Turkey thanks Qatar for supporting Syria invasion

Turkey's invasion of northern Syria has been widely condemned both by Arab countries and in the West. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 03 November 2019

Turkey thanks Qatar for supporting Syria invasion

  • Doha acted in defiance of the Arab League last month when it voiced support for the Turkish operation
  • Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu personally thanked Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim for supporting the invasion

LONDON: Turkey on Sunday thanked Qatar for supporting a widely-condemned invasion of northern Syria.

Doha acted in defiance of the Arab League last month when it voiced support for the Turkish operation against Kurdish forces in north-east Syria.

Other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, condemned Turkey’s “aggression” as a threat to regional peace and security and a violation of Syria’s sovereignty.

The operation, which came after Donald Trump withdrew US troops from the region, was also denounced by European countries and aid groups.

Qatar however defended Turkey, saying Operation Peace Spring was in response to an “imminent threat” from Kurdish groups. One of the few other voices of support came from the hardline Palestinian militant group Hamas.

On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu personally thanked Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim for supporting the operation during a meeting in Doha. In a tweet he described Qatar as a “brotherly” nation and conveyed the greetings of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

Turkey and Qatar have grown closer since Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain launched a boycott of Qatar over its links to extremist groups and cooperation with Iran. Ankara boosted its military presence in Qatar and as Doha promised support for Turkey’s economy.

The Turkish operation was launched on Oct. 9 to push back from its border Kurdish fighters, who it considers terrorists for their links to decades of insurgency inside Turkey.

A truce deal signed last week between Ankara and Moscow demanded Kurdish fighters withdraw from the border, handing the Turks a 120 kilometer-long stretch of Syrian territory.

The deal includes joint Russian-Turkish patrols along other parts of the frontier that started on Friday.

 


Lebanese women march in Beirut against sexual harassment

Updated 07 December 2019

Lebanese women march in Beirut against sexual harassment

  • Protesters call for law allowing Lebanese women married to foreigners to pass their citizenship to their husbands and children
  • Women also protest against sexual harassment and bullying

BEIRUT: Scores of women marched through the streets of Beirut on Saturday to protest against sexual harassment and bullying and demanding rights including the passing of citizenship to children of Lebanese women married to foreigners.
The march started outside the American University of Beirut, west of the capital, and ended in a downtown square that has been witnessing daily protests for more than seven weeks.
Nationwide demonstrations in Lebanon broke out Oct. 17 against proposed taxes on WhatsApp calls turned into a condemnation of the country’s political elite, who have run the country since the 1975-90 civil war. The government resigned in late October, meeting a key demand of the protesters.
“We want to send a message against sexual harassment. They say that the revolution is a woman, therefore, if there is a revolution, women must be part of it,” said protester Berna Dao. “Women are being raped, their right is being usurped, and they are not able to pass their citizenship.”
Activists have been campaigning for years so that parliament drafts a law that allows Lebanese women married to foreigners pass their citizenship to their husbands and children.
Earlier this year, Raya Al-Hassan became the first woman in the Arab world to take the post of interior minister. The outgoing Cabinet has four women ministers, the highest in the country in decades.
Lebanon is passing through a crippling economic and financial crisis that has worsened since the protests began.
During the women’s protest in Riad Solh Square, a man set himself on fire before people nearby extinguished the flames. His motivation was not immediately clear and an ambulance came shortly afterward and evacuated him.
Also on Saturday, outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri appealed to more countries to help Lebanon in its crisis to import essential goods. The request made in a letter to the leaders of Germany, Spain and Britain, came a day after Hariri sent similar letters to other countries including Saudi Arabia, US, Russia and China.