Anti-Terror Quartet meeting underscores demands made in Qatar crisis

Updated 31 July 2017
0

Anti-Terror Quartet meeting underscores demands made in Qatar crisis

MANAMA: The foreign ministers of the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ), which has raised concerns over Qatar’s alleged support of terror groups, have underscored the series of demands on Doha it deems necessary to end the diplomatic crisis.
Ministers of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain met in Manama on Sunday as part of their ongoing consultations regarding the rift.
They urged Doha to stop its support and funding of terrorism, and to desist in providing safe haven for outlaws and those convicted of terrorism, financing them, promoting hatred and incitement, and interfering in the internal affairs of regional countries.
The ministers of the four countries reviewed the latest developments regarding the Qatari crisis and the communications they conducted at regional and international levels.
They underscored the importance of the six principles required of Doha, as declared at a previous meeting in Cairo. The ministers also underlined the importance of enforcing the 2013 and 2014 Riyadh Agreements, which have not been implemented by Qatar.
The four countries also highlighted the importance of Qatar complying with the 13 demands previously listed in order to achieve security on the regional and international levels.
Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt expressed their readiness for dialogue with Qatar with the condition that it declares its genuine and practical willingness to stop supporting and funding terrorism and extremism.
The four countries confirmed that all the measures taken against Qatar are in line with their sovereignty and international law. They praised the role played by the Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to resolve the Qatari crisis within an Arab framework.
They also denounced Qatar’s taken actions to prevent its nationals from performing Haj this year, and praised the assistance provided by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to welcome all pilgrims.
The ministers agreed to carry on consultations and coordination on this matter during their next meetings.
The meeting of foreign ministers was attended by Saudi Arabia’s Adel Al-Jubeir, the UAE’s Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry and Bahrain’s Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa.


Vote gives Jordan’s premier ‘breathing space’

The confidence vote is likely to give Prime Minister Omar Razzaz room to introduce wide-ranging reforms at least until the end of the year. (Reuters)
Updated 25 min 33 sec ago
0

Vote gives Jordan’s premier ‘breathing space’

  • Reformist leader Razzaz proves parliamentary majority after a week of intense debate
  • Razzaz came to power partially on the back of popular protests and, as a result, he didn’t need to make any deals

AMMAN: Jordan Prime Minister Omar Razzaz’s comfortable victory in a parliamentary confidence vote has given the reformist leader some breathing space — for the time being at least.
Razzaz survived the vote by a 79-49 margin after a week of intense debate in the 130-member Parliament.
However, the embattled leader, who has been in office for only six weeks, knows the victory cannot be taken for granted.
The confidence vote is likely to give Razzaz room to introduce wide-ranging reforms at least until the end of the year. Jordan’s Parliament will return from recess in October and, short of an emergency, another vote of confidence is unlikely.
After the vote, Razzaz told his supporters: “The weight on our shoulders is heavy, the road is long, and we need stamina for the long run. I know you have high expectations and this is a big responsibility. May God help us to live up to this confidence.”
Riyad Alsubuh, a human rights lawyer, said that the vote was unique because it was not based on compromises.
“The Razzaz government didn’t make any deals with MPs in return for their votes, which has given the government unprecedented power. Razzaz came to power partially on the back of popular protests and, as a result, he didn’t need to make any deals.”
Voting was temporarily interrupted when an unemployed worker jumped from a balcony into the main hall. Razzaz left his seat and was later seen on video talking to the protesting worker and taking his personal information.
Before the vote Razzaz reassured the Parliament that although the country’s situation is difficult, “we can overcome if we work together.”
The premier’s s failure to make any special promises angered some MPs, who were hoping to trade their vote for something tangible to their communities.
Assem Rababa, director of the Adaleh Center, told Arab News that some government supporters believed they were losing their influence in reforming election law.
“Key people close to the government felt that this new government competes with them. The speaker of the Parliament had a role in helping Razzaz win the vote.”
Saed Karajeh, a lawyer and political observer, said that some MPs voted out of confusion.
“The prime minister had a month to prepare and can’t be expected to come up with fully developed plans. If he did, it would have been rushed. I am surprised by many of the MPs who have been preaching reform and then voted against the Razzaz government.”
Sinan Sweiss, a Jordan publisher, said that security issues are harming the country.
“Having a strong security system is essential, but allowing security to overrule all other areas in the governance and society is harming our country. We are losing our best people, those who are able to change or improve things here.”
Sweiss, who is active in the civil state movement, said that while Razzaz is a reformer, he has been attacked much more than other prime ministers.
“MPs from the civil coalition voted against him, while those with money and ego voted for him.”
One issue that dominated the discussion was the fact that seven members of the Razzaz government are women.
Members of the Islamic ActionFront criticized Razzaz because all seven fail to wear the head cover (hijab).
Obaida Abdo, a television presenter who focuses on women’s issues, said that Razzaz showed his humanity throughout the discussions, while the MPs were hypocrites.
“Many of those who support the policies and person of Razzaz voted against him, which reflects the chaos that has become a hallmark of consecutive governments in Jordan,” she said.