US’ Pompeo, Egypt FM urge calm in Libya amid Tripoli offensive

This image grab taken from a video published on the Facebook page of the War Information Division of Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army on May 26, 2019 shows fighters loyal to Haftar reportedly advancing on a road south of the capital Tripoli. (AFP/ LNA War Information Division)
Updated 28 May 2019

US’ Pompeo, Egypt FM urge calm in Libya amid Tripoli offensive

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the crisis in Libya during a phone call with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
  • Khalifa Haftar on a visit last week to France rejected a cease-fire urged by President Emmanuel Macron

WASHINGTON: The United States and Egypt, a key backer of Libyan militia leader Khalifa Haftar, on Tuesday called for calm as the strongman pressed ahead in his offensive on Tripoli.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the crisis in Libya during a phone call with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, the State Department said.
The two discussed “the urgent need to achieve a political solution in Libya and prevent further escalation,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
Haftar is pressing ahead against the internationally backed government in Tripoli in fighting that has left 510 dead and driven more than 75,000 people from their homes, according to World Health Organization figures.
Haftar on a visit last week to France rejected a cease-fire urged by President Emmanuel Macron.
In an interview with the Journal de Dimanche newspaper, Haftar said he would continue the operation until “private militias and extremist groups,” who he alleged were gaining influence under Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj laid down their weapons.


Over 3 million virus cases reported in Mideast

Labourers, wearing protective face masks, disinfect the front of restaurant in Dubai's marina on March 16, 2020. (AFP)
Updated 31 October 2020

Over 3 million virus cases reported in Mideast

  • Labourers, wearing protective face masks, disinfect the front of restaurant in Dubai's marina on March 16, 2020

DUBAI: The number of reported coronavirus cases has gone over 3 million in the Middle East, an Associated Press count showed on Friday, with the true number likely even higher.
Across the Mideast, there have been over 75,000 deaths attributed to the virus by health authorities, the AP count relying on reported figures by individual countries shows.
There have been 2.5 million recoveries from the virus causing the COVID-19 illness.
In the Mideast, the hardest-hit nation remains Iran, which served as the initial epicenter of the virus in the region. In Iran alone, authorities say there have been over 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with some 477,000 recoveries and 34,000 deaths. Yet even those numbers are believed to be low, Iranian officials say.

NUMBER

Deaths have been reported in the Middle East region due to the coronavirus, according to health authorities.

In some war-torn nations, it remains difficult to know the scope of the pandemic as well. In Yemen for instance, it’s believed that the vast majority of the country’s cases have gone undiagnosed and untreated, and health workers have said only those who are near death are usually brought to hospitals.