 November 2017.

Turkish President criticises EU

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, criticised the implementation of the EU’s aid deal with Turkey to house 2.7 million Syrian refugees. The EU has only paid EUR 1-2 million of the promised EUR 3 billion.

The President further stated that Turkey has held up its side of the agreement, at a cost of EUR 11 billion, by allegedly reducing the influx of Syrian refugees into Greece.

China joins UN trucking convention

China has become the 70th country to sign the UN Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Convention. The TIR Convention will enable China to revive its ancient trading corridor to the West.

The TIR Convention is the only international customs convention on cross border movement of goods. Under this agreement, which will enter into force in January 2017, Chinese freight can reach as far as ‘Ireland without being opened for time consuming customs checks at every border’.

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