UAE ministry of international affairs launches online service for expat visa holders abroad

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Updated 22 March 2020

UAE ministry of international affairs launches online service for expat visa holders abroad

  • The government had previously imposed a ban on all non-Emirati nationals from returning to the country
  • The UAE shut beaches, parks, pools, cinemas and gyms from Sunday for two weeks

DUBAI: The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation launched a new online service for expats with valid visas, who are currently abroad, state news agency WAM reported on Saturday.

The government had previously imposed a ban on all non-Emirati nationals from returning to the country.

The new “Tawajudi” service helps residents return safely to the UAE during emergency situations.

Residents who are currently abroad can register for the service on MoFAIC’s website to enable a channel of communication.

The UAE shut beaches, parks, pools, cinemas and gyms from Sunday for two weeks over coronavirus concerns, Emirates News Agency said on Saturday.

Restaurants and cafes will be allowed to operate for the same period at 20% of capacity, and as long as customers are at least two metres apart, and for delivery services, subject to review, the Supreme Council for National Security announced.

The UAE reported the first deaths due to the coronavirus in the country on Friday.

The victims were two men - a 78-year old Arab and a 58-year-old Asian, the health ministry said.


‘Provocative’ Erdogan to drill for oil off Libya

Updated 31 May 2020

‘Provocative’ Erdogan to drill for oil off Libya

  • Turkey claims an agreement gives it the right to explore for oil and gas in an exclusive economic zone

JEDDAH: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to create a “fait accompli” over rights to natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean by drilling off the coast of Libya, analysts told Arab News on Saturday.

Ankara’s announcement that it intends to activate last year’s maritime borders agreement with the Libyan government in Tripoli has brought simmering tensions to the boil.   

Turkey claims the agreement gives it the right to explore for oil and gas in an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between its southern coast and Libya’s northeastern coast. However, Greece, Cyprus and the EU say the deal is illegal. Turkey may also face EU sanctions over drilling in Cypriot territorial waters.

Ankara has not said exactly where it will drill, but experts told Arab News they expect exploration activities to begin off Tripoli in the short term, and then near to the coastal city of Sirte.

“From a tactical point of view, Turkey may test the scenario of a crisis with Athens where escalation takes place and then, in the context of de-escalation, the two countries would have to discuss and negotiate their positions,” said Zenonas Tziarras, a researcher at PRIO Cyprus Centre.

Mona Sukkarieh, a political risk consultant and co-founder of Middle East Strategic Perspectives, said: “If we take Turkish operations off the Cypriot coast as an indicator, operations off the Libyan coast might start off on the less provocative part of the spectrum and grow bolder with time toward the more provocative part of the spectrum.

“The objective is to demonstrate a resolute determination in order to extract concessions or, at the very least, to impose itself as a player to reckon with.”