Chinese president Xi to attend Russia regional summit, North Korea’s Kim invited

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend a regional economic summit in Russia next week hosted by President Vladimir Putin. (AFP)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Chinese president Xi to attend Russia regional summit, North Korea’s Kim invited

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited Kim Jong Un to participate in the September 11-13 Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend a regional summit in Russia next week, officials said Friday, joining the prime ministers of Japan and South Korea at a gathering to which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was invited.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited Kim to participate in the September 11-13 Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
Kim has not confirmed his attendance, but his participation would mark another major step in his efforts to bring Pyongyang out of international isolation over its nuclear weapons program.
At a press briefing to announce Xi’s visit, Chinese officials would not comment on whether Xi planned to meet with other leaders during the summit.
“Should we have any proposals from other countries, China will positively consider” them, assistant foreign minister Zhang Hanhui told reporters.
Kim and Xi met three times in China this year as the two countries seek to repair relations frayed by North Korea’s nuclear activities and Beijing’s backing of United Nations sanctions against its Cold War-era ally.
Xi is sending the head of China’s rubber-stamp legislature, Li Zhanshu, to Pyongyang this weekend to attend celebrations marking North Korea’s 70th anniversary, ending speculation that the Chinese president would use the occasion to make his first official trip to the neighboring country.
In the latest chapter in the roller-coaster diplomacy over North Korea, US President Donald Trump signaled on Thursday that negotiations on denuclearization remain alive after weeks of an apparent deadlock.
Xi will be in Vladivostok on Tuesday and Wednesday. It will be the first time that a Chinese leader participates in the annual economic forum hosted by Russia.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean premier Lee Nak-yeon are expected to attend the summit.
Relations between China and Japan soured in 2012 over a territorial dispute, but have begun to warm.
In recent months, the two sides have been negotiating an exchange of top level visits.


Libyan navy says it intercepted 91 Europe-bound migrants

Updated 16 June 2019
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Libyan navy says it intercepted 91 Europe-bound migrants

  • Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe
  • An official said the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid and then taken to a refugee camp in Tripoli

CAIRO: Libya’s coast guard says it has intercepted a rubber vessel carrying 91 Europe-bound migrants, including women and children, off the country’s Mediterranean coast.
Spokesman Ayoub Gassim said Sunday that three women and two children were among the African migrants intercepted a day earlier off the coast of the western town of Garaboli, 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of the capital, Tripoli.
He says the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid and then taken to a refugee camp in Tripoli.
Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi.
Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migrants, with European assistance.