Tunisian army clashes with militants north-west of the country

Tunisian soldiers sit on a truck as they monitor the area of the Bouchoucha army barrack. (AFP)
Updated 07 April 2018

Tunisian army clashes with militants north-west of the country

DUBAI: A Tunisian military squad clashed with militants in the mountains of the north-western province of El Kef, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.
A statement issued by the Tunisian Ministry of Defence said that ground and air military units were combing the area and tracking militants on Friday.
The ministry pointed out that during the operation, a Kalashnikov cache was stored with ammunition, hand-made landmines, various equipment for the manufacture of mines, a bayonet as well as food.


Palestinian leaders ‘open to talks with Israel via Moscow’

Updated 52 min 37 sec ago

Palestinian leaders ‘open to talks with Israel via Moscow’

  • We trust President Putin to help stop annexation of parts of occupied West Bank, foreign minister says

AMMAN: Palestinian leaders would be open to a resumption of talks with Israel if they were brokered by Russia, Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said on Tuesday.

“We trust President Vladimir Putin and are sure that such a meeting would bear fruit, and succeed in getting us back to the talks, as well as stopping the Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank,” he said.

Al-Maliki said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had twice derailed Russian plans to hold discussions in Moscow. “Palestine is willing to have talks with Israel via video conferencing and under Russian auspices,” he said. “The Palestinian side will look into the idea if Russia felt it was feasible,” he said.

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Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group, told Arab News that Moscow had been engaging separately with both the White House and Ramallah about stopping or postponing Israel’s controversial annexation plans, which Netanyahu has threatened to implement on July 1.

“The sticking point appears to be around whether Trump’s plan … has to be at the center of the discussions. It is not enough to agree on the channel of the talks, be it Russia or another one. The substance of the talks is important.”

Zalzberg said opponents of annexation were waiting for Palestinian leaders to propose their own peace plan and agenda for talks, and were frustrated that neither was forthcoming.

Efforts are also underway for Israel’s new defense and foreign ministers to meet key Arab leaders including King Abdullah of Jordan, to persuade them that annexation would damage the chances of peace.