Arab League chief calls for avoidance of escalation in northwest Syria

Displaced Syrians sit in the back of a truck loaded with belongings, passing through the town of Hazano in Idlib, on Feb. 5, 2020, as people flee an ongoing pro-regime offensive. (AFP)
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Updated 05 February 2020

Arab League chief calls for avoidance of escalation in northwest Syria

LONDON: The secretary-general of the Arab League expressed his deep concern about the military escalation in northwest Syria on Wednesday and called on all parties to “avoid slipping into armed confrontations that increase the suffering of civilians.”
Ahmed Aboul Gheit added that although terrorist threats in some areas of Idlib should be dealt with, care should be taken to avoid targeting civilians and hospitals.
Aboul Gheit also said that the Arab League continues to warn against Turkish intervention in Syria which has contributed to the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the increase in the number of displaced people.
Russian-backed Syrian regime forces on Wednesday pressed on with their offensive in Idlib, where they have seized more than 20 towns and villages from rebels and extremists over the past 24 hours, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and state news agency SANA.
Intensive aerial bombardment and ground fighting in the Idlib region since December have killed almost 300 civilians and triggered one of the largest waves of displacement in the nine-year war.
The United Nations and aid groups have condemned the escalation and called for an end to hostilities in a region that is home to three million people, half of them already displaced from other parts of Syria.


Sudan calls on UN to urge Ethiopia, Egypt not to take unilateral measures on Renaissance Dam

Updated 10 min 50 sec ago

Sudan calls on UN to urge Ethiopia, Egypt not to take unilateral measures on Renaissance Dam

  • Sudan is arranging to continue its bilateral meetings with the Egyptian and Ethiopian ministers to start negotiations

DUBAI: Sudan called on the United Nations Security Council to urge Ethiopia and Egypt to refrain from taking any unilateral measures regarding the Renaissance Dam, the state news agency SUNA reported on Wednesday. 
The Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Yasser Abbas, said the memorandum submitted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Asma Abdalla, to the Security Council was a statement of “Sudan’s inherent right to this important file.” 
Abbas said the letter asked the Security Council to urge all parties to refrain from taking any unilateral measures that may affect regional and international peace and security.
He said Sudan was arranging to continue its bilateral meetings with the Egyptian and Ethiopian ministers to start negotiations on the Renaissance Dam, which has been stalled since last February.
He said the video conference meetings would be held with each delegation separately. 
In the letter sent to the Security Council, Abdalla said Sudan was keen to resume the tripartite Renaissance Dam negotiations with Egypt and Ethiopia.
Abdalla, who became Sudan’s first female Minister of Foreign Affairs last year in the transitional cabinet of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, said her country was ready “to reach a comprehensive and satisfactory settlement.”