Bill Introduced in USA Congress to Help India Join APEC
- Matt Salmon, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, introduced the legislation in the USA Congress asking the Obama administration to help India join the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’ (APEC). forum on March 24, 2016.
- The membership in APEC would provide India a constructive forum to glean insight from other Asian countries that have already taken significant steps to advance their economies and an economically prosperous and regionally engaged India benefits the USA’ strategic goals on Asia.
- Singapore-headquartered APEC is a forum for 21 economies to promote free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The piembers are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, U SA and Vietnam.
Resolution Introduced in US House to bring India on Par with NATO Allies
- A Congressional resohition aiming to bring India on a par with America’s North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies in terms of trade and technology transfer, besides elevating its status in export of defence articles from the USA, has been introduced on March 23, 2016.
- Introduced by Congressman George Holding, Co-Chair of the House India Caucus the US-India Defense Technology and Partnership Act (HR 4825) proposes to amend the Arms Export Control-Action so as to formalise India’s status for the purpose of congressional notifications as a major partner of equal status as America’s treaty allies and closest partners.
- This legislation will cement the process that has already been made and will lay a foundation for future cooperation and growth arid elevate India s status by shortening the time required for the notification of sale or export of defence articles from the USA to India.
Nepal Joined SCO Grouping as Dialogue Partner
- As on March 22, 2016, Nepal became a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a Beijing-based regional security grouping, after a Memorandum was signed by SCO Secretary-General Rashid Olimov and visiting Nepalese Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi.
- As a dialogue partner, Nepal is able to participate in the multi-field cooperation of the SCO, which has an increasing presence in international affairs. As Nepal joins the SCO, it will create new opportunities for the SCOs mutually beneficial cooperation and benefit people living in the extensive region that the SCO covers.
- The SCO was established in 2001 to promote cooperation on security-related issues and strengthen mutual trust, friendliness and neighborliness among the member States.
China and Nepal Agreed to Build First Strategic Rail Link
- China agreed on March 21, 2016 to Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli’s request to build a strategic railway link-between the two countries through Tibet to reduce land-locked Nepal’s total dependence on India.
- In this regard, the two sides cemented their ties by signing 10 agreements including a landmark transit trade deal. It is happened during Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli’s maiden seven-day visit to China from 20 to 26, 2016.
- Nepal took this step amid fears of a repeat Of recent nearly 1 six-month long crippling blockade when the Indian-origin Madhesis blocked Nepal’s trade-routes with India, j throwing normal life out of gear.
- The other agreements included a feasibility study on the establishment of a Fret Trade Agreement (FTA), China’s assistance to build a new airport and a border bridge, a treaty on economic and technical cooperation to build a Regional International Airport Project at Pokhara, Nepal’s famous tourist site etc.
Agreement between EU and Turkey to Tackle Migrant Crisis came into Effect
- The agreement between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to tackle the migrant crisis has formally come into effect on March 20, 2016. Under the plan, migrants arriving in Greece will be sent back to Turkey if their asylum claim is rejected.
- According to it, thousands of migrants from Syria and elsewhere will be sent to Ankara, in exchange for financial aid and political concessions to it. The deal ensures Turkey, Which houses nearly 3 million Syrian refugees to get financial aid, quicker EU membership talks and visa-free travel for its citizens.
- Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu termed it as a historic, deal. Since January, 2015, a million migrants and refugees have entered the EU by boat from Turkey to Greece. More than 132000 have arrived this year alone.Tens of thousands are now stuck in Greece as their route North has been blocked.