World News in Brief: June 15

Saturday, 2019-06-15 15:27:54
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The United Nations on Friday (June 14) adopted a resolution on the commemoration of its 75th anniversary in 2020. Adopted by the General Assembly, the resolution decided that the 75th anniversary of the United Nations shall be commemorated under the theme "The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism."

* China called on relevant parties in the Gulf region to settle differences through dialogue and consultation, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.

* France on Friday called on all concerned parties to exercise restraint amid fears of mounting tension in the region following the attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman, the country's foreign ministry said.

* Iran has sent a team of experts to evaluate the status of one of the oil tankers facing incident on Thursday (June 13) in the Sea of Oman, Tasnim news agency reported on Friday. The experts would examine the vessel to see whether the rescued crew can return to the vessel, Managing Director of Ports and Navigation of Hormozgan Province Allah Morad Afifipour told Tasnim.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Dushanbe on June 14 for the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and a state visit to Tajikistan. Tajikistan is the second leg of Xi's two-country Central Asia trip, which also took him to Kyrgyzstan for a state visit and the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.

* Presidents of China, Russia and Mongolia pledged to strengthen trilateral cooperation during their meeting in Bishkek on Friday (June 14). The trilateral meeting, the fifth of its kind, among Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga was held on the sidelines of the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.

* The Bank of Russia on Friday lowered its key lending rate by 0.25 percentage point to 7.5 percent while reducing its economic growth forecast for this year. Taking into account gross domestic product (GDP) dynamics in 2018 and in the first quarter of 2019, the central bank revised its forecast for GDP growth in 2019 down to 1.0-1.5 percent from the previous 1.2-1.7 percent.

* At the annual meeting of the German tenants' association in Cologne on Friday, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) pledged EUR5 billion (US$5.6 billion) for the construction of social housing in Germany during this legislative period until 2021.

* The US Chamber of Commerce, a major lobbying organization in the country, on Friday reiterated opposition against the White House to impose additional tariffs on imports from China, as tariffs hurt American businesses, the economy and consumers.

* New Zealand Police confirmed on June 15 a pilot was found dead in a light plane crash in Coromandel of the North Island. The small aircraft had just one person on board, and it failed to arrive on time at the airport on June 14 when rescue teams were alarmed. Authorities are still investigating the crash.

* Brazilians took to the streets on Friday for a nationwide massive protest against the social security reform proposed by the government. According to local media, there were protests in at least 190 towns in all Brazilian states.

* Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhinaoui on Friday discussed with Ghassan Salame, visiting UN special envoy to Libya, the latest developments in the war-torn country. The meeting dealt with efforts to reach an immediate cease-fire and resumption of a political process in Libya.

* At least 34 Palestinian demonstrators were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers stationed on the border between the eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

* Seven leaders of Southern EU Member States met in Malta on Friday where they discussed issues of common concern ranging from migration to climate change and the EU budget.

* Member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) pledged to further efforts to expand pragmatic cooperation, according to a press communique issued after the 19th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the SCO held in Bishkek on Friday.

* The European Commission has reached an agreement in principle with the United States that 35,000 tonnes of European Union's quota to import hormone-free beef will be allocated to the US, phased over a seven-year period, the Commission said in Brussells in a statement on Friday.

* Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Friday held a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over regional developments amid the rising dispute between Washington and Tehran.

* Ukraine has issued EUR1 billion (about US$1.12 billion) in its Eurobond offer to foreign markets, UNIAN news agency quoted Ukraine's Finance Minister Oksana Markarova as saying on Facebook.

* The World Bank has granted US$518 million to Pakistan for reforms to enhance tax revenues and reduce compliance cost to provide better services to the public, local media reported Friday.

* The African Union (AU) on Friday rejected a recent decree by the Transitional Military Council (TMC) of Sudan that called for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) to hand over assets to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

* The peacekeeping mission in Sudan's Darfur will continue its drawdown process toward an exit in 2020, the UN peacekeeping chief said Friday.