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World Digest: Countries align against sanctions on Iran

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Friday, April 16, 2010

SOUTH AMERICA

Countries align on Iran sanctions

Brazil's foreign minister said there is an "affinity" between his country's opposition to new sanctions on Iran and the positions of China and India, as leaders met in Brasilia during a Thursday summit.

Brazil has increased its political and economic ties to Iran in the past year while criticizing efforts to impose sanctions over the Islamic republic's nuclear program.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva met with Chinese and Indian leaders on the sidelines of a summit of the BRIC nations, which include Russia.

"We saw a great affinity of views from both," Amorim said. "There was an exchange of ideas on how to start the process, what is the best way to find a peaceful solution" to concerns about Iran's nuclear program.

Meanwhile, in Bogota, visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates pushed Thursday for a stronger trade relationship with Colombia as part of his efforts to solidify support for the United States in the region.

Gates said he hopes to see a "renewed effort" to finalize a free-trade agreement with Colombia, which he hailed as a "linchpin of security and prosperity in South America."

-- Associated Press

AFGHANISTAN

4 Germans killed in fighting in north

Four German troops were killed Thursday in fighting in northern Afghanistan's Baghlan province, a one-day toll that is likely to deepen antiwar sentiment in a key European ally.


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