Saudi, regional and international support voiced for Jordan’s King Abdullah II

Jordan's King Abdullah II (left) is seen with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during a recent visit to Riyadh. (SPA photo)
Jordan's King Abdullah II (left) is seen with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during a recent visit to Riyadh. (SPA photo)
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Updated 05 April 2021

Saudi, regional and international support voiced for Jordan’s King Abdullah II

Saudi, regional and international support voiced for Jordan’s King Abdullah II

RIYADH/AMMAN: The Saudi royal court voiced its support for Jordan’s King Abdullah on Saturday, the Kingdom’s Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. 

“The kingdom affirms its full support, with all its capabilities, to all decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah and His Highness Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, the Crown Prince, to maintain security and stability,” said a statement from the Saudi royal court.

The statement comes after wide-ranging arrests have been made last night in Amman. Detained reportedly include former Jordanian head of royal court Bassem Awadallah. Prince Hamza bin Al Hussain, former Jordanian Crown Prince, has posted a video where he claims to be under house arrest too. 

Meanwhile, the US State Department said on Saturday that King Abdullah is a "key partner" of the United States and "has our full support" amid reports that his half-brother Prince Hamza had been questioned — possibly in relation to an alleged plot to destabilize the country.

In an email, State Department spokesman Ned Price said, "We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials. King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support."

The Jordanian military said on Saturday that Hamza bin Hussein, former crown prince, was asked to halt actions used to target the country's "security and stability."

People familiar with the affair told Reuters it could have been related to a plot to destabilise the country. 

The European Union said it was closely following events in the kingdom and that the bloc shared a strong and solid partnership with Jordan.
“We will continue supporting Jordan and its people,” said Nabila Massrali, spokeswoman for the EU’s Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, adding: “The EU fully supports King Abdullah II and his moderating role in the region.”

International and regional countries, as well as organizations, also expressed solidarity with Jordan's king.

• Britain: “We are following closely the events in Jordan....Jordan is a greatly valued partner for the UK. King Abdullah has our full support,” James Cleverly, a junior Foreign Office minister, on Twitter.

• Israel: "This is an internal Jordanian matter. Jordan is a neighbour with which we are at peace, and a strategic ally of ours, and we should do everything to preserve this alliance," Defence Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement. "A prosperous and strong Jordan is in our national-security and economic interest.”
• Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi also made a phone call to King Abdullah, in which he assured him of country’s full solidarity with the Jordanian government and people, and its support for all decisions made by the king “for the sake of preserving the security and stability of the Kingdom.”
During the call, the president was briefed on the stability of the situation in Jordan, the Egyptian Presidency said in a statement.
King Abdullah expressed his sincere appreciation for “the president’s support, which embodies the depth and strength of the historical ties between the two countries.”

• Bahrain state news agency BNA reported: “His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa affirmed full support to the decisions and measures taken by HM King Abdulla II Ibn Al Hussein of Jordan to maintain his country’s security and stability and defuse all disruptive attempts.”

• Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Nayef Falah Mubarak al-Hajraf, in a statement, “affirmed the full support of the Cooperation Council for all decisions and measures taken by His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein, to preserve the security and stability of brotherly Jordan, wishing brotherly Jordan continued security and stability under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II and His Highness, the faithful Crown Prince.” 

• Lebanon: “Jordan’s security and safety is a fundamental basis for the security and safety of the Arab world,” Lebanese Prime Minister designate Saad al-Hariri said on Twitter. “All the solidarity with the Jordanian leadership and King Abdullah in defending the gains of the Jordanian people, protecting their stability, and refusing interference in their affairs.”

• Kuwait’s foreign ministry expressed “its support to all the measures taken by Jordan’s King Abdullah and his Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, to maintain the security and stability of the kingdom,” adding that “the security and stability of the kingdom are that of Kuwait.”

• Iraq: “The Iraqi government affirms that it stands with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II, in any steps taken to preserve the security and stability of the country and take care of the interests of the brotherly people of Jordan, in a way that boosts their presence, by relying on measures that aims to extend the respect of the state,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

• Qatar's state news agency QNA reported: “Qatar expressed its full solidarity with the sisterly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and its full support to the decisions and measures issued by His Majesty King Abdullah to preserve the security, stability, and boost the process of progress and prosperity in the country.” 

“Qatar affirmed that the security and stability of Jordan is an integral part of its security and stability, and stressed that the developed strategic relations between the two brotherly countries will remain an honest and strong guard against any attempts to undermine the security and stability in the two countries and the region.”

• Yemen’s internationally recognized government “affirms its absolute support and its complete stand with all measures aimed at preserving Jordan’s security,” state news agency Saba reported.

“Yemen affirms its absolute support and totally stands with all decisions and measures taken by His Majesty King Abdullah aimed at maintaining security and ending any attempts to destabilize the sisterly Kingdom of Jordan,” it added.

• Palestine: “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that we stand by the sisterly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the king, the government, and the people,” official Palestinian news agency WAFA said in a statement.

