World News in Brief: December 23

Monday, 2019-12-23 14:40:38
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a Christmas truce with leftist guerrillas as he ordered the reconstitution of the government panel to talk peace with the 50-year-old insurgents, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Sunday (December 22).

*High-level visits and exchanges between Japan and China are of great significance, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, expressing the hope that his upcoming trip to China will serve as an opportunity to further consolidate bilateral relations. In a written interview with Chinese media, the prime minister also said that he looks forward to Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Japan next year.

* Three people died and another seven people were injured in four separate shootings in Baltimore, the US state of Maryland, over the weekend, local media reported on Sunday.

* Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday discussed with his visiting Indian counterpart the means to boost relations between the two countries particularly in economic sector, official IRNA news agency reported.

* Eighteen Indians, who were kidnapped by pirates near the Nigerian coast, had been released, officials said Monday (December 23).

* Andronico Rodriguez, leader of Bolivia's Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party, led a pre-election poll released on Sunday. According to a survey by pollster Mercados y Muestras on the country's news website Pagina Siete, the party founded by Evo Morales came out ahead with 23 percent of the vote.

* The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council said on Sunday that Iran will take the fifth step of scaling back its commitments under a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, Press TV reported.

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey will not take the burden of accepting a new flow of refugees from the Syrian town of Idlib alone.

*Jordan's National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) said on Sunday that the experimental supply of natural gas by US-based Noble Energy Inc. will start in early 2020. The gas supply is in line with an agreement signed between the two companies in 2016, state-run Petra news agency reported.

* Foreign Minister of the UN-backed Libyan government Mohamed Siala on Sunday demanded the United States to take a "clear and explicit stand" regarding the military campaign of the east-based army in and around capital Tripoli.

* People in Uzbekistan voted Sunday for a parliament with 71.1 percent turnout, successfully opening a new page in the country's recent history, according to the Uzbek Central Election Commission (CEC). The 71.1 percent turnout was a huge achievement of our nation, the head of CEC Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov said.

* Jordan and Japan on Sunday discussed ways to boost cooperation in economic and defense fields and efforts in the war against terrorism.

* Tunisian Prime Minister-designate Habib Jemli said on Sunday that Tunisia will have a new government in a week.

* Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas on Sunday announced great progress among Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on issues regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Xinhua