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The NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #32, 07 July 2023, Friday

India to extend debt repayment period to 12 years

Rohingyas killed in Bangladesh camp clashes, claims Al Jazeera

The NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #32, 07 July 2023, Friday

By Immaculine Joy Paul C, Melvin George, Ryan Marcus and Lakshmi Parimala H



Nepal disregarded Qatar Airways' plans for the Pokhara flight

On 7 July, The Kathmandu Post reported on Qatar's Ambassador to Nepal, Yusuf bin Muhammad Al-Hail, claiming that Nepal had ignored Qatar Airways' requests for direct flights to Pokhara. However, Nepal's Tourism Ministry denied receiving any communication from the airline and stated that they would welcome the request if made. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal also confirmed that correspondence regarding flight permission had yet to be received. The ambassador highlighted the potential for direct flights and discussed bilateral relations and employment opportunities for Nepali workers in Qatar. (“Nepal allegedly ignored Qatar Airways’ Pokhara flight plans,” The Kathmandu Post, 7 July 2023)



Rohingyas killed in Bangladesh camp clashes, claims Al Jazeera

On 7 July Al Jazeera reported that six Rohingya refugees were killed in clashes in Bangladesh shortly after an ICC prosecutor visited the settlements to collect testimony. According to the report, the violence erupted between rival groups, ARSA and RSO, operating in the camps. Five ARSA members, including a commander, were killed in a gunfight, and a refugee community leader was reportedly murdered. ARSA has been accused of targeting Rohingya leaders challenging their authority. The clashes occurred amid repatriation efforts and ongoing challenges in the refugee camps. (“At least six Rohingya refugees killed in Bangladesh camp clashes,” Al Jazeera, 7 July 2023)



Military denying humanitarian help, says the UN

On 7 July, Al Jazeera reported that Myanmar's military rulers are deliberately obstructing humanitarian aid, preventing it from reaching those in need, according to the UN human rights chief, Volker Turk. He described it as a "systematic denial" of relief and fundamental rights for the population. The country has experienced escalating violence, including indiscriminate airstrikes, attacks on civilians, and documented incidents of sexual violence. This crisis has resulted in displacement, with 1.5 million people forced from their homes, and 15.2 million in urgent need of food support. (“Myanmar military in ‘systematic denial’ of humanitarian aid: UN,” Al Jazeera, 7 July 2023)



PTT, an energy company in talks with Qatar for LNG deal

On 7 July, Reuters reported that Thailand's state-controlled energy company, PTT, is in advanced negotiations with Qatar for a 15-year LNG supply deal, according to trading sources. The deal would involve a supply of 1-2 million tonnes per annum. Qatar, the world's top LNG exporter, has been in talks with several Asian buyers to secure long-term supply agreements. PTT has also signed a nine-year deal with Oman LNG this year and is seeking to increase LNG imports to offset a decline in domestic gas production. (Chen Aizhu, Marwa Rashad and Emily Chow, “Exclusive: Thailand's PTT in advanced talks with Qatar for LNG deal,” Reuters, 7 July 2023)




India to extend debt repayment period to 12 years

On 7 July, the Chairman of India’s Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) Ltd said that India may allow up to 12 years for Sri Lanka to repay its debt. He said, “Sri Lanka’s negotiations with the IMF are going on. After that restructuring package will come, we will recover [our] money over a period of time. What we are supposed to get in 3-4 years, may get extended to 10-12 years.” Sri Lanka, which is facing an economic crisis, owes USD 1.6 billion to India. (“India may permit Sri Lanka to repay debt over 12 years,” Daily Mirror, 7 July 2023)



Iran claims it received a court order to seize oil tankers

On 6 July, Reuters reported that Iran issued a statement regarding the attempt to seize two oil tankers in gulf waters. The Iranian authorities claimed that they had received a court order to seize the vessels. The US Navy stated that it had dispatched the destroyer USS McFaul to respond to the distress calls of the vessels. Iran said the Richmond Voyager's collision with an Iranian ship carrying seven crew members had injured five people and caused flooding on board, and that the tanker had not stopped after the incident. ("Iran says it had court order to seize Chevron tanker," Reuters, 6 July 2023)


UK to impose new sanctions on Iran

On 6 July, Al Jazeera reported that British Foreign Secretary Cleverly stated that new sanctions have been imposed on Iran to discourage its oppression of its own people. The Iranian foreign ministry summoned the charge dáffaires of the British embassy to discuss the British statements. The British authorities additionally stated that it had given evidence at the UNSC on Iran's continued supply of weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. ("UK to target Iranian officials with new sanctions regime," Al Jazeera, 6 July 2023)


Iran and Sudan discuss restoration of ties

On 6 July, Arab News stated that Iranian foreign minister Amirabdollahian met his Sudanese counterpart Aku Sadeq to discuss plans on restoring diplomatic ties. Iran officials stated that the two countries negotiated on resolving misunderstandings, strengthening political and economic relations. Sudan had previously cut diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016 following the storming of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran. ("Iran and Sudan look to restore diplomatic ties," Arab News, 6 July 2023)



China announces link with Afghanistan

On 6 July 2023, China announced a new land link with Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The 3,125 km route would be used for railway, roads, and passes through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The route is reported to start with a railway line between Lanzhou to Kashgar in Xinjiang on the border with Kyrgyzstan. The first train was reported to carry USD 1.5 million of freight. ("China announces land link with Taliban-controlled Afghanistan," South China Morning Post, 6 July 2023)


Women makeup artists protest against the ban by Taliban

On 7 July, ANI News reported that women across the country managing beauty salons have protested against the ban issued by the Taliban. Taliban had earlier issued a ban on beauty salons across Afghanistan. More than 60,000 women were reported to be at risk of losing employment. ("Afghanistan: Women makeup artists protest against ban on beauty salons by Taliban," ANI News, 7 July 2023)



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