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18th-Mar-2017       Readers ( 84 )   0 Comments
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Merkel to visit Russia for talks with Putin
Reuters, Moscow
Germany's Angela Merkel will visit Moscow for talks on May 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, for the first bilateral visit since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula in 2014.
There is no immediate prospect that Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis will be lifted, but Merkel's visit sends a signal that Germany, the European Union's foremost power, is willing to engage with the Kremlin.

Rex Tillerson to visit Ankara on March 30
Reuters, Istanbul
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Turkey on March 30, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, in what is likely to be the most high-level meeting with Ankara since US President Donald Trump took office in January.
Ties between the United States and Turkey - which has the second largest army in the NATO alliance and is key to the US-led fight against ISIS - deteriorated sharply in the last year of the Barack Obama administration.

EU asylum seekers top 1.2m in 2016
AFP, Brussels
Some 1.2 million people sought asylum in the European Union last year, just slightly lower than in 2015 as conflict and upheaval in Syria and elsewhere keep driving people from their homes, EU figures showed Thursday.
The Eurostat statistics agency said that if the 2016 number was lower than the 1.26 million who came in 2015, it was still more than double the 562,000 of 2014.

Four in court over murder of top Myanmar lawyer
AFP, Yangon
Four men accused of plotting the murder of a prominent Myanmar lawyer and adviser to de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in a Yangon court on Friday. Ko Ni was shot in the back of the head in late January in broad daylight outside Yangon's airport while waiting for a taxi with his infant grandson in his arms.
He was a vocal critic of the army's lingering grip on power under Myanmar's new elected government and Suu Kyi's party has branded his killing a "terrorist act" designed to thwart their policies.

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