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Pakistan Prime Minister Abbasi to arrive Nepal on Monday

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is arriving in Kathmandu on Monday for his two-day state visit, in the first high-level visit here by a foreign dignitary after K P Sharma Oli assumed office as Prime Minister of Nepal.

The Pakistani PM is making his visit to congratulate PM Oli for being elected to the post of Prime Minister.

During his visit, Abbasi will also be engaged in high-level political talks.

The incumbent Prime Minister of Pakistan is making an official visit to Nepal after over three years when PM Nawaz Sharif had arrived here to take part in the 18th Saarc Summit.

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The Embassy of Pakistan in Kathmandu confirmed the planned visit but did not divulge details. “The visit of Prime Minister is taking place in the first week of March 2018. But we are still awaiting confirmation from Islamabad,” said embassy spokesperson Inayat Khan.

Although his visit itinerary is still being worked out, officials said Prime Minister Abbasi plans to arrive here on Monday afternoon and fly back home on Tuesday.

According to officials, Pak PM Abbasi will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Oli on Monday evening and pay a courtesy call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari before flying home the next day.

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China conduct live fire drill along southeast coastline

Thompson Reuters

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BEIJING — China’s military has conducted live-fire drills along the southeast coastline, state television reported, but it was unclear if these were the same exercises that had been flagged as taking place in the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

The government had said the drills would happen on Wednesday off the city of Quanzhou, in between two groups of islands close to China’s coast but that Taiwan has controlled since 1949 when defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island at the end of the Chinese civil war.

Chinese state media has said the drills were a direct response to “provocations” by Taiwan leaders related to what China fears are moves to push for the self-ruled island’s formal independence. China claims Taiwan as its sacred territory.

Late on Wednesday, Chinese state television showed footage of helicopters firing missiles during an exercise it said was happening on China’s southeast coast.

State television only showed pictures of helicopters, with no mention of ships or other military equipment such as tanks or amphibious assault vehicles.

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The exercises took place from 8 a.m. (0000GMT) until midnight, the report said, giving the same time frame for the previously announced drills in the Taiwan Strait.

The Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the exercise, and whether it was the same ones previously reported to be happening in the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan on Wednesday denounced the exercises, saying Beijing was using “cheap verbal intimidation and saber rattling” to threaten the island.

Taiwan is one of China’s most sensitive issues and a potential military flashpoint. China has ramped up military exercises around Taiwan in the past year, including flying bombers around the island.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said on Wednesday afternoon two Chinese H-6K bombers had flown around the island, passing first through the Miyako Strait to Taiwan’s northeast and then back to base via the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines.

The latest Chinese military movements come during a time of heightened tension between Beijing and the island and follows strong warnings by Chinese President Xi Jinping against Taiwan separatism last month.

China claims Taiwan as its own and considers it a breakaway province.

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