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34th edition of AAHAR – International Food and Hospitality fair-begins in New Delhi
- The 34th edition of AAHAR – the International Food and Hospitality fair – begins at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
- Our correspondent reports that Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu will inaugurate the fair.
- The fair will feature a wide range of food products, machinery, hospitality and Decoration and Confectionery items from over 560 participants from India and abroad.
- Around 20 countries, including US, Russia, China, UK, Germany, Italy and Singapore will participate in the five-day fair.
- The fair which will showcase new trends in food and beverage, hospitality, culinary technology, retail and new innovations.
- It will also offer an insight into the operational and food safety concerns and innovations to become energy-efficient, finding budget-friendly raw materials for boosting productivity while still aiming for greater profitability.
India and US ask Pakistan to take concerted action to dismantle terror infrastructure operating on its soil
- India and the United States have agreed that Pakistan needs to take concerted action to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and deny safe haven to all terror groups operating in its territory.
- The agreement was reached during the meeting between Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in Washington.
- An official release said, both sides also agreed that those who support or abet terrorism in any form should be held accountable.
- Gokhale appreciated the firm support that India received from the US in the aftermath of the terrorist attack at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Pompeo expressed his understanding of India’s concerns regarding cross-border terrorism.
- In a statement, US state department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said, both sides discussed the importance of bringing those responsible for the Pulwama attack to justice.
- Gokhale and Mr. Pompeo also discussed other issues of mutual interest, including Afghanistan and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and agreed to closely work together in this regard.
- In response to Mr. Pompeo’s reference to bilateral trade matters, Mr. Gokhale underscored the significant reduction in trade deficit in the last three years and conveyed India’s willingness to remain engaged with the US for a meaningful and mutually acceptable package on trade issues.
PM Modi, Bangladesh counterpart jointly inaugurate development projects
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, Monday jointly unveiled e-plaques for development projects in Bangladesh, through video conferencing.
- Both the leaders unveiled e-plaques for the supply of buses and trucks, the inauguration of 36 community clinics, 11 water treatment plants, and extension of National Knowledge Network to Bangladesh.
- Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Modi said Ms. Hasina’s vision is the biggest inspiration for stronger connectivity between India and Bangladesh. He said today’s unveilings will boost not just transport connectivity, but also knowledge connectivity.
- Modi said the National Knowledge Network will connect scholars and research institutes in Bangladesh, to India and the world.
- He said the buses and trucks would assist the efforts towards affordable public transportation; water treatment plants will help supply clean water; and community clinics will benefit about two lakh people, in Bangladesh.
- Modi said these projects show that the India-Bangladesh relations are playing a key role in improving the quality of life of people.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi was appreciative of, and reiterated Indian support for the ambitious development targets set by Prime Minister Hasina, for Bangladesh.
- He expressed confidence that bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh will continue to grow even further.
- External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the two sides should now set more ambitious targets, aimed at preserving the special character of the India-Bangladesh ties. She said, in the years ahead, the two countries should work together to realize the promise of a fully-integrated neighborhood, in which transport and energy links are restored.
- She said, partnership between the two sides is the best example of how cooperation for the mutual benefit not only brings prosperity but also reduces space for extremism.
- The Minister said, in the last five years, cooperation in security, and the shared strong commitment to eradicating terror has developed in tandem with closer political cooperation and committed efforts to improve the lives of the people.
New visa agreement between Maldives & India comes into force
- The new visa agreement between Maldives and India has come into force from today. The agreement will provide a liberal visa policy for Maldivians seeking medical treatment as well as education and business opportunities in India.
- The visa deal will allow Maldivian businessmen and tourists to stay in India for 90 days without a visa.
- Maldivians with tourist visas can also stay in India for treatment if they suffer a sudden medical issue.
- The agreement was reached during the visit of Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to India last December.
- Both the governments had agreed to implement the visa facilitation agreement after completing the required procedures.
- President Solih’s government has been strengthening ties with India after its decades-long friendship with India deteriorated during the administration of former President Abdulla Yameen.
- There have been several high-level exchanges since the present government took over last November while India extended 1.4 billion US dollars assistance to the new government.
GS-II ( International Affairs)
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will not seek fifth term, delays elections
- Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced that he will not seek a fifth term and delayed the 18th of next month’s Presidential polls following weeks of protests against his candidacy.
- The announcement was greeted with celebratory hooting of car horns in the streets of Algiers. In a message carried by national news agency APS, the 82-year-old leader said, the elections would follow a national conference on political and constitutional reform to be carried out by the end of this year. He did not give a date or timeline for the delayed election.
- The ailing leader, who has been confined to a wheelchair since suffering a stroke in 2013, said a government reshuffle would also take place.
- According to APS, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia resigned yesterday and was replaced by Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui.
- Ramtane Lamamra was named deputy prime minister, a position that did not exist before
UK says legally binding changes to Brexit deal agreed with EU; Voting in Parliament today
- The UK government has agreed to legally binding changes in the Brexit deal during discussions between Prime Minister Theresa May and European Union (EU) officials at Strasbourg in France.
- May’s de facto deputy, David Lidington told Parliament that the Prime Minister had secured the changes that strengthen and improve the withdrawal agreement and political declaration.
- He said, this should be enough to persuade MPs to vote for the agreement today.
- The MPs are to vote again the deal today, making the historic decision whether to back her plan or risk a chaotic exit from EU.
- Britain is due to leave EU on the 29th of this month and the deal is stuck on the deadlock over the Irish backstop clause.
- Two months ago, the House of Commons had rejected the withdrawal agreement by a huge majority, and sent Ms. May back to renegotiate.
China orders airlines to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 after crash
- China today ordered domestic airlines to suspend the commercial operation of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, citing the Ethiopian Airlines crash and another deadly accident of that same model in Indonesia.
- Noting the similarities between the two accidents, China’s Civil Aviation Administration said domestic airlines asked to ground all 737 MAX 8 aircraft by this evening.
- The administration said the operation of the model will only resume after ensuring flight safety.
- The statement cited the Kenya-bound Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa yesterday, killing all 157 people on board.
- It also mentioned the Indonesia Lion Air flight, which crashed after takeoff from Jakarta in October last year, killing all 189 people on board.
Zinedine Zidane re-appointed as coach of Spanish football club Real Madrid till 2022
- Zinedine Zidane has been re-appointed as the coach of Spanish football club Real Madrid till 2022.
- The Frenchman replaces Santiago Solari, who was sacked after less than five months in charge. Former Real midfielder Zidane had resigned from the club after leading it to three consecutive Champions League titles.
- Real Madrid is going through a rouch patch this season with nothing left to play for other than qualification match into next season’s premier European competition.
- Real Madrid’s Champions League challenge came to an end last week after the defending champions were stunned by Ajax in the Round-of-16.