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Mains Current Affairs (World Affairs)

Afghan Peace Process

25th May, 2019

  • Afghanistan’s High Peace Council Secretary and President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Envoy Mohammad Umer Daudzai recently visited India.
  • Speaking at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), Daudzai said that India’s role is ‘key’ to the peace in Afghanistan.
  • In an effort to weaken President Nicolas Maduro's government in Venezuela, the US has implemented sanctions against Petroleos de Venezuela (Venezuelan state oil company), and has been pilling diplomatic pressure on nations to cut imports from the firm, deadline for which ended on May 10, 2019.
  • India's efforts in cutting down its Venezuelan oil imports has been recently appreciated by the US.
  • A group of 25 influential American lawmakers has urged the US Trade Representative (USTR) not to terminate the GSP programme with India after the expiry of the 60-day notice.
  • They urged to continue negotiating the deal as it protects and promotes jobs that rely on trade both imports and exports with India.
  • India has significantly reduced importing crude oil from Iran following the US move to end sanction waivers, and will use alternate supply sources such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq to make up for the lost volumes.
  • Impact of the end of US waivers for imports of Iranian oil was part of discussions between senior Turkish presidential advisor Ibrahim Kalin and India's National Security Advisor. Both of them met recently.
  • Recently, China held its 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) to showcase its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) without India's presence for the second consecutive time, while 37 heads of the state and government, including from Pakistan, attended the three-day grand event.
  • India has been boycotting the BRI to protest over the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The threat of Maoism

10th May, 2019

In one of the worst retaliatory attacks on the anti-naxal security forces, Maoist insurgents blew up an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) killing 15 jawans and a civilian in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district recently.

  • Trump administration has decided no longer renew exemptions for importing Iranian oil and has threatened sanctions on nations importing it after May 2, 2019.
  • Six months of waivers, known as Significant Reduction Exceptions (SRE),was granted to Iran’s eight biggest buyers (including China and India) of crude to continue to import limited volumesafter the US pulled out of its n-deal with Iran in 2018.
  • Among these eight buyers, Greece, Italy and Taiwan have stopped importing Iranian oil, while others, except China, are seeking waivers to be extended. China remains defiant.
Progress of BBIN project

18th Apr, 2019

  • Bhutan government is to again place bill for ratification of BBIN initiative at its upper senate after the failed previous attempt.
  • Bangladesh, India and Nepal have implemented the agreement but Bhutan is yet to accord its ratification of the agreement.

The United States of America came under sharp criticism from 14 other United Nations Security Council nations for its decision to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights in violation of international law.

With Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad having claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terrorist attack, the focus is back on Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar.

India considers China-Pakistan move of not doing enough against the terror outfit as brazen claim.  India has failed multiple times to list him as a “global terrorist” at the United Nations Security Council.

India's security agencies had prepared a dossier nailing the culpability of Pakistan in the Pulwama terror strike.

This was presented to the terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to push for Pakistan's inclusion in the FATF's black list.

In continuation of the process of engaging the global strategic community in an annual review of India’s opportunities and challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, the second edition of Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) - 2019 was held on 05 and 06 March 2019 at the Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi.

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