World News in Brief: June 25

Tuesday, 2019-06-25 09:59:35
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Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday (June 24) has assured that Thailand intends to develop itself and neighboring countries namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMVT) to become a new value chain hub of Asia.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a decree to extend measures countering Western economic sanctions for another year to the end of 2020. The decree was published on the official legal information website.

* Japanese government sources said on Monday that Japan is considering lifting the ban on imports of chicken meat in Russia, and the leaders of the two countries are expected to discuss the matter during the Group of 20 summit this week.

* US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that his country is imposing new and "hard-hitting" sanctions on Iran amid high tensions between Washington and Tehran. Trump signed an executive order at the White House on Monday, slapping additional economic sanctions on Iran. Trump told reporters that the targets of the new sanctions include Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

* France, Germany and Britain, three EU members of the Security Council, on Monday called for the de-escalation of tensions in the Gulf and asked for dialogue to defuse them.

* Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday that the Europeans lack resolve and power to implement their commitments pertaining to the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Press TV has reported. The EU has said it is doing its utmost to help Iran gain benefits from the deal.

* The exit-entry departments of China's public security authorities will implement fee cuts (starting July 1) for citizens' regular passports and mainland residents' travel passes for Hong Kong and Macao trips, according to the National Immigration Administration (NIA) Monday.

* Blue House spokesperson Ko Min-jung told a press briefing that US President Donald Trump will officially visit the Republic of Korea for two days from Saturday (June 29) to hold a meeting with ROK President Moon Jae-in on Sunday (June 30). The Moon-Trump summit would come less than three months after their latest summit in Washington in April.

* Speaking at the 37th Senior Officials Meeting on Energy (SOME) held in Bangkok, permanent secretary of the Thai Energy Ministry Kulis Sombatsiri told the media that Thailand is planning to develop its power transmission lines to become the electricity hub of the region, sourcing hydropower from Laos and selling it to Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar.

* The 12th Peace and Security Council of African Union (AU) meeting kicked off on Monday in the Moroccan seaside town of Skhirat.

* The French embassy to Libya on Monday welcomed the decision of the UN-backed Libyan government's interior ministry to resume security cooperation with France after nearly two months of suspension.

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he expects Russian President Vladimir Putin to arrive in Israel later in 2019, a sign to strengthen ties between the two countries.

* King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia received on Monday the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Saudi Press Agency reported. The meeting was part of his official regional visit to discuss the Iran crisis and building an international coalition against Iran.

* The White House lockdown was lifted about one hour after a suspicious package was found outside the gate on Monday, and streets nearby were also reopened, the authorities said.

* The Egyptian parliament approved on Monday the largest state budget in the history of Egypt, recording EGP1.575 trillion (US$94.3 billion) for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.

* Iran will not stamp the passports of foreigners visiting the country, Tehran Times daily reported on Monday. The decision aims to facilitate travels to the country without fear of possible US penalties.