Yemen FM says seated next to Netanyahu in ‘error’

From left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yemen's Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attend a session at the conference on Peace and Security in the Middle east in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (AP)
Updated 15 February 2019
0

Yemen FM says seated next to Netanyahu in ‘error’

  • Yamani’s friendly interaction with Netanyahu drew criticism on social media
  • Yemen and Israel have never had diplomatic relations

DUBAI: Yemen’s top diplomat said a “protocol error” landed him next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a conference in the Polish capital Warsaw and that his country’s stance on the Palestinian issue remained unchanged.
“Protocol errors are the responsibility of the organizers, as is always the case in international conferences,” Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Yamani wrote on Twitter late Thursday.
Yamani was already seated when Netanyahu took his place earlier the same day at an international conference in Warsaw focused on security in the Middle East, with a strong emphasis on Iran.
The two nodded at each other and exchanged brief smiles as Netanyahu sat down.
During a part of the session closed to the press, Yamani lent Netanyahu his microphone when the Israeli premier’s was not working properly.
US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt hailed the exchange on Twitter, calling it a “lighthearted moment” that could be the sign of “new cooperation” between the Jewish and Arab states.
Yemen and Israel have never had diplomatic relations, and Yamani’s friendly interaction with Netanyahu drew criticism on social media.
“The stance of Yemen and President (Abedrabbo Mansour) Hadi on the Palestinian issue and its people its people and leadership is firm,” Yamani insisted.
He said Yemen’s attended the Warsaw conference not to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “but to mobilize the international community to confront the Iranian expansion in Yemen.”
Its participation was also “part of the battle to restore” his internationally-recognized government, he added.


Lebanon PM undergoes heart procedure in France

Updated 45 min 3 sec ago
0

Lebanon PM undergoes heart procedure in France

  • Hariri’s office said the 48-year-old underwent an hour-long angioplasty procedure
  • Hariri will return to his home in Paris later Monday

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s prime minister underwent a heart procedure in a Paris hospital on Monday and is expected to be discharged later in the day.
Saad Hariri’s office said the 48-year-old underwent an hour-long angioplasty procedure, used to treat blocked arteries. Hariri’s personal physician, Essam Yassin, said the prime minister is well and described the procedure as a “preventive” measure.
He said Hariri will return to his home in Paris later Monday.
Hariri is the youngest head of state in the region, and has been Lebanon’s prime minister for three separate periods since 2009. He is now presiding over his third Cabinet, after being named premier again in February.
His father, Rafik Hariri, a business tycoon who also served as Lebanon’s prime minister, was assassinated in 2005.