World News in Brief: February 8

Saturday, 2020-02-08 11:23:10
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More leaders of foreign countries and heads of international organizations have recently expressed their support for China's battle against the novel coronavirus outbreak and commended China's measures in preventing and controlling the epidemic, according to the Xinhua.

* Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wants Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin to notify Washington about the intention of Manila to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the United States and the Philippines, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Friday (February 7).

* The Republic of Korea (RoK) President Moon Jae-in said Friday that as a close neighboring country of China, RoK stands ready to continue to actively support China in its effort to fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic. Moon made such remarks as he accepted the credentials from newly appointed Chinese ambassador to the RoK Xing Haiming at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

* India will move 100 million tons of coastal cargo in the next five years through the coastal shipping route from the present 2 million tons, an official from the country's shipping ministry said on Friday.

* A Russian delegation will visit Ankara on Saturday(February 8) to discuss the escalating tension in Syria's Idlib Province, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday.

* Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in New Delhi on Friday on a four-day state visit to India, officials said. Rajapaksa will hold talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday and will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind. This is the first visit of Rajapaksa abroad after he took office as prime minister of Sri Lanka in November last year.

* Cyprus has struck a defense deal with France to the tune of EUR240 million, its Defence Ministry said on Friday. In a statement, the Defence Ministry said "contracts were signed related to upgrading specific weapons systems at an estimated cost of EUR240 million", adding that it is "part of upgrading the National Guard's military capabilities."

* Greece is in a position to take the lead among European Union (EU) members in sustainable policies and investments, European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said in Athens on Friday.

* French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday said European Union (EU) member states "cannot remain spectators" in face of growing global threats, calling on them to reinforce the bloc's strategic autonomy and defense budget.

* As many as 25 people have died as a result of a gas tanker truck explosion in Peru's capital Lima two weeks ago, the Health Ministry said Thursday. The tragedy occurred on January 23 in the city's Villa el Salvador district, after a tanker truck hit a bump in the road, causing gas to leak, and sparking a fire and explosion that damaged or destroyed some 20 nearby homes.

* Lebanese President Michel Aoun assured on Friday that he will not allow the security situation to get out of control, said a presidency statement.

* Turkey has brought in new military gear to Syria's northwestern province of Idlib on Friday, a war monitor reported. A military convoy of 100 vehicles, including tanks and armored vehicles, as well as military radars, entered Idlib, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The opposition monitor group said it's the first time Turkey brings in radars to Idlib.

* Iranian Ambassador to Ukraine Manouchehr Moradi said that Tehran might hand over the black boxes of a downed Ukrainian Boeing passenger plane to Ukraine or another country if the Islamic republic could not decipher them, Ukrinform reported on Friday. The diplomat made the remarks during a forum which was held at the Iranian Embassy in Kiev on February 7.

Xinhua