16:04 GMT +319 October 2018
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    A round up of what happened in the past 24 hours

    WORLD

    * U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan for a surprise visit

    * Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh put forward an initiative to establish the union of Arab nations similar to the European Union, the country's SABA news agency said

    * NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed a new strategic arms reduction treaty, which will be signed between Russia and the United States soon

    * Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva agreed to meet leaders of Thailand's red-shirted protesters in a bid to ease growing tension in the country

    RUSSIA

    * The new Russian-U.S. strategic arms reduction treaty to be signed soon contains no clauses making it easier for the U.S. to build a missile shield posing a threat to Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

    * Possible harsher sanctions against Iran should not pave the way for future military actions against the Islamic Republic, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

    * The U.K. could become one of Russia's leading partners in innovative technologies, Anatoly Chubais, the head of the country's hi-tech government corporation Rosnano said

    * Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom is preparing an ambitious bid to become one of the biggest fuel suppliers in Britain, The Sunday Times reported

    EX-SOVIET STATES

    * Ukraine's Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko said that civilian nuclear power engineering, aircraft-building, transport and agriculture were priority areas of cooperation with Russia

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