EU sanctions three firms for breaking Libya arms embargo

A picture taken on May 28 in Brussels shows the European Union flags fluttering in the aire outside the European Commission building in Brussels. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 September 2020

EU sanctions three firms for breaking Libya arms embargo

  • Two individuals were also hit with the sanctions for supplying material to Libya
  • The EU has a naval mission operating in waters off Libya which is tasked with policing the embargo and collecting intelligence on violators

BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on three companies — one Turkish, one Kazakh and one Jordanian — for breaching the UN arms embargo on Libya, diplomatic sources told AFP.
Foreign ministers from the bloc signed off on the measures, which freeze any EU assets held by the companies as well as cutting them off from EU finance markets and barring them from doing business with anyone in the bloc, at a regular meeting in Brussels.
Two individuals were also hit with the sanctions for supplying material to Libya, where the UN-recognized government in Tripoli has been under attack from strongman Khalifa Haftar, who runs a rival administration in the east.
The EU has a naval mission operating in waters off Libya which is tasked with policing the embargo and collecting intelligence on violators, but Monday’s measures are the bloc’s first independent sanctions related to the conflict.
Libya has endured almost a decade of violent chaos since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed veteran dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
But there have been signs of progress, with representatives from the two sides meeting for peace talks in Morocco after last month announcing a surprise cease-fire and pledging national elections.
“After many months I see a reason for cautious optimism. There is a positive momentum, there is a cease-fire and we need to use it,” EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell said as he arrived for the foreign ministers’ talks.
But the targeting of a Turkish company risks inflaming already tense relations between Ankara and the EU following a recent flare-up in the eastern Mediterranean over oil and gas reserves.


Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

Updated 22 October 2020

Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

  • Abu Dhabi’s Al-Ma’arid Street renamed President Joko Widodo Street

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday said it was “an honor” for him and his country that a street in the UAE capital had been named after him.

Al-Ma’arid Street, one of Abu Dhabi’s key roads, was on Monday renamed President Joko Widodo Street during a ceremony that coincided with the first anniversary of the Indonesian leader’s inauguration for a second term in office.

Writing on social media, Widodo said: “It is a recognition and an honor, not only for me, but for Indonesia.” He also expressed hope that the two countries’ relations would be “stronger, mutually strengthening, and beneficial for the people of the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.”

Indonesia’s ambassador to the UAE, Husin Bagis, told Arab News: “The initiative to rename the street after President Joko Widodo came from His Highness (Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan), who also presided over the street renaming ceremony on the spot.”

The envoy said that the street was near to the future location of the Indonesian Embassy compound, which was currently under construction.

According to UAE news agency WAM, the crown prince has also directed officials to build a mosque named after Widodo, in Abu Dhabi’s Diplomatic Area, in recognition of the Indonesian president’s close friendship with the UAE and his efforts to strengthen the relationship.

Indonesia-UAE relations have grown closer since Widodo’s visit to Abu Dhabi in January, during which he secured investment projects worth $22.9 billion in what has officially been described as the biggest trade deal in the country’s history. The visit was to reciprocate the crown prince’s trip to Indonesia in July 2019.

Recent cooperation agreements between the two countries have included plans for the construction of a mosque on a plot of land in Widodo’s hometown of Solo in Central Java.

The mosque will be a replica of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and serve as an Islamic center offering training for clerics. A groundbreaking ceremony is slated to take place in December.

Widodo is the latest Indonesian leader to be celebrated through an honorific street name in a foreign country. In Rabat, Morocco’s capital, Avenue Sukarno was named after Indonesia’s first president, while Mohammed Hatta Street in Haarlem, the Netherlands, recognizes the Southeast Asian country’s first vice president. Sukarno and Hatta are considered the fathers of Indonesia’s independence.

The name of the country’s third president, B. J. Habibie, appears on a bridge in Dili, the capital of East Timor, in honor of his decision to hold a referendum there which allowed East Timor to secede from Indonesia.