Bahrain FM: No resolution in sight for Qatar crisis, Qatar blocks goods from quartet

Qatar has issued a ban on all produce from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt (Shutterstock)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Bahrain FM: No resolution in sight for Qatar crisis, Qatar blocks goods from quartet

  • Bahrain FM says Qatar has made no effort to resolve the issues that first prompted the boycott
  • Qatar has now issued a ban on all products from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt

DUBAI: Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said his country sees “no resolution in sight” in the Gulf crisis between Qatar and the four boycotting countries, according to an interview with London-based Arabic international newspaper Alsharq Alawsat.

“The information in our hands today does not indicate any glimmer of hope for a solution now, as the matter does not happen suddenly," he said.

Bahrain's foreign minister said Qatar had prolonged the crisis by taking its case to Western allies, instead of dealing with it inside the Gulf Arab bloc.

“We were expecting from the beginning of the crisis with Qatar that the emir of Qatar would go to Saudi (Arabia) but this did not happen,” Al-Khalifa told the pan-Arab newspaper.

He spoke of Qatar’s lack of abiding by international laws in regards to terrorism.

“This state has put one of its citizens on the terrorism list, and after a few days they attend his son's wedding,” he said, referring to Abdulrahman Al-Nuaimi who was labeled a terrorist by the US government in December 2013, and the UN in September 2014, for providing financial support to terrorist organizations.

Meanwhile Qatar has announced that it will ban products originating from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain.

“Products originating from the blockading states, which as a result of the blockade cannot pass the Gulf Cooperation Council Customs Territory, have to undergo proper import inspections and customs procedures,” a Qatari government statement said late on Saturday.

And Qatari national newspaper Al Watan quoted a circular from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce telling traders and shops to stop dealing in products imported from the four countries. It said inspectors would monitor compliance with the policy.

(With Reuters)


UN calls on Libya to crack down on violent militias

Khalifa Haftar. (Supplied)
Updated 21 August 2018
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UN calls on Libya to crack down on violent militias

  • Libya remains divided between the UN-backed GNA in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east supported by military strongman Khalifa Haftar
  • Tripoli office to a more “secure” location after threats from militiamen against its employees

TRIPOLI: The UN has called on Libya’s internationally recognized government to crack down on armed groups obstructing the work of state institutions in the chaos-wracked country.
The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) late on Sunday night expressed its “strong condemnation of the violence, intimidation and obstruction to the work of Libya’s sovereign institutions by militiamen.”
It called on the UN-backed Government of National Accord to “prosecute those responsible for these criminal actions.”
The GNA’s military and security institutions have failed to place limits on the powerful militias that sprung up in the turmoil that followed the 2011 ouster of dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Several state institutions, including those in Tripoli, have been regular targets of harassment and intimidation by armed groups technically operating under the GNA’s Interior Ministry.
Members of militias “nominally acting under the Ministry of Interior of the Government of National Accord are attacking sovereign institutions and preventing them from being able to operate effectively,” UNSMIL said.
Last week, the GNA’s National Oil Corp. said men from the Interior Ministry had forced their way into the headquarters of Brega Petroleum Marketing Company — a distribution outfit — to “arrest” its chief.
The Libyan Investment Authority, the GNA-managed sovereign wealth fund, recently moved from its downtown Tripoli office to a more “secure” location after threats from militiamen against its employees.
UNSMIL said it would work with the international community and the GNA to “investigate the possibility of bringing sanctions against those interfering with or threatening the operations of any sovereign institution.”
Libya remains divided between the UN-backed GNA in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east supported by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
A myriad of militias,terrorist groups and people traffickers have taken advantage of the chaos to gain a foothold in the North African country.