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Trilateral Meet between India, Afghanistan and Iran to Take Chabahar Agreement Further 

A Trilateral meeting was held between Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Sh. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammadullah Batash and Minister of Road and Urban Development, Iran, Dr. Abbas Ahmed Akhoundi in the capital. The three Ministers held discussions on Trilateral Agreement on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor i.e. Chabahar Agreement which was signed by them on 23rd May, 2016 in Tehran in the presence of Prime Minister of India and Presidents of Iran and Afghanistan.
●    During the meeting the Ministers reiterated the importance of Chabahar as a hub for regional connectivity and their commitment to work towards this objective. It was decided to organize a connectivity event involving all stakeholders at Chabahar within two months to increase awareness about the new opportunities offered by Chabahar Port.
●    The Ministers expressed satisfaction that the three countries are taking prompt measures for completing internal processes for the ratification of the Agreement. They also exchanged views on the next steps to be taken for an early implementation of the Agreement. It was decided to evolve protocols related to transport and transit, ports, customs procedures and consular affairs. It was also decided to convene an Expert level meeting of senior officials of the three countries within one month in Chabahar.
●    Development of Ports, Road and Rail connectivity will open up new opportunities leading to new jobs and prosperity in all three countries. Trade is recognized as driving economic growth and development, the implementation of the Agreement would provide the eco-system for the private sector to seize the business opportunities emerging due to substantial reduction of logistic costs for trade among the three countries,.
●    The Minister of Road and Urban Development of Iran Dr. Abbas Ahmed Akhoundi and Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammadullah Batash are visiting India at the invitation of Shri Nitin Gadkari.


 

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India to Suspend Talks on Indus Water Treaty


Declaring that “blood and water cannot flow together”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a meeting of senior officials from the Water Resources and External Affairs Ministries and the PMO to discuss the government’s options on the India-Pakistan Indus Waters Treaty in the wake of the Uri attack.
•    While the meeting decided to suspend further water talks and increase the utilisation of rivers flowing through Jammu and Kashmir to maximise India’s share, there was no decision on either reviewing or abrogating the 1960 treaty, official sources said.
•    The government decided to suspend talks on the Permanent Indus Commission, the dispute redressal mechanism that has met 112 times, until “terror comes to an end”.
•    According to Article VIII of the Indus Waters Treaty, the Commission must meet once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan.
•    The last meeting was held in July 2016.
•    The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank. 
• The treaty was signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960 by Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan.
 

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India - China : 1st High Level Dialogue to Combat Terror


India and China discussed ways to enhance security and cooperation to combat terror.
•    The two sides exchanged views on the international and regional security situation at the first meeting of the India- China High Level Dialogue on Counter-terrorism and Security held here. 
•    The meeting was co-chaired by R N Ravi, Chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee and Wang Yongqing, Secretary General of Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of China.
•    They exchanged information on respective policies, systems and legislation to deal with terrorism, and further enhance their understanding on issues of major concerns to both sides, according to a press release issued by the Indian embassy here.
 

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Historic Pact between Colombia and FARC


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Marxist rebel leader Timochenko used a pen made from a bullet on Monday to sign an agreement ending a half-century war that killed a quarter of a million people and made their nation a byword for violence.
•    After four years of negotiations in Havana, Santos, 65, and Timochenko - a nom de guerre for 57-year-old revolutionary Rodrigo Londono - shook hands on Monday on Colombian soil for the first time.
•    Some 2,500 foreign and local dignitaries attended the ceremony in the walled, colonial city of Cartagena.
•    The agreement to end Latin America’s longest-running conflict turns the FARC fighters into a political party fighting at the ballot box instead of the battlefield they have occupied since 1964.
 

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First Russia-Pak Defence Exercise Druzhba begins

The eighth edition of India-Russia Joint Military Exercise ‘INDRA-2016’ begun in the Ussiriysk District in Vladivostok, Russia. 
•    The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise is on Counter-Terrorism Operations in semi mountainous and jungle terrain under United Nations Mandate.
•    To achieve interoperability in joint operations, troops from both sides would acquaint themselves with the respective approach to such operations. 
•    A comprehensive training programme spanning eleven days has been drawn up for the purpose.
•    Brigadier Sukrit Chadah is leading the Indian contingent of 250 soldiers from the Kumaon Regiment while the Russian army is being represented by 250 soldiers from the 59th Motorised Infantry Brigade.
•    Indra series of bilateral exercises is one of the major bilateral defence cooperation initiatives between India and Russia since 2003. 
•    The Indian contingent is scheduled to return to India on termination of the Exercise in the first week of October 2016.


