Prince Charles wishes Muslims in UK, around the world Ramadan Kareem in virtual Iftar

“I can only begin to imagine of desperately difficult and sad this must be for all of you who cherish this special month and everything it normally brings,” the Prince of Wales said. (Screenshot)
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Updated 24 April 2020

Prince Charles wishes Muslims in UK, around the world Ramadan Kareem in virtual Iftar

  • The virtual Iftar was hosted by BBC presenter Asad Ahmad and Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration at The Prince’s Trust Dr. Nizam Uddin, it was also sponsored by Islamic Relief UK
  • The Muslim world celebrated the first day of Ramadan on Friday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

LONDON: The UK's Prince Charles wished Muslims in the UK and across the world a Ramadan Kareem in a virtual Iftar on Friday. 

“In different circumstances, this would have been a joyous time of year mosques would be filling with life, families would be coming together to share food and prayers and many of them would be inviting their neighbors and friends, from all faiths and none, to join them,” the Prince of Wales said in a pre-recorded video broadcast.

“I can only begin to imagine how desperately difficult and sad this must be for all of you who cherish this special month and everything it normally brings,” he said, adding: “What has moved me greatly has been hearing all the brilliant work carried out by Muslim volunteers and local initiatives through mosques including working in partnership with temples, churches and other faith groups to support all members of all communities in such a difficult times.”

Prince Charles said: “Many British Muslims will spend this Ramadan on the frontline of the COVID crisis, working in our NHS or other key roles, most tragically I know that a number of highly experienced and invaluable doctors and nurses form the Muslim community have lost their lives due to this pernicious virus. To their families and colleagues, I can only convey my deepest possible sympathy, and to everyone on the frontline of whatever religions, I offer my profound admiration and heartfelt gratitude for all that they are doing for all of us.”

The virtual Iftar was hosted by BBC presenter Asad Ahmad and Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration at The Prince’s Trust Dr. Nizam Uddin. It was also sponsored by Islamic Relief UK.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock sent a video message thanking everyone who was participating virtually and thus helping protect NHS and save lives, he also thanked all British Muslims on the frontline of the crisis response.

US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson also sent a message stating how Ramadan brings people closer together.

The Muslim world celebrated the first day of Ramadan on Friday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The total number of positive cases in the UK is 143,464 while the death toll is just under 20,000.


France backs calls for EU sanctions on Turkey

Updated 19 September 2020

France backs calls for EU sanctions on Turkey

  • Cypriot officials insist the EU shouldn’t set a ‘double standard’ by imposing sanctions against Belarus for alleged voter fraud while avoiding doing so when Turkey carries on its exploration at the expense of EU members

JEDDAH: France on Friday backed Cyprus’ calls for the EU to consider imposing tougher sanctions on Turkey if the Turkish government won’t suspend its search for energy reserves in eastern Mediterranean waters where Cyprus and Greece claim exclusive economic rights.

French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune said sanctions should be among the options the 27-member bloc considers employing if Turkey continues to “endanger the security and sovereignty of a member state.”

“But we consider that the union should also be ready to use all the instruments at its disposal, among them one of sanctions, if the situation didn’t evolve positively,” Beaune said after talks with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia.

A European Parliament resolution has called for sanctions against Turkey unless it showed “sincere cooperation and concrete progress” in defusing tensions with Greece and Cyprus.

Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador to Turkey and now analyst at Carnegie Europe, said the resolution reflected the views of a democratically elected parliament from across the bloc. “This is not ‘country X against country Y,’ it is the aggregated view of the European Parliament,” he told Arab News.

EU leaders are set to hold a summit in a few days to discuss how to respond to Turkey prospecting in areas of the sea that Greece and Cyprus insist are only theirs to explore.

Turkey triggered a naval stand-off with NATO ally Greece after dispatching a warship-escorted research vessel in a part of the eastern Mediterranean that Greece says is over its continental shelf. Greece deployed its own warship and naval patrols in response.

Greek and Turkish military officers are also holding talks at NATO headquarters to work out ways of ensuring that any standoff at sea doesn’t descend into open conflict.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Turkey’s withdrawal of its survey ship and warship escorts was a positive step, but that Greece needs to make sure Ankara is sincere.

He said a list of sanctions will be put before EU leaders at next week’s summit and whether they’ll be implemented will depend on Turkey’s actions. “I’m hoping that it won’t become necessary to reach that point,” Dendias said.

Cypriot officials insist the EU shouldn’t set a “double standard” by imposing sanctions against Belarus for alleged voter fraud and police brutality while avoiding doing so when Turkey carries on its exploration at the expense of EU members.

Meanwhile, the EU is set to announce sanctions on Monday against three companies from Turkey, Jordan and Kazakhstan which are accused of violating a UN arms embargo on Libya, diplomats told AFP.