Erdogan’s plea: End sectarian divisions

Updated 16 April 2016

Erdogan’s plea: End sectarian divisions

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday urged Muslim leaders gathered for the OIC summit to end sectarian divisions in the Islamic world and join forces to fight terror.
“I believe the greatest challenge we need to surmount is sectarianism. My religion is not that of Sunnis, of Shiites. My religion is Islam,” Erdogan said in his opening speech.
“We should be uniting. Out of the conflicts, the tyranny, only the Muslims suffer,” he said, adding the summit meeting could be a “turning point” for the whole Islamic world.
He also called for the re-structuring of the UN Security Council, so that the Muslim world has an effective voice. Erdogan lashed out at Daesh and Boko Haram extremists in Nigeria as two “terrorist organizations that are serving the same evil purpose.”
He said that the OIC had accepted a Turkish proposal to set up a multinational police coordination center for Islamic states to fight militants, to be based in Istanbul.
“We need to establish an organization to further strengthen cooperation in the fight against terror,” he said.
Several leaders have expressed their commitment to unify the Muslim world in the face of severe political, economic and social challenges.
In his speech, read out by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Soukry, President Abdul Fattah El-Sisi said that as the chair of the previous summit, Egypt had done everything it could to advance the cause of Muslims across the globe.
This would continue under Turkey, as the new chair, particularly with regard to action on the Palestinian question, which should be resolved with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. He commended the OIC for holding a summit on Palestine in Indonesia in March.
Erdogan agreed with El-Sisi’s call for action on Palestine, and also endorsed the call for unity among Muslim nations to tackle the problems of vulnerable communities.
He said Turkey was doing everything it can to help refugees, and had already saved around 100,000 from drowning in the Aegean Sea.
The Summit proceedings will conclude today with the adoption of a resolution on Palestine, the OIC Ten-Year Program of Action for 2015-2025, the final communiqué, and the Istanbul Declaration.


Israel ends ban on Palestinian farm exports, resolving trade spat

Updated 20 February 2020

Israel ends ban on Palestinian farm exports, resolving trade spat

  • The Palestinian Authority in September significantly reduced calf imports from Israel
  • Israel on February 2 cut Palestinian exports to the Jewish state

JERUSALEM: Israel has ended its ban on Palestinian agricultural exports after the Palestinian Authority lifted its curb on calf imports from Israeli livestock farmers, the defense ministry said Thursday, seemingly resolving a months-long trade dispute.
The Palestinian Authority had in September significantly reduced the number of calves imported from Israel, saying at the time it wanted to decrease dependence on Israeli producers.
After dialogue failed, Israel on February 2 cut Palestinian exports to the Jewish state.
The Palestinians retaliated by banning imports of Israeli produce, soft drinks and mineral water.

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Israel then extended its ban on Palestinian exports to the Allenby Bridge border crossing with Jordan, the only route through which Palestinian goods in the West Bank can reach foreign markets.
The trade war had threatened to escalate as tensions in the West Bank surged after US President Donald Trump unveiled a controversial peace plan.
But on Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Bennett announced he had removed all of the restrictions imposed on Palestinian exports, “after the ban on the Israeli farmers was removed,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Palestinian agriculture ministry announced the immediate import of “livestock, including calves” as well as “all products and commercial goods from all countries of the world without obstacles.”
“This came after a series of direct and indirect discussions through international parties, which resulted in Israel retracting its illegal measures,” the ministry said in a statement late Wednesday.