UAE, Germany vow to continue joint fight against terrorism and extremism

The joint UAE-German statement was released on the occasion of the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan to Germany, where he met Angela Merkel. (SPA)
Updated 12 June 2019

UAE, Germany vow to continue joint fight against terrorism and extremism

  • During his visit, Sheikh Mohamed met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • UAE and Germany both expressed concern about growing tensions in the Middle East

BERLIN: The UAE and Germany vowed to continue their fight against terrorism and violent extremism — in all its forms, at both regional and international levels — in a joint statement released on Wednesday.
The statement was released on the occasion of the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan to Germany.
During his visit, Sheikh Mohamed met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In the statement, the UAE and Germany both expressed concern about growing tensions in the Middle East and both called on Iran to play a “constructive role” in the region and “refrain from any escalatory steps,” as well as respecting sovereignty and non-interference in the affairs of other countries.
The UAE and Germany agreed on the importance of all parties in the region refraining from any actions that could escalate existing tensions.
The two countries discussed the situation in Yemen and their support for the ongoing efforts by UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths. They also agreed that a military solution would not work in both Syria and Libya, calling the Syrian conflict a “priority for the international community as a whole” and the need for a “political solution” in Libya.
The close political, social and economic ties between the two countries were also discussed during the crown prince’s visit.


Jordan announces smoking crackdown in coronavirus fight

Updated 02 July 2020

Jordan announces smoking crackdown in coronavirus fight

  • Jordan has one of the world’s highest smoking rates
  • The kingdom introduced a cigarette ban in public places in 2008

AMMAN: Jordan has extended a ban on cigarettes in closed public spaces to all forms of smoking, citing the fight against COVID-19 in a country with one of the world’s highest smoking rates.
“In order to protect the health and safety of citizens, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, smoking of all forms (cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and shisha) is banned in closed public places,” the health ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The World Health Organization has long ranked Jordan’s 10 million inhabitants among the world’s biggest smokers.
The Guardian last month published figures showing that the kingdom had surpassed Indonesia to have the highest smoking rates in the world, with more than eight out of 10 men regularly smoking or otherwise consuming nicotine.
Citing the WHO, the health ministry said that “smokers and passive smokers are more vulnerable to being infected by COVID-19, with stronger symptoms.”
Jordan has registered 1,133 cases of the COVID-19 illness, including nine deaths.
The kingdom introduced a cigarette ban in public places in 2008, but the new regulations cover electronic cigarettes and shisha waterpipes popular in the region.
However they only apply in “fully closed” public areas.
“The decision doesn’t bother me much because I don’t smoke arghileh (shisha) in closed places,” said waterpipe enthusiast Khaled Al-Shamhuri.
“The smoking ban in public places is old but wasn’t enforced.”
Coffee shop employee Hassan Al-Shadfan said the new rules would “negatively affect us.”
“The cafe is a closed space and most clients don’t just come to eat or drink tea and coffee, most smoke arghileh,” he said.
But Ahmad Rubbaa, owner of a cafeteria selling cigarettes, was less concerned.
“A smoker is a smoker wherever they are, no law can stop them,” he said.
“I don’t think this will affect tobacco sales.”