UK new year’s honors list touches Arab world

The awards are presented by or in the name of Queen Elizabeth II. (Reuters)
Updated 31 December 2017
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UK new year’s honors list touches Arab world

LONDON: From the founder of a Kuwaiti children’s hospital to a Tunis embassy British diplomat, the New Year’s honors list set its footprint across the Arab world.
Diplomats and embassy staff from around the Middle East figured widely in the list issued by the UK Cabinet Office which features the names of 1,123 people.
More than two thirds are people recognized for work in their communities.
Among those working in the Middle East is Leila Memmi, vice consul at the British Embassy in Tunis, who was awarded an MBE for services to British victims and their families following a terrorist attack at Sousse, Tunisia in 2015.
Some 38 people, 30 of whom were British, lost their lives during the attack after a lone gunman opened fire at a beach resort.
Also in Tunisia, Patricia Coelho, political first secretary at the British Embassy in Tunis, was awarded an MBE for services to British foreign policy.
Angus John Clarkson, lately head of the Foreign Office’s Syria office in Amman, was awarded an OBE for “services to furthering UK interests in Jordan and Syria.”
Marrena Ruby Bradshaw, chief of staff to the director of the Foreign Office’s Middle East and North Africa Directorate, was awarded an MBE for services to British foreign policy.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Chivers, a former stabilization adviser at the British Embassy in Beirut, was awarded an MBE for services to UK/Lebanon relations.
Outside of the diplomatic sector, Alan David Thomson, managing director, Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC), was awarded an MBE for services to the UK and global water industry and associated charities. He previously worked in senior roles at Thames Water and West of Scotland Water.
Margaret Therese Al-Sayer, the founding director of the Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital and the Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice in Kuwait, received an OBE for services to child health and hospice provision in Kuwait.
Finally, Carol Angela Murray, a volunteer and member of the Bahrain Anglican Church Council, was awarded an MBE for services to charity and the community in Bahrain.


Yemen groups agree to reopen Sanaa airport, still in talks on port at Sweden talks

Updated 12 December 2018
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Yemen groups agree to reopen Sanaa airport, still in talks on port at Sweden talks

  • Askar Zaeel, a member of the government delegation, said his camp would hold firm to UN Security Council Resolution 2216
  • Multiple draft proposals have been submitted to the two delegations over the past week

RIMBO, Sweden: Yemen's warring parties agreed on Wednesday to reopen Sanaa airport in the Houthi-held capital, sources said, as Western nations press the two sides to agree on confidence-building measures before the end of the first UN-led peace talks in two years.
The Iranian-backed Houthi movement and the Arab coalition-backed government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi were still discussing a UN proposal on the contested port city of Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due to attend final talks in Sweden on Thursday to support his envoy's efforts to launch a political process to end the nearly four-year-old war. Another round of talks could be held in early 2019.
The Houthi militia hold most population centres, including Hodeidah and the capital Sanaa from which it ousted Hadi's government in 2014. The government is now based in the southern port of Aden.
The two parties agreed that international flights would stop at a government-held airport for inspections before flying in or out of Sanaa, two sources familiar with the talks said.
They have yet to agree on whether those inspections would be in Aden airport or that of Sayun, the sources added.
The Arab coalition intervened in the war in 2015 to restore Hadi's government controls the air space.
UN envoy Martin Griffiths, trying to avert a full-scale assault on Hodeidah, where coalition forces have massed on the outskirts, is asking both sides to withdraw from the city.
His proposal envisions an interim entity being formed to run the city and port and international monitors being deployed.
Asked if the government could accept that proposal, culture minister Marwan Dammaj said: "We are still discussing it."
Both sides have agreed to a UN role in the port, the entry point for most of Yemen's commercial imports and vital aid, but differ on who should run the city. The Houthi militia want Hodeidah declared a neutral zone, while Hadi's government believes the city should fall under its control as a matter of sovereignty.
"The devil is in the details - withdraw how far (from Hodeidah), the sequence, who governs and delivers services," said one diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
They have also yet to agree on shoring up the central bank, and on a transitional governing body, although a deal was struck on a prisoner swap that could see 15,000 prisoners released.