Arab countries in global brotherhood amid coronavirus pandemic

Arab countries in global brotherhood amid coronavirus pandemic
Bosnian airport workers unload cargo from a Boeing 747-400 airplane owned by the United Arab Emirates government after it landed at Sarajevo International Airport, on May 27, 2020, carrying a donation of 20 tons of medical equipment and protective gear, donated to Bosnia and Herzegovina by the UAE's prime minister to aid in fighting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. (File/AFP)
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Updated 14 June 2020

Arab countries in global brotherhood amid coronavirus pandemic

Arab countries in global brotherhood amid coronavirus pandemic
  • Saudi Arabia has sent medical supplies to Syrian refugees in Jordan
  • The UAE has dispatched 9 metric tons of medical aid and 10,000 testing kits to Costa Rica

DUBAI: Arab countries are lending a helping hand as far as the Caribbean to help countries deal with coronavirus outbreaks through the timely delivery of medical aid.

Saudi Arabia has sent medical supplies to Syrian refugees in Jordan to help them prevent further spread of the easily transmitted virus, state news agency SPA reported. A week earlier, clinics received over 6,437 patients who were assisted with the necessary medications provided by the Kingdom.

The UAE, meanwhile, has dispatched 9 metric tons of medical aid and 10,000 testing kits to Costa Rica to help the country in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak, state news agency WAM reported. The aid is said to assist about 9,000 medical professionals.

Saturday, June 13, 2020 (All times in GMT)

20:00 - France reported on Saturday 24 new coronavirus deaths over the previous 24 hours, taking the total to 29,398 and marking the fourth day with under 30 fatalities.

The government also reported the number of people in hospital fell by 215 to 10,909 and those in intensive care units fell by eight to 871, with both tallies continuing weeks-long downtrends.

19:40 - Egypt announced 1,677 new cases of COVID-19 and 62 more deaths from the disease on Saturday. 

18:00 - The number of new coronavirus cases in Turkey rose to 1,459 in the last 24 hours from 1,195 a day earlier, Health Ministry data showed on Saturday, increasing after travel restrictions were lifted and facilities reopened at the start of the month.

The daily number of cases had previously been below 1,000 since late May. In the last 24 hours, 14 people died, bringing total fatalities to 4,792, the ministry data showed.

There have been a total 176,677 cases of COVID-19 in Turkey.

17:15 - The French praised the altruism of their prized textile and luxury goods companies when production facilities got diverted from churning out the latest fashions to making cloth masks designed to protect the general public from the coronavirus.

Now, the companies that helped France avoid a feared shortage of virus-filtering face wear for everyday use say they need help unloading a surplus of 20 million masks. They asked the French government for assistance promoting and finding buyers for the unsold output of the industry's national effort.

15:30 - Pakistan’s well-loved former cricket captain and legendary all-rounder Shahid Afridi revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19 in a tweet on Saturday.

13:30 - Madrid's cinemas have reoped, as Mouna ElHaimoud in the Spanish capital for Arab News discovered...

12:30 - Saudi Arabia announced 39 more deaths from the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 3,366 new cases of the disease on Saturday.

11:52 - The UAE has confirmed 491 new coronavirus cases, 815 recoveries, bringing the total number of infected cases to 41,990 with 26,761 recoveries.

10:40India has reported another record daily spike in coronavirus infections as the country passes the grim milestone of 300,000 cases.

India’s coronavirus caseload jumped by about 100,000 cases in a week, which coincided with the reopening of shopping malls, houses of worship and restaurants. (AFP)

10:32 – Qatar has confirmed 1,828 new coronavirus cases, raising total to 78,416.

09:54 – Iran has recorded 71 coronavirus deaths and 2,410 new cases.

09:24 – Malaysia has reported 43 new coronavirus cases, 8,445 in total with one death.

09:00 – Oman has reported 1,006 new coronavirus cases, raising total to 22,077.

08:13 – A total of 834 people recovered from coronavirus in Kuwait, raising total recoveries to 25,882. The country has also recorded four coronavirus deaths and 514 new cases, raising total infections to 35,466 with 289 fatalities.

08:05 – Afghanistan has recorded five coronavirus fatalities and 556 new cases.

08:03 – Sudan has confirmed 149 new coronavirus cases, raisingthe total number of infections to 6,879.

08:02 – France said it will reopen its borders starting July 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

08:02 – Russia reported 8,706 new coronavirus cases, bringing its cumulative infection tally to 520,129.
The authorities said 114 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, raising the official national death toll to 6,829.

06:55 – Iraq’s Kurdistan has registered 112 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases to 2,005.

06:24 – Humanitarian workers and medical personnel believe the coronavirus is spreading unchecked and untracked through Sudan’s most marginalized territory. READ MORE

05:00 – The top US infectious disease official cautioned that the “blips” of rising coronavirus hospitalizations being reported by some states could get out of control if robust contact tracing regimes are not put in place. FOR THE STORY

04:39 Australia’s largest state of New South Wales reported its first locally transmitted COVID-19 case since late May, a sign the threat from the pandemic is far from over as social distancing restrictions continue to be eased.

04:30 – China has mobilized its army and fast-tracked tests in the global race to find a coronavirus vaccine, but its labs also have an image tarnished by past health scandals to overcome. Six months after the first cases emerged in the city of Wuhan, China has moved quickly to develop a vaccine and is involved in several of the dozen or so international clinical trials currently under way.

