Move has hurt Muslim world and will jeopardize peace process: Kabul

Donald Trump
Updated 08 December 2017
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Move has hurt Muslim world and will jeopardize peace process: Kabul

KABUL: The decision of US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was largely condemned by the Afghan government and public, and the Taliban militants who were fighting to expel US-led forces from the country.
In a statement that came long after the announcement of the US president’s decision, and after many Islamic nations had condemned it, the Afghan presidential palace said it was deeply concerned about the move.
“Realizing the grave concern of the Afghan people and the Muslims of the world, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has expressed its reservations and concern through diplomatic channels on the recognition of Jerusalem [as Israel’s new capital] and relocation of the US embassy, to the leadership of that country.”
The move has hurt the Muslim world and will “jeopardize the peace process in the Middle East,” it said, adding that the Afghan government and people wanted the restoration of the “right of Palestinian people to have an independent state.”
Shortly after Trump’s announcement, many Afghan social media users termed the step another major affront to the Islamic world.
“Trump’s announcement … for the sake of appeasing Israel is an affront to 1.5 billion Muslims and is against all the legal and humanitarian norms,” said Fazlullah Mumtaz, an Islamic cleric.
Qazi Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, a lawmaker of the Afghan parliament, said the house had condemned the move even prior to the announcement.
“This is an unforgivable crime committed by malevolent America. The US has greatly weakened the Muslim world through its direct and proxy wars, gradually implementing its evil designs one after the other,” he told Arab News.
“The Islamic nations and Muslims should rise against this decision in all corners of the world.”
One Afghan, echoing the sentiments of an unknown number of Afghans, said that the slow reaction from President Ashraf Ghani’s government, which relies on US military and financial aid, showed that Ghani was merely an “American man” for failing to condemn Trump’s announcement like the rest of the Islamic World.
Rasoul Sayyaf, a leader for the former Mujahideen factions that fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, said that the US had caused Muslims “an irreparable loss.”
The Taliban, who were ousted from government by the US in 2001, also attacked the announcement.
“Finally, the US has fully exposed its colonialist face and declared enmity toward Islam as well as support for the policy of occupation and colonization of Muslim lands,” the group said in a statement.
 


EU-Arab summit set for February 24-25 in Egypt

Updated 19 October 2018
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EU-Arab summit set for February 24-25 in Egypt

BRUSSELS: European Union and Arab leaders will meet in Egypt in late February for their first summit as part of efforts to forge a new European-African alliance and fight migrant smuggling, officials said Thursday.
European leaders first mentioned the summit in Austria last month as they vowed to intensify talks with Egypt and other North African countries to curb illegal migration.
“The European Council welcomes the holding of the forthcoming first summit between the 28 EU Member States and the League of Arab States, hosted by Egypt on 24-25 February 2019,” the council of EU leaders said after a summit in Brussels.
The Cairo-based Arab League includes North African countries Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco as well as those in the Middle East and Gulf.
EU officials insisted the summit was about more than just migration, but part of a broader push to build closer ties with Africa outlined by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in September.
“It is now much more than about migration and fighting traffickers,” an EU official told reporters.
Juncker urged the EU to strike a “new alliance” with Africa that would create millions of jobs and include a free trade deal.
The Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation EU, hopes the strategy will both showcase its international influence and help stem the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean.
The EU also wants to boost development in sub-Saharan Africa to ease the poverty that often drives migration.
Brussels has previously struck cooperation deals with both Turkey and Libya, whose coast guard officers are trained by the Europeans to stop migrant sea crossings — despite concerns about conditions in Libyan detention centers.
The deals with the two gateway countries have helped to cut migration to Europe sharply since a 2015 peak, but the bloc wants to expand work with all north African countries.
The leaders called for “strengthening cooperation with countries of origin and transit, particularly in North Africa,” according to the summit’s published conclusions.
“Work with third countries on investigating, apprehending and prosecuting smugglers and traffickers should be intensified,” it said.
EU officials say Egypt has set a high bar in fighting traffickers and smugglers, which could be emulated by other North African countries.
The EU is increasingly focused on bolstering its external borders amid longstanding divisions over redistributing asylum-seekers who make it to Italian and other European shores.
But it is still confronted with the refusal of Hungary and other former communist eastern countries to admit migrants, particularly from Muslim countries.
And Italy’s populist government has this year turned away migrant rescue ships in a bid to force fellow EU countries to share responsibility for them.
The United Nations refugee and migration agencies, the UNHCR and IOM, had this week urged EU leaders to take steps to ensure responsiblities are shared.
They said the debate was so “dangerously toxic” in some countries that it was harder to find common solutions.
Even though fewer people were arriving in Europe, the two agencies said, the rate of people dying in the Mediterranean was increasing. More than 1,700 lives have been lost since January.