Merkel meets Palestinians’ Abbas for talks in Berlin

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas address a statement before talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on August 29, 2019. (AFP)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, shake hands after a joint statement prior to a meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas address a statement before talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on August 29, 2019. (AFP)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas arrive to address journalists before talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on August 29, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 29 August 2019

Merkel meets Palestinians’ Abbas for talks in Berlin

  • Merkel stressed her support for a two-state solution ahead of talks Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
  • Germany is one of the biggest donors to the Palestinians having given them some 110 million euros ($121.8 million) in 2018

BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany continues to believe a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinian is the only way for both peoples “to live in peace and security.”
Merkel stressed her support for a two-state solution ahead of talks Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Chancellery in Berlin.
Abbas said, “we appreciate Chancellor Merkel’s efforts to create multilateral cooperation aside from unilateral solutions to create stability and peace in the world.”
He stressed the importance of Germany’s role in the Middle East and thanked the country for its financial support for Palestinians’ health services, education and the strengthening of civil society.
Germany is one of the biggest donors to the Palestinians having given them some 110 million euros ($121.8 million) in 2018.


FBI: Saudi shooter believed to have acted alone in US Navy base attack

Updated 09 December 2019

FBI: Saudi shooter believed to have acted alone in US Navy base attack

  • Special agent Rachel Rojas thanked Saudi Arabia for its cooperation in the investigation
  • Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani was shot dead after he opened fire and killed three people at the base in Florida

PENSACOLA: Investigators believe a Saudi Air Force lieutenant acted alone on Friday when he killed three people and wounded eight at a US Navy base in Pensacola, Florida before being fatally shot by police, the FBI said on Sunday.
Rachel Rojas, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville office, said the shooter used a Glock model 45 9mm handgun that he had purchased legally in Florida.
“We currently assess there was one gunman who perpetrated this attack and no arrests have been made in this case,” Rojas, the lead investigator on the case, said at a news conference.
“We are looking very hard at uncovering his motive and I would ask for patience so we can get this right,” she said.
Authorities confirmed the suspect was a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force who was on the base as part of a US Navy training program designed to foster links with foreign allies.
The FBI identified him as Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, 21.
A sheriff’s deputy fatally shot the gunman, authorities said, ending the second deadly attack at a US military base within a week. Within hours, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman had called US President Donald Trump to extend his condolences and pledge the Kingdom’s support in the investigation.
Rojas said there were several Saudi students who were close to the shooter and are cooperating with investigators.
“Their Saudi commanding officer has restricted them to base, and the Saudi government has pledged to fully cooperate with our investigation,” she said. “I thank the kingdom for their pledge of full and complete cooperation.”

Meanwhile, a second victim was identified as Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, of St. Petersburg, Florida, who joined the Navy after graduating from high school last year, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Haitham's mother, Evelyn Brady, herself a Navy veteran, said the commander of her son's school called her and told her Haitham had tried to stop the shooter.