PM Abadi leading Iraq election, Sadr strong

Iraqi electoral commission employees examine electronic counting machine print-outs. (AFP)
Updated 13 May 2018

PM Abadi leading Iraq election, Sadr strong

  • Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s list appears to be leading in Iraq’s parliamentary election followed by influential Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr’s alliance
  • Iraqis voted on Saturday in the first election since the defeat of Daesh militants inside the country

BAGHDAD: Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s list appears to be leading in Iraq’s parliamentary election followed by influential Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr’s alliance, an election commission source and a security official said.

Abadi won 60 seats and Al-Sadr's coalition has 51, out of the total votes counted so far.
The sources cited unofficial initial results.
Iraqis voted on Saturday in the first election since the defeat of Daesh militants inside the country. Final results are expected on Monday.
Turnout was low at around 45 percent, according to the election commission.
Abadi, a rare ally of both the United States and Iran, was mainly concerned with fending off Shiite groups other than Sadr’s alliance, which are seeking to pull the country closer to Tehran.
Unofficial results compiled by Reuters reporters in southern provinces also indicated that Sadr, a firebrand cleric who led a violent uprising against US troops from 2003-2011, appeared to be making a strong showing.
If the Sadr list finished second, that would mark a surprise comeback by the cleric. He is popular among the poor but has been sidelined by influential Iranian-backed figures.


Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

Updated 29 October 2020

Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

  • A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”

BEIRUT: Lebanese negotiators laid out their claim to maritime territory on Wednesday as they began a second round of talks with Israel over their disputed sea border.
The contested zone in the Mediterranean is an estimated 860 square kilometers known as Block 9, which is rich in oil and gas. Future negotiations will also tackle the countries’ land border.
Wednesday’s meeting took place at the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) amid tight security. An assistant of the UN special coordinator for Lebanon chaired the session, and the US Ambassador to Algeria, John Desrocher, was the mediator.
A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”
The Lebanese delegation produced maps and documents to support their claim to the disputed waters.
In indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel in 2012, US diplomat Frederick Hoff proposed “a middle line for the maritime borders, whereby Lebanon would get 58 percent of the disputed area and Israel would be given the remaining 42 percent, which translates to 500 square kilometers for Lebanon and 300 square kilometers for Israel.”
On the eve of Wednesday’s meeting, Lebanese and Israeli officials met to discuss a framework to resolve the conflict through the implementation of UN Resolution 1701.
UNIFIL Commander Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col praised the “constructive role that both parties played in calming tensions along the Blue Line” and stressed the necessity of “taking proactive measures and making a change in the prevailing dynamics regarding tension and escalation.”