News in Brief 20 July 2015 (AM)

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The Mani peninsula in the southern Peloponnese, Greece. Photo: Ari Gaitanis

Greece repays arrears to IMF

Greece has repaid the totality of its arrears to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the agency has confirmed.

The European country is in the grip of a financial crisis which has left it unable to pay its debts and threatened its exit from the group of countries that use the euro currency.

The Greek authorities made a payment of €2.0 billion around US$2.17 billion.

The IMF said it stood ready to continue assisting Greece in its efforts to return to financial stability and growth.

Electoral commission welcomed by UN

The establishment of an Electoral System Reform Commission in Afghanistan has been welcomed by the United Nations mission in the country, UNAMA.

The Commission will provide advice and technical expertise on electoral reforms.

Afghanistan continues to experience widespread insecurity as the government works to restore stability after years of foreign military occupation and civil wars.

The government recently held talks with the Taliban movement which is said to be behind most of the violence.

Reconstruction of Mali mausoleums praised

The rebuilding of historic mausoleums in the city of Timbuktu in Mali has been praised by the Director-General of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.

The tombs were destroyed by armed groups three years ago.

The UNESCO chief, Irina Bokova, visited Timbuktu on Saturday.

She paid tribute to the local communities without whom, she said, the reconstruction could not have been carried out.

The mausoleums of Timbuktu have long been places of pilgrimage for the people of Mali and neighbouring West African countries.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’45″

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