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Sri Lanka

Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said that Sri Lanka is reconsidering the outright transfer of a parcel of land to China under a $1.5 billion port city deal signed by the previous government.

Under the original plan signed by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, 108 hectares of land next to the main commercial port of Colombo would be taken over by China Communications Construction Co Ltd, including 20 hectares on an outright basis and the rest on a 99-year lease.

“There is a new suggestion not to give freehold land and that land should be controlled and subjected to the Sri Lankan law,” said Ranawaka.

The Sri Lankan-Chinese deal also caused tension with neighboring India, who has had territorial disputes with China in the past. India and China are also competing for influence across the Indian Ocean through which much of their trade transits.


Qatar recalled its ambassador to Egypt last week following a dispute over Egypt’s airstrikes in Libya on Islamic State targets in Libya.

Qatari officials expressed reservations over Egypt’s unilateral military action in another Arab League member state, citing the risk of civilian casualties.

However, after a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, the Arab League issued a statement expressing its “complete understanding” about Egypt’s airstrikes in response to the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by Islamic State militants.

The Egyptian permanent representative to the Arab League, Tareq Adel, said it was clear that Qatar “supports terrorism.” A Qatari foreign ministry official denounced Adel’s statement, saying it was “against righteousness, wisdom and principles of joint Arab action.”


Minister of Foreign Affairs Grzegorz Schetyna announced on Wednesday that Poland will abide by a European court ruling that ordered it to pay a total of $262,000 in reparations to two individuals who were held in a “black site” in the country run by the C.I.A.

“We have to do it,” said Grzegorz Schetyna in an interview with a state news agency. “We are a law-abiding country.”

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in July that Poland violated the rights of the two men, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, by handing them over to the C.I.A. in 2002.

The two men, who are both charged with various crimes and activities relating to terrorism, are now being held in the American military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.