Seize the moment for ME peace

Updated 28 November 2012
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Seize the moment for ME peace

British Foreign Secretary William Hague is right in asking the US to move forward to settle the Israel-Palestinian issue once for all.
In a recent BBC interview, in which Hague urged the United States to find a final solution to the pestering Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the British foreign secretary probably banked his renewed optimism on three factors: 1) President Obama has won the election with a comfortable majority, and can work on his two-state vision without much fear of Jewish vote-bank; 2) Hamas has once again proved that it can’t be put aside at the whim of Israel; and 3) Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas is again seeking a ‘non-member’ observer status for his country. It has been a tactical strategy on the part of Israel to deal with opponents on a piecemeal basis. By this they tend to disintegrate their opponents, preventing them from taking a united stand. Presence of Israeli forces in the West Bank, unabated construction of new settlements, encroachment of Palestinian fields and farms, ever-growing security check posts, siege of Gaza which has converted the territory into the biggest prison on earth, financial strangling of both the West Bank and Gaza by regulating the exports, tax money; these can’t go for ever as Palestinians seemed more empowered by the support they are receiving from the new democracies in the region.
It’s high time for both US and Israel to seize this historical moment and initiate a dialogue, not to be meant to last forever without any result, but to address all the disputes in totality. — Masood Khan, Jubail


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017
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Cartoon in bad taste

I wish to use my “right of reply” to complain about the unfortunate caricature that appeared on Aug. 5, 2017, in your well-known newspaper. The cartoon represents President Nicolas Maduro sitting on a military tank and a hand coming out of the tank’s cannon writing on a book titled “New Constitution.” Such a caricature is offensive to my country.
What the caricature seems to imply is that President Maduro wants to rewrite a new constitution with the power of arms. This is totally false. It is immoral to give your readers such a forged image of Venezuela and its constitutionally- and democratically-elected government.
The revision of our constitution, which is among the best in the world, is mainly to reinforce it and make it more adaptable to the new times. It is not an imposition of our president; it has been backed by more than 8 million Venezuelans and has the objective of re-establishing the peace process that has been trampled by a violent opposition backed by interested foreign countries that pretend to give orders to our sovereign populace.
I fail to understand why some international media report fake news about my country, with the purpose of undermining our sovereignty, and the people of Venezuela’s absolute right to decide, in a free and independent manner, how it wants to conduct its internal affairs.
I invite your newspaper to inform about our country with the truth and the same respect that we, in Venezuela, treat to our brothers of Saudi Arabia.

Joseba Achutegui
Ambassador of Venezuela
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia