US energy official sees ‘great promise’ in eastern Med
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A U.S. State Department official says Washington sees "great promise" in developing energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean as ExxonMobil began exploratory drilling off Cyprus' southwestern coast.
Francis Fannon, the Assistant Secretary of State responsible for energy matters, says Washington sees existing and potential gas deposits in the east Mediterranean as a catalyst for regional cooperation and economic development.
South Asian, Southeast Asian leaders discuss closer ties
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Leaders of seven South Asian and Southeast Asian nations are meeting in Nepal to discuss regional trade, economic cooperation, security and peace.
The two-day summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation began Thursday in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital. It groups Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Western Balkans leaders meeting on EU, regional cooperation
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's office says Albania is hosting an informal meeting of the six heads of government in the Western Balkans.
Rama's office said Sunday that the topic of Monday's meeting is "regional economic integration" and will include discussions about developing a joint vision for aligning with the European Union, the implementation of a regional economic zone and other issues.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Former cricket star Imran Khan declared victory Thursday in Pakistan's parliamentary election and vowed to run the country "as it has never before been run" by fighting corruption, seeking regional cooperation and forging a new relationship with the U.S. that was not "one-sided."
SYDNEY (AP) — Southeast Asian leaders will sign an agreement on regional cooperation against violent extremism as the risk to the region grows due to militants fleeing Islamic State group losses in the Middle East, an official said on Saturday.
The memorandum of understanding on cooperation to counter international terrorism will be signed by the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and Australia, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said.
Israeli minister calls for new sanctions on Iran
JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli Cabinet minister says the best possible outcome of the U.S.-Iran showdown over the contentious nuclear deal would be for Congress to "come together around new, significant sanctions."
Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi tells Tel Aviv radio station 102 FM Friday that such a move will compel large international companies to choose between doing business with the Iranians or the Americans.
Macedonia, Greece seek better ties amid 25-year name dispute
SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonia and Greece committed Thursday to improving relations strained for more than two decades by a dispute over Macedonia's name.
Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias told reporters that their governments were committed to working on good relations and regional cooperation.
Malaysian premier to meet Trump at White House on Sept. 12
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will visit Washington on Sept. 12 at the invitation of President Donald Trump.
A White House statement says the two leaders will discuss ways to bolster ties and expand regional cooperation. The visit marks the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties.
Malaysia's foreign ministry said Thursday that national security, the global fight against terrorism and trade and investment are on the agenda of talks between the leaders.
Connecticut leaders suggest local sales tax, other changes
WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's largest organization of cities and towns is recommending "a new way forward" to help financially struggling municipalities, including a statewide local sales tax to help raise revenues.
In a report unveiled Wednesday, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities called for reducing the state sales tax by 0.75 percent to 5.6 percent, repealing 10 percent of the current sales tax exemptions and levying a 1 percent local sales tax.
China says committed to peace as carrier passes near Taiwan
BEIJING (AP) — China said Wednesday it was committed to promoting peace and stability in Asia, even as it sent an aircraft carrier battle group through the Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions between Beijing and the self-ruled island.
Groups urge state to reform taxes, encourage cooperation
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Retaining Connecticut's workforce, overhauling the state's various taxes and fees, and creating incentives to encourage regional cooperation among cities and towns are some of the recommendations from a recent economic summit held by an unusual coalition of state interest groups.
Milan honors Dalai Lama as citizen over China’s objections
MILAN (AP) — The Milan city council bestowed honorary citizenship on the Dalai Lama on Thursday over the objections of Chinese Embassy, which said the gesture would have a negative impact on bilateral relations and regional cooperation.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate accepted the honor inside a theater at the University of Milan-Bicocca campus before an audience of mostly students.
Pakistan blames India for postponement of SAARC conference
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's Foreign Ministry says it remains committed to hosting the 19th SAARC Summit, which has been postponed after India's decision to abstain.
Nepal urges ‘conducive environment’ for South Asian summit
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal urged South Asian nations on Thursday to create a "conducive environment" so a regional summit can be held as scheduled in November in Pakistan's capital.
Nepal, the current chair of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, said four of the eight member nations have indicated they will not attend the Nov. 9-10 summit in Islamabad.
India to not participate in regional summit in Pakistan
NEW DELHI (AP) — New Delhi will not participate in a meeting of South Asian nations to be held in Islamabad in November, its foreign ministry said in a statement late Tuesday.
The statement didn't name Pakistan but tensions between the neighbors and arch-rivals have been high since a militant attack on an army base in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir killed 18 Indian soldiers.
Group working on new plan to help Connecticut municipalities
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's largest association of cities and towns is coming up with a plan to increase regional cooperation and review new taxing options.
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities intends to have a comprehensive package of proposals "designed to break new ground" ready in December. The 2017 legislative session opens in January.
Push for regional cooperation intensifies in Connecticut
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Facing a massive deficit that's more than 12 percent of his city's budget, the new mayor of Hartford is appealing to wealthier neighbors to help find regional solutions that benefit Connecticut's struggling capital city and its suburbs.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Hundreds of Pakistanis have rallied in the capital, Islamabad, against the imminent visit of India's interior minister, Rajnath Singh.
Some 2,000 chanted slogans against India, claiming the predominantly Muslim region of Kashmir, now divided between the two countries, belongs to Pakistan.
Singh is due in Islamabad later on Wednesday to attend a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.