Philippines’ Duterte offers troops to Jordan to fight militants

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, and Jordanian King Abdullah II of Jordan review an honor guard at the Husseiniya palace in Amman on Thursday, September 6. (AP)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Philippines’ Duterte offers troops to Jordan to fight militants

  • Both countries have been battling Daesh’s influence, with Jordan playing a key role in an international coalition
  • ‘You need one battalion... I will send them to you. I will commit my government in the right side of history’

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has offered to send troops to Jordan to help combat militants, after agreeing to deepen military cooperation with the Middle Eastern nation to fight extremism.
Both countries have been battling Daesh’s influence, with Jordan playing a key role in an international coalition, and the Philippines on alert after a five-month occupation of a city by militant rebels — its worst conflict since World War Two.
“If there is anything that we can do, if you are short in your army, let me know,” Duterte said on Thursday at a business forum in Amman in a comment to King Abdullah, who earlier lamented the “evil” both states were facing.
“You need one battalion... I will send them to you. I will commit my government in the right side of history.”
King Abdullah is an important Middle East ally of Western powers, with Jordan playing a prominent role in the US-led coalition against Daesh, providing military, logistical and intelligence support.
Earlier this year, Jordan announced it will provide the Philippines with two Cobra attack helicopters to help fight insurgents.
Duterte is on a six-day visit to Jordan and Israel, and his activities have been broadcast in the Philippines. He has signed agreements with Israeli companies to buy small arms, armored vehicles, and surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.


Far behind in polls, Israel’s Livni quits politics

Updated 8 min 5 sec ago
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Far behind in polls, Israel’s Livni quits politics

TEL AVIV: Former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni, whose party has trailed far behind in polls ahead of April 9 elections, announced Monday she was retiring from politics.
Livni, who gained international recognition in part thanks to her past role as a negotiator with the Palestinians, also said her Hatnua party would not run in the elections.
The 60-year-old said in a statement before journalists in Tel Aviv she was bringing her party to “an end ... knowing I did all I could for my beloved state and to unite the forces that would fight for it. It’s not up to me any more.”
Livni, who also previously served in the Mossad spy agency, narrowly missed out on becoming prime minister after 2009 elections.
She had recently helped lead Israel’s main opposition, the center-left Zionist Union alliance, but a split in January ended the arrangement that also included the Labour party.
Labour party leader Avi Gabbay dramatically announced then that he would no longer partner with Livni as she sat stone-faced next to him.
While the Zionist Union won the second-most seats in the last general election in 2015, it more recently tumbled in opinion polls.
Livni sought to mount a campaign for April 9 elections outside the Zionist Union, but struggled to gain any traction or form the large alliance she sought.
Labour and Gabbay have also faltered in opinion polls.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to remain premier after the elections, polls consistently show, despite a series of corruption investigations into his affairs.
The attorney general is however expected to announce in the coming weeks whether he intends to indict Netanyahu, and an announcement before the elections could shake up the campaign.
The right-wing prime minister’s main challenger is seen as former military chief of staff Benny Gantz and his centrist Israel Resilience party.