Efforts underway to change US Embassy street names in Amman, Cairo

Jordanian police stand guard in front of the American embassy in Amman during a demonstration against the US president's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, on Dec. 8, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 10 December 2017

Efforts underway to change US Embassy street names in Amman, Cairo

AMMAN: Efforts are underway in Jordan and Egypt to persuade authorities to change the names of the streets in both countries where American embassies are located, in response to US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Ismail Bustanji a member of Amman’s city council, said he has prepared a resolution to the council to change Al-Umwayeen Street to Al-Quds Arabiya (Jerusalem is Arab) Street.

“We’re doing this because we want the world, and especially those working in or visiting the US Embassy, to know that for us Jerusalem is an Arab city,” he told Arab News.

Egyptian political activist Khaled Dawoud told Arab News that he has passed the idea to various political parties, and is sure they will draft a resolution to similarly change the name of Qasra Al-Dubara Street in Cairo.

Meanwhile, in Jerusalem Palestinian protesters barred a Bahraini delegation visiting Israel from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque.

They said the visit was not coordinated with any Palestinian side, thus constituting normalization of relations with Israel.

The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative calls on Israel to withdraw from all Arab territory occupied in 1967, and an agreed to solution to the Palestinian refugee problem, in return for Arab countries normalizing ties with Israel.

The 22-member Arab League and 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have adopted the peace plan.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian was arrested after stabbing an Israeli security officer in West Jerusalem on Sunday. The injury was not said to be life-threatening.

Protests against the US decision have evolved in the last few days to include new songs, social media campaigns, street demonstrations worldwide, and calls to boycott American products and services.

There was a one-hour strike in Amman’s Jabal Hussein business district, and Jordanian lawyers and judges agreed to a one-hour suspension of legal proceedings in the main courthouses to protest the US move.

Mazen Rushedat, head of the Jordanian Bar Association, has urged the government to approach the International Court of Justice.

He told protesting lawyers that US President Donald Trump has unified Arabs, but that Arab governments still dealing with America as a peace sponsor must re-evaluate their position.

Illegal immigration, refugees top Arab-EU Summit agenda

Updated 24 February 2019

Illegal immigration, refugees top Arab-EU Summit agenda

  • Heads of state, officials from EU and Arab League member countries to attend summit today
  • Some 19.5 million people globally have been forced to flee their countries

CAIRO: Egypt on Sunday will host heads of state, government officials and representatives from EU and Arab League member countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Bahrain’s King Hamad.

Refugees and illegal immigration will top the agenda amid the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

Some 19.5 million people globally have been forced to flee their countries. According to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), Syrians constitute the largest refugee population in Europe, followed by Eritreans then Afghans. 

According to unofficial statistics, Syrians are also the largest refugee population in the Arab world, followed by Yemenis, Libyans and Sudanese.

Hossam El-Khouli, secretary-general of the Egyptian Nation’s Future Party, said: “The EU … should call for the repatriation of refugees if conditions are appropriate.”

He said: “As for the right of asylum … a number of countries have granted asylum to criminals who have committed violent crimes against their own people and homelands.”

Summit participants intend to debate the necessity of combating this kind of migration, especially given its impact on the security and economy of many countries. 

Margaret Azer, an Egyptian lawmaker, said a country’s economic conditions are one of the main drivers of illegal immigration. 

“The decline of political conditions in several countries is (also) contributing to the rise in numbers of people seeking illegal immigration,” she told Arab News. 

“For example, we see that the biggest percentage of immigrants in Europe are from countries like Syria and Libya. The reason could also be religious or sectarian persecution, as is the case in Myanmar.”

Frontex President Fabrice Leggeri said although the number of migrants arriving in Europe dropped to 150,114 in 2018 compared to 204,750 in 2017, the agency continues to support border controls by providing more workers and technology.