World Briefs: UN kicks off talks on nuclear weapons ban

UN kicks off talks on nuclear weapons ban

NEW YORK • More than 100 countries were set to launch the first United Nations talks on a global nuclear weapons ban yesterday over objections from the major nuclear powers.

Some 123 UN members announced last October that they would launch the UN conference to negotiate a legally binding nuclear ban treaty, even as most of the world's declared and undeclared nuclear powers voted against the talks.

Britain, France, Israel, Russia and the United States voted "no", while China, India and Pakistan abstained.

The countries leading the effort include Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Sweden.

Hundreds of non-governmental organisations back their efforts.


Ex-prime minister wins Bulgaria vote

SOFIA (Bulgaria) • Former prime minister Boyko Borissov won early elections in Bulgaria for the third time in five years, setting his Gerb party on course to form a centre-right coalition and maintain the Black Sea nation's pro-European path.

With almost all votes counted, Gerb had 33 per cent, while the more pro-Russian Socialists, successor to the Communist Party, had 27 per cent, the Central Electoral Commission said yesterday in the capital, Sofia.

The third-placed United Patriots, a nationalist group that is the most likely partner for an alliance with Gerb, got 9.1 per cent.


Italian PM to meet Trump on April 20

ROME • Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni will meet US President Donald Trump in the United States on April 20, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

Italy holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven industrialised nations and is due to host a summit of leaders in Sicily in May. This is expected to be Mr Trump's first trip to Europe as president.

Mr Trump has already met a number of major world leaders in Washington since taking office in January, including British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2017, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe