Queen Rania demands justice for Rohingyas

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Queen Rania of Jordan shakes hands with Rohingya Muslim children, who have crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, during her visit to Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Nearly 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state since Aug. 25 to escape persecution that the United Nations has called ethnic cleansing. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Queen Rania of Jordan shakes hands with Rohingya Muslim children, who have crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, during her visit to Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Hundreds of hard-line Buddhists have protested to urge Myanmar's government not to repatriate the nearly 600,000 minority Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh since late August to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Queen Rania of Jordan shakes hands with Rohingya Muslim children, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, during her visit to Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Hundreds of hard-line Buddhists protested Sunday to urge Myanmar's government not to repatriate the nearly 600,000 minority Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh since late August to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, rest inside a school compound at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh on Monday, October 23, 2017. (AP)
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Queen Rania of Jordan shakes hand with a Rohingya Muslim man, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, inside a school compound used as temporary shelter for refugees during her visit to Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. More than 580,000 refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when Myanmar security forces began a scorched-earth campaign against Rohingya villages. Myanmar's government has said it was responding to attacks by Muslim insurgents, but the United Nations and others have said the response was disproportionate. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Queen Rania of Jordan, center, talks to a Rohingya Muslim baby, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Hundreds of hard-line Buddhists have protested to urge Myanmar's government not to repatriate the nearly 600,000 minority Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh since late August to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Jordan's Queen Rania meets with Rohingya refugees during her visit to the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on October 23, 2017. More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since violence erupted in northern Rakhine in August, a UN report said October 22. The grim new landmark comes as authorities in Bangladesh were bracing for another possible surge in Rohingya arrivals, with thousands from the Muslim minority believed to be stranded along the border waiting to cross. / AFP / TAUSEEF MUSTAFA
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Queen Rania of Jordan watches as a Rohingya Muslim girl, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, sings a song inside a school at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Hundreds of hard-line Buddhists have protested to urge Myanmar's government not to repatriate the nearly 600,000 minority Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh since late August to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Queen Rania of Jordan looks at drawing made by Rohingya Muslim children, who have crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, inside a school during her visit at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Hundreds of hard-line Buddhists have protested to urge Myanmar's government not to repatriate the nearly 600,000 minority Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh since late August to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Queen Rania of Jordan listens to a Bangladeshi official as she sits near a Rohingya Muslim family, who has crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, during her visit to Kutupalong refugee camp, in Bangladesh, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Nearly 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state since Aug. 25 to escape persecution that the United Nations has called ethnic cleansing. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Queen Rania of Jordan, speaks to media during her visit to Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. U.N. humanitarian officials, high-level government envoys and advocacy group leaders on Monday opened a one-day conference aimed at drumming up funds to help ethnic Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, as the influx from Myanmar has topped 600,000 since late August. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Queen Rania of Jordan talks to Rohingya Muslim women, who have crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, during her visit to Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. U.N. humanitarian officials, high-level government envoys and advocacy group leaders on Monday opened a one-day conference aimed at drumming up funds to help ethnic Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, as the influx from Myanmar has topped 600,000 since late August. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Updated 24 October 2017

Queen Rania demands justice for Rohingyas

COX’S BAZAR: Queen Rania of Jordan visited Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhia and Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh on Monday.
As a board member of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and an advocate of the work of UN humanitarian agencies, Queen Rania made the trip to highlight the urgent need for greater aid efforts in support of those displaced by violence and persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
“Jordan will always stand beside Rohingyas,” the queen said.
Her visit took place on the same day as the EU and Kuwait co-hosted a pledging conference for the Rohingya refugee crisis in Geneva, which aimed to raise $434 million, although a spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Vanessa Huguenin, said on Monday it had only reached 26 percent of that target.
Taking to local media after her visit, Queen Rania described the refugees’ accounts as “heartbreaking and harrowing,” and urged the international community in Geneva to give generously.
“It is clear to everybody that there is an urgent need to scale up the humanitarian response,” she said. “So, I urge (those) gathering today in Geneva to respond effectively, quickly and generously. It is unforgivable that this crisis is unfolding on the world stage to a largely indifferent audience.”
The queen continued, “One has to ask: Why is the plight of this Muslim minority group being ignored? Why has this systematic persecution been allowed to play out for so long? The world seems to be silent on what many are now acknowledging as an ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims
“I urge the UN and the international community to do all they can to stop the suffering and the violence that is being committed against the Rohingya Muslims. Not because it is our job to do so, but because that is what justice demands.”


