Jordan’s king endorses Palestinian reconciliation deal

Jordan's King Abdallah II (R) greeting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Amman. (AFP)
Updated 22 October 2017
0

Jordan’s king endorses Palestinian reconciliation deal

AMMAN: Jordan’s king has endorsed a fledgling Palestinian reconciliation agreement that is meant to end a decade-old political and ideological split between rivals Hamas and Fatah.
King Abdallah II expressed support for the Egyptian-brokered deal after meeting Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads Fatah.
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007, leaving Abbas with autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The palace said that the king “affirmed Jordan’s full support for this agreement” which it said would strengthen Palestinian unity. Jordan, which considers itself a key Mideast mediator, was not directly involved in reconciliation efforts.
Under an emerging deal, an Abbas-led government would run Gaza, but critical issues remain unresolved.
Following the deal, a top aide to US President Donald Trump said on that an emerging Palestinian unity government must recognize Israel and disarm Hamas, Washington’s first detailed response to a landmark reconciliation deal signed last week.
A Hamas official immediately rejected the comments as “blatant interference” in Palestinian affairs, but did not say directly whether the group planned to comply with any of the demands.
Trump’s special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt, who has repeatedly visited the region to seek ways to restart peace talks, laid out a series of conditions.
“Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the state of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties — including to disarm terrorists — and commit to peaceful negotiations,” Greenblatt said in a statement.
Senior Hamas official Bassem Naim condemned Greenblatt’s statement and accused the US of adopting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s positions.
“This is blatant interference in Palestinian affairs because it is the right of our people to choose its government according to their supreme strategic interests,” said Naim.


Russia to send modern S-300 missile defense systems to Syria

Updated 51 min 33 sec ago
0

Russia to send modern S-300 missile defense systems to Syria

  • President Vladimir Putin has ordered additional security measures after a Syrian Soviet-era S-200 air defence missile shot down a Russian military plane by mistake
  • Russia will transfer the modern S-300 air defence system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks

MOSCOW: Moscow will bolster Syria's air defence with a S-300 system and jam radars of military planes striking from off the coast of the Mediterranean following the downing of a Russian plane, its military chief said.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that President Vladimir Putin has ordered additional security measures after a Syrian Soviet-era S-200 air defence missile shot down a Russian military plane by mistake, killing 15, in an incident last week that Moscow blames on Israel.
"This has pushed us to adopt adequate response measures directed at boosting the security of Russian troops" in Syria, Shoigu said in a televised statement.
"(Russia will) transfer the modern S-300 air defence system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks."
Syrian military had already been trained to use the system, which was set to be sent over in 2013 but was held up "at the request of Israel," Shoigu said.
"In regions near Syria over the Mediterranean Sea, there will be radio-electronic suppression of satellite navigation, on-board radar systems and communication systems of military aviation attacking objects on Syrian territory."
Moscow says Israeli F-16 planes which struck Latakia in western Syria on September 17 later used the landing Russian Il-20 surveillance plane as a "cover," which resulted in the Il-20 being struck by a Syrian air defence missile.
"We are certain that the realisation of these measures will cool the 'hot heads' and will keep them from poorly thought-out actions which threaten our servicemen," Shoigu said.