Modi and Ranil hold key talks on IndoLanka relations

“A partnership marked by historical linkages and deep rooted friendship. Sri Lankan Prime Minister @RW_UNP arrives in New Delhi to participate in the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.Meanwhile, the UNI news agency reported that while expressing India’s keenness to strengthen the economic pillar of its relationship with Sri Lanka, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said that a lot can be achieved, given the synergy and economic complementarities between the two countries.Addressing Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe , who called on him at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President said, ”Development cooperation forms an important part of India-Sri Lanka bilateral engagement. India is keen to strengthen the economic pillar of its relationship with Sri Lanka. There is a lot that can be achieved, given the synergy and economic complementarities between the two countries.” Sri Lanka is already an important partner for India in the Indian Ocean region (IOR), where China is trying to increase its influence. The President iterated India’s firm commitment to partner with Sri Lanka on projects of mutual interest. (Colombo Gazette) With New Delhi expressing interest to run the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) near Hambantota port developed by the Chinese, the meeting between the two leaders assumed further significance. Wickremesinghe arrived in India on Wednesday. He arrived at the national capital from Bengaluru, which was his first destination.He was received at the New Delhi airport by Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe today took stock of the bilateral ties amid India recently showing interest to run an airport close to a port developed by China in the island nation, the Hindustan Times reported.The visiting Prime Minister, who is in India primarily to attend the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space, also called on President Ram Nath Kovind. <span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> read more

Syria joint OPCWUN chemical weapons team reports visits to nearly all declared

“Interaction with UN remains excellent and cooperation from Syrian authorities complete,” said OPCW spokesperson Michael Luhan, telling reporters at a press conference in The Hague, that the weapons inspectors on the ground had visited 18 of the 23 sites declared by Syria and that the team is proceeding with “functional destruction” to ensure the sites are inoperable.Specifically, he said the joint team is concentrating on destroying “what we call the critical equipment that is at the heart of the production facility, or that runs the mixing and filling units. That critical equipment will be destroyed, rendering the production facilities and equipment inoperable, unusable.”He said that “low tech, quick and cheap” methods were being used, such as filling equipment with concrete or smashing it, sometimes using heavy vehicles.With destruction activities now conducted at nearly all the relevant sites in Syria, he said: “It means that [Syria] will no longer have the capability to produce any more chemical weapons, and it will no longer have any working equipment to mix and to fill chemical weapons agent into munitions.” With that being achieved, the OPCW expects to meet the 1 November deadline set by the agency, he said.The Security Council formally approved the first-ever joint United Nations mission with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning global chemical weapons watchdog on 11 October. Earlier this month, the UN Security Council endorsed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s plan to deploy up to 100 UN and OPCW experts in a multi-phase operation to carry out its resolution on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons material and equipment, scheduled for completion by 30 June, 2014.The Council passed its resolution after Syria agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention following a chemical weapons attack in August that killed hundreds of people in a Damascus suburb, in a conflict that has already killed over 100,000 people and driven some 6.5 million others from their homes since protesters first sought the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad’s Government in March, 2011. read more