Joint Saudi-Turkey action on Syria and Yemen planned

Updated 13 April 2016

Joint Saudi-Turkey action on Syria and Yemen planned

ANKARA/JEDDAH: The visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to Ankara for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit will be a key opportunity for bilateral talks on pressing issues in the region, especially Syria.
This is the view of Younes Demirar, Turkey’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper during a telephonic interview from Ankara on Sunday that the talks would also focus on terrorism, particularly Daesh.
He said Riyadh and Ankara share the same views on all regional issues, including on Syria and Yemen.
The summit would help the two sides produce a joint strategy on how to deal with challenges in these countries, particularly a political solution for Syria.
Meanwhile, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Maher Onal received at his office here today the Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Toraifi to discuss cultural cooperation between the two countries, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
Al-Toraifi had also met with the Deputy Director General of Turkish Television and Broadcasting Corporation Zaki Chivichi and discussed areas of possible cooperation.
Following the meeting, Chivichi honored Al-Toraifi with a memorial shield to mark his visit.
The meeting was attended, on the Saudi side, by Abdulmalik Al-Shalhoub, acting president of the Television and Broadcasting Commission, and Abdulmohsen Elias, undersecretary of the ministry for external information.

Illegal immigration, refugees top Arab-EU Summit agenda

Updated 34 min 59 sec ago

Illegal immigration, refugees top Arab-EU Summit agenda

  • Heads of state, officials from EU and Arab League member countries to attend summit today
  • Some 19.5 million people globally have been forced to flee their countries

CAIRO: Egypt on Sunday will host heads of state, government officials and representatives from EU and Arab League member countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Bahrain’s King Hamad.

Refugees and illegal immigration will top the agenda amid the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

Some 19.5 million people globally have been forced to flee their countries. According to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), Syrians constitute the largest refugee population in Europe, followed by Eritreans then Afghans. 

According to unofficial statistics, Syrians are also the largest refugee population in the Arab world, followed by Yemenis, Libyans and Sudanese.

Hossam El-Khouli, secretary-general of the Egyptian Nation’s Future Party, said: “The EU … should call for the repatriation of refugees if conditions are appropriate.”

He said: “As for the right of asylum … a number of countries have granted asylum to criminals who have committed violent crimes against their own people and homelands.”

Summit participants intend to debate the necessity of combating this kind of migration, especially given its impact on the security and economy of many countries. 

Margaret Azer, an Egyptian lawmaker, said a country’s economic conditions are one of the main drivers of illegal immigration. 

“The decline of political conditions in several countries is (also) contributing to the rise in numbers of people seeking illegal immigration,” she told Arab News. 

“For example, we see that the biggest percentage of immigrants in Europe are from countries like Syria and Libya. The reason could also be religious or sectarian persecution, as is the case in Myanmar.”

Frontex President Fabrice Leggeri said although the number of migrants arriving in Europe dropped to 150,114 in 2018 compared to 204,750 in 2017, the agency continues to support border controls by providing more workers and technology.