World News in Brief: August 20

Tuesday, 2019-08-20 15:28:19
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Thirteen Chinese nationals were killed and 31 others injured in a bus crash in northern Laos, the Chinese Embassy in Laos confirmed on Tuesday (August 20). The Lao police said the crash was probably caused by a brake failure.

* Diplomats from the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the United States on Tuesday held preparatory talks in Seoul over negotiations on how much RoK would share the cost for the upkeep of the US Forces Korea (USFK).

* The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday (August 19) condemned the latest major terrorist attack in Afghanistan and called on the international community to strengthen efforts to fight terrorists in the country.

* Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani pledged on Monday to fight against terrorism until the menace of terror networks were dismantled.

* Germany's Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Monday stressed her country's support for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

* Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that his country has remained committed to nuclear treaty and is willing to continue the dialogue.

* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke over phone on Monday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Libya and bilateral ties, said the US State Department.

* Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne said on Monday he would meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on "ways to reach an agreement-based Brexit without opening the existing agreement" between the UK and the European Union.

* UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has appealed for increased international engagement, including by financial institutions and development actors, in communities hosting Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Brazil.

* The Saudi-led coalition involved in a war in Yemen targeted Houthi military sites in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Tuesday.

* The rebel groups on Tuesday were forced to withdraw from the town of Khan Shaykhun in the northwestern province of Idlib and other key towns in the adjacent countryside of Hama Province as a result of the offensive by the Syrian military in the region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - a war monitor- reported.

* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called the release of the Iranian oil tanker "unfortunate," as the tanker seized by Britain for several weeks now has left Gibraltar. The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday warned against any attempt by the United States to seize the Iranian oil tanker.

* Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi will pay an official visit to Russia, which will be the first by a Mozambican head of state since 1991. The visit will be from Tuesday to Friday at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, said the President's Office on Monday.

* The Russian Defense Ministry said Monday that Russia will carry out an observation flight over the territory of Britain while the United States will carry out a similar mission over Russia this week.

* Qatar and Pakistan on Monday discussed military and defense relations and means to boost cooperation, according to a statement released by the Qatari defense ministry.

* The death toll has reached 97 from the fuel tanker explosion in Tanzania's eastern region of Morogoro, an official said on Monday. The tanker reportedly overturned after its driver tried to avoid knocking down a motorcycle rider.

* At least 22 people have been confirmed dead in a Sunday evening fuel tanker explosion in the western Ugandan district of Rubirizi, a police spokesperson said on Monday. Police said a stream of liquid fire from the fuel also burnt about 25 small shops over a stretch of more than 30 meters.

Xinhua