Qatar releases Bahraini bodybuilding champion Sami Al-Haddad, 2 others

Bodybuilding champion, Sami Ibrahim Al-Haddad, and two other Bahraini citizens were released after being detained by Qatar authorities while fishing. (Facebook/Sami Ebrahim Alhaddad)
Bodybuilding champion, Sami Ibrahim Al-Haddad, and two other Bahraini citizens were released after being detained by Qatar authorities while fishing. (Facebook/Sami Ebrahim Alhaddad)
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Updated 14 January 2021

Qatar releases Bahraini bodybuilding champion Sami Al-Haddad, 2 others

Qatar releases Bahraini bodybuilding champion Sami Al-Haddad, 2 others
  • Bahrain’s embassy in Oman confirmed their arrival to the sultanate
  • The 3 citizens were arrested in 2 separate incidents

RIYADH: Qatar released three Bahrainis on Thursday who were arrested at sea while on a fishing trip.
Sami Ibrahim Al-Haddad — a body building champion — and his friend Mohammed Yousef Al-Dossari were arrested on Jan. 8 by Qatar’s coastal and border security. Manama said they were in Bahrain’s territorial waters at the time.
The release was “based on the Cabinet’s directives to the Ministry of Interior to undertake all necessary measures to expedite the release of all citizens detained by Qatar and return them to Bahrain,” Bahrain’s interior ministry said.
However, the ministry added that their boats are still being held by Qatar.
Qatari authorities also released Habib Abbas, a Bahraini fisherman who was arrested in a separate incident on Dec. 3
The interior ministry said this brings the total number of boats that Qatar has confiscated so far to 50.
The three men were returned to Bahrain via Oman, the kingdom’s embassy in the sultanate confirmed.
“Upon their arrival to Bahrain, their statements will be taken at the General Directorate Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science to find out the circumstances of their arrest, in order to take the necessary legal measures in this regard,” the ministry said.
The ministry said late Sunday that the kingdom “strongly condemned the Qatari coast guard’s arrest of Bahraini bodybuilding champion Sami Al-Haddad while he was on a fishing cruise with a number of his companions in the Bahraini territorial waters,” the ministry said late Sunday.
It also said that Manama had “called on the Qatari authorities to immediately release...Haddad and his companions, and to stop attacking Bahraini fishermen at sea and unfairly arresting them.”
Bahrain was one of four nations, along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, to announce they had ended a three-year rift with Qatar on Jan. 5 at a GCC summit in AlUla, formally reestablishing diplomatic ties.
Manama reopened its airspace with Doha on Jan. 11 and Bahrain’s foreign minister invited a Qatari delegation to visit the kingdom as soon as possible to start discussions over outstanding issues of common interest. 


UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships
Updated 19 January 2021

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships
  • The two ministers also discussed the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Both sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areasboth sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areas

DUBAI: The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and ways of ensuring security and stability in the region with his Cypriot counterpart on Monday,.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan reviewed the prospects of advancing relations with Cyprus in a meeting in Abu Dhabi with Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
The two ministers also discussed the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of enhancing international cooperation to ensure fair and equitable access to the vaccine for every country in the world.
Christodoulides praised the UAE’s significant overall efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the efficiency of its adopted measures in mitigating the economic and social effects of the crisis.
During his visit to the UAE, the Cypriot minister also met with the Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), Saqr Ghobash, accompanied with the Ambassador of Cyprus to the UAE, Yannis Michaelides.
During the meeting, both sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areas.
Ghobash said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on their parliamentary cooperation is required, in addition to reinforcing the role of joint parliamentary friendship committees.
A parliamentary friendship committee between the two countries will hold a meeting in the first quarter of 2021, Ghobash said, and stressed the importance of improving their coordination during global parliamentary events.
Christodoulides said that the UAE was a leading regional and international stature, noting that it is a strategic partner of his country.
He also conveyed the invitation of the President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus to Ghobash to visit Cyprus as head of a parliamentary delegation, to discuss ways of reinforcing their parliamentary ties.