The Guardian • Issue #2096

GLOBAL BRIEFS

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2096
Global briefs

MALDIVES: Almost 284,000 people were eligible to vote in Maldives’ parliamentary elections last Sunday. The island country consists of nearly 2,000 coral islands across 800 km near the equator. The Maldives is known for its beautiful beaches and luxury resorts, but more importantly, from a geopolitical point of view, it is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, through which east-west shipping lanes pass. In 2013, the Maldives joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), meant to build ports and highways to expand trade across Asia, Africa and Europe. The present election was seen as a test for President Mohammed Muizzu’s plan to press ahead with closer cooperation with China after his presidential election last September. The Maldives is one of the most vulnerable countries to sea level rises caused by climate change. Mr Muizzu, a former construction minister, has promised that land reclamation and building islands higher will address the challenge. He also pledged to end the country’s ‘India First’ policy. Provisional results of the election give the President and his party – the People’s National Party (PNC) – a majority in parliament, with opposition far behind. PNC won 70 out of 93 seats to take full control of the parliament. The outcome is likely to accelerate the country’s shift away from India in favour of China.

IRAN: Iran responded to Israel’s threat to attack nuclear energy facilities in Iran by pointing out that so far Iran had adhered to international laws and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which clearly state that all countries should refrain from attacking nuclear facilities. Mr Haghtalab, responsible for the safety of Iran’s nuclear facilities, has announced that “the nuclear facilities of the Zionist enemy have been identified, and we have at our disposal the necessary information on all targets, and respond to their possible actions, our fingers are on the trigger of powerful missile to destroy specific targets”.

NICARAGUA: A Chinese delegation visited Nicaragua to further strengthen cooperation between the two counties. The delegation from the Communist Party and the Chinese government met with representatives of Daniel Ortega’s Government of National Reconciliation to discuss economic cooperation. A series of meetings took place related to investment in trade, energy and mining, tourism, creative economy, fashion design, and higher education. There’s also a plan to sign a cooperation agreement between a Chinese company and the Ministry of Energy and Mines focused on remediation of contaminated soils and environmental management in the mining sector.

YEMEN: On 19 April Sanaa, the capital of Yemen once again was packed with thousands of people as solidarity actions and demonstrations in support of Palestinian people continued. The organising committees of the protests issued a statement condemning the Israeli aggression and siege of the Gaza Strip, as well as the actions of the United States and the European Union. Sanaa also condemned the actions of the Arab countries that support the Zionist regime and protect it in a military and mass media way. The Yemeni government congratulated the Houthis for the actions against the commercial ships of Israel and the Western powers. The statement also formally congratulated the government of Iran for its stance of resistance and combativeness against Tel Aviv’s attacks against them.

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