Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s policies discriminating against Palestinians

Palestinian youths challenge Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank city of Ramallah following a raid on December 10, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s policies discriminating against Palestinians

  • Saudi UN envoy reiterates need for political solution in Syria, Yemen
  • Envoy also demands the withdrawal from Syria of all foreign forces and foreign fighters

Saudi Arabia rejected all Israeli policies, practices and plans that attempt to perpetuate racial discrimination against the Palestinian people and obliterate their national identity and to undermine their legitimate rights, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Addressing the UN Security Council, the Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Maalami called on the international community to intervene and stop settlement projects by Israel.

“The Palestinian people continue to witness further tragedies,” he said.

 “70 years ago, Palestinians suffered the greatest human tragedy the world has ever seen. The tragedy of the displacement of the landowners, the tragedy of giving the right to those who do not have the right, and the denial of the right of its owners,” he continued.

The Israeli occupation must be committed to implement international resolutions, lift the siege on the Gaza Strip and open the crossings immediately and permanently, he said. The humanitarian and economic crisis affecting the Palestinian people.

“My country stresses the importance of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East as a strategic option to end the Arab-Israeli conflict,” he said. 

“The Syrian people, too, are still living the worst humanitarian crisis of the century,” he added. 

The former UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, “completed his duties without achieving the desired results... because of the intransigence of the Syrian regime and its unwillingness to reach a just political solution to end the tragedy of the Syrian people,” Al-Mouallimi said.

He congratulated Geir Pedersen on succeeding de Mistura, and stressed the support of the Saudi government for his efforts in achieving a political solution.

Al-Mouallimi said his government stresses the importance of reaching a just political solution in order to end the suffering of Syrians worldwide.

The Saudi government also demands the withdrawal from Syria of all foreign forces and foreign fighters, especially Iranian forces and their militias, he added.

Al-Mouallimi condemned any use of chemical weapons in Syria, and urged the international community to punish those responsible.

He questioned the Houthis’ sincerity in seeking a resolution of the conflict in Yemen. Al-Mouallimi urged the Security Council to continue pressuring Iran to abide by the council’s resolutions on Yemen. 

He stressed the importance of reaching a comprehensive political solution that guarantees state sovereignty throughout Yemen and a unified national army.

Saudi Arabia will continue to support the Yemeni people and their legitimate leadership, and respond to their humanitarian needs, Al-Mouallimi said.


New social deal signed in Morocco, salaries to rise

Updated 26 April 2019
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New social deal signed in Morocco, salaries to rise

  • The minimum wage, currently 2,570 dirhams a month ($266), will be increased by 10 percent over two years from July
  • Last July King Mohammed VI urged the government to take “urgent action” to address social issues

RABAT: The Moroccan government on Thursday announced a “new social deal” with employers and the main labor unions, under which many workers will enjoy a pay rise.
The deal agreed by the General Confederation of Moroccan Businesses (CGEM) and the three main unions — the UMT, UGTM and UNMT — is the fruit of months of negotiations
The minimum wage, currently 2,570 dirhams a month ($266), will be increased by 10 percent over two years from July, except for the agricultural sector.
Government-paid family allowances will also rise.
Meanwhile public sector workers will be given a 300-500 dirham monthly pay increase over three years.
Of Morocco’s main trade unions only the Democratic Labour Confederation has not signed the social deal which, according to the government statement, is aimed at “improving spending power and the social climate.”
Last July King Mohammed VI urged the government to take “urgent action” to address social issues, in particular health and education in the north African country which has been hit by protests over employment and corruption.
Mohammed VI pointed to social support and social protection programs that “overlap each other, suffer from a lack of consistency and fail to effectively target eligible groups.”
After months of stalemate, the dossier was handed to the interior ministry at the beginning of the year and the final rounds of talks were held.
The social unrest began in October 2016 after the death of a fisherman and spiralled into a wave of protests demanding more development in the neglected Rif region and railing against corruption and unemployment.
Morocco is marked by glaring social and territorial inequalities, against a backdrop of high unemployment among young people. In 2018, it was ranked 123rd out of 189 countries and territories on the Human Development Index.