Sudan slams Ethiopia over ‘insulting’ border crisis statement

Sudan slams Ethiopia over ‘insulting’ border crisis statement
Sudan's Foreign Minister Omar Gamaledinne speaks during a press conference. (File/AFP)
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Updated 20 February 2021

Sudan slams Ethiopia over ‘insulting’ border crisis statement

Sudan slams Ethiopia over ‘insulting’ border crisis statement
  • Sudanese foreign ministry: Ethiopian statement a “betrayal to the history of Ethiopia’s relations with Sudan”
  • Ethiopia: Sudan had “overturned and undermined” efforts of joint boundary committees

DUBAI: Sudan’s Foreign Ministry slammed a statement issued by the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry accusing Khartoum of serving the “interests of a third party” in the border crisis, state news SUNA reported on Saturday.
The Sudanese Foreign Ministry described the Ethiopian statement as a “betrayal to the history of Ethiopia’s relations with Sudan and a denial to the mutual relations between the people of the two countries,” the report said.
In condemning Sudan’s recent military actions, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “the Ethiopian government strongly believes that the conflict being trumpeted by the Sudanese government’s military wing could only serve the interests of a third party at the expense of the Sudanese people," the statement read.”
The Sudanese National Army “violated the basic principles of international law and peaceful settlements of disputes by unceremoniously invading Ethiopia” in early November 2020, the Ethiopian statement claimed.
Ethiopia stated that Sudan had “overturned and undermined” the efforts of the joint boundary committees that have been working to finalize the re-demarcation process for the border. Ethiopia also accused the Sudanese army of looting properties, burning camps, attacking and displacing thousands of Ethiopians and controlling vacated Ethiopian Military Camps.
In response, however, Sudan referred to the statement as “unfortunate” and “insulting”, and that it “betrayed the history of Ethiopia’s relations with Sudan.”
Sudan stated it was “keen” to continue and develop its relations with Ethiopia for the benefit of the citizens of the two countries and to “enter into future partnerships that contribute to achieving security, stability and economic growth.”
Sudan’s statement called on Ethiopia to take the available legal options, regionally and internationally, not to threaten the international security, affirming Sudan’s sovereignty over the land that Ethiopia claims sovereignty over.
Amid the escalating tensions between the two countries, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said last week that it had summoned its ambassador to Ethiopia for consultations as tensions between the two neighbors had escalated in recent weeks over border disputes.


Vatican correspondent hails pope’s ‘historic journey’ to Iraq

Vatican correspondent hails pope’s ‘historic journey’ to Iraq
Updated 55 min 51 sec ago

Vatican correspondent hails pope’s ‘historic journey’ to Iraq

Vatican correspondent hails pope’s ‘historic journey’ to Iraq
  • Visit ‘could change the history of interreligious dialogue,’ Manuela Tulli tells Arab News
  • This will be her sixth trip embedded with Pope Francis

ROME: International media are following the pope’s visit to Iraq with enormous interest. Seventy-five journalists will travel aboard the special flight that will take the leader of the Catholic Church from Rome to Baghdad — almost double the number normally allowed on a papal flight. In addition, hundreds of reporters and camera crews will follow his visit on the ground.

“This is certainly a historic journey. Francis is the first pope to go to Iraq, and he’ll be the first head of the Christian Church to enter the house of Abraham in Ur, where the history of Christianity began,” Manuela Tulli, Vatican correspondent for ANSA — Italy’s main news agency — told Arab News.

She has been covering Pope Francis since he was elected in 2013. Though this will be her first visit to Iraq, it will be her sixth trip as an embedded reporter following him.

This journey “could change the history of interreligious dialogue,” and “may represent a historic turning point for Iraq,” she said.

“The pope will go to that country in the middle of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, of course, there’s the problem of security in Iraq.”

Pope Francis has expressed an interest in visiting the country and the Christians who live there since he was elected.

“The pope wants to go. He wants to send a message of peace to a land tormented by war and divisions,” Tulli said.

“He wants to go and say ‘basta’ (‘enough’) of war and violence. He isn’t afraid of the pandemic or any security issue.”

She said of the 75 journalists embedded with him, and the nearly 50 members of his entourage: “We’re on the same plane as the pope, and the Vatican has chosen the hotels where we’ll stay. We won’t be able to go around on our own. Also because the program is so tight, there will be no time to do anything else. We’ll have to stick to him around the clock.”

The pope is due to arrive in Baghdad on March 5, and will be welcomed by Iraq’s prime minister. He will then visit the country’s president at the presidential palace, where he will meet with local authorities, representatives of civil society and the diplomatic corps.

He will also meet with bishops and priests at the Syriac Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad.

On March 6, he will fly to the city of Najaf and meet with Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani. The pope will return to Baghdad that day and celebrate Holy Mass at the Chaldean Cathedral of St. Joseph.

