Libya committee votes in favor of constitutional draft

Members of the self-styled Libyan National Army, loyal to the country's east strongman Khalifa Haftar, flash the victory gesture next to a vehicle-mounted heavy gun in the eastern city of Benghazi on July 27, 2017. Libya’s internationally recognized parliament is based in Benghazi and allied with Haftar's forces. (AFP / Abdullah Doma)
Updated 30 July 2017
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Libya committee votes in favor of constitutional draft

BENGHAZI, Libya: A committee tasked with writing a constitution for Libya voted in favor of a draft, paving the way for parliament to approve a referendum and causing uproar among opponents.
Critics, including secessionists and people in favor of the country’s 1951 constitution, called for a redo of Saturday’s vote.
Protesters broke into the committee’s building in the eastern town of Bayda, according to two committee members, who said they called on the committee to reconvene Sunday. It was not immediately clear whether the committee met again.
Committee members opposing the decision issued a signed statement saying that voters failed to consider amendments proposed by opponents to articles in the draft.
Amraja Noah, a committee member from the eastern city of Tobruk, said protesters stormed the building to stop the session, forcing the members to rush the vote.
He said 44 members attended the session and 42 voted in favor of passing the draft.
An opponent of the decision, Abdelkader Kadura, a committee member from Benghazi, expressed skepticism about the legitimacy of the voting.
“This serves a small minority and a certain geographical area,” he said, referring to members who voted in favor.
The 60-member committee has been assigned to work on a draft constitution since 2014.
Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 civil war that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi. The oil-rich nation is now split between rival governments and militias.
Libya’s internationally-recognized parliament is based in the east and allied with the powerful military commander Khalifa Haftar.


Bahrain suspends visas for Qatari nationals

Updated 21 August 2018
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Bahrain suspends visas for Qatari nationals

JEDDAH: Bahrain has suspended issuing entry visas to Qatari nationals as part of the dispute between between Arab countries and Doha.

Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt launched a boycott of Qatar in June last year, accusing the country of links to terrorism.

The quartet cut off diplomatic, transport and economic ties with Qatar some trvel restrictions were placed on nationals travelling between the countries. 

"The Ministry of Interior has announced the suspension of the issuance of entry visas for Qatari nationals,” the Bahrain News Agency reported.

Qatari students who study in Bahrain will be excluded, along with those with valid visas, the ministry said.

The statement said the decision was not taken because of Qatari nationals “who share brotherly ties with Bahrainis, but as result of irresponsible acts of Qatari authorities that do not consider the rights of neighbouring countries or the principles of the international law,” the ministry said.