“We support the decisions taken by King Abdullah II to preserve Jordan’s security and ensure its stability and unity.”

“We support the steps taken by King Abdullah to maintain Jordanian national security, stressing that Jordan’s security and stability is a supreme Palestinian interest,” he added.

• Arab League: “The secretary-general of the Arab League expressed full solidarity with the measures taken by the Jordanian leadership to maintain the security of the kingdom and maintain the stability,” the Arab League said in a statement on its Facebook page, citing Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

“He also stressed his confidence in the leadership’s wisdom and its keenness to secure the country’s stability in parallel with the respect for the constitution and the law.”

“Ahmed Aboul Gheit added that King Abdullah II has a high and appreciated position, whether among the Jordanian people or on the Arab level in general, and that everyone knows his sincerity and his great role in serving Arab causes,” it added.

• United Arab Emirates: “UAE affirms its total support to the sisterly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. UAE affirms that it stands with and totally supports all the decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah II and his Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II to maintain the security and stability of Jordan, and defuse every attempt to influence them,” state news agency WAM reported. “UAE affirms that the security and stability of Jordan is an integral part of its security.”

• Oman: Oman affirms its complete stand by Jordan and supports what guarantees its security, sovereignty and stability

With wire reports

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Biden to host Israeli President Rivlin on June 28 — White House

Biden to host Israeli President Rivlin on June 28 — White House
Updated 19 June 2021

Biden to host Israeli President Rivlin on June 28 — White House

Biden to host Israeli President Rivlin on June 28 — White House
  • Rivlin will visit shortly before he is due to end his seven-year term in July

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden plans to host Israel’s new president, Reuven Rivlin, at the White House on June 28, the White House said on Saturday.
“President Rivlin’s visit will highlight the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel and the deep ties between our governments and our people,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
Rivlin will visit shortly before he is due to end his seven-year term in July.
Isaac Herzog was elected the country’s new president this month in elections that marked the end of the era of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu era in Israel.
The role of president is largely ceremonial but also meant to promote unity among ethnic and religious groups.
The government changed after last month’s fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza also touched off rare mob violence among the Jewish majority and Arab minority within Israeli cities.
“President Rivlin approaches the end of his term, this visit will honor the dedication he has shown to strengthening the friendship between the two countries over the course of many years,” Psaki said.


Israel says Iran’s Raisi extreme, committed to nuclear program

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Updated 22 min 28 sec ago

Israel says Iran’s Raisi extreme, committed to nuclear program

Israel says Iran’s Raisi extreme, committed to nuclear program
  • Foreign minister Yair Lapid calls Iran's new president the 'butcher of Tehran'
  • Says Ebrahim Raisi is committed to the regime’s nuclear ambitions and to its campaign of global terror

JERUSALEM: Israel on Saturday condemned Iran’s newly-elected president Ebrahim Raisi, saying he was its most extreme president yet and committed to quickly advancing Tehran’s nuclear program.
“Iran’s new president, known as the Butcher of Tehran, is an extremist responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians. He is committed to the regime’s nuclear ambitions and to its campaign of global terror,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Twitter.
A separate statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry said Raisi’s election should “prompt grave concern among the international community.”
Israel’s new government, sworn in on Sunday, has said it would object to the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and its arch-foe, Iran.
Israel sees a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat. Tehran denies seeking nuclear weapons.
Toeing the policy line set by the administration of Israel’s former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the foreign ministry said: “More than ever, Iran’s nuclear program must be halted immediately, rolled back entirely and stopped indefinitely.”
“Iran’s ballistic missile program must be dismantled and its global terror campaign vigorously countered by a broad international coalition.”
Raisi, a hard-line judge who is under US sanctions for human rights abuses, secured victory as expected on Saturday in Iran’s presidential election after a contest marked by voter apathy over economic hardships and political restrictions.

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Parties to Iran nuclear deal to hold formal meeting on Sunday: EU

Parties to Iran nuclear deal to hold formal meeting on Sunday: EU
Updated 19 June 2021

Parties to Iran nuclear deal to hold formal meeting on Sunday: EU

Parties to Iran nuclear deal to hold formal meeting on Sunday: EU
  • The meeting comes amid the sixth round of indirect talks between Washington and Tehran
  • These formal meetings are usually an indication that the latest round will be adjourned

PARIS: Parties negotiating a revival of the Iran nuclear deal will hold a formal meeting in Vienna on Sunday, the European Union said on Saturday.
Iran and six world powers have been negotiating in Vienna since April to work out steps for Washington and Tehran to take. The United States withdrew in 2018 from the pact, under which Iran accepted curbs on its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of many foreign sanctions against it.
Sunday's formal meeting comes more than a week after this round of talks resumed and is an indication that the talks are likely to be adjourned.
Officials over the week have indicated that differences remain on key issues.
"The Joint Commission of #JCPOA will meet on Sunday, June 20," Mikhail Ulyanov Russia's envoy to the talks said on Twitter.
"It will decide on the way ahead at the #ViennaTalks. An agreement on restoration of the nuclear deal is within reach but is not finalised yet."
The remaining parties to the deal - Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union - meet in the basement of a luxury hotel.
The US delegation to the talks is based in a hotel across the street as Iran refuses face-to-face meetings, leaving the other delegations and EU to work as go-betweens.
Since former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran has embarked on counter measures, including rebuilding stockpiles of enriched uranium, a potential pathway to nuclear bombs.


Turkey highlights Syrian success stories on World Refugee Day

Turkey highlights Syrian success stories on World Refugee Day
Updated 19 June 2021

Turkey highlights Syrian success stories on World Refugee Day

Turkey highlights Syrian success stories on World Refugee Day
  • Turkey provides refugees with education and health care facilities
  • The country is home to 4 million refugees, including about 3.7 million Syrians

ANKARA: Turkey, which hosts the world’s largest refugee population, will mark UN World Refugee Day on June 20 with a focus on integration under the motto “Together we heal, learn and shine.”

The country is home to 4 million refugees, including about 3.7 million Syrians. 

Omar Kadkoy, a migration policy analyst at the Ankara-based think tank the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, is a Syrian refugee whose success story is a source of inspiration for many in Turkey.  

Kadkoy moved from Damascus to the Turkish capital in 2014. He began learning Turkish, which is now his second foreign language. 

The policy analyst is now viewed as one of the key experts on integration issues in Turkey, is also a student at Ankara’s prestigious Middle East Technical University and is writing his master’s thesis on the naturalization of Syrian students in Turkey’s tertiary education system.

He is looking forward to beginning his Ph.D. studies once he graduates. 

Kadkoy is proud of his professional, academic and linguistic efforts. 

“Achieving is limitless. In terms of integration, I find myself on a journey of a thousand miles. I began with the necessary steps, but there is much more to explore, learn and contribute,” he told Arab News.

Turkey is both a reception and transit country for refugees. About half of the Syrian refugees in the country are children. 

As part of its social cohesion and integration policies, Turkey provides refugees with education and health care facilities, and helps them find employment opportunities. 

However, with more than 4 million refugees in the country, Turks are growing less willing to accept new arrivals. 

According to the latest Ipsos survey, 75 percent of Turkish respondents support closing borders to refugees entirely, while 60 percent believe that government spending on refugees should be decreased, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A 2020 survey by Bilgi University and the German Marshall Fund of the United States revealed that 86 percent of Turks support the repatriation of Syrians. Meanwhile, other surveys show that 90 percent of Syrians do not want to return to their homeland now.

Philippe Leclerc, the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Turkey, recently said that Turkey should be given more support by the international community to handle the refugee issue. 

The EU has been supporting Turkey, with €6 billion ($7.1 billion) committed to helping refugees and hosting communities in key areas such as education, health, socio-economic development and basic needs.

Cash assistance provided by the EU-funded Emergency Social Safety Net helps Syrian refugee households cover some of their debts and daily living costs.  

According to Kadkoy, providing access to health care and education, and building the vocational and language skills of refugees does not necessarily result in integration. 

“There are many ways to look at integration. For example, are refugee students integrating well into schools? The answer would be by looking at the performance of refugee students in Turkey’s national education system and comparing it with that of the citizens,” he said. “Differences would tell us what is and isn’t working and allow us to revamp what didn’t work.”

He added: “When similar and other pointers are absent, it is difficult to talk about integration collectively. Instead, we end up with ad hoc celebrations of individual stories.”

Kadkoy said that the post-pandemic era could be a time to readdress the issue in Turkey, especially the discriminatory practices refugees face in the labor market. 

“Most of the 3.7 million Syrians seem to consider Turkey as a permanent destination. In Turkey, Syrians under the Temporary Protection rule enjoy access to public education. Around 650,000 Syrian students attend Turkish schools, access to free public health services, and there are roughly 820,000 Syrians in the labor market as either wage-workers or business owners,” he said. 

According to last year’s official statistics, there were 9,041 firms with Syrian owners in Turkey. 

The Turkish government cooperates with the international community, especially with the UN, to provide vocational training to Syrian refugees.

The education ministry recently announced that Syrian students can attend vocational training centers once a week. Students will be supported with one-third of the minimum wage during their four-year education while they receive skills training in business on other days.

World Refugee Day was established by the UN to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.  


UAE to suspend entry of travelers on flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Namibia

UAE to suspend entry of travelers on flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Namibia
Updated 19 June 2021

UAE to suspend entry of travelers on flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Namibia

UAE to suspend entry of travelers on flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Namibia

CAIRO: The United Arab Emirates will suspend travelers from entering the country from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Namibia on national and foreign flights from Monday, June 21, Emirates News Agency (WAM) said on Saturday.
WAM said the restrictions would also include transit passengers, with the exception of transit flights traveling to the UAE and bound for those countries.