Jordan’s king raises Palestine’s plight in talks with Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, welcomes Jordan’s King Abdullah at the Elysee Palace. (AP)
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Updated 17 January 2020

Jordan’s king raises Palestine’s plight in talks with Macron

  • Both leaders also highlighted the need for de-escalation in the conflict between Iran and the US

PARIS: France is committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, French President Emmanuel Macron told Jordan’s King Abdullah during talks between the two leaders at the Elysee Palace.

Macron’s comments came a week before he is due to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Discussions between the French leader and King Abdullah centered on the Israeli-Palestinian question, the plight of Syrian refugees in Jordan and the country’s struggling economy.

Both leaders also highlighted the need for de-escalation in the conflict between Iran and the US, diplomatic sources told Arab News.

King Abdullah said that a political solution to the Syrian conflict is needed urgently.

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Discussions between the French leader and King Abdullah centered on the Israeli-Palestinian question, the plight of Syrian refugees in Jordan and the country’s struggling economy.

Without an agreement on safe, voluntary repatriation, Jordan cannot put pressure on Syrian refugees to return to their country, he told Macron.

Since 2018 the number of Syrian refugees returning home had dwindled, he said, with 90 percent now living outside camps in cities and regional areas.

The Jordanian leader has called for international efforts to ensure refugees’ voluntary and safe return to their homeland, and is appealing to France to lead a European push for this solution.

King Abdullah urged France — Jordan’s biggest investor outside the Arab League — to increase investment in the country, saying that although its political and security situation is stable, the struggling economy “could lead to a crisis.” 

The two leaders agreed on the need for de-escalation between the US and Iran, both in public comments and on the ground, and also called for a consensus Iraqi government that will “protect the country, its unity and sovereignty.”

The Jordanian leader told Macron that the “fragile situation” in Lebanon must be addressed and a consensus government established as quickly as possible.


UAE issues reactor license for first Arab nuclear power plant

Updated 17 February 2020

UAE issues reactor license for first Arab nuclear power plant

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates has issued an operating license for the first reactor at the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant, a senior official at the nuclear regulator said on Monday, paving the way for it to start production later this year.

The Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi, which is being built by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), was originally due to open in 2017, but the start-up of its first reactor has been delayed several times.

The license granted to the plant’s operator Nawah Energy Company will be for 60 years, Hamad Al-Kaabi, deputy chairman of Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) told a news conference.

Nawah can now start preparing for commercial operations as trials will last for a few months, Kaabi said.

When completed Barakah will have four reactors with a total capacity of 5,600 megawatts (MW).

“Today marks a new chapter in our journey for the development of peaceful nuclear energy with the issuing of the operating license for the first (unit of) Barakah plant,” Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on his official twitter account.

Kaabi said that construction of the second reactor was “95% finished” and that FANR has started looking into an operating license for it.

Last month, state news agency WAM reported that an operational readiness assessment performed by the Atlanta Center of the World Association of Nuclear Operators concluded that the first of the four planned reactors was fit for its start-up phase.