Israel’s US ambassador slams Turkey, Qatar for attempting to ‘ruin’ Saudi-US relationship

Israel’s ambassador to the US Ron Dermer has used a recent panel discussion to slam Turkish, Qatari attempts to ruin the Saudi-US relationship. (AFP)
Updated 04 November 2018
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Israel’s US ambassador slams Turkey, Qatar for attempting to ‘ruin’ Saudi-US relationship

  • Dermer referenced Turkish and Qatari moves to drive a wedge between the Kingdom and the United States
  • Dermer said the US had to be careful about throwing away the important “strategic relationship” it has with Saudi Arabia

LONDON: Israel’s ambassador to the US Ron Dermer has used a recent panel discussion to slam global double standards with regard to the world’s outcry over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and criticism of the US’ decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and impose sanctions.
Dermer said: “It is hard for me to take seriously statements of outrage that (the murder) caused and the calls for a fundamental change to the relationship with Saudi Arabia, when (the same people) supported an agreement that gave an avowed enemy of the US hundreds of billions of dollars.”
 

He added: “If we are outraged by the murder of one, we should be five-hundred thousand times more outraged by the murder of five-hundred thousand,” citing how the nuclear deal had “enabled” Bashar Assad to kill 500,000 innocent Syrians.
He also highlighted the external forces that continue to attempt to ruin Saudi Arabia’s relationships with the US.
Dermer referenced Turkish and Qatari moves to drive a wedge between the Kingdom and the United States in the aftermath of the murder of Khashoggi.
Dermer said: “Turkey and Qatar are pressing hard to ruin relationships with Saudi Arabia,” as he criticized Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera for spreading anti-American and anti-semitic messages.
Dermer said the US had to be careful about throwing away the important “strategic relationship” it has with Saudi Arabia, as he highlighted how the US and Iran shared “no interests and no values.”


Tunisian parliament approves prime minister’s cabinet reshuffle

A general view shows a plenary session at the Tunisian parliament in the capital Tunis on November 12, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 35 min 36 sec ago
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Tunisian parliament approves prime minister’s cabinet reshuffle

  • The prime minister has been caught up in a dispute with the leader of the party, Hafedh Caid Essebsi, who is also the president’s son, and has accused Chahed of failing to tackle high inflation, unemployment and other problems

TUNIS: The Tunisian parliament approved on Monday a cabinet reshuffle proposed by Prime Minister Youssef Chahed amid a political and economic crisis.
The approval is widely seen in Tunisia as a victory for Chahed over his political opponents, including his party Nidaa Tounes, who demanded that he step down because of his government’s failure to revive the economy.
Youssef Chahed named 10 new ministers last week in a cabinet reshuffle he hopes will inject fresh blood into his government.
Chahed named Jewish businessman Rene Trabelsi as minister of tourism in the Muslim Arab country, only the third member of the small minority of 2,000 Jews to enter a cabinet since Tunisia’s independence in 1956.
A former foreign minister under the former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, Kamel Morjan, became minister in charge of the public service, Tunisia’s main employer.
Portfolios such as finance, foreign affairs and the interior ministries were unchanged.
Lawmakers voted to approve the reshuffle, giving Chahed support to push on with economic reforms asked by lenders.
“Since two years we were working under random shelling from friendly fire,” Chahed said in speech in the parliament.
“We have not found political support in the reforms and in the fight against corruption, this is no longer possible as we want clarity to move forward in reviving the economy and ending the political crisis,” he said.
The prime minister has been caught up in a dispute with the leader of the party, Hafedh Caid Essebsi, who is also the president’s son, and has accused Chahed of failing to tackle high inflation, unemployment and other problems.
The party’s demands have been supported by the influential UGTT union, which has also opposed Chahed’s plans to overhaul loss-making public companies.
The political wrangling has alarmed donors which have kept Tunisia afloat with loans granted in exchange for a promise of reforms such as cutting a bloated public service.
“This reshuffle is a coup against the winning party in the 2014 elections ... Chahed did not consult with Nidaa Tounes about this reshuffle,” Sofian Toubel, an official in Nidaa Tounes said.
Tunisia has been hailed for its democratic transition since 2011 but the North African country has been hit by economic crisis and militant attacks since then.