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World in Brief: June 22

EAST TIMOR: President Francisco Guterres declined to swear in 11 proposed cabinet members yesterday, citing outstanding corruption investigations.

Respected independence fighter and former president Taur Matan Ruak was due to become prime minister after a three-party alliance won a majority in May 25 elections.

But the president ruled that eight ministers and three deputy ministers can’t be sworn in because the public prosecutor’s office is investigating them.

 

RUSSIA: South Korean President Moon Jae In met Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin yesterday during a state visit designed to boost economic ties.

Mr Putin emphasised that South Korea is one of Russia’s top partners in the region and vowed to help settle tensions with North Korea.

Moscow has proposed building a railway and a natural gas pipeline linking Russia and the two Koreas, arguing that this could help promote peace and stability.

 

SPAIN: Catalan President Quim Torra announced yesterday that his regional government won’t invite the monarchy to official events or attend any royal event, because King Felipe VI refuses to discuss the possibility of Catalonia seceding.

Leading Catalan politicians demand that Madrid respects a unilateral declaration of independence passed by separatists in October.

The monarch and central government reject Catalan secession, to which Mr Torra responded: "We are not subjects, we are citizens."

 

MEDITERRANEAN: Defence ministers from Cyprus, Israel and Greece pledged yesterday to forge deeper military ties to counter common threats and bolster security in their region.

Cypriot Minister Savvas Angelides, with Israeli and Greek counterparts Avigdor Lieberman and Panos Kammenos, will also expand co-operation on cybersecurity, joint military drills and search and rescue operations in the eastern Mediterranean.

The ministers also hailed the first conference bringing together Cypriot, Greek and Israeli companies active in the arms industry.

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