Afghanistan-United Arab Emirates: third agreement to reopen airports
Today's headlines: Kazakh President Tokaev will also be present at the 9 May parade in Moscow; Voting for the Assembly in the southern Indian state of Karnataka began today; Among the new Papal Swiss Guards there is also a man of Filipino origin; The Asean summit calls for an end to hostilities in Myanmar.
AFGHANISTAN - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The United Arab Emirates holding company GAAC has signed a third contract with the Taliban to operate three major airports in Afghanistan. After the withdrawal of international forces two years ago, many international flights were suspended: now GAAC has announced that it has invested USD 641,000 and that the airports in Kabul, Kandahar and Herat are operational again.
Voting for the Karnataka Assembly began this morning at 7am. The votes will be counted on Saturday. While the Bharatiya Janata Pary, from which Prime Minister Narendra Modi hails, is struggling to hold on to the only southern state in which it is in power, the Congress party hopes that Karnataka will maintain the tradition of eliminating the incumbent party at the polls since 1985.
Leaders of Southeast Asian nations, meeting today for an ASEAN summit, called for an immediate end to hostilities in Myanmar in a bid to create a window of dialogue to bring in humanitarian aid. Civil war has been raging in the country since 1 February 2021, but so far Asean's actions have proved ineffective.
VATICAN - PHILIPPINES
On Saturday, 6 May, the Pontifical Swiss Guard welcomed 23 new recruits, including a Filipino by the name of Sebastian Esai Eco Eviota. Born in Davao City in 1998, he moved to Switzerland in 2009 with his older sister on a family reunion visa. The pope urged the new recruits to make "good use" of their time serving in the Vatican to deepen and put into practice their Catholic faith.
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
The Israeli army killed two Palestinians in the West Bank a day after firing rockets into the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the men killed as Ahmad Jamal Assaf, 19, and Warani Walid Qatanat, 24. "During the assault, soldiers opened fire at a car, killing two people and wounding a third," WAFA news agency reported.
RUSSIA - KAZAKHSTAN
The presence in the parade stands in Moscow of Kazakh President Tokaev, who had officially announced that he would remain in Astana on 9 May, only to change his plans later. For many commentators, the Central Asian countries do not want to leave Russia in total isolation, lest they lose the economic benefits of past dependencies and the current circumvention of sanctions.
ARMENIA - AZERBAIJAN
A further reason for conflict between Baku and Yerevan is the 11.5-year prison sentence to one of the Azerbaijani soldiers apprehended on 13 April on Armenian territory on murder charges. The foreign ministry of Azerbaijan appealed to all international organisations to respect the conventions on prisoners of war.