India Dispatches First Wheat Shipment to Afghanistan
TOLO | 23rd February
India dispatched the first in a series of aid shipments containing wheat to Afghanistan as the country faces poverty and hunger since the political change in the country last year.
The first convoy of 50 trucks carrying 2,500 metric tones of wheat left the north Indian city of Amritsar after a ceremony attended by India's foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Dhaka, Delhi to hold JCC after holding all sectoral meetings
Prothom Alo | 24th February
Bangladesh and India agreed to hold the foreign minister-level Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting after both countries complete holding all sectoral meetings, reports BSS.
The agreement came during a meeting held between foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen and his Indian counterpart Harsh Vardhan Shringla in New Delhi on Thursday afternoon.

Indian Army gifts COVID vaccine doses to NA
The Himalayan Times | 24th February
Under the Government of India's 'Vaccine Maitri' initiative, the Indian Army gifted 100,000 doses of made-in-India vaccines to the Nepali Army amid a ceremony at the Nepali Army Headquarters today.
The vaccines were handed over by Lieutenant General PN Ananthanarayanan, SM, President Gorkha Brigade Lieutenant General Bal Krishna Karki, VCOAS of the Nepali Army.

AFGHANISTAN

Formation of Incl Govt Stressed in Meeting of EU, Central Asian Envoys
Afghanistan Times | 23rd February
The EU special representative for Afghanistan, Central Asia Special Envoys for Afghanistan, and the EU Special Representative for Central Asia met on Wednesday in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, where they stressed the need of forming an inclusive government in Afghanistan.
A joint statement was issued following the meeting.
The EU special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas Niklasson in a tweet said he was visiting Tashkent alongside EU Special Representative for Central Asia Terhi Hakala to discuss Afghanistan’s regional significance and how the EU can “engage as a constructive partner.”

Efforts Underway to Connect Afghan Traders With World: MoE
TOLO | 24th February
The Ministry of Economy (MoE) said it has drafted a plan through which Afghan traders and foreign investors will be provided with more facilities to invest in the country.  
According to the MoE, the rate of imports has significantly dropped compared to last year.  
“We want trade to not be politicalized. We want the private sector to be active and incentivized as well as have government support,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy minister of Economy. 
 

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh beats Vietnam to be 2nd largest RMG exporter again
Bangladesh Post | 24th February
Bangladesh has surpassed Vietnam and regained its position as the second largest apparel exporter in the world by earning $35.80 billion in 2021.
In the same year, Vietnam, one of the main competitors of Bangladesh in the world trade of garment industry, exported $31.08 billion. As a result, Bangladesh's garment exports exceeded Vietnam's by $4.72 billion, according to the Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) data.

‘Malaysia will take more manpower from Bangladesh’
Dhaka Tribune | 24th February
Malaysia is keen to recruit more manpower from Bangladesh particularly for the plantation sector, visiting Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Zuraida Kamaruddin said.
The Malaysian minister made the remark on a courtesy call to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the latter's official residence Ganabhaban.

Dhaka appoints lobbying firm to ‘deepen’ ties with Washington
The Daily Star | 25th February
Bangladesh has recently appointed a US lobbying firm for a year to deepen Dhaka's ties with Washington, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam said yesterday.
He said the firm has been hired at a monthly payment of $20,000 [Tk 17,19,915]. [One dollar was equivalent to Tk 86 yesterday].
 

BHUTAN

Remittance inflow increases in 2021
Kuensel | 25th February
Money sent home by Bhutanese residing overseas increased by about 3.5 percent as of November of last year, according to recent data released by the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA).
The RMA’s records showed that remittance increased to Nu 7.6 billion (B) as of November 2021. The remittance was recorded at Nu 7.35B as of the same month in 2020.

His Majesty the King continues to encourage the Bhutanese amidst lockdowns
Daily Bhutan | 22nd February
His Majesty began the Royal Tour on January 23 and has thus far visited Punakha, Wangduephdrang, Tsirang, Sarpang, Gelephu, Samdrup Jongkhar, Jomotshangkha, Samdrupcholing, and Nganglam. His Majesty is accompanied by Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering for the tour.
On February 21 — the King's birthday — His Majesty visited Phuentsoling, a district that had around 600 positive cases within the last one month.
 

MALDIVES​​​​​​

Tourism Minister: Russia-Ukraine war will significantly impact Maldivian tourism
Sun | 24th February
Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has stated that war between Russia and Ukraine will significantly impact the Maldivian tourism sector.
Speaking to Sun regarding the matter, Minister Mausoom stressed that 20 percent of the tourist market to the Maldives comprises of Russian and Ukrainian tourists. Adding that the top tourist market to the Maldives at present is Russia, he said that the war will definitely adversely impact Maldivian tourism.

27,278 awaiting second doses of Covid-19 vaccine by Monday's end
Raajje | 23rd February
27,278 persons are currently awaiting second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Under the government’s "Covid-19 Dhifaau" inoculation drive, a total of 370,824 persons have completed both doses of the vaccine whereas 398,102 persons have received first doses nationwide so far.
Latest figures publicized by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) revealed that 1,685 vaccine jabs were received by 380 Greater Malé Residents and 1,305 atoll residents on Monday.

