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S. Korea, EU add provisions for Croatia to FTA

SEJONG, March 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the European Union added a protocol to their free trade agreement (FTA) Tuesday to account for Croatia's recent accession to the political and economic union, the South Korean government said. The revision of the South Korea-EU FTA, enacted in July 2011, was officially signed in Brussels, Belgium, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The same amendment was initialed in November 2011, about three months after Croatia's accession to the EU.

Disquiet in Baltics over sympathies of Russian speakers

By Aija Krutaine and David Mardiste DAUGAVPILS, Latvia/TALLINN (Reuters) - In the former Soviet republics of Latvia and Estonia, there is unease over events in Crimea, which was formally annexed by Moscow last week on the pretext of safeguarding its Russian minorities.

Eximbank to provide US$85 mln loan to Indonesia

SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) -- The state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) said Sunday it plans to provide a US$85 million loan to Indonesia in a bid to aid the country's establishment of a wastewater disposal facility. The money will come from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), a state-run fund launched in 1987 aimed at helping poor and less-developed countries with loans that carry low interest rates.

Biden warns Russia on 'dark path' to isolation

By Roberta Rampton VILNIUS (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden reassured the leaders of Lithuania and Latvia that the United States would defend any NATO members against aggression and warned that Russia was on a "dark path" to isolation over its actions in Ukraine. Biden was in the capital of Lithuania, part of a quick trip to reassure Baltic allies worried about what an emboldened, aggressive Russia might mean for their nations. Lithuania, along with Estonia and Latvia, are NATO members.

Serbia nets alleged Balkan drug boss with help from CIA

By Matt Robinson BELGRADE (Reuters) - Alleged Balkan drug boss Darko Saric, one of the most wanted figures in the crime-riddled region, surrendered to Serbian police on Tuesday as a dragnet involving the CIA closed in on him in Latin America, Serbian authorities said. Serbia's government said the 43-year-old had set no conditions for his surrender, other than to see his wife, son and daughter for 30 minutes at Podgorica airport in neighboring Montenegro en route from an unspecified third country to Belgrade.

Dominican Republic homicide rate hits lowest level in 11 years

By Ezra Fieser SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) - The homicide rate in the Dominican Republic plunged to an 11-year low in 2013 as the government used the military to back up the National Police, bucking the trend in the Caribbean where increased drug trafficking has brought more violence. The number of homicides fell by 12.5 percent last year to 1,975, compared with 2,258 in 2012, according to statistics supplied to Reuters by the attorney general's office.

Romania bars Hungarian 'extremists' on eve of national day

By Radu Marinas BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania has barred what it says are Hungarian extremists from four different organizations from entering the country, moving to prevent possible clashes when ethnic Hungarians celebrate their national day in Romania on Saturday. Those barred include supporters of Jobbik, a far-right Hungarian party whose popularity has surged in the run-up to a parliamentary election due to take place in Hungary on April 6, according to a recent poll.

3-way ties vital despite Japan's tensions with neighbors: secretariat

Japan, China and South Korea need to hold a trilateral summit soon as three-way cooperation is "too significant to be jeopardized by any difficulties" between Tokyo and its two neighbors, the head of a regional body said Tuesday. Shigeo Iwatani, Japanese secretary general of the Seoul-based Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, also told a press conference in Tokyo that regional integration in Northeast Asia is "the ultimate goal" that the three countries need to achieve to ensure peace and stability.

3-way ties vital despite Japan's tensions with neighbors: secretariat

Japan, China and South Korea need to hold a trilateral summit soon as three-way cooperation is "too significant to be jeopardized by any difficulties" between Tokyo and its two neighbors, the head of a regional body said Tuesday. Shigeo Iwatani, Japanese secretary general of the Seoul-based Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, also told a press conference in Tokyo that regional integration in Northeast Asia is "the ultimate goal" that the three countries need to achieve to ensure peace and stability.

Argentina, Spain and Portugal to sign nanotechnology agreement

Buenos Aires, Mar 10 (EFE).- Argentina, Spain and Portugal will sign a cooperation agreement on nanotechnology this week in Lisbon, Argentine officials said. The accord will be signed Tuesday at Laranjeiras Palace by Argentine Science, Technology and Productive Innovation Minister Lino Barañao, Portuguese Education and Science Minister Nuno Crato, and Spanish Ambassador to Portugal Eduardo Junco.
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