World News Roundup: Australian, Chinese foreign ministers to meet for first time in three years; UK's Johnson digs in as ministers desert government and more
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a briefing in Beijing that Australia was among the bilateral meetings Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Bali. Argentina says has China's support to join BRICS group Argentina's government said on Thursday it had received China's formal support for the country's bid to join the BRICS group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, a bloc seen as a powerful emerging-market alternative to the West.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Australian, Chinese foreign ministers to meet for first time in three years
Australia and China's foreign ministers will meet for the first time in three years, Beijing confirmed on Thursday, signalling a thaw in relations that soured over claims of foreign interference and retaliatory trade sanctions. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a briefing in Beijing that Australia was among the bilateral meetings Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Bali.
UK's Johnson digs in as ministers desert government
British Prime Minister Prime Minister was defiantly hanging onto power on Thursday despite the resignation of four top ministers while his attorney general added her voice for him to go, saying she wanted his job. More than 50 ministers have quit the government in less than 48 hours, saying Johnson was not fit to be in charge after a series of scandals, while dozens in his Conservative Party are in open revolt.
Argentina says has China's support to join BRICS group
Argentina's government said on Thursday it had received China's formal support for the country's bid to join the BRICS group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, a bloc seen as a powerful emerging-market alternative to the West. Argentina's foreign minister Santiago Cafiero met with his Chinese counter Wang Yi at a G20 event in Indonesia, where that support was formalized, the ministry said in a statement. Argentina is a major exporter of soy, wheat and corn.
Russia warns humanity at risk if West seeks to punish it over Ukraine
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said attempts by the West to punish a nuclear power such as Russia for the war in Ukraine risked endangering humanity, as the near five-month conflict leaves cities in ruins and thousands homeless. Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine has triggered the most serious crisis in relations between Russia and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when many people feared the world was on the brink of nuclear war.
Warsaw confirms detention of Polish scientist in Iran
Poland confirmed on Thursday that a Polish scientist had been arrested in Iran and said it was working to secure his return home, after Tehran announced the arrest of several foreigners that it accused of spying. Iranian state television reported on Wednesday that its Revolutionary Guards had arrested the foreigners for acts that included taking soil samples in restricted areas.
Detained U.S. basketball player Griner arrives in Russian court for hearing on drugs charges
U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner returned to a Russian court on Thursday for the second hearing of her trial on drug charges that could see her sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, days after she urged U.S. President Joe Biden to secure her release. The 31-year-old was charged with intentionally importing narcotics into Russia. She was detained in February at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport with vape cartridges containing hashish oil, a substance illegal in the country, and has been kept in custody since.
Angry and isolated, Boris Johnson lost his popular touch
As his grip on the reins of power began to ebb away, Boris Johnson became an increasingly angry figure who felt that many in what he called the British establishment were seeking to force him out because they could never forgive him for Brexit. According to two close aides and several others surrounding him, the soon to be ex-prime minister felt months of a drip-drip feed of reports of law breaking at Downing Street were unfair, choreographed by a media hostile to his role in securing Britain's divorce with the European Union.
Factbox-Now UK's Boris Johnson has quit, who could replace him?
Boris Johnson said on Thursday he was resigning as Britain's prime minister, bowing to calls from ministerial colleagues and lawmakers in his Conservative Party. Below is a summary of some of those who could be in the frame to replace him. However, there is no clear favourite and they are not listed in order of likely prospects.
Russia joins G20 meeting overshadowed by Ukraine conflict
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will have his first close encounter with the fiercest critics of his country's invasion of Ukraine at a G20 gathering in Indonesia that was getting under way on Thursday. The Russia-Ukraine conflict and a global food crisis blamed on the war are expected to be front and centre of the two-day foreign ministers' meeting on the island of Bali.
US, Israel push Arab allies for joint defence pact amid Iran tensions
The United States and Israel are seeking to lay the groundwork for a security alliance with Arab states that would connect air defence systems to combat Iranian drone and missile attacks in the Middle East, four sources familiar with the plan said. The idea, which would use Israeli technology, could gain momentum during President Joe Biden’s stops in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Saudi Arabia on a July 13-16 trip, said two of the sources who were briefed on the plans.
(With inputs from agencies.)