Yemeni defense minister discusses efforts to combat terrorism with US

A Yemeni aims his rifle as fighters from the Popular Resistance Committees, supporting forces loyal to the Yemen's Saudi-backed government, attend a graduation ceremony in the country's third city Taiz, on July 17, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 17 January 2019
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Yemeni defense minister discusses efforts to combat terrorism with US

  • The Yemeni defense minister met with US military attaché in Yemen
  • The discussed improving the Yemeni army and counter-terrorism efforts

The Yemeni defense minister Lieutenant-General Mohammad Ali Al-Maqdashi met with US military attaché in Yemen, Col. Brad Gandhi, on Wednesday, to discuss improving the Yemeni army and counter-terrorism efforts.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister Salim Al-Khanbashi discussed with the head of the European Union delegation to Yemen, Antonia Calvo, the economic war imposed by the Houthi militia.

The meeting reviewed the challenges Yemen faces in light of the non-compliance of the Houthi militia of the peace talks held in Sweden.

The minister claimed that the Houthis looted state institutions.

He said the government was preparing the budget for 2019, and would give priority to projects that served the community and challenges related to a comprehensive reconstruction program for the public and private sectors. 


Erdogan offers seminary exchange for Greek mosque minarets

Updated 16 February 2019
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Erdogan offers seminary exchange for Greek mosque minarets

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday suggested the mosque in Athens should open with minarets if the Greek premier wants to reopen a seminary in Istanbul.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was in Turkey this month and visited the disputed landmarks of Hagia Sophia and the now-closed Greek Orthodox Halki seminary.
Tsipras said during the visit to the seminary located on Heybeli island off Istanbul on February 6 he hoped to reopen the school next time with Erdogan.
Future priests of the Constantinople diocese had been trained at the seminary, which was closed in 1971 after tensions between Ankara and Athens over Cyprus.
Erdogan on Saturday complained that the Fethiye Mosque in Athens had no minarets despite Greek insistence that it would open.
The mosque was built in 1458 during the Ottoman occupation of Greece but has not been used as a mosque since 1821.
“Look you want something from us, you want the Halki seminary. And I tell you (Greece), come, let’s open the Fethiye Mosque,” Erdogan said during a rally in the northwestern province of Edirne ahead of local elections on March 31.
“They said, ‘we are opening the mosque’ but I said, why isn’t there a minaret? Can a church be a church without a bell tower?” he said, describing his talks with Tsipras.
“We say, you want to build a bell tower? Come and do it... But what is an essential part of our mosques? The minarets,” the Turkish president added.
Erdogan said Tsipras told him he was wary of criticism from the Greek opposition.
After the independence war against Ottomans began in 1821, the minaret is believed by some to have been destroyed because it was a symbol of the Ottoman occupation.
Ankara had returned land taken from the seminary in 1943 but there is still international pressure on Turkey to reopen it.
Erdogan has previously said that its reopening is dependent on reciprocal steps from Greece to enhance the rights of the Turkish minority.