UAE ambassador to India stresses need for peace in region 

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The UAE Ambassador to India, Dr. Ahmed Albanna, addressing the event titled "India-UAE Flourishing Relationship" on Monday. (Courtesy: UAE Embassy in New Delhi)
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The UAE Ambassador to India, Dr. Ahmed Albanna, addressing the event titled "India-UAE Flourishing Relationship" on Monday. (Courtesy: UAE Embassy in New Delhi)
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The UAE Ambassador to India, Dr. Ahmed Albanna, addressing the event titled "India-UAE Flourishing Relationship" on Monday. (Courtesy: UAE Embassy in New Delhi)
Updated 19 March 2019

UAE ambassador to India stresses need for peace in region 

  • Emirati envoy hails nation’s key role in calming recent Pakistani-Indian tensions
  • Strategic trade partnership helps strengthen bond between UAE and India 

NEW DELHI: Students have been urged to spread the message of tolerance in the region during a high-profile meeting with a top diplomat.
The UAE Ambassador to India, Dr. Ahmed Al-Banna, on Monday stressed the importance of creating an atmosphere for peace during a major outreach program in New Delhi.
“The UAE has had a long-standing role in preventing and fighting acts of terrorism and radical organizations,” Al-Banna told journalists at the event. “We work very closely with all our partners from different countries in the region to make the region peaceful so that we can live together.”
The Emirati envoy was speaking at the first outreach session of its kind, being staged at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, where students from the leading engineering establishment asked a range of questions relating to the region and the world.
Al-Banna said that the UAE was a strong believer in “tolerance and acceptance,” and he highlighted the “important” role played by his country in easing a recent flare-up of military tensions between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir province.
“On the day of the huge escalation, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed had a phone conversation with (Indian) Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Our role was to sort out differences between the two sides in a peaceful manner through negotiation,” the UAE envoy added.
However, Al-Banna’s comment came as New Delhi denied any third-party involvement in helping to de-escalate the situation in the region.
The ambassador went on to highlight the growing ties between the UAE and India since the 1970s. “Both countries have accelerated their relationship to transform it from what used to be a buyer-seller relationship into a strategic partnership,” he said.
The value of trade between India and the UAE currently stands at around $50 billion, making India the UAE’s second-largest trading partner. The UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner after China and the US.
The Indian population in the UAE is 3.3 million, making it the largest concentration of Indian nationals outside of the South Asian country.
Last year the UAE declared 2019 the “year of tolerance” to strengthen the nation’s role of encouraging stability and prosperity in the region.
 


Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

Updated 10 July 2020

Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

  • Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018
  • Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s attorney general said Friday that two men had confessed to killing a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group as part of a plot to topple Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018.
His shooting death last week sparked days of protests and ethnic violence that killed 239 people, according to police figures.
“The assassination was intended to be a cover to take power from the incumbent by force,” attorney general Abebech Abbebe said in a statement Friday aired on state television, without providing details.
Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office, a complaint echoed by many protesters last week.
Abebech said that along with the two men who have allegedly confessed to the crime, the government has identified a third suspect who remains on the run.
One of the men in custody identified the masterminds of the alleged plot as members of a rebel group the government believes is affiliated with the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) political party, Abebech said.
The OLF, a former rebel movement, returned to Ethiopia from exile after Abiy took office and has repeatedly disavowed any links to armed insurgents.
The Internet remained shut off Friday for an 11th consecutive day, though Addis Ababa remains calm and Abiy’s office issued a statement saying the surrounding Oromia region had “returned to calm and citizens have resumed normal activities.”
In her statement, however, Abebech said unnamed agitators were calling for additional protests and road blockages in the coming days.
“There are those that have hidden themselves in nice places but are calling on Ethiopian youth to fight each other, close roads and to cease working as part of a rebellion call,” Abebech said.
“Above all we call on our people to disobey this rebellion call and to thwart it.”