Arabs to back Mideast talks if Palestine state guaranteed

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud attends talks of the Arab League summit in the Jordanian Dead Sea resort of Sweimeh on Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 30 March 2017
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Arabs to back Mideast talks if Palestine state guaranteed

THE DEAD SEA, Jordan: Arab leaders on Wednesday adopted the Amman Declaration, issued at the conclusion of the Arab Summit in Jordan, reiterating their readiness to have a historic reconciliation with Israel in return for its withdrawal from land it has occupied since the 1967 war.
The declaration, read by Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said Arab states would back Palestinian-Israeli talks to end the decades-old conflict if it guaranteed the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
The Arab Summit — attended by 21 leaders — urged countries not to move embassies to Jerusalem and to reject unilateral Israeli moves that undermine the city’s identity. President Donald Trump has said he would move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The Amman Declaration says “peace is a strategic option” for the Arab world, based on a two-state solution.
It also calls for a settlement to the Syrian crisis that secures the aspirations of the Syrian people and the country’s unity and sovereignty, and removes the presence of all terrorist groups there, in accordance with the Geneva I communique and relevant UN resolutions, particularly 2254.
The declaration added that the crisis can only be solved via a political settlement with the approval of all Syrian components. It also underlined the need to support countries hosting millions of refugees.
The declaration said Arab leaders support Yemen’s legitimate government and a political settlement to the conflict on the basis of UN Resolution 2216, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative and the outcomes of the Yemeni National Dialogue.
It also expressed support for Arab Coalition efforts to support Yemen’s legitimate government.
The declaration said Arab leaders support the unity and stability of Iraq. It hailed the Iraqi government’s fight against terrorists, and its efforts to achieve national reconciliation that safeguards all components of society. It said Iraq’s stability is part of regional and international stability.
The declaration supports all efforts to reach a political settlement in Libya that includes all parties in a national dialogue, leading to solution that maintains the country’s unity, security and stability, and which serves the interests and hopes of the Libyan people.
Arab leaders vowed to take all measures to fight terrorism and extract it from its roots via a comprehensive strategy that entrenches democratic values and human dignity, and counters ignorance and exclusion.
Arab leaders also said they welcome good neighborliness with other countries based on mutual respect that boosts bilateral cooperation and rejects interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries, attempts to destabilize them, and sectarianism and sedition.
The declaration called on Iran to end its occupation of Emirati islands, and expressed support for the UAE’s efforts to reclaim the islands via all legal and political means. 

 


One dead in new protests in southern Iraq: medical source

Updated 20 July 2018
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One dead in new protests in southern Iraq: medical source

Diwaniyah, Iraq: A man was killed Friday during a protest outside the headquarters of an armed group in southern Iraq, a medical source said, as authorities push to contain social unrest.
"A civilian around 20 years old was shot dead," a medical source in the city of Diwaniyah told AFP, as fresh rallies were held across southern Iraq against social and economic woes.
Shots were fired by a guard from the local headquarters of the Badr organisation, a powerful Iranian-backed armed group, where hundreds of people were protesting, the source said.
The latest death brings to nine the number of people killed in the protests, according to multiple sources, while authorities earlier this week said more than 260 security personnel have been wounded.
The unrest erupted in Basra province on July 8 when security forces opened fire, killing one person as protesters demanded jobs and basic services including electricity.
Others killed during the protests were shot by unknown assailants.
The Iraqi government swiftly denounced "vandals" it accused of infiltrating the protests.
The latest demonstrations saw thousands of people gathering across the south and also in the capital Baghdad, where a heavy security presence saw demonstrators dispersed by water canon and tear gas.
The crowds were broken up as they headed towards the fortified Green Zone, a high-security area of Baghdad where the government is headquartered.
In oil-rich Basra, people shouted slogans against the authorities as thousands gathered peacefully outside government headquarters.
Shouting "no to corruption", hundreds of people rallied in Nasiriyah, 160 kilometres (100 miles) northwest of Basra, chanting the anti-graft message which has characterised nearly two weeks of protests.
Demonstrators also surrounded the home of Nasiriyah's governor where security forces responded with tear gas.