international - 2018 MAY

May 1

India-China border trade via Nathu La resumes
The bilateral trade for the year 2018 between the traders of India and China through the Nathu La border started with traders and government officials from both sides exchanging gifts and greetings.
Last year, the trade was disrupted following the Doklam standoff. This year, the traders are hopeful that there would be no problem.
Traders from India and the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) were optimistic that there would be no problems this year, the trade was stopped in July last year.

Islamabad's new international airport inaugurated
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the long-delayed new airport in the capital, Islamabad, replacing the cramped Benazir Bhutto airport often criticised by travellers.
A Pakistan International Airlines pilot waved a green and white Pakistani flag out of his cockpit window after landing the carrier's first commercial flight at the New International Islamabad Airport.

May 2

India, China to set up hotline between military Head Quarter’s
The militaries of India and China have agreed to set up a hotline between their headquarters after an informal summit between Indian PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The hotline would enable the militaries to intensify communication in order to avoid confrontations like the 73-day Doklam standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The move comes after Modi and Xi agreed to issue “strategic guidance to their respective militaries to strengthen communication in order to build trust and mutual understanding and enhance predictability and effectiveness in the management of border affairs.
The hotline was regarded as a major CBM as it would enable both the headquarters to intensify communication to avert tensions between border patrols in the 3488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) and to avert standoffs like Doklam.

China tensions push India into world's top five defence spenders
India has joined the United States and China as one of the world's five biggest military spenders, reflecting geopolitical tensions as well as the country's reliance on imported weapons and sprawling personnel costs.
New Delhi's defence spending rose by 5.5 percent to $63.9 billion in 2017 and has now passed France.
Worldwide military spending rose marginally last year to $1.73 trillion, or roughly 2.2 percent of global gross domestic product. The list of the world's biggest military spenders has remained consistent in recent years, dominated by the US and China, which spent $610 billion and $228 billion respectively.

May 4

India, Sri Lanka agree on information exchange for drug control
India and Sri Lanka agreed on cooperation on exchange of information and other aspects to tackle smuggling of drugs in both countries.
A decision to this effect was taken at the third bilateral meeting between delegations from India's Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Sri Lanka's Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) on narcotics, drugs and psychotropic substances and related matters.

Israel withdraws from race for U.N. Security Council seat
Israel withdrew from a race against Germany and Belgium for two seats on the United Nations Security Council in 2019-20.
The 193-member U.N. General Assembly is due to vote next month on five new members for a two-year term starting on Jan. 1, 2019. Israel, Germany and Belgium were competing for two seats allocated to the Western European and Others Group.
Germany and Belgium are now running uncontested, but they still need to win more than two-thirds of the overall General Assembly vote to be elected.

Netanyahu briefs Australia, India and UK leaders on captured Iran nuke archive
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with three key international leaders about the Iranian nuclear archives acquired by Israel, as he sought to garner further support for his call to “fix” or “nix” the Iran nuclear deal.
Netanyahu spoke with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and British Prime Minister Theresa May. he “discussed regional issues with the world leaders and also updated them on the important material that he revealed regarding the Iranian nuclear archive''.

May 5

North Korea seeks air corridor to South Korea
North Korea has asked the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for permission to open an air corridor to South Korea.
The proposal to establish a new “air traffic services” corridor between Pyongyang and the South Korean city of Incheon was submitted to the ICAO’s regional offices in Bangkok, Thailand, in February.
The ICAO has conveyed the proposal to South Korea’s civil aviation authorities.

Venkaiah Naidu leaves for 5-day visit to South America
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu emplaned for a five-day visit to South America's Guatemala, Peru and Panama.
Bilateral trade and investments are expected to be mainly discussed during the visit.
During the visit, the Vice President is scheduled to hold meetings at the highest levels in the three countries.
This will be the Vice President's first overseas visit after assuming office. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Jasvantsinh Sumanbahi Bhabhor, four Members of Parliament and senior officers of the Government of India.

May 7

Vice President Naidu reaches Guatemala
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu reached Guatemala as part of his three-nation visit to Latin America. He inspected a guard of honour on his arrival in Guatemala City.
A range of bilateral issues including the strengthening of institutional mechanisms for political interactions, multilateral matters, trade and commerce, investments, information technology, capacity building, traditional medicines, space, defence, and culture are expected to be discussed during his visit.
Naidu is on a five-day visit to Latin America's Guatemala, Peru and Panama commencing. This is the Vice President's first overseas visit after assuming office in 2017.

