US Special Envoy To Afghanistan Hopes To Cement Peace Deal With Taliban Insurgents By April 2019

New Delhi: The US special envoy to Afghanistan hopes to cement a peace deal with Taliban insurgents by April 2019. Zalmay Khalilzad, in Kabul to lead talks between the United States, the Taliban and the Afghan government, told reporters he hopes “a peace deal is reached before April 20 next year”, when Afghanistan is planning to hold a presidential election.

The Afghan-born U.S. diplomat said he remained “cautiously optimistic” about the peace talks.

Khalilzad, chosen by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to hold direct talks with the Taliban, met the leaders of the hardline Islamist group in Qatar last month to find ways to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.


China Supports Myanmar Government’s Approach To Resolving Rohingya Issue

New Delhi: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi after US vice president Mike Pence offered a strong rebuke that China supports the Myanmar government’s efforts to protect domestic stability and approach to resolving the Rohingya issue.

Pence voiced Washington’s strongest condemnation yet of Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims, telling Suu Kyi that “persecution” by her country’s army was “without excuse”.

Meeting Suu Kyi on the sidelines of a Southeast Asian summit in Singapore, Li said China attaches great importance to its ties with Myanmar and would build on their tradition of friendship, China’s Foreign Ministry said late on Thursday.


Imran Khan To Visit Malaysia To Seek Financial Assistance For Pakistan

New Delhi: After Saudi Arabia and China, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Malaysia next week where he is likely to seek monetary assistance to minimise the cash-strapped Pakistan’s dependence on an IMF bailout package. Khan and Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad will have a tete-a-tete, followed by the delegation-level talks.

The Pakistan foreign office said that Khan would be accompanied by a high-level delegation during his official trip to Malaysia on November 20-21. This would be Khan’s first bilateral visit to Malaysia.

The two countries enjoy warm brotherly relations founded in mutual respect friendship and understanding reinforced by strong cultural and religious affinities, the foreign office said in a statement.


US President Donald Trump Says At Diwali Function, Indians Are Very Good Negotiators

New Delhi: US President Donald Trump described ties with India as a “bulwark for freedom, prosperity and peace”. He spoke of his friendship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and, trying to lighten bilateral trade talks, said Indians are “very good negotiators”.

“We’re trying very hard to make better trade deals with India, but they’re very good traders,” Trump said at a Diwali function at the White House on Tuesday, flanked by Indian-Americans from his administration and Indian envoy Navtej Sarna.

India and the US are negotiating several trade issues, including retaliatory tariffs imposed by both, market access and intellectual property rights.


Amnesty International Strips Suu Kyi Of Highest Honour For Failing To Stop Atrocities Against Rohingya

New Delhi: Amnesty International stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour over the de facto Myanmar leader’s “indifference” to the atrocities committed by the military against Rohingya Muslims.

It was the latest in a string of awards the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner lost since Myanmar’s military drove 720,000 Rohingya out of the Buddhist majority country in what the United Nations has called an act of genocide.

The London-based global human rights organisation said it was revoking the Ambassador of Conscience Award it gave Suu Kyi in 2009 while she was still under house arrest.