Bahrain: GCC working on joint missile defense

Updated 23 January 2016
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Bahrain: GCC working on joint missile defense

BAHRAIN: Gulf states are cooperating on regional missile defense and hope to announce the results soon, said a Bahraini officer, suggesting progress in long-stalled efforts to create a cross-border approach to counter Iran’s growing missile capabilities.
US and GCC officials say the time has come to push ahead as Arab nations start to mount more joint military missions.
Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Khalifah, commander of the Royal Bahraini Air Force, said on the sidelines of an air force conference that a GCC committee was working in a cooperative effort to build joint missile defense.
“We have started, and hopefully it (the result) will be announced soon,” he said in answer to questions, without elaborating.
Obama and GCC countries underscored a commitment to build the defense system at a summit in May 2015, as US moved to assuage Gulf allies’ concerns about a more powerful Iran.
A joint statement following the summit said that the GCC states were committed to developing a ballistic missile defense capability with US technical help.


Israeli minister says Trump peace plan a ‘waste of time’

Updated 21 November 2018
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Israeli minister says Trump peace plan a ‘waste of time’

  • “I think that the gap between the Israelis and Palestinians is much too big to be bridged”
  • “I think personally it’s a waste of time”

JERUSALEM: A senior Israeli minister said Wednesday that US President Donald Trump’s long-awaited plan for peace with the Palestinians was “a waste of time.”
“I think that the gap between the Israelis and Palestinians is much too big to be bridged,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said at a conference organized by the Jerusalem Post newspaper.
“I think personally it’s a waste of time,” she said when asked what she thought about the peace initiative Trump is expected to unveil in the weeks or months ahead.
Shaked is part of the far-right Jewish Home party, a key member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.
She and other members of her party openly oppose a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Palestinians have already vowed to block Trump’s peace plan and severed ties with his administration after his December decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and declare the city Israel’s capital.
The Palestinians also see the city as the capital of their future state and international consensus has been that Jerusalem’s status must be negotiated between the two sides.
Trump has also cut some $500 million in aid to the Palestinians, who accuse the White House of seeking to blackmail them into accepting a plan they view as blatantly biased in favor of Israel.
Trump aide Jason Greenblatt said recently in an interview with the Times of Israel news site that the plan would “be heavily focused on Israeli security needs” while remaining “fair to the Palestinians.”
While expressing her pessimism on the chances for making peace with the Palestinians for now, Shaked however said she would keep an open mind on the US plan.
“Although I want peace like anyone else, I’m just more realistic, and I know that in the current future it is impossible,” she said, speaking in English.
“But let’s wait and see what they (the US) will offer.”