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Nepal, China agree to activate bilateral mechanism to resolve border dispute

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 In order to resolve the border dispute and sign a new boundary protocol, Nepal and China have agreed to activate bilateral mechanisms.

During a virtual consultation meeting on border affairs held on Thursday, both sides agreed to activate the boundary mechanism first agreed in 1963 while signing the first boundary protocol, said Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Underscoring the importance of joint inspection of the Nepal-China boundary, the two sides agreed to initiate the process for activating the existing bilateral mechanism through mutual consultation, the ministry said in a statement.

The 1963 Joint Boundary Protocol has the provision of constituting three different mechanisms to deal with boundary issues — Joint Inspection Team, Joint Expert Group, and Joint Inspection Committee.

The mechanisms were enshrined in the Nepal-China Boundary Protocol signed between the two countries on January 20, 1963. Three boundary protocols have been signed between Nepal and China in the past — in 1963, 1979 and 1988. Both sides shelved the plan to sign the fourth protocol after much delay in 2011 due to some dispute.

Though the Nepal government and the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu categorically deny having any boundary dispute, Nepali media has been occasionally reporting border friction between China and Nepal in Humla, Gorkha, Rasuwa other districts.

The major bone of contention is the exact location of Pillar No. 57. After the two sides could not agree on the height of Mt Everest and the exact location of Pillar No. 57, the signing of the fourth protocol has been in limbo since 2011.

The meeting also took stock of the overall state of Nepal-China relations, and held discussions on various matters relating to boundary and border management between the two countries, the ministry said.

After activating the boundary mechanism, both sides shall jointly conduct boundary inspection, resolve the differences and sign the new boundary protocol.

Lok Bahadur Thapa, Head of North East Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Hong Liang, Director General of the Department of Border and Ocean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, led their respective delegations at the meeting.

The two sides also agreed to resume two-way trade through Rasuwagadhi/Keyrung border port, following Covid-19 health protocols and guidelines. Both sides will establish an epidemic prevention and control mechanism to this end.

China has stopped importing goods and products from Nepali trading points citing the Covid related restrictions, and Nepali traders have been asking the government to put pressure on China for resumption of two-way trading.

At the meeting, both sides also agreed to open new trading points on the western side of Nepal.

With a view to support the livelihoods of people in the northern Himalayan region of Nepal, the two sides decided to open the Hilsa/Purang border port for transportation of goods and construction materials from China by putting in place necessary Covid-19 protocols, the statement added.

International News

OIC: General Secretariat strongly condemns!!

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The OIC General Secretariat strongly condemns the treacherous attack against the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tehran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 27 January 2023, killing the Embassy’s head of security service and injuring two security guards.

The General Secretariat calls for bringing the perpetrators of the heinous attack to justice and underlines the necessity of ensuring the security and safety of diplomatic missions.

The OIC Secretary General, Mr. Hissein Ibrahim Taha, while expressing his solidarity with the Government and people of Azerbaijan, offered his condolences to the family of the deceased and wished speedy recovery to the injured.

(Source: OIC OFFICIAL)

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Crime

Israeli fighter jets strike Gaza in response to rockets firing

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Israeli fighter jets on Friday carried out a series of airstrikes on facilities belonging to militant groups in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired from the coastal enclave, witnesses said.

Israeli army drones and fighter jets were heard buzzing in the air, and several explosions were heard in central Gaza Strip, the witnesses told Xinhua news agency.

They added that more than 14 missiles were fired at a military post that belonged to Gaza militant groups.

Palestinian medical sources said that no injuries were reported during the strikes that mainly targeted posts and facilities that belong to the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

The airstrikes were in response to the firing of two rockets at southern Israel, said a spokesman from the Jewish state’s army.

No group has claimed responsibility for firing the rockets, which was a response to the killing of nine Palestinians during an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp, deemed to be the most deadly in nearly two decades.

During the Israeli airstrikes on Friday, militants in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave also fired at least five rockets at southern Israeli communities close to the borders with the Gaza Strip and anti-craft missiles were fired at Israeli fighter jets by Hamas militants, sources close to Hamas security told Xinhua.

Media outlets in Gaza quoted an Egyptian source as saying that Egyptian intelligence is in intensive contact with the Palestinian factions to prevent an escalation in Gaza.

More than 170 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank in 2022, and at least 29 have been killed in January this year, according to figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry.

According to the UN, 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2006.

The tensions have been further aggravated since Israel’s most right-wing government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, took office last month.

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International News

Armed attack targets Azerbaijan’s embassy in Iran

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Armed attack targets Azerbaijan's embassy in Iran

A guard has been killed in an armed attack on Azerbaijan’s embassy compound in Iran, the nation’s foreign ministry has said.

Two people were also wounded in Friday’s attack.

“The attacker destroyed the guard post with a Kalashnikov automatic weapon and killed the head of the security service. Two security guards of the embassy were also injured while preventing the attack,” Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said.

The ministry said it would evacuate its embassy staff in Tehran.

The Iranian capital police chief, General Rahimi, said the attacker entered the embassy with his two children.

“Preliminary investigation shows that the attacker’s motive was personal and family problems,” Iran’s local Mehr News Agency reported.

Act of terrorism’

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said that an attack on his country’s embassy in Iran was “an act of terrorism” and demanded a swift investigation and punishment of the “terrorist”.

“I fiercely condemn the terrorist attack perpetrated against our Embassy in Tehran today,” Aliyev said on Twitter.

“We demand that this terrorist act be swiftly investigated and the terrorists punished,” he added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has condemned the “treacherous attack” in a tweet.

“Azerbaijan is never alone,” Cavusoglu added.

Separately Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement regarding the deadly attack, saying that Türkiye which has been subjected to similar attacks in the past, deeply shares the pain of the Azerbaijani people.

“It is very important that those responsible for this heinous attack should be immediately apprehended and brought to justice,” the ministry said.

Suspect detained

Nasser Kanani, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran also condemned the attack and said the suspect was detained.

“Police and security forces immediately intervened and arrested the assailant, who is currently under investigation,” the spokesman said.

The foreign ministry also noted that the situation is under investigation with dimensions of action and the motive of the assailant.

Azerbaijan borders Iran to its northwest. There have been tensions between the two countries as Azerbaijan and Armenia have fought over the Karabakh region.

Iran in October launched a military exercise near the Azerbaijan border, flexing its martial might amid the nationwide protests rocking the Islamic Republic. 

Azerbaijan also maintains close ties to Israel, which Tehran views as one of its top regional enemies.

(Source: TRT WORLD)

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