Palestinian Authority recalls its ambassadors from 4 EU countries

Photo showing an elderly Palestinian man falls on the ground after being shot by Israeli troops during a deadly protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, May 14, 2018. (AP)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Palestinian Authority recalls its ambassadors from 4 EU countries

JERUSALEM: The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has recalled its ambassadors to four European countries to protest their participation in a party celebrating the opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem.
The ministry said Wednesday that its ambassadors to Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria were being called home for consultations.
The Palestinians, who seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital, strongly objected to the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The European Union objected to the embassy move. But the four European countries criticized by the Palestinians broke with EU policy to attend the celebration.
The Palestinians said they consider the participation a “grave violation of international law.”
The Palestinian action comes a day after Turkey and Israel withdrew their respective Top diplomats from both capitals in protest over the Gaza killing.

The row, which on Tuesday saw President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu exchange bitter jibes on Twitter, threatens a 2016 deal on normalizing ties after the crisis sparked by the May 2010 deadly storming of a Turkish ship by Israeli commandos.
Turkey has expressed outrage over the killing by Israeli forces on Monday of 60 Palestinians during protests and clashes on the Gaza border and also blamed tensions on the US decision to move its embassy for Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Ankara also withdrew its ambassador to Washington Serdar Kilic for consultations after the bloodshed, which came on the same day the embassy move took place. Kilic arrived back in Ankara on Wednesday afternoon, state media said.
Erdogan will on Friday host an emergency summit meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul which he has said will send a “strong message to the world” on the issue.


Anti-money-laundering body gives Iran until February to complete reforms

Updated 23 min 34 sec ago
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Anti-money-laundering body gives Iran until February to complete reforms

  • The Financial Action Task Force said it was disappointed that Tehran had acted on only nine out of 10 of its guidelines despite pledges to make the grade

PARIS: The international group that monitors money laundering worldwide said on Friday Iran had until February to complete reforms that would bring it into line with global norms or face consequences.
The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force said after a meeting of its members that it was disappointed that Tehran had acted on only nine out of 10 of its guidelines despite pledges to make the grade.
“We expect Iran to move swiftly to implement the commitments that it undertook at a high level so long ago,” said Marshall Billingslea, the US assistant Treasury Secretary for terrorist financing, after chairing an FATF meeting.
“In line with that, we expect that it will have adopted all of these measures by February. If by February 2019 Iran has not yet done so, then we will take further steps,” he said.
In the meantime, the FATF said it had decided to continue suspending counter-measures, which can go as far as limiting or even banning transactions with a country.
Iran’s parliament approved some new measures against funding terrorism earlier this month under pressure to adopt international standards. But FATF said that it could only consider fully enacted legislation.
Members of FATF had already given Tehran until this month to bring its laws against money-laundering and funding of terrorism up to its guidelines.
Otherwise, Iran risked being returned to a blacklist of non-compliant countries that makes foreign investors and banks reluctant to deal with it.
Britain, France and Germany are trying to keep some financial channels open to Iran after the US pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal in May and re-imposed sanctions.
Analysts say that inclusion on the FATF’s blacklist could effectively make that all but impossible.