Iraqis mourn expert on armed groups killed by unknown gunmen

Mourners pray carry the coffin of slain Iraqi expert Hisham Al-Hashemi, who was shot dead yesterday outside his house in the Iraqi capital, before his burial on July 7, 2020 in Najaf in central Iraq. (AFP)
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Updated 07 July 2020

Iraqis mourn expert on armed groups killed by unknown gunmen

  • Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on Hisham Al-Hashimi outside his home in the Zeyouneh area of Baghdad
  • Al-Hashimi was a well-connected security analyst

BAGHDAD: Iraqi mourners and relatives on Tuesday carried the body of a respected analyst shot and killed the previous night in Baghdad after receiving threats from Iran-backed militias. Many Iraqis expressed their shock over the slaying.
Hisham Al-Hashimi, 47, was gunned down on Monday night outside his home in Baghdad’s Zeyouneh neighborhood. His casket, draped in the Iraqi flag, was taken to his family home before being driven to the burial site.
Al-Hashimi, a leading expert on Daesh and other militant organization, was a regular fixture on Iraqi television and his expertise was often sought by government officials, journalists and researchers.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the killing, which comes weeks after he confided to close friends that he had received threats from militia groups. The slaying also coincides with a spate of rocket attacks targeting US interests that has been blamed on Iran-backed armed groups.
Authorities launched a raid last week in Baghdad, in which they detained 14 members of the powerful Kataib Hezbollah group, suspected of orchestrating the attacks. All but one detainees were released days later.
Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said Iraqi security forces would “spare no effort” in pursuing Al-Hashimi’s killers.

Hours after Al-Hashimi’s killing, authorities fired the top police officer for Zeyouneh and launched an investigation into his activities, according to an order from the prime minister’s office, seen by The Associated Press.
Condemnations from Iraqi officials poured in as shock reverberated across the country at the news of Al-Hashimi’s killing.

Nechirvan Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, said “authorities must find the perpetrators of this terror act and bring them to justice,” in a tweet on Tuesday.

 

 


Full text of joint statement on UAE and Israel normalizing ties

Updated 1 min 3 sec ago

Full text of joint statement on UAE and Israel normalizing ties

  • The UAE and Israel reached an historic peace deal on Thursday

ABU DHABI: The UAE and Israel reached an historic peace deal on Thursday leading to a full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two nations, a joint statement said. 

The full text of the statement can be found below: 

US President Donald J. Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, spoke Thursday and agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE.

This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the UAE and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region. All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement.

Delegations from Israel and the UAE will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit. Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East's most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations.

As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President Trump with the support of the UAE, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world. The US Israel and the UAE are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal.

The UAE and Israel will immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus. Working together, these efforts will help save Muslim, Jewish, and Christian lives throughout the region.

This normalisation of relations and peaceful diplomacy will bring together two of America’s most reliable and capable regional partners. Israel and the UAE will join with the US to launch a Strategic Agenda for the Middle East to expand diplomatic, trade, and security cooperation. Along with the US, Israel and the UAE share a similar outlook regarding the threats and opportunities in the region, as well as a shared commitment to promoting stability through diplomatic engagement, increased economic integration, and closer security coordination. Today’s agreement will lead to better lives for the peoples of the UAE, Israel, and the region.

The United States and Israel recall with gratitude the appearance of the UAE at the White House reception held on January 28, 2020, at which President Trump presented his Vision for Peace, and express their appreciation for UAE’s related supportive statements. The parties will continue their efforts in this regard to achieve a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As set forth in the Vision for Peace, all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem’s other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan express their deep appreciation to President Trump for his dedication to peace in the region and to the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to achieve it.