New day of truce in Gaza, deaths in Jerusalem and Jenin
Today's news: Xi Jinping returns to Shanghai one year after zero Covid protests; Marcos will not go to COP28 to follow negotiations on the release of seafarers seized by the Houthis; Beijing's tribute to Henry Kissinger, who passed away yesterday at the age of 100; Japan will participate in demining operations in Ukraine; The Russian Central Bank to the rescue of the rouble.
The truce between Israelis and Palestinians has been extended for another day, but yesterday there was strong disagreement over the number of hostages Hamas should release today. This morning a Palestinian terrorist attack at a bus stop outside Jerusalem caused three deaths and numerous injuries. Yesterday two Palestinian boys aged 8 and 14 died during an Israeli army raid in Jenin. Meanwhile, China has presented to the UN a five-point plan for peace in the Middle East which includes a lasting ceasefire and the convening of an international conference under the aegis of the UN to find an overall political solution to the conflict .
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. canceled his trip to Dubai for COP28 at the last minute to personally follow the negotiations for the release of 14 Filipino seafarers kidnapped by the Houthis - the Shiite rebel militias of Yemen - in the Red Sea ten days ago while they carried out their work on an Israeli-owned cargo ship. Marcos said he will send a "high-level delegation to Tehran with the aim of providing the necessary assistance to our seafarers."
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Shanghai today: it was the first visit since November 2020 to the economic-financial heart of the People's Republic of China and comes exactly one year after the protests against the zero Covid policy which had their epicenter. A video released by state television showed Xi inspecting a humanoid robot and a section of an exhibit showcasing China's integrated circuit technology.
The death of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, which occurred yesterday at the age of 100, is also commented on today by many Asian analysts who recall the role he played at the end of the Seventies in the thaw between Washington and Beijing. The Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United States Xie Feng wrote in X that "the Chinese people will always remember him as a much appreciated old friend."
Japan intends to join a multinational project to eliminate landmines in Ukraine. As part of the project planned by the US-led "Ukrainian Defense Contact Group", the Japanese Self-Defense Forces - a government source announced - should provide mine clearance equipment to Ukraine and cooperate in training personnel.
The Central Bank of Russia is preparing to inject large quantities of foreign currency onto international markets, drawing on the few remaining reserves, for at least 12 billion dollars, in order to maintain the ruble's exchange rate without further collapses in the months preceding the presidential elections in March 2024 , with complicated international financial operations.
The speaker of the Yerevan parliament, Alen Simonyan, said that the peace agreement with Azerbaijan can be concluded within a couple of weeks, provided there is political will for this on Baku's part, and that the Armenians have invited a new revised proposal of the agreement in recent days.