04:22Brazil claimed the unenviable position of having the second-highest coronavirus death toll worldwide behind the United States, where several states have posted record daily case totals, signaling the crisis is far from over.

03:08 – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 348 to 186,022, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed. The reported death toll rose by 18 to 8,781 the tally showed.

UN Security Council urged to enhance cooperation with Arab League

UN Security Council urged to enhance cooperation with Arab League
Updated 1 min 20 sec ago

UN Security Council urged to enhance cooperation with Arab League

UN Security Council urged to enhance cooperation with Arab League
  • Call for council members to unite behind Arab causes, and consider the views and concerns of the peoples of the region
  • States that are most susceptible to Iran’s malign regional behavior should not have to face it alone, says US envoy

NEW YORK: The problems that continue to plague the Arab world were top of the agenda for the UN Security Council on Monday, as it considered ways in which cooperation with the League of Arab states might be enhanced.
Members discussed the protracted conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Sudan, and the stalled Middle East peace process, as they agreed that multilateralism and cooperation are key requirements for peace.
Tunisia holds the presidency of the Security Council this month, and the meeting was convened at the request of Tarek Ladeb, the country’s permanent representative to the UN. His invitation stressed the need for a more effective partnership between the UN and the Arab League, and evoked Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, which sets out the role of regional organizations in efforts to maintain peace and security.
Both organizations were established in 1945 with the purpose of guaranteeing international peace and security. Cooperation between the two has grown over the years to encompass many aspects of this, such as conflict prevention and resolution, mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, human rights and humanitarian aid, refugees, human and political development, countering terrorism, the prevention of violent extremism, and sustaining peace and disarmament. More recently they have addressed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, and in 2019 a liaison office was established by the organizations in Cairo.
Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, called on the Security Council to unite behind Arab causes, and urged the permanent members to limit their use of the power of veto. He also asked the council to take into consideration the views and concerns of Arabs about conflicts in the Middle East, by helping to prevent external interference in Arab affairs, protecting the region from weapons of mass destruction, and ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
Ahmed Abul Gheit, secretary-general of the Arab League, told the council that the “dangerous mix” of the pandemic and continuing conflicts has taken a heavy toll on the region. He also said that a two-state solution to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which appears more elusive than ever, must be reaffirmed.
“We look forward to the new American administration rectifying policies and procedures that are not useful, and engaging in a fruitful political process with the support of influential regional and international parties,” he said.
“This would give the Palestinian people renewed hope that the international community will stand by its side in its noble aspiration to achieve freedom and independence.”
Abul Gheit also condemned “regional powers” for their continued interference in the affairs of Arab nations.
“It has become apparent to all that this interference has destabilized the region as a whole,” he said. “It has adversely affected the security of international maritime-navigation routes, which are a lifeline for international trade.
“It has also become apparent that this interference perpetuates existing conflicts and further complicates them. In Syria, five countries are interfering militarily in an apparent way. The security situation remains tumultuous and precarious, especially in the northwest, northeast and in the south.”
Rosemary DiCarlo, the under-secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has “exacerbated strains on the multilateral system, just as the need for solidarity and cooperation has never been more critical.”
She thanked the Arab League for its engagement with peacekeeping efforts in a number of protracted conflicts. This includes support for the UN’s envoy to Syria and the Syrian Constitutional Committee, upholding the international consensus on the two-state solution, its active role in brokering the Oct. 23 ceasefire in Libya, and its support for Sudan’s transition to democracy.
In Yemen the support of the league and key member states is crucial, she added, to the implementation of “the world’s largest aid operation, and urgently address the growing risk of famine before it is too late.”
DiCarlo expressed hope that this month’s AlUla Declaration, an agreement by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to mend relations with Qatar, will help to enhance regional security and prosperity. She called for restraint in the region and dialogue to ease tensions.
Rodney Hunter, the political coordinator for the US mission to the UN, commended “our friends and allies in the (Arab League) for standing firm against re-admitting (President Bashar) Assad’s Syria, and not normalizing relations until an inclusive political process is underway (in the country).”
He added: “There will be no foreign reconstruction assistance until the (Syrian) regime has fully committed to a political solution that is outlined in Security Council Resolution 2254.”
Regarding Iran, Hunter said that the regime in Tehran “remains the most significant threat to regional peace and security, engaged in malign activity across the region from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia.”
Iran-backed militias in Iraq “routinely engage in a statewide theft of Iraqi state resources, conduct targeted killings and stoke sectarian violence,” he added, vowing that the US will continue to “aggressively press the Iranian regime to end its role in this conflict and curtail its support for terrorist groups and militias.”
He said: “Individually, states are susceptible to Iran’s coercion, intimidation and malign behavior — and these states should not have to go it alone.”
Hunter also commended the Arab nations that have normalized relations with Israel in recent months and called for others to follow suit. Speaking on the day of the annual US commemoration of the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Hunter quoted the renowned civil rights leader, saying: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Vassily Nebenzya, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, said: “The Russian concept of security in the Persian Gulf is an invitation to dialogue.” In a clear jab at the US, he added: “This is an invitation to peace, in counterbalance to an invitation to war.”
He called for an end to what he described as “the arms race and weapon display” and then he, too, evoked the memory of Martin Luther King, highlighting “a quote which apparently (the Americans) do not like: ‘A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.’”