Jordan king urges Egyptians to choose ‘unity’

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Updated 28 December 2013
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Jordan king urges Egyptians to choose ‘unity’

AMMAN: Jordan’s King Abdallah II urged Egyptians to make choices about their future that will bring about unity, in remarks during talks on Tuesday with the troubled country’s interim president, the palace said.
“Jordan supports choices the people of Egypt make about their future that would enhance their national unity, stability and security,” a palace statement quoted the king as telling Mansour Adly, who was in the kingdom as part a regional tour.
The monarch “hopes that Egypt would overcome all the challenges it currently faces.”
Jordan was among the first countries to welcome the July 3 military coup that ousted president Muhammad Mursi, vowing to back Cairo’s efforts “to combat terrorism.”
King Abdallah was the first head of state to visit Egypt, 17 days after Mansour Adly took over as president in an interim capacity.
Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur visited Cairo on Saturday to take part in marking the anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
Ever since Mursi's ouster, his supporters have regularly tried to stage protests against the army. On Tuesday, a senior Egyptian health ministry official told AFP that the death toll from last weekend's clashes between Islamists and police has reached 57. Authorities had previously given a toll of 51.
Khatib said a total of 391 people had been injured throughout the country.
Clashes erupted on Sunday as Muslim Brotherhood supporters of Mursi tried to galvanize protests around the country but were dispersed by police.
In Cairo, they tried to march toward a strategic square where supporters of the military were marking the 40th anniversary of the Arab-Israeli war.
Tahrir Square is highly symbolic for both supporters and opponents of Mursi, who is being held at an unknown location.
On Monday, suspected militants killed nine people in attacks across Egypt.

Brotherhood NGO's permit revoked
In another step to dismantle the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s interim government on Tuesday revoked the permit for a non-governmental organization set up by the group.
It follows a Sept. 23 court ruling that banned the Brotherhood and its affiliates, and ordered its assets confiscated.
The Brotherhood’s NGO was registered in March, while Mursi was still in power. It was set up as one of the two main legal faces of the Islamist group, which was outlawed for most of its 85-year existence.
Mursi was ousted in a popularly-backed military coup on July 3.


Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra

Updated 11 min 19 sec ago
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Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra

  • The rocket hit Burjeisa residential and operations headquarters west of Basra
  • Police said the rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile

BASRA: A rocket landed at the headquarters for several global major oil companies, including US giant ExxonMobil, near Iraq’s southern city of Basra early on Wednesday, wounding two Iraqi workers, police said.

The rocket hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of the city, they said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

A security source said Exxon was preparing to evacuate some 20 foreign staff immediately.

Other companies operating at the site include Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italian Eni SpA, oil officials said.

Police said the rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile that landed 100 meters from the section of the site used as a residence and operations center by Exxon.

Burjesia is near the Zubair oilfield operated by Eni.

Exxon evacuated staff last month after the United States cited unspecified threats from Iran for a decision to take hundreds of diplomatic staff out of Iraq.

Exxon had begun returning staff to Iraq, however, before Wednesday’s incident.

(developing)