 

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Delhi Hosts 2nd SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism

India held the second Meeting of the High Level Group of Eminent Experts to strengthen the SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism from September 22-23, 2016 in New Delhi.
•    Meeting of a High Level Group of Eminent Experts to strengthen the SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism was recommended by the SAARC Ministerial Declaration on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism (adopted by the 31st Meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers in Colombo, February 2009). India had hosted its first meeting in New Delhi from 9-10 February 2012.
•    Hosting the meeting for the second time, it is in line with the high priority India attaches for regional cooperation in Anti-Terrorism activities and given that terrorism remains the single biggest threat to peace, stability and progress in the region and beyond. The meeting provides a platform for discussing and identifying measures to tackle this menace threatening our societies.
•    As in the previous meeting, Indian delegation is led by Director, Intelligence Bureau, who is also the Chairperson of the Meeting. Senior officials from Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and related agencies also participateded in the meeting.

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India, US, Afghanistan reaffirm Anti-Terrorism stance at UNGA


India, the US and Afghanistan have reaffirmed their shared interests in combating terrorism and advancing peace and security in the region as they explored ways to “coordinate and align” assistance in the war-torn country with priorities of the Afghan government.
•    Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson met in New York.
•    It added that the meeting provided a forum for the governments of India and the US to explore ways to coordinate and align their assistance with the priorities of the Afghan government.
•    US Secretary of State John Kerry had said late last month during his visit to New Delhi that Washington would launch trilateral talks, which had stopped in 2013, with New Delhi and Kabul at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
 

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China, Russia conduct joint naval exercise Joint Sea-2016

The Chinese and Russian navies on 19 September 2016 concluded Joint Sea-2016, eight days of naval exercises, in the South China Sea.
•    The Joint Sea-2016 was launched as a sign of growing cooperation between their armed forces against the backdrop of regional territorial disputes.
•    The exercises was conducted following a spike in tensions after Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague rejected China’s claims in the South China Sea and slammed it for causing environmental damage there.
•    The Joint Sea-2016 included ships, submarines, ship-borne helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, along with marines and amphibious armoured vehicles who will conduct live-firing exercises.
•    Tasks included defensive and rescue drills, anti-submarine exercises and the simulated seizure of an enemy island by marines from both sides.
•    Compared with previous years, the 2016 drill focused more on confrontational capacity such as surface warships, submarines and land-based defences. 
•    It was also the first time the China-Russia joint exercise had been held in the South China Sea.

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India and Nepal sign three agreements

India and Nepal on 16 September 2016 signed three MoUs and agreements to enhance the bilateral agreement between the two nations.
•    The agreements were inked during the four-day-visit (from 15 September to 18 September 2016) of Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda to India.
•    MoU for project management consultancy services for upgradation/improvement of road infrastructure in Terai area of Nepal – The services will be provided by NHIDCL in pursuance of the MoU signed on 20 February 2016.
•    First Amendatory Dollar credit line agreement between Nepal and EXIM Bank: Amendatory agreement to 1 billion US dollar Line of Credit agreement signed on 25 November 2014, enabling reapportioning of unutilised funds for post-earthquake reconstruction projects in Nepal.
•    Dollar Credit line agreement between Nepal and EXIM Bank: New Line of Credit agreement for 750 million US dollar for post-earthquake reconstruction projects in Nepal.

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NAM Summit 2016 at Veneuela ends

Vice President Hamid Ansari today held talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on a host of issues of mutual interest after arriving here to attend the 17th NAM Summit.
•    Ansari called on Maduro in his first official engagement in Venezuela after arriving here as the leader of the Indian delegation at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
•    In his call on with Maduro, Ansari was accompanied by Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar and Secretary West Sujata Mehta.
•    The meeting between Ansari and Maduro came less than a month after Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez visited India to personally hand over an invitation for India’s participation in the 17th NAM Summit.
•    The two countries had also agreed to finalise a number of key pacts including double tax avoidance agreement.
•    The two sides had agreed to move ahead for an early finalization of a number of agreements in different areas, including Extradition Treaty, Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) on Criminal Matters and Air Services Agreement.

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