On March 7 he will visit Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and meet with religious and civil authorities of the autonomous region. He will also visit the city of Qaraqosh. His return to Rome is scheduled for March from Baghdad.

“I expect Christians in Iraq will be particularly impressed to see the pope pronounce the Angelus, the Sunday prayer, from the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh, which Daesh used as a shooting range for its militiamen,” said Tulli.

“I’m sure that Francis will say a word of hope for those who’ve lived through terrible moments due to Daesh,” she added.

“The inter-religious prayer at Ur will be exciting. That moment will be like the closing of a circle for history.”


UN launching donor conference amid fears of famine in Yemen

UN launching donor conference amid fears of famine in Yemen
Updated 01 March 2021

UN launching donor conference amid fears of famine in Yemen

UN launching donor conference amid fears of famine in Yemen
  • The UN warned that more than 16 million people in Yemen would go hungry this year
  • More than six years of war has created the world’s worst humanitarian disaster

CAIRO: The United Nations launched an appeal Monday for countries to fund its response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where more than six years of war has created the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
At a pledging virtual conference, co-hosed by Sweden and Switzerland, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will appeal for $3.85 billion this year to address the impoverished Arab country’s dire needs in the country.
It is unlikely a response from donors will meet UN goals, given that the coronavirus pandemic and its devastating consequences have hit economies around the globe.
Yemen’s war started in 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, and much of the country’s north. The Saudi-led, US-backed coalition intervened months later to restore the internationally recognized government.
The conflict has killed some 130,000 people and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. Half of Yemen’s health facilities are shuttered or destroyed, and 4 million Yemenis have been driven from their homes. The coronavirus pandemic, cholera epidemics and severe malnutrition among children have led to thousands of additional deaths.
Separately, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned that more than 16 million people in Yemen would go hungry this year, with already some half a million living in famine-like conditions.
Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, who is on a week-long visit to Yemen, warned on Monday that aid groups were “catastrophically” underfunded and overstretched.
Last year’s UN pledging conference, raised $1.35 billion — a billion dollars short of what aid agencies said they needed. In 2019, the UN received around $3.6 billion in international donations for its campaign, short of its $4.2 billion goal.


UAE records 2,526 new coronavirus cases, 17 new deaths

UAE records 2,526 new coronavirus cases, 17 new deaths
Updated 01 March 2021

UAE records 2,526 new coronavirus cases, 17 new deaths

UAE records 2,526 new coronavirus cases, 17 new deaths

DUBAI: The UAE's Ministry of Health announced 2,526 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the country to 394,050.

The ministry said the infected individuals are from various nationalities, are in a stable condition, and receiving the necessary care, in a statement released on state-run news agency WAM.

It also announced 17 deaths due to COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 1,238.

An additional 1,107 individuals had fully recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 382,332.

The ministry said it conducted 175,033 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours.


Syria and Israel: secret negotiations over Golan for severing Iranian, Hezbollah ties

Syria and Israel: secret negotiations over Golan for severing Iranian, Hezbollah ties
Updated 01 March 2021

Syria and Israel: secret negotiations over Golan for severing Iranian, Hezbollah ties

Syria and Israel: secret negotiations over Golan for severing Iranian, Hezbollah ties
  • Officials involved in the negotiations confirmed to that the agreement “went further than any previous document”
  • Syria has not made any official statements regarding the talks

DUBAI: Syria and Israel were on the brink of signing a peace agreement in February 2011, right before the Arab Spring protests broke out in several states, newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
Officials involved in the negotiations confirmed to the outlet that the agreement “went further than any previous document,” and included Syria’s pledge to sever “military ties” with Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon and “neutralizing” any Israeli threat so they could reclaim the Golan heights after Israel occupied them in the 1967 war.
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu negotiations were mediated by American envoy Frederic Hof, the report added. The late Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem and legal advisor Riad Daoudi and former US Ambassador to Damascus Robert Ford joined at least two meetings.
Asharq Al-Awsat reported that at the time the then US President Barack Obama and his then former Vice President Joe Biden, current president, were aware of these secret negotiations, and that ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was heavily involved in them too. 
Syria has not made any official statements regarding the talks, but has repeatedly expressed commitment to restoring sovereignty over Golan heights while maintaining the “strategic relationship with Iran.”


Houthis fire ballistic missile towards neighborhood in Yemen's Marib

Houthis fire ballistic missile towards neighborhood in Yemen's Marib
Updated 01 March 2021

Houthis fire ballistic missile towards neighborhood in Yemen's Marib

Houthis fire ballistic missile towards neighborhood in Yemen's Marib

DUBAI: The Iran-backed Houthi militants have fired a ballistic missile towards a district in Yemen's Marib province killing one person and injuring two others, Al Arabiya TV reported Monday. 

The channel quoted a security source who said the attack targeted the Al-Rawda neighborhood.  

On Saturday, the Saudi-led coalition intercepted a Houthi ballistic missile targeting Riyadh, according to the official SPA news agency.