1,643 Filipinos cast votes in second week

Updated 30 April 2013
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1,643 Filipinos cast votes in second week

Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago said yesterday that the second week of overseas absentee-voting (OAV) elections have concluded successfully, with the Philippine Embassy ranking first among all embassies and consulates in the Middle East.
“A total of 1,643 Filipinos from all over the Kingdom cast their votes on the second weekend of the OAV elections. The number brings the total OAV turnout for the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, the Consulate General in Jeddah and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Alkhobar to 5,289,” the envoy told Arab News.
A report from the OAV Secretariat of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) placed the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh first among all embassies and consulates in the Middle East in terms of voter turnout. The report also cited the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh as second in rank overall among all Foreign Service Posts (FSP).
Tago renewed his call for all Filipinos in the Kingdom to exercise their right to vote before the last day of elections on May 13. “Let us avoid the huge crowds that traditionally come during the final days of elections,” he said.


GCC, global parliamentary groups warn Iran of consequences

GCC Secretary-General Abdullateef Al-Zayani
Updated 58 min 54 sec ago
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GCC, global parliamentary groups warn Iran of consequences

  • Maintaining security and stability in the region is the first priority of the Gulf states
  • Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of UNSC resolution 2216, as a UN panel has already identified missile remnants

RIYADH: A number of parliamentarians from different countries including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have warned Iran of grave consequences if it continues to indulge in proxy wars with neighboring Arab countries that threaten the peace and stability in the Middle East.

In statements issued on the 37th anniversary of the GCC’s establishment, parliamentarian criticized Iranian role in the Yemen conflict and Tehran’s continued support to the Houthi militias that have so far fired more than 100 ballistic missiles on Saudi Arabia.
“Maintaining security and stability in the region is the first priority of the Gulf states,” said GCC Secretary-General Abdullateef Al-Zayani.
Al-Zayani appreciated “the pivotal role of the Saudi leadership in backing the GCC General Secretariat to achieve the collective goals and implement the resolutions of the Supreme Council.”
He called on Iran “to refrain from meddling in the affairs of Arab nations, and stop supplying arms and ammunition to its Houthi militants to save Yemen from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”
The “All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Yemen” in the British Parliament last Wednesday released its annual report on the situation in the war-stricken country, warning, for the first time, of “Iran’s hand in the civil war and its attempt to project power on the Arabian peninsula.”
The APPG observed that “cooperation with non-state actors is an integral part of Iran’s foreign policy through which it seeks to consolidate power across the region.” As examples of this strategy, the group named Iran’s support for the Lebanon-based terrorist organization Hezbollah, as well as Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq.
It further noted that “Iran’s stance against the war must be judged in the context of its desire to undermine the Western and Saudi influence in Yemen.”
The British group has warned that Tehran’s arming of the Houthi rebels has led to a “major escalation” in the conflict.
Commenting on these reports, Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, a Saudi Shoura Council member, said that “Iran has had complicity in most of the regional conflicts, and the involvement of Tehran has been hampering all efforts to restore peace and security in the Middle East.”
He said: “Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of UNSC resolution 2216, as a UN panel has already identified missile remnants, related military equipment that are of Iranian origin and were/are being used in Yemen.”
“The growing involvement of Iran in the affairs of the Arab nations has led many of its Arab neighbors to distance itself from Tehran,” said Dr. Ibrahim Al-Qayid, the founding member of the National Society of Human Rights (NSHR).
In fact, the Arab League has recently supported Morocco’s decision to sever ties with Iran over its support for the Polisario Front, he said.