Doha denies involvement in Cairo church attack

Egyptian security forces (L) inspect the scene of a bomb explosion at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox Church on December 11, 2016, in Cairo's Abbasiya neighbourhood. (AFP file photo)
Updated 15 December 2016
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Doha denies involvement in Cairo church attack

DOHA: Qatar has denied any link with a Cairo church bombing that killed 25 people and accused critics of trying to sully the country’s name.
Doha’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that it condemned all “terrorism acts,” in a statement released through the Qatar News Agency on Tuesday night.
On Monday, Egypt accused fugitive Muslim Brotherhood leaders who fled to Qatar of training and financing those responsible for the deadly bomb attack on the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church a day earlier.
Cairo’s Interior Ministry pointed a finger at suspect Mohab Mostafa El-Sayed Qassem, also known as “The Doctor,” who traveled to Qatar in 2015. It said Qassem was offered financial and logistical support to carry out attacks in Egypt. But Qatar said such claims were baseless. The Foreign Ministry condemned allegations that Qatar was involved in the bombing on “the pretext that the suspect visited Qatar in 2015.”
Ministry spokesman Ahmed Al-Rumaihi said such statements to “sully the name of Qatar” were an attempt to “cover up any failures of the relevant Egyptian authorities” and would inflame tensions.
Qassem visited Qatar on December 3, 2015, “like hundreds of thousands of others who are allowed to enter the country for work or a visit,” he said.
The suspect headed back to Cairo on Feb. 1, but Doha received no requests from Egypt to detain him, Al-Rumaihi said.


UN Security Council approves Hodeidah ceasefire monitoring force in Yemen

Updated 16 January 2019
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UN Security Council approves Hodeidah ceasefire monitoring force in Yemen

  • Deployment will be known as the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement
  • Resolution requests the larger force to be deployed expeditiously

NEW YORK: The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized the deployment of up to 75 observers to Yemen's port city of Hodeidah for six months to monitor a ceasefire.

The Security Council last month authorized an advance monitoring team led by retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert and asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to recommended a larger operation.

The initial deployment came after a deal reached during talks in Sweden between the Iran-backed Houthi militants and the internationally recognized government. The UN says the ceasefire that went into force on Dec.18 in Hodeida has been generally holding, but there have been delays in the redeployment of Hothi and some government forces from the city.

The British-drafted resolution adopted on Wednesday asks Guterres to "expeditiously" deploy his recommended larger operation, which will be known as the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA).
The resolution also "requests Member States, particularly neighboring States, to support the United Nations as required for the implementation of UNMHA's mandate."
Guterres described the mission as a "nimble presence" that will report on violations in Hodeida, which for months was the front line in the war after pro-government forces launched an offensive to capture it in June.

Hodeidah is the entry point for most of Yemen's commercial goods and aid supplies, and a lifeline for millions of Yemenis on the verge of starvation.