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World in Brief September 8 2018

PAKISTAN: Economic Advisory Council member Atif Mian, an Ahmadi Muslim, has been removed on religious grounds, a government spokesman confirmed yesterday.

Ahmadis are a tiny minority denied official Muslim status in Pakistan. Their homes and places of worship are often targeted by Sunni militants who consider them heretics.

Ahmadi spokesman Saleem-ud-Din confirmed Mr Mian's removal, adding he would be available if his services are sought in future.

CHILE: Pablo Neruda’s nephew blames money owed by Chile to laboratories abroad for blocking final tests to determine the cause of death of the Nobel Prize-winning poet.

Rodolfo Reyes said the government owed about $16,000 (£12,000), mainly to laboratories in Canada and Denmark.

The leading communist died after Chile's 1973 fascist military coup and the post-coup government claimed in 2015 that it was "highly probable that a third party" was responsible for his death.

ETHIOPIA:  Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu welcomed the decision yesterday by neighbours Eritrea and Djibouti to normalise relations after a decade of diplomatic stalemate.

He called the agreement "a historic diplomatic achievement,” which follows a mediation effort by Addis Ababa.

The two countries have a border dispute extending back to 2008, which Qatar attempted previously to mediate between 2010 and 2017.

YEMEN: United Nations-mediated peace talks in Geneva were put on hold yesterday after the Houthi delegation failed to arrive, blaming security concerns.

The Houthis insist on travelling to Switzerland on an Omani flight, saying it would ensure their safe return to Yemen.

"We want guarantees on our return to Yemen," said senior Houthi official Deif Allah al-Shami yesterday, recalling that its delegation was denied re-entry in 2016 after earlier failed talks.

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