World News in Brief: April 18

Thursday, 2019-04-18 10:42:16
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The second phase of India's 17th general elections began on April 18 morning. As many as 95 parliamentary constituencies are witnessing the polling, which started at 7:00 a.m. local time.

* Former Peruvian President Alan Garcia died on April 17 in a hospital in Lima, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra confirmed on Twitter. Vizcarra said that he was "consternated" by Garcia's death, and sent his condolences to his family and loved ones.

* The United States and Japan will hold a Security Consultative Committee meeting in Washington this Friday (April 19), the State Department said on April 17. Known as "2+2" meeting, the talks will be attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya, State Department said in a statement.

* A Chinese envoy on April 17 called for more development aid for developing countries.

* French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on April 17 called for a ceasefire in Libya where, according to him, rival factors should resume dialogues swiftly to reach a political solution to the conflict.

* China and Japan have agreed to arrange exchanges and visits for 30,000 young people of the two countries in the next five years, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on April 17.

* Israel's president appointed on April 17 night incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the country's 35th government, following the April 9 elections.

* Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on April 17 met with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi over promotion of bilateral relations, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

* Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on April 17 stressed the AU's resolve to ensure consensual and inclusive transition in Sudan through "African solutions to African problems."

* Turkey slammed the US sanctions on Iran, seeking to set up new mechanisms to improve bilateral trade ties, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on April 17.

* Over 30 people have died and many injured in unseasonal rains accompanied with dust storm in several Indian states on April 16 night, local media reported on April 17.

* Israel's defense exports totalled US$7.5 billion in 2018, a decrease of US$1.7 billion from 2017, the defense ministry said on April 17.

Xinhua