Sun, Sep 09, 2018 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

AFGHANISTAN

Bus crash kills 13

At least 13 people were killed yesterday when a passenger bus collided with a truck parked on a road in the nation’s south and overturned, officials said. Another 25 were wounded in the incident in Zherai district of Kandahar Province, provincial police spokesman Abdul Bashir Khaksar told reporters. The truck was stationary when it was hit by the bus at about 6am, Kandahar governor spokesman Mohammad Aziz Azizi said. The bus was carrying about 40 passengers from neighboring Helmand Province to Kandahar and overturned after the collision, he told reporters. Azizi put the death toll at 15. Women and children were among the casualties, he said. It was unclear how many of the casualties were on the bus.

PAKISTAN

Chinese envoy visits

The Chinese government’s top diplomat was in the nation yesterday for the first high-level meetings between the neighbors since Prime Minister Imran Khan took office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Beijing has pledged US$57 billion in loans for Islamabad as part of its Belt and Road Initiative, deepening ties at a time when relations with Washington are fraying over how to deal with militants waging war in Afghanistan. Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi’s (王毅) three-day visit follows a meeting on Wednesday between Khan and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Wang will hold “delegation-level talks” with Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi and will also call on the prime minister and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the foreign ministry said. “Our two sides will exchange views on bilateral relations and the international and regional issues of mutual interest,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) told a news conference in Beijing. Pakistan is battling a worsening balance of payments crisis that might push it to seek a fresh bailout from the IMF, or other lenders. Pompeo’s trip, along with the US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was the first high-level US visit to the new government, with the secretary of state saying he was hopeful for “a reset of relations” between the two nations.

VIETNAM

Russian weapons ordered

The nation has placed orders for Russian weapons and military services worth more than US$1 billion, Russia’s TASS news agency reported, as the Southeast Asian country bolsters its defense capability. “We have a portfolio of orders worth more than [US]$1 billion,” TASS cited Dmitry Shugayev, head of Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, as saying on Thursday. The report came during a visit to Russia by Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. It did not give any details of the deals. The two nations have had close relations for decades. Russia is Hanoi’s biggest weapons supplier and Russian companies are involved in several energy projects in the nation. Hanoi had earlier bought six state-of-the-art Kilo attack submarines, along with several warships, jet fighters and other military equipment from Russia. “The two sides have confirmed their commitment to continue developing their military ties,” the Communist Party said in a statement on Friday, after a meeting in Russia between Trong and Russian President Vladamir Putin. Vietnam has been one of the world’s most active arms importers over recent years, amid China’s increasingly aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea, where the neighbors have long-standing rival claims.

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