International

Working Group of the IMCWP Holds its Meeting in Istanbul

A MEETING of the Working Group of the International Meeting of the Communist and Workers' Parties (IMCWP) was held on February 20-21, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. Communist Party, Turkey which had hosted the last IMCWP took the initiative in organising this meeting.

The meeting was attended by 13 Communist and Workers' parties. The attendance of Communist Party of Vietnam in this meeting is significant as it is for the first time that it has attended the working group meeting of the IMCWP.

India-Pakistan Relations: Impact of the Pathankot Terror Attack

THE failed terror attack on the strategically located Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on January 2 was an obvious attempt to derail the dialogue process between India and Pakistan. Around the same time, there was an attempt to storm the Indian consulate in the Afghan city of Mazhar-i-Sharif. Prompt action by Afghan security forces foiled that attempt. Afghan security officials have said that the militants who tried to storm the consulate were well trained and highly motivated.

Saudi Executions Raise Regional Tensions

THE execution of the prominent Saudi Shia cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, by the Saudi authorities on January 1 along with 47 others, has led to a dangerous exacerbation of tensions between the Saudi monarchy and Iran. The execution of al-Nimr, whose only crime was calling for a peaceful struggle against the authoritarian regime in Riyadh, has further accentuated the dangerous sectarian divide in West Asia. Last year, 157 people were put to death in Saudi Arabia.

Condolences for Sushil Koirala

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury pays respect to former prime minister of Nepal and Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala in Kathmandu. Koirala, who was elected prime minister of Nepal on February 10, 2014, died of pneumonia at his residence on the outskirts of Kathmandu on February 9. He was 79. He had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Yechury was part of an Indian delegation which visited Nepal to pay tributes to Koirala. The delegation was led by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

North Korea's “Hydrogen Bomb”

THE North Korean government has claimed that it has successfully tested a “hydrogen bomb” on January 5. It was the fourth underground nuclear test conducted by the North Korean government and the first since 2013. Pyongyang has been threatening for some time that it would be testing a more potent nuclear device if political and economic concessions were not forthcoming from the West. The North Korean government has been feeling increasingly threatened as the US and its allies in the region have adopted an even more militarily bellicose attitude.

Venezuela: Setback for the Government

IT was always going to be an uphill fight for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in the parliamentary polls that were held on December 6. With oil prices hitting historical lows in recent years, the oil dependent economy of the country has not been in a healthy state. Oil accounts for 96 percent of the country's export earnings. With the price of oil sliding from $108 a barrel in June 2014 to under $30 a barrel now, Venezuela's oil income has more than halved in the last two years.

Abe's visit: Solidifying Trilateral US-Japan-India Axis

THE Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has become a frequent visitor to India, was in the Indian capital yet again, in the second week of December. This is his third visit to India since taking over as prime minister. Abe had struck a good personal rapport with the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Japan and India have grown extremely close during the ten years of UPA rule. New Delhi's tilt towards the anti-China alliance led by the United States and Japan alliance had started during the UPA rule.

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