Britain’s Johnson plays down Brexit breakthrough hopes

Updated 6 min 33 sec ago

Britain’s Johnson plays down Brexit breakthrough hopes

  • EU leaders will meet on Thursday and Friday for a summit held under the pressures of the October 31 Brexit deadline

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson played down hopes Sunday of a breakthrough in his last-ditch bid to strike an amicable divorce deal with the European Union.
Negotiators went behind closed doors for intensive talks in Brussels after Johnson outlined a new set of proposals to Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Thursday.
They have very little time left to succeed.
EU leaders will meet on Thursday and Friday for a summit held under the pressures of the October 31 Brexit deadline just two weeks away.
The 27 would ideally like to have a full proposal to vote on by then.
But the sides are trying to achieve in a few days what they had failed to in the more than three years since Britons first voted to leave the European Union after nearly 50 years.
Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier called the weekend negotiations “constructive” enough to keep going for another day.
“A lot of work remains to be done,” Barnier stressed in a statement to EU ambassadors.
“Discussions at technical level will continue (Monday).”
Downing Street said Johnson also told his cabinet to brace for a cliff-hanger finish.
He reiterated “that a pathway to a deal could be seen but that there is still a significant amount of work to get there and we must remain prepared to leave on October 31,” a Downing Street spokesman said.
Johnson rose to power in July on a promise not to extend Brexit for a third time this year — even for a few weeks.
Breaking that pledge could come back to haunt him in an early general election that most predict for the coming months.
Johnson is under parliamentary orders to seek a extension until January 31 of next year if no deal emerges by Saturday.
He has promised to both follow the law and get Britain out by October 31 — a contradiction that might end up being settled in court.
Outgoing EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker said British politics were getting more difficult to decipher than the riddle of an “Egyptian sphinx.”
“If the British ask for more time, which they probably will not, it would in my view be a historical nonsense to refuse them,” Juncker told Austria’s Kurier newspaper.
Ireland’s Varadkar hinted on Thursday that he could support the talks running on up to the October 31 deadline if a deal seemed within reach.
The few details that have leaked out suggest a compromise around the contentious Irish border issue Britain’s Northern Ireland partially aligned with EU customs rules.
Whether such a fudge suits both Brussels and the more ardent Brexit backers in parliament who must still approve a deal should become clearer by the end of the week.
Britain will only avoid a chaotic breakup with its closest trading partners if the agreement is also passed by the UK parliament — something it has failed to do three times.
Johnson heads a minority government and must rely on the full backing of not only his own fractured Conservatives but also Northern Ireland’s small Democratic Unionist Party.
DUP’s parliamentary leader Nigel Dodds warned Johnson that “Northern Ireland must remain entirely in the customs union of the United Kingdom” and not the EU.
“And Boris Johnson knows it very well,” Dodds told Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper.
The comments do not necessarily rule out DUP support.
UK media are presenting Johnson’s mooted compromise as a “double customs” plan that could be interpreted to mean that Northern Ireland is leaving EU rules.
Yet details are still under discussion and the prime minister’s allies are urging lawmakers to give the British leader a chance.
Main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn signalled Sunday that he would wait for the outcome of the EU summit before trying to force an early election.
But he added that there was “a strong possibility” that those polls would come before the Christmas break.