July 21, 2016 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
EU and Sri Lanka discuss strengthening of ties
The EU-Sri Lanka Joint Commission in Brussels has discussed Sri Lanka’s application for re-access to the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+). The Joint Commission stated that it viewed Sri Lanka’s application as a sign of the nation’s commitment to fulfilling its international human rights obligations.
Sri Lanka is also negotiating a concessional loan of LKR 8.2 billion with the European Investment Bank. Following the discussions, the EU stated it intends to expand its 2014-2020 development plan for Sri Lanka to LKR 34.4 billion.
Norway and UNDP Sri Lanka sign agreement
Norway and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka have signed an agreement to increase the support of the Norwegian government in resettling displaced communities in the north and east of the country.
The agreement will support 1520 displaced families from the Jaffna and Trincomalee districts, through the disbursement of USD 2 million over a period of two years.
Malaysian Deputy PM to visit Sri Lanka
The Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs, Dato Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, will arrive in Sri Lanka on 21 July for an official two-day visit. The visit is expected to advance cooperation in economics, trade, defense, tourism, and politics.
The Malaysian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah, has stated, ‘Malaysia is very committed to international peace and regional security’ and relations with Sri Lanka are ‘vital in ensuring that these issues are addressed together, either bilaterally or multilaterally’.
Finance leaders to gather for G20 meeting
Heads of G20 Finance Ministries and Central Banks are scheduled to gather in Chengdu, China from 22-24 July. The G20 is an emerging global governance platform, but lacks a secretariat to coordinate activities among its members.
The meeting’s agenda will include a focus on global currency and monetary policies, as well as the implications of Brexit.
US and allies plan to defeat ISIS
The US and more than 30 allies in the fight against ISIS have met in Washington D.C., to agree on a strategy to defeat the terrorist group.
Plans on how to stabilise the region after the group’s defeat were also discussed. The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, previously hosted a separate donor conference, which raised USD 2.1 billion, to help Iraq in its fight against ISIS.
AU pledges troops to South Sudan
The African Union (AU) has approved plans to deploy AU troops to South Sudan. Troops from Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Sudan would work alongside the existing UN peacekeeping force.
The government of South Sudan has opposed the deployment of an AU force. Previously, police officers from the UK, Germany, and Sweden were withdrawn from South Sudan without the consultation of the UN.