US role ‘more important than ever’ under Trump: UAE

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash. (Reuters file photo)
Updated 14 November 2016
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US role ‘more important than ever’ under Trump: UAE

JEDDAH: The UAE has urged President Donald Trump’s United States to develop a stronger strategy on the Middle East, after a “disconcerting vacuum” seen during Obama years.
Anwar Gargash, the country’s minister of state for foreign affairs, said that the influence of Washington in the region was “more important than ever.”
“Following eight years of weakened American engagement in the region, which many feel has created a disconcerting vacuum, it looks like we will have to wait a little longer until the contours of President-elect Trump’s approach to the region become clearer,” Gargash told the Third Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate in the UAE capital.
“It is essential that there is an overarching strategy rather than isolated positions toward regional issues. In short, America’s engagement is positive and its withdrawal and disengagement is counterproductive.”
He said that the stability of the Middle East “cannot rest on American engagement alone,” with the likes of Russia, China, India and the EU also having a role to play.
“But solving regional problems also requires an active role for the UN. This means that the international community has to reverse the failures of recent years, by providing a more activist and effective role,” Gargash said, according to the UAE state news agency WAM.
President Barack Obama administration’s policy in
withdrawing from the region has been “a recipe for unremitting chaos and violence,” Gargash added, pointing to crises in Iraq, Syria and Libya which have spiraled out of control and fueled extremism.


Turkey bans rally for Kurdish MP on hunger strike

A member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) reacts next to policemen during a demonstration in solidarity with a HDP lawmaker on hunger strike in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir, on February 15, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 16 February 2019
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Turkey bans rally for Kurdish MP on hunger strike

  • Ocalan, one of the founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, has not been allowed to see his lawyers since 2011

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: Turkish police on Friday prevented supporters from rallying outside the home of a pro-Kurdish lawmaker on hunger strike for 100 days.
The protest bid coincides with the 20th anniversary of the capture of Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is jailed in a notorious prison island near Istanbul.
Leyla Guven of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), launched her action on Nov. 8 while in jail to protest against Ocalan’s prison conditions.
She was freed last month under judicial supervision but continued her protest, refusing any treatment. Guven, 55, is consuming only sugared or salted water.
Police on Friday blocked supporters from approaching Guven’s house in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir after a rally called by the HDP, an AFP correspondent said.
“The biggest task ahead of us today is to turn every aspect of life into an arena for struggle and support hunger strikes at the highest level,” HDP MP Dilan Dirayet Tasdemir said.
“This dark picture and severe conditions of fascism can only be broken through our organized struggle,” Tasdemir said.
More than 200 prisoners are on hunger strike to protest what they call Ocalan’s isolation, according to the HDP.
Ocalan, one of the founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, has not been allowed to see his lawyers since 2011.
The PKK is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.
Ocalan was caught in Kenya outside the Greek Embassy in Nairobi on Feb. 15, 1999 by Turkish secret service agents after attempting to seek asylum in Europe.
Turkish authorities last month allowed Ocalan’s brother Mehmet to see him, the first visit in over two years.