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Trump threatens to pull aid to Palestinians if they don’t pursue peace

in AMERICAS/POLITICS by

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to withhold aid to the Palestinians if they did not pursue peace with Israel, saying they had snubbed the United States by not meeting Vice President Mike Pence during a recent visit.Trump, speaking after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum, said he wanted peace. However, his remarks could further frustrate the aim of reviving long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks. Palestinians shunned Pence’s visit to the region this month after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and vowed to begin moving the U.S. embassy to the city, whose status is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Central Bank aims to lower inflation

in ECONOMY/MIDLE EAST by

The Central Bank’s main goal this year is to increase the efficiency of monetary policies Governor Murat Çetinkaya told Reuters in an interview on Jan. 25. Çetinkaya, speaking by telephone from the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, said that the Bank will do any monetary policy steps to bring inflation down to single digits. Turkey’s annual inflation stood at 11.92 percent at the end of 2017, far above the Bank’s official target of 5 percent. “I want to emphasize again that we will maintain a tight monetary policy decisively until the inflation outlook displays a significant improvement, independent of base effects and temporary factors, and becomes consistent with the targets”, he added. But investors have been skeptical about the Bank’s ability to bring down inflation, because Turkey political authorities claim for for lower rates to fuel bank lending and boost the economy. Çetinkaya said the government’s fiscal policy was supportive of the Bank’s efforts to fight inflation. Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek said he recognized that Turkey has an inflation problem and vowed that the government is taking the issue seriously.

Spain will respond with “proportionality and reciprocity to Venezuela”

in AMERICAS/ECONOMY by

The Spanish Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, announced that Spain will respond ” with proportionality and reciprocity”, after Venezuela declared as persona non grata the Spanish ambassador in Caracas, Jesús Silva Fernández. The statements were made in the Swiss city of Davos, where Dastis attends the World Economic Forum. The head of Spanish diplomacy rejected accusations of “interference” proffered by the Venezuelan government, since the only thing that Spain has done since the beginning is “help the process” of negotiations between government and opposition, reported Efe.

Brnabic spoke about Serbia with the “New leader for Europe”

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

Prime Minister Brnabic took part yesterday in the meeting of the “New Leaders for Europe” in the World Economic Forum in Davos. Here she affirmed that Serbia is deeply committed to European integration, as it shares European values and the idea of peace and stability.

Foreign firms want action not words from China about opening up its markets, warns EU envoy

in ASIA/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Foreign businesses are becoming increasingly frustrated by Beijing’s lack of action to open up its markets, according to the European Union’s envoy to China. President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January firmly endorsing free trade and has promised to further open up the country’s market. Beijing suspended imports of some cheese products and required additional certificates for low-risk food imports from October 1. Foreign firms are also complaining about the possibility they will be forced to make technology transfers in exchange for market access. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker proposed to set up a screening framework for foreign investment in EU countries during his state of the union address on September 13, the same day that the United States banned acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor by a Chinese equity fund. China’s investment in the EU last year grew by 77 per cent compared with 2015 to €35 billion (41 billion dollar)”. The EU’s investment in China fell for the fourth straight year to €8 billion, down 23 per cent last year, while its investment in the United States reached 277 billion dollar. Juncker’s proposal, which was made in response to pressure from the German, French and Italian governments, was interpreted as a countermeasure to the rapid inflow of Chinese investment designed to buy up hi-tech firms and know-how from Europe. On Monday the EU also agreed on tough new rules to curb cheap imports, which Juncker described as an “anti-dumping measure”, although he insisted it was not aimed at any country in particular.

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