World News in Brief: February 22

Friday, 2019-02-22 10:06:59
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World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo on February 21 called for strengthening international economic system to confront significant challenges.

* Arab League (AL) Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit expressed on February 21 full support to the Palestinian people and leadership in their struggle to end the Israeli occupation and establish an independent state along the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

* China's national observatory on February 22 forecast that northern parts of the country would be shrouded in smog in the coming days while a rain belt will linger in southern regions for about a week.

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on February 21 that he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin next week in Moscow, after he cancelled a planned meeting because of domestic political issues.

* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have met on the conflict in eastern Ukraine, a UN spokesperson said on February 21.

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Donald Trump discussed the US withdrawal from Syria over phone late on February 21, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

* At least 20 people were killed on February 21 when a car bomb went off in a town controlled by the Kurdish fighters in eastern Syria, a war monitor reported.

* Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on February 21 ordered the country's southern border with Brazil be sealed off.

* British Ambassador to Libya Frank Becker on February 21 stressed his country's support for economic development and rebuilding of Libya.

* Egypt and Russia signed an agreement on February 21 on the establishment of a crane factory in the Russian industrial zone in Egypt's Suez Canal area.

* The Moroccan government approved on February 21 a bill on the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The approval of the trade agreement came at a government weekly meeting in the capital Rabat.

* Iran's navy will stage a large-scale military exercise in the country's southern waters, Tasnim news agency reported on February 21.

* Libya's eastern-based army on on February 21 allowed oil companies' airplanes to resume flights in southern Libya after declaring the region a no-fly zone recently.

* At least 28 people were killed and over two dozen others injured in the latest wave of extreme weather across Pakistan, local media and officials have said.

* The number of tourists who visited Greece in 2018 rose to 30.1 million, with incoming tourist traffic recording an increase of 10.8 percent compared with 2017, data released by the Central Bank of Greece (BoG) on February 21 show.

* The average life expectancy of Beijing residents (China) reached 82.2 years in 2018, higher than the 2017 figure of 82.15 years, according to Beijing municipal health commission on February 21.

* The government of Cameroon, the United Nations and its humanitarian partners are seeking to raise US$299 million to support 2.3 million Cameroonians in need this year, a UN spokesman said on February 21.

* More than 72 million Nigerians are expected to vote in the coming general elections in the country, according to the electoral chief on February 21.

Xinhua