World News in Brief: February 4

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), France and India established a tripartite cooperation initiative in several areas including energy and climate change and drew a road map to implement it, the Emirati state news agency WAM reported on Saturday.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of Pakistan has launched a mobile application for foreign currency declaration of international travelers, the board said on Saturday.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of Pakistan has launched a mobile application for foreign currency declaration of international travelers, the board said on Saturday.

* Peru's Congress shelved President Dina Boluarte's bill to bring elections forward to 2023 on Friday night, leaving a major demand of demonstrators whose protests have rocked the country in recent weeks up in the air.

* The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Friday called on Russia to respect its treaty with the United States on nuclear weapons, which contributes to international stability.

* The Group of Seven rich nations, the European Union and Australia have set price caps for Russian diesel and other refined petroleum products to keep markets supplied while limiting Moscow's revenues when an EU embargo kicks in.

* Ukraine and Russia traded almost 200 prisoners of war in a swap announced separately by both sides on Saturday, with the bodies of two British volunteers also being sent back to Ukraine.

* The United States warned Turkey in recent days about the export to Russia of chemicals, microchips and other products that can be used in Moscow's conflict effort in Ukraine, and it could move to punish Turkish companies or banks contravening sanctions.

* Ukraine and the European Union agreed to deepen their relations and cooperation at the 24th Ukraine-EU summit held in Kiev on Friday, according to a joint statement issued following the event.

* Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he discussed the 'further expansion of capabilities' of Ukraine's military in a call with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Saturday.

* Portugal will send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Saturday, without specifying how many will be shipped.

* Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM said it will ship 29.3 million cubic metres of gas to Europe via Ukraine on Saturday.

* A U.N. watchdog report shows Iran is being inconsistent in meeting its nuclear obligations, the United States, Britain, France and Germany said in a joint statement on Friday.

* Regional security was high on the agenda during talks between the prime ministers of the three Baltic states -- Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia -- in Tallinn on Friday.

* Sri Lanka is successfully completing pre-requisites to unlock a $2.9 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and expects consent from the global lender without delay, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday.

* A Palestinian young man was killed on Friday by Israeli soldiers near the village of Huwara south of the West Bank city of Nablus, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said.

* Lebanon and Cyprus have signed a cooperation agreement for 2023 to exchange military expertise between the two countries, the Lebanese Armed Forces announced on Friday.

* Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Friday met with leaders of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) for the first time since the two-year conflict ended late last year with a peace deal, official media reported.

* India's federal government has disbursed around 2.24 trillion Indian rupees (about 27.28 billion USD) among nearly 30 million farmers in the past four years, in a bid to help cover their agricultural and other costs, a government official said Friday.

* The US House of Representatives plans to vote next week on a bill that would end a requirement that most foreign air travelers be vaccinated against COVID-19, Majority Leader Steve Scalise said on Friday.

* Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said on Friday that Pakistan needed to enhance its exports for sustainable economic growth and development.

* The effect of stronger tourism activity due to the resumption of China's outbound travel could boost Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) by at least 1 percentage point, says UOB Global Economics & Market Research on Friday.

* France will look into the possibility of extending the lifespan of nuclear reactors to 60 years and beyond, the French Presidency (Elysee) said in a press release on Friday.

* A stronger-than-expected US employment situation report weighed on markets Friday, causing both the US stocks and oil prices to end noticeably lower.

* Budapest Airport said on Friday that it has recovered 75 percent of its pre-pandemic passenger traffic, handling 12.2 million passengers in 2022. This was a 164 percent increase from 2021.

* Finland needs net immigration of up to 44,000 people annually to stabilize the size of the country's labor force, said a report published on Friday.

* Slovenia's exports and imports of goods in value increased by more than 30 percent in 2022, the country's Statistical Office said on Friday, with figures indicating a strong economic performance of the export-oriented European Union (EU) member state.

* The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Germany's KfW Development Bank, opened on Friday a new fish market in the northern Lebanese town of al-Qalamoun to support fishermen during the economic crisis.

* Türkiye's annual inflation eased for the third month in a row, recording a 57.68-percent growth in January, official data showed on Friday.

* Some 151,256 South Sudanese refugees voluntarily returned home in 2022 amid the relative security situation in the country, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.

* About 22.6 million people in Ethiopia are food insecure due to a combination of drought, conflict and increase in food prices, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has warned.

* At least 11 people were killed and 36 more injured Friday when a maize dryer collapsed on them in Gasabo district on the outskirts of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, a local official said.