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Israel and Saudi Arabia are getting closer to their first public agreement



  • Israel considers Saudi appeal to change  international status of two Islands in Red Sea.
  • White House is putting together deal.
  • Israel thinks following global energy crisis Biden wants Saudis to expand oil exports.

Israel and Saudi Arabia are getting closer to their first public agreement as Israel considers Saudi appeal to change the international status of the two Islands in the Red Sea, Israeli newspaper Haaretz. 

The development comes amid growing speculation that Jerusalem and Riyadh are readying small steps toward normalising relations.

The White House is putting the deal together and it focuses on transferring the Tiran and Sanafir islands in the Red Sea from Egyptian to Saudi sovereignty.

While the Egyptian Parliament and the Supreme Court approved moving the Islands to Riyadh, due to the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, Israeli approval is also required. 

Biden is considering visiting Saudi Arabia next month during his Middle East trip and stopping at Israel, per reports. Meanwhile, Israel feels that this visit will advance more public gestures between the two nations. 

According to sources, the efforts to normalise relations between the countries formally have not been successful due to Saudi Arabia’s standing in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

There have been several diplomatic talks on security and business affairs secretly. 

Israel thinks that following the global energy crisis after the war in Ukraine, US President Biden is ready to “forgive” bin Salman to warm their relationships with the Saudis and expand its oil exports.

In April 2016, Egypt announced the transfer of Tiran and Safir to Saudi Arabia. According to Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt, no movement and advancements on the islands can be done without Israel’s consent.

Riyadh transferred the islands to Egypt in 1950, afraid that Israel would occupy them. Later in 1956, Israel occupied the islands for a few months.

In 1967, when Egypt blocked the routes for Israeli traffic, after the Six-Day War, Israel captured the islands again. After a few years, in 1982, a peace treaty was signed and the islands, along with half of the Sinai Peninsula, were returned.

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Nineth round of political talks between Pakistan and the EU centers on trade and security




In their ninth round of political dialogue, which took place here on Wednesday, Pakistan and the EU discussed all aspects of their bilateral relationship, with a particular emphasis on the Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP), trade and development cooperation, security, climate action, migration, and mobility.

The team from Pakistan was led by Foreign Secretary Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi, while Enrique Mora, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, represented the EU.

Significant local and international happenings were also covered.

The two parties expressed satisfaction with the positive direction of the relationship and decided to keep working to expand and deepen bilateral ties between Pakistan and the EU in all areas of shared interest. They will do this by routinely convening institutional mechanism meetings and carrying out follow-up tasks.

The two sides acknowledged the significance of bilateral relations between Pakistan and the EU, concurring that frequent high-level meetings have given the relationship new life and emphasized the need for close communication and collaboration in the face of a geopolitical environment that is changing quickly.

In order to bring about diversification and sustainability in trade ties between Pakistan and the European Union, the Foreign Secretary emphasized the need for deeper collaboration with key stakeholders on both sides, acknowledging GSP Plus as a successful model of trade for development and mutually beneficial cooperation.

The two parties also decided to investigate fresh prospects under the EU’s major initiatives, Horizon Europe and the Global Gateway Strategy.

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In Canada, another member of the PIA crew disappears.




Jibran Baloch, a flight attendant, is the second PIA air hostess to vanish this month; she was scheduled to take a Toronto trip from Karachi and then left the hotel.

Flight 782 failed to arrive for its planned return duty on February 29. Jibran Baloch, a flight attendant, is the second air hostess to go this month.

When staff members searched Jabran Baloch’s room, they discovered that he had fallen. Another missing person from the hotel a few days earlier was a female air hostess. In just a few months, almost 12 air hostesses who were assigned to flights to Toronto had vanished.

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight hostess is said to have vanished from her job in Canada earlier this month.

When Maryam Raza, who was supposed to be on aircraft PK 782 from Pakistan to Toronto, neglected to show up for work on the return trip, PK 784 from Toronto to Karachi, the event became public knowledge. According to those with knowledge of the situation, after PIA’s hanging uniform was found in her room, a letter with the words “Thank you, PIA” was found next to it.

This is the third instance of PIA flight attendants’slipping’ while on duty that has been documented this year; two of the cases involve women.

The efficacy of these procedures has not increased despite steps taken to prevent similar instances, such as obtaining the passports of flight attendants assigned to Toronto flights.

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China “agrees” to transfer $2 billion in debt to Pakistan.




ISLAMABAD China has “agreed” to roll over a $2 billion loan to Pakistan, according to sources cited by ARY News, which is a big milestone.

Sources inside the ministry of finance claim that the $2 billion loan will be rolled over under the current terms prior to its maturity date.

Less than 2 percent interest will be charged on the $2 billion in Chinese debt that is being deposited, according to sources.

According to reports, the $2 billion debt’s maturity period will conclude on March 23, 2024, and an additional $2 billion will be rolled over for a year.

It is important to note that as of the end of November in FY2023–24, Pakistan’s overall debt load was at an astounding Rs 63,399 trillion.

Over Rs12.430 trillion more was borrowed by the nation during the PDM and caretaker government’s mandate.

With domestic loans totaling Rs40.956 trillion and foreign loans totaling Rs22.434 trillion, Pakistan’s total debt load increased to Rs63.390 trillion.

China postponed paying Pakistan’s $2 billion debt for two years, starting in July 2023. Regarding the delay in debt recovery, Pakistan received an official letter from China Eximbank.

Pakistan will return the debt in accordance with the terms of the deal with China and was also spared from paying extra interest on the loan. According to further sources, all 31 loan agreements were extended over the original date of July 21, 2023, to June 30, 2025.

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