GCC-Russia pact ‘will help resolve Mideast crises’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov listens to his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir (R) during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday. (REUTERS)
Updated 27 May 2016
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GCC-Russia pact ‘will help resolve Mideast crises’

MOSCOW: Russia’s pact with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council will help solve the crises facing the Middle East, particular Syria, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said here Thursday.
Al-Jubeir made the comments following a meeting between the GCC’s foreign ministers and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the fourth GCC-Russian strategic dialogue gathering.
At a press conference with Lavrov, Al-Jubeir said the GCC and Russia have enjoyed solid ties over the years and share common interests. He said Russia also respected the sovereignty of nations and was committing to international law.
Al-Jubeir said the meeting was fruitful and that there had been intense discussion on seeking a cease-fire in Syria and tackling extremist and terrorist groups. “We are working with Russia to confront the challenges facing the region.” He also praised Moscow for supporting the Palestinian cause.
Lavrov said that Russia, under the auspices of the UN Security Council, supports attempts to seek peace in the Middle East and North Africa. He said the discussions focused on Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq among others.
Lavrov said the Russian government supports Saudi Arabia’s formation of an Islamic alliance to tackle terrorism globally. He said Russia was seeking to consolidate agreements with Saudi Arabia in the oil and nuclear fields.
Thursday’s meeting comes as rebels in northern Syria reportedly continue to make slow progress in their campaign to evict Daesh from its stronghold in the Iraqi city of Raqqa.


Turkey bans rally for Kurdish MP on hunger strike

A member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) reacts next to policemen during a demonstration in solidarity with a HDP lawmaker on hunger strike in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir, on February 15, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 16 February 2019
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Turkey bans rally for Kurdish MP on hunger strike

  • Ocalan, one of the founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, has not been allowed to see his lawyers since 2011

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: Turkish police on Friday prevented supporters from rallying outside the home of a pro-Kurdish lawmaker on hunger strike for 100 days.
The protest bid coincides with the 20th anniversary of the capture of Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is jailed in a notorious prison island near Istanbul.
Leyla Guven of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), launched her action on Nov. 8 while in jail to protest against Ocalan’s prison conditions.
She was freed last month under judicial supervision but continued her protest, refusing any treatment. Guven, 55, is consuming only sugared or salted water.
Police on Friday blocked supporters from approaching Guven’s house in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir after a rally called by the HDP, an AFP correspondent said.
“The biggest task ahead of us today is to turn every aspect of life into an arena for struggle and support hunger strikes at the highest level,” HDP MP Dilan Dirayet Tasdemir said.
“This dark picture and severe conditions of fascism can only be broken through our organized struggle,” Tasdemir said.
More than 200 prisoners are on hunger strike to protest what they call Ocalan’s isolation, according to the HDP.
Ocalan, one of the founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, has not been allowed to see his lawyers since 2011.
The PKK is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.
Ocalan was caught in Kenya outside the Greek Embassy in Nairobi on Feb. 15, 1999 by Turkish secret service agents after attempting to seek asylum in Europe.
Turkish authorities last month allowed Ocalan’s brother Mehmet to see him, the first visit in over two years.