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Over 1 lakh take part in pro-independence rally in Spain’s Catalonia

More than one lakh Catalan separatists took part in a pro-independence rally in Barcelona on Saturday ahead of talks between the Spanish government and the regional government of Catalonia. The talks are aimed at finding a solution to the political crisis. An authorised referendum on independence is one of the key demands from the separatists.

Suspected Chinese submarine seen near territorial waters: Japan

The Japanese Defence Ministry said that a submarine believed to be from China was spotted in waters near Japan’s Amami-Oshima island amid maritime tensions in the region. Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi instructed his staff to “gather information and maintain vigilant surveillance with a sense of urgency”, it added. A Chinese destroyer was also spotted in the vicinity.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister meets Taliban-appointed PM in Kabul

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani arrived in Kabul and met Taliban-appointed PM Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund. The meeting focused on bilateral relations, humanitarian assistance, economic development and interaction with the world, a Taliban spokesperson said. Al-Thani’s arrival is the highest-level foreign visit to Kabul since the Taliban’s takeover.

Iraqi PM Kadhimi becomes 1st foreign leader to meet Iran’s Prez Raisi 

Iraqi PM Mustafa Al-Kadhimi became the first foreign leader to meet with Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi since the Iranian leader took office in August. The visit is focused on discussing bilateral economic ties, including Iraq’s $6 billion debt to Iran. Kadhimi will also discuss Iranian-Saudi relations as Iraq tries to mediate between the two regional rivals.

Iran to allow IAEA to service cameras monitoring nuclear sites

ran has agreed to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to service the cameras monitoring the Iranian nuclear sites after talks with IAEA chief Rafael Grossi on Sunday. The memory cards in these cameras will be replaced as part of the servicing. Notably, the announcement comes amid stalled talks between Iran and world powers on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

Thousands protest against COVID-19 curbs in Turkey

A protest against Turkish coronavirus-related restrictions in Istanbul was attended by thousands of people. The government had made proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result mandatory for intercity travel and to attend large events. “This pandemic is just going on with even more restrictions on our freedoms and there’s no end to it,” a protester said.

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