Hariri to leave Saudi Arabia for France on Friday: MP

Lebanon’s prime minister Saad Hariri. (Reuters/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo)
Updated 17 November 2017
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Hariri to leave Saudi Arabia for France on Friday: MP

BEIRUT: Saad Hariri, who resigned as Lebanese prime minister on Nov. 4 in a statement broadcast from Saudi Arabia, will travel to France on Friday, a member of parliament for Hariri’s Future Movement told Reuters.
“Today to Paris, this afternoon, and tomorrow a family meeting with (French President Emmanuel) Macron,” said Future Movement MP Okab Saqr.
Meanwhile Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said in Moscow that he hopes Saad Hariri, who resigned as prime minister on Nov. 4, would return to Beirut after he completes his visit to France, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.
He said that the main aim now is that Hariri can return to Lebanon without any conditions or restrictions on his freedom and, once back in Lebanon, that he can decide whether to step down as the prime minister, the news agency reported.
He said, according to the agency, that Hariri should still be considered as Lebanon’s serving prime minister. Hariri’s visit to France was aimed solely at securing his return to Lebanon, the agency reported.
Bassil said earlier on Friday that some forces are trying to oust the Lebanese leader.
(With Reuters and AFP)
 


Turkish court rejects Australia’s request to extradite Daesh recruiter

A Turkish soldier is seen in an armoured personnel carrier at a check point near the Turkish-Syrian border in Kilis province, Turkey. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 July 2018
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Turkish court rejects Australia’s request to extradite Daesh recruiter

  • Ties between Turkey and its allies fighting Daesh, particularly the United States, have been frayed by Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia
  • Australia had been pressing Turkey to extradite Prakash since he was first detained

SYDNEY: A Turkish court rejected an Australian request to extradite a citizen it believes is a top recruiter for the Daesh group, Australia’s foreign minister said on Friday, in a setback for Canberra’s efforts to prosecute him at home.
Melbourne-born Neil Prakash has been linked to several Australia-based attack plans and has appeared in Daesh videos and magazines. Australia has alleged that he actively recruited Australian men, women and children and encouraged acts of militancy.
“We are disappointed that the Kilis Criminal Court in Turkey has rejected the request to extradite Neil Prakash to Australia,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.
“We will continue to engage with Turkish authorities as they consider whether to appeal the extradition decision,” she said.
Australia had been pressing Turkey to extradite Prakash since he was first detained there nearly two years ago.
Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported from Kilis that Prakash was initially ordered to be freed but was later charged under Turkish law with being a Daesh member.
A spokesman at Turkey’s foreign ministry in Istanbul had no immediate comment and the Turkish embassy in Australia did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Ties between Turkey and its allies fighting Daesh, particularly the United States, have been frayed by Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a militant group.
Canberra announced financial sanctions against Prakash in 2015, including anyone giving him financial assistance, with punishment of up to 10 years in jail.
The Australian government wrongly reported in 2016, based on US intelligence, that Prakash had been killed in an air strike in Mosul, Iraq. It later confirmed that Prakash was detained in Turkey.
Australia raised its national terror threat level to “high” for the first time in 2015, citing the likelihood of attacks by Australians radicalized in Iraq or Syria.
A staunch ally of the United States and its actions against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, Australia believes more than 100 of its citizens were fighting in the region.