May 8

Kim Jong-un meets Xi Jinping in second surprise visit to China
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has made a second surprise visit to China to meet its president, Xi Jinping, amid a flurry of diplomacy as Kim prepares for a summit with Donald Trump.
Kim flew to the Chinese port city of Dalian and held talks “in a cordial and friendly atmosphere” with Xi over two days before returning to Pyongyang, China’s state news agency Xinhua announcing the trip. It is the second meeting between the two leaders in about 40 days, and was kept secret until Kim had left China.
Kim and Xi discussed relations between their two countries as well as “major issues of common concern”, and Kim restated Pyongyang’s desire to relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

Australia pledges US $34 million to help save the koala
Australia unveiled a US $34 million plan to help bring its koala population back from the brink, following a rapid decline in the furry marsupial’s fortunes.
The Australian Koala Foundation estimates there may be as few as 43,000 koalas left in the wild, down from a population believed to number more than 10 million prior to European settlement of the continent in 1788.

May 9

Donald Trump announces US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal
Donald Trump pulled America out of the Iran nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions on the regime and delivering on an election campaign promise.
The US president announced that the “defective” 2015 agreement would not stop Iran developing a nuclear bomb and signed a presidential memorandum enacting the US withdrawal.
Iran has been accused of failing to be honest about its nuclear ambitions while supporting terrorist groups and acting in an increasingly hostile way across the Middle East.

Saudi women to start driving
Saudi women will be allowed to start driving in the kingdom from June 24, the General Department of Traffic Director General Mohammed Bassami announced.
All the requirements for women in the kingdom to start driving have been established.
In 2017, a royal decree announced the end of a decades-long ban on women driving - the only one of its kind in the world.

May 10

India sends 2nd relief consignment for Rohingyas in Bangladesh
India has sent to Bangladesh its second relief consignment to help tens of thousands of displaced Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar following a military crackdown, triggering one of the world's worst refugee crises.
Over 600,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar's violence-hit Rakhine state to neighboring Bangladesh since August when the military intensified crackdown against alleged militant outfits of Rohingya Muslims.
The 373 tonne consignment contained 104 tonnes of milk powder, 102 tonnes of dried fish, 61 tonnes of baby food, 50,000 raincoats and 50,000 pairs of gum boots.

India, Panama sign two agreements
India and Panama signed an agreement on the exemption of visas for the holders of diplomatic and official passports. The two nations also signed an agreement on strengthening cooperation in the field of agriculture.
The agreements were signed in the presence of Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela Rodrigues and Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo and Indian Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu during his visit to the nation.

May 11

External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj Visits Myanmar
During this visit, Ms. Sushma Swaraj called on Win Myint – President of Myanmar, held a meeting with Myanmar State Councillor – Aung San Suu Kyi and also met Senior General Min Aung Hlaing – Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Defence Services.
Discussions during the bilateral meetings focused on boundary and border related issues, developments in the Rakhine State, including return of displaced persons, peace & security matters, India’s development assistance to Myanmar, review of ongoing projects and other issues of mutual interest.
India and Myanmar sign seven Agreements/ MOUs:
During the course of Ms. Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Myanmar, both the countries signed following agreements/Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs).
Agreement on Land Border Crossing, Restoration and Preservation of Earthquake Damaged Pagodas in Bagan
MoU on assistance to the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee
MoU on Training of Myanmar Foreign Service Officers
MoU on setting up Industrial Training Centre (ITC) at Monywa and Thaton
Exchange of Letters on extending a maintenance contract for Industrial Training Centre (ITC) at Myingyan

India, Guatemala sign MoU to cooperate in diplomatic training
India and Guatemala signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for expanding cooperation in the area of diplomatic training.
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and his Guatemalan counterpart Dr. Jafeth Ernesto Cabrera Franco witnessed the signing of the MoU after the delegation-level talks.
Two leaders participated in bilateral discussions where agreements in areas like culture, agriculture and wildlife protection were under consideration between both the countries.

May 12

Venkaiah Naidu 3-Nation Visit: India & Peru Signs Agreement
India and Peru signed an agreement in the field of Renewable Energy at Lima. The pact was signed in the presence of Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and the Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva Arevalo. This is the final leg of the 3-Nation visit to central America of Indian Vice- President.
During the meeting, the leaders discussed various bilateral and international issues of mutual interest. Vice President’s visit comes at a time when India is celebrating the 55th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Peru.