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News in Short

News in Short - 01-July-2021

Iraq, Jordan and Egypt hold summit

Date: 01 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Egypt, Jordan and Iraq agreed to bolster security and economic cooperation at a tripartite summit during Egyptian head of state visit to Iraq.
  • The visits by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II came as Iraq seeks to move closer to Arab allies of the United States in the Middle East.
  • Iraq is also seeking to establish itself as a mediator between Arab countries and Iran, after reportedly hosting talks in April between Tehran and Riyadh.
  • The summit was focused on regional issues, as well as ways of bolstering cooperation between them in the fields of security, energy and trade, according to a joint statement.

Ukraine and US launch Black Sea drills

Date: 01 July 2021 Tags: Military Exercises
  • Ukraine and the United States launched joint naval exercises in the Black Sea in a show of Western cooperation with Kiev as it faces off with Russia.
  • The drills come just days after the British Royal Navy’s HMS Defender passed near Russian-annexed Crimea in the Black Sea, with Moscow saying it fired warning shots at the destroyer to ward it off.
  • The Sea Breeze drills will involve some 5,000 military personnel from more than 30 countries. The exercises will last two weeks and involve around 30 ships, including the missile destroyer USS Ross.
  • Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and claims the waters around the peninsula as part of its territory. Most countries do not recognise the takeover and stand behind Ukraine’s claims to the waters.

Sri Lanka banking on India’s $1 bn swap deal

Date: 01 July 2021 Tags: India & World
  • Sri Lanka is banking on a $1 billion currency swap from India to meet its debt repayment obligations this year and tide over the current economic crisis.
  • The island nation has already serviced part of its debt this year, and is preparing to repay the remaining more than $3 billion over the next six months.
  • Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had in May 2020 asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a “special” $1.1-billion currency swap to help the country boost its foreign reserves.

Government gives nod for Moderna’s vaccine

Date: 01 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted permission to Mumbai-based pharmaceutical firm Cipla to import Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.
  • India is also in conversation with Pfizer and JJ to add to the basket of vaccines available in India. Currently, India has made available three COVID vaccines — Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik.
  • Moderna vaccine will be brought in as a ready-to-use injectable vaccine which can be stored for a period of seven months at prescribed temperature and that normal storage after vial is opened is 30 days.

Atul Keshap appointed US Chargé D’affaires in India

Date: 01 July 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • The U.S. State Department announced the appointment of Atul Keshapas Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) ad interim, in New Delhi.
  • Mr. Keshap’s appointment shows that the White House is yet to send to the U.S. Senate the nomination of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose name has been doing the rounds for the Ambassador role in New Delhi since the end of May.
  • Mr. Keshap was formerly the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and played a key role in developing the U.S.-Maldives defence relationship. The two countries signed on to a framework for their security relationship last September.
  • He also served as Deputy Assistance Secretary for South Asia and was posted previously to the American Embassy in New Delhi.