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Multinational peace keeping military drill kicks off

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KATHMANDU — The multinational peace keeping military drill, Exercise Shanti Prayas III, hosted by Nepal Army and United States Pacific Command, kicked off at the Nepal Army’s Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre (BPOTC) in Panchkhal on Monday.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal inaugurated the event amid a function at Panchkhal that aims at enhancing peacekeeping capabilities of the army personnel from countries that send troops for the peacekeeping missions worldwide under the United Nations.

Inaugurating the the 15-day, Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachand’ said :”Nepal has been consistently supporting the UN efforts in the maintenance of international peace and security through continuous participation in the UN Peacekeeping missions.”

“The world has faith on the soldiers with blue helmets. The UN peacekeepers are the vanguard and one of the key tools of the international community to restore peace and security in the conflict-torn areas.”

Stating that Nepal’s foreign policy is based on the principles of the UN Charter, non-alignment, principles of Panchsheel and promotion of regional cooperation through South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC), PM Dahal said “At this time humanity is so much in need of peace, but we have a long way to go to achieve this.”

“In the midst of challenges, their dedication and devotion with professionalism, honesty and impartiality have made them beacon of the global peace. This is a moment that we solemnly remember those brave and self-less peacekeepers who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of world peace. On behalf of the Nepalese people I salute and pay homage to those valiant Nepalese and other peacekeepers of the world.”

The Prime Minister, who is also the CPN Maoist Center Chair, expressed his hope that the exercise will enable all the participants to deliver their duties and responsibilities with professionalism and dedication to uphold the earned glory of their predecessors as UN peacekeepers.

The Exercise Shanti Prayas III, which means Peace Endeavour, is the latest in a continuing series of exercises in the Asia-Pacific region designed to promote regional peace and security, according to the Nepal Army.

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Putin orders withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria

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MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria on Monday morning, saying that after a two year military campaign, Moscow and Damascus had achieved their mission of destroying Islamic State.

Putin made the announcement during a surprise visit to Russia’s Hmeymim air base in Syria’s Latakia Province where he held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and addressed Russian military servicemen.

“I order the defense minister and chief of the general staff to start the withdrawal of Russian troops to the site of their permanent deployment,” Putin stated, speaking in front of Russian military personnel at Khmeimim.

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Mr Putin said that in the space of two years the Russian and Syrian militaries have “defeated the most battle-hardened grouping of international terrorists,” adding that he had made the decision that a significant number of the Russian military contingent in Syria should return to Russia.

Russia first launched air strikes in Syria in September 2015 in its biggest Middle East intervention in decades, turning the tide of the conflict in Assad’s favor while dramatically increasing Moscow’s own influence in the Middle East.

After a short visit to Syria, the Russian president headed for Cairo, where he is scheduled to hold talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Reuters/RT

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