UN chief calls for end to hostilities between Turkey and Syria in Idlib

UN chief calls for end to hostilities between Turkey and Syria in Idlib
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an end to fighting between Turkey and Syria in Idlib. (AFP)
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Updated 04 February 2020

UN chief calls for end to hostilities between Turkey and Syria in Idlib

UN chief calls for end to hostilities between Turkey and Syria in Idlib
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: My strong appeal is for a cessation of hostilities
  • Guterres: We don’t believe there is a military solution for the conflict in Syria. We have said time and time again that the solution is political

UNITED NATIONS, United States: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Tuesday for an end to fighting between Turkey and Syria in Syria’s opposition-held province of Idlib on Tuesday.
Guterres told reporters it was an “extremely worrying” escalation in the conflict that the Turkish army and the Syrian army were now “bombing each other” in the restive northwest region.
“My strong appeal is for a cessation of hostilities,” he said.
“We don’t believe there is a military solution for the conflict in Syria. We have said time and time again that the solution is political,” Guterres added.
On Monday, the Turkish and Syrian armies engaged in their deadliest clashes since Ankara sent troops to Syria in 2016.
Regime shelling of Turkish positions in Idlib killed at least five Turkish soldiers and three civilians, Ankara said.
Retaliatory fire from Turkey killed at least 13 Syrian government troops, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The incident further tested the uneasy coordination between Russia and Turkey — the two main foreign brokers in the Syrian conflict.
Russian-backed Syrian government forces and militia have retaken dozens of villages in the last rebel enclave in recent weeks, pushing displaced populations ever closer to the Turkish border.
On Tuesday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would not allow Syrian forces to gain further ground.


UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships
Updated 19 January 2021

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships
  • The two ministers also discussed the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Both sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areasboth sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areas

DUBAI: The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and ways of ensuring security and stability in the region with his Cypriot counterpart on Monday,.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan reviewed the prospects of advancing relations with Cyprus in a meeting in Abu Dhabi with Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
The two ministers also discussed the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of enhancing international cooperation to ensure fair and equitable access to the vaccine for every country in the world.
Christodoulides praised the UAE’s significant overall efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the efficiency of its adopted measures in mitigating the economic and social effects of the crisis.
During his visit to the UAE, the Cypriot minister also met with the Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), Saqr Ghobash, accompanied with the Ambassador of Cyprus to the UAE, Yannis Michaelides.
During the meeting, both sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areas.
Ghobash said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on their parliamentary cooperation is required, in addition to reinforcing the role of joint parliamentary friendship committees.
A parliamentary friendship committee between the two countries will hold a meeting in the first quarter of 2021, Ghobash said, and stressed the importance of improving their coordination during global parliamentary events.
Christodoulides said that the UAE was a leading regional and international stature, noting that it is a strategic partner of his country.
He also conveyed the invitation of the President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus to Ghobash to visit Cyprus as head of a parliamentary delegation, to discuss ways of reinforcing their parliamentary ties.