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. 

 


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.