Top foreign stories at 1710 hrs

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FGN30 UK-INDIA-PEERS UK peers debate freedoms in India, minister points to close India-UK ties London: Peers in Britain's House of Lords held a debate on the issue of 'freedoms of non-governmental organisations, academics and other groups in India' and called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take up the issues directly with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during his visit to New Delhi next month. By Aditi Khanna FGN5 UK-JOHNSON-INDIA Boris Johnson to visit India in April-end to ‘unlock’ Indo-Pacific opportunities London: Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit India at the end of April on his first major international tour following the UK’s exit from the European Union, Downing Street has announced, as Britain seeks to 'unlock' the opportunities in the strategic Indo-Pacific region. By Aditi Khanna FGN11 BANGLA-INDIA India, Bangladesh likely to sign three MoUs during PM Modi's visit Dhaka: India and Bangladesh are likely to sign three MoUs during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Dhaka next week to attend the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the country's independence and the birth centenary of its founder ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. By Anisur Rahman FGN3 US-YELLEN-SITHARAMAN US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks with FM Nirmala Sitharaman Washington: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has spoken over phone with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during which she appreciated India's role as a critical partner in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed the global economic outlook. By Lalit K Jha FGN13 LANKA-BURQA Sri Lankan govt will not rush through process to ban burqas: Cabinet Spokesman Colombo: The Sri Lankan government will not rush through the process to ban burqas and the decision on the issue would be taken after reaching a consensus, a senior minister said on Tuesday.

FGN15 LANKA-INDIA-NAVY India hands over training aids to Lankan Navy for capacity building Colombo: India's envoy in Sri Lanka has underlined the importance of close cooperation between the navies of the two countries as an essential part of the overall bilateral engagement, as he handed over training aids worth 22 million LKR (about Rs 81,00,000) to the island nation's Navy for capacity building.

FGN16 NEPAL-POLITICS Nepal president calls all-party meeting amid political crisis Kathmandu: Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari has called an all-party meeting on Tuesday to discuss contemporary issues amid the political crisis that has gripped the country, with the ruling CPN-UML factions, including the one led by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, making last-ditch efforts to strike a deal to sustain the government, according to media reports on Tuesday.

FGN7 UN-INDIA-SYRIA-SANCTIONS Humanitarian crisis, worsened by COVID-19, calls for relaxation of sanctions imposed on Syria: India United Nations: India has told the UN Security Council that the humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for relaxation of sanctions imposed on Syria, saying the international community must act with a “sense of urgency” to help the Syrian people. By Yoshita Singh FGN9 UN-GUTERRES-MYANMAR UN chief Guterres appalled by escalating violence in Myanmar by military junta United Nations: UN chief Antonio Guterres has said that he is appalled by the escalating violence in Myanmar and urged the international community to work collectively and bilaterally to help bring an end to the repression by the country's military. By Yoshita Singh PTI IND IND