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Sunday, 14 February 2021

Around the world on 14 February 2021

The US and China still don’t see eye-to-eye — but that doesn’t mean they can’t work together. This was the takeaway from US President Joe Biden’s inaugural phone call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Wednesday. Biden, who’s already well acquainted with Xi from his time as VP, raised concerns about Beijing’s aggressive economic policies and human rights abuses, yet left open avenues for cooperation on global issues, according to a White House readout. Xi also apparently prefers to dial back tensions, saying “confrontation between China and the US would certainly be a disaster for both countries and the world,” according to the official Chinese account of the call.

IN DIPLOMACY:

UN calls on Egypt to take some people off the terror list: UN experts are calling on Egypt to remove Palestinian-Egyptian activist Ramy Shaath and human rights lawyer Ziyad El Elaimy from the “terrorist” list that included them last April allegedly “without evidence,” the UN Human Rights Office said on Thursday. Both activists were arrested in June 2019. El Elaimy received a one-year jail sentence and an EGP 20k fine last March, while Shaath has been held for over 1.5 years in pretrial detention.

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