Kuwait Fund to provide loans for Thinadhoo Hospital
The Edition | 23rd February
Health Minister Ahmed Naseem reveled on Wednesday that Kuwait Fund will be providing the loan to develop a tertiary hospital in Thinadhoo of Gaafu Dhaalu atoll.
This statement was made when Parliament Member for North Thinadhoo constituency, Abdul Mughunee asked why the developing of a tertiary hospital was being delayed despite the fact it was included in the yearly budget of the past two years.
Answering the questions while in the parliament, Naseem said that loans have now been provided from Kuwait fund to develop the hospital in Thinadhoo. 
 

MYANMAR

Cambodian, Malaysian PMs Call on Myanmar Junta to Implement ASEAN Consensus
The Irrawaddy | 24th February
The Cambodian and Malaysian prime ministers called for the “timely and effective implementation” of ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus on Myanmar during a meeting in Phnom Penh on Thursday, the two countries said in a joint statement.
Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob met with his counterpart Hun Sen to cap a two-day visit to Cambodia, the current holder of the rotating chair of ASEAN, of which Malaysia and Myanmar are also members.

COVID-19 vaccine drive continues in various states, regions
New Light of Myanmar | 24th February
Doctors and nurses from public hospitals, Tatmadaw medical teams, healthcare workers and volunteers are working hard to give COVID-19 vaccines in different states and regions as the vaccination programme is one of the most important activities in the prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 disease.
COVID-19 vaccine is administered daily to target groups regardless of race or religion, including Buddhist monks and nuns, local people over the age of 40, students, religious leaders, prisoners, people with disabilities, ethnic armed groups, people with chronic diseases, people in IDP camps and over 12-year-old students, respectively.

EU imposes sanctions on Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE)
Mizzima | 23rd February
The European Union (EU) was, on 22 February, the first jurisdiction to impose sanctions on Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).
MOGE is the junta’s biggest single source of revenue, responsible for financing its terror campaign.
The move comes after TotalEnergies, Chevron, Petronas, Mitsubishi Corporation and Woodside have announced plans to exit from their investments in Myanmar.
 

NEPAL

Nepal opposes Russian invasion of Ukraine
The Kathmandu Post | 24th February
After Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a military operation in eastern Ukraine, Nepal has called on all parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint not to escalate tensions.
“The Government of Nepal has been closely following the developments in Ukraine,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “As a member of the United Nations, Nepal views that the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity as enshrined in the UN charter are sacrosanct and must be fully respected by all member states.”

India ‘positive’ to purchase surplus electricity from Nepal
My Republica | 24th February
An agreement has been reached to form a joint task force on a proposal to construct a hydropower project to be built with joint investments of Nepal and India. 
The taskforce will have a maximum of three members from both the countries. As per the proposal, a company will be established at the governmental level of both the countries and this company in the first phase will build a hydropower project with joint investments. 

Madhav Nepal, Chinese official hold talks
The Himalayan Times | 24th February
Vice-minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Chen Zhou talked to Chairman of Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Socialist Madhav Kumar Nepal via a video call yesterday.
According to a press release issued by the International Department of CPC, Chen spoke positively about relations between the two countries and the two parties.
 

PAKISTAN

Military conflict not in anyone’s interest, Imran tells Putin
The Express Tribune | 24th February
Prime Minister Imran Khan told Russian President Vladimir Putin disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy as he regretted the latest situation between Russia and Ukraine, said a Foreign Office statement issued here on Thursday after a meeting between the two leaders in Moscow.
Prime Minister Imran, who is on an official visit to Russia, held an over three-hour long meeting with the Russian president, hours after Moscow ordered a full scale assault on Ukraine that drew strong reaction from the West.

US has not learned from Vietnam, says President Alvi
Dwan | 25th February
Against the backdrop of an ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday expressed surprise that the United States had not learnt from the past and “fell into another trap”.
“I mistakenly believed that the US would have learned a lesson from the Vietnam War and would not fall into another trap,” the president said while addressing the concluding session of a two-day international conference on ‘South Asia: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges’.
 

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka exports grow 13% to US$ 1.06 billion in January 2022
Colombo Page | 24th February
Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports increased by 13% to US$ 1,062.63 Million in January 2022 compared to January 2021 as per the data released by the Sri Lanka Customs. Further, it is a 5.7% increase when compared to January 2020, the Exports Development Board (EDB) said in the exports performance report for January released.
EDB Chairman, Suresh D de Mel said, the exports performance in January 2022 has been remarkable and the growth has been all encompassing as almost all the major sectors have exhibited encouraging trends. 

SL concerned over recent escalation of violence in Ukraine
Daily Mirror | 25th February
The Sri Lanka Government is deeply concerned over the recent escalation of violence in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry said.
The government urged all parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint and work towards the immediate cessation of hostilities, in order to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.
Also the government emphasized the need for concerted efforts by all parties concerned to resolve the crisis through diplomacy and sincere dialogue.

 

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