US climate change envoy visits UAE for regional dialogue conference

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed meets US envoy for climate change John Kerry. (WAM)
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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed meets US envoy for climate change John Kerry. (WAM)
US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
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US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
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US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
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US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
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US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
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US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
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Updated 05 April 2021

US climate change envoy visits UAE for regional dialogue conference

US envoy for climate change John Kerry participates in Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change. (WAM)
  • Kerry discussed the possibilities of developing cooperation between UAE and US with Abu Dhabi crown prince
  • Kerry praised the great role the UAE plays in supporting renewable energy projects

LONDON: Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed met with the US envoy for climate change John Kerry, who is visiting the UAE to participate in the Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change.
During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed and Kerry discussed the possibilities of developing cooperation between the UAE and the US in various fields related to preserving the environment, confronting climate changes, and limiting their negative impacts on environmental and economic systems, the Emirates News Agency reported.
Both sides “stressed the importance of concerted efforts and joint international work with international organizations to accelerate the creation of smart and sustainable solutions to reduce the impacts of climate change on societies, help countries achieve their climate goals, and ensure a more sustainable future for humanity.”
The two sides discussed a number of major strategic projects in the UAE that enhance clean energy efforts, contribute to limiting the repercussions of climate change, and promote sustainable development.

The crown prince and the envoy also discussed the importance of the UAE hosting the first Regional Dialogue Conference on Climate Change, which is a platform for exchanging ideas on the most prominent climate issues and challenges.
Kerry praised the great role the UAE plays in supporting renewable energy projects to combat the repercussions of climate change, stressing the importance of these initiatives due to their great impact on the future of mankind and the sustainability of natural resources.
The conference focused on preparations for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will be held in early November in Glasgow, Scotland, to accelerate efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
It was also aimed at building more momentum in preparation for a summit called by US President Joe Biden for climate leaders, which will be held in Washington later this month.
Meanwhile, Minister of Climate Change and Environment Abdullah Al-Nuaimi said Kerry’s participation in the conference enhances the capabilities of identifying future directions for global climate action, and preparing more effectively for COP26.
“The challenges posed by climate change and the negative impacts it creates are clear to the international community as a whole, and the problem is that the severity of these impacts is increasing at an accelerating pace, which requires accelerating global efforts to reduce the severity of this change and enhance the capabilities to adapt to its repercussions to ensure a sustainable future,” he said during the conference.

He said the UAE adopted the National Adaptation Program, which aims to enhance the capabilities of all sectors to adapt to the repercussions of climate change, and comprehensive evaluation studies have been launched on the current and future impacts of these repercussions on vital sectors in the country, including health, energy, infrastructure, environment, and insurance.
Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Jaber said the UAE has a record of achievements in clean technology and sustainable development over the past 15 years. He said the UAE realized early on that these investments have great economic feasibility and are supported by market trends.
“Our region has great and distinct capabilities that allow it to contribute to facing the common global challenge of climate change… and through intense cooperation and hard and effective work, we will be able to increase our contribution to the maximum, while taking advantage of the latest technologies and focusing on smart investment to ensure sustainable development that boosts economic growth,” he said.
A joint statement signed by the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq, Sudan, and the US urged the international community to take steps to ensure that global average temperatures are kept within the limits agreed upon under the Paris Agreement, including by strengthening nationally determined contributions.
“As we pass through a critical decade for climate change, we believe that investments in renewable energy, adopting methodologies based on protecting ecosystems, applying nature-based solutions, climate-smart agriculture, carbon capture techniques and other solutions to reduce carbon emissions will contribute in supporting sustainable economic growth and creating more job opportunities,” it added.


Macron says Turkey’s Erdogan wants foreign mercenaries out of Libya

Macron says Turkey’s Erdogan wants foreign mercenaries out of Libya
Updated 14 min 35 sec ago

Macron says Turkey’s Erdogan wants foreign mercenaries out of Libya

Macron says Turkey’s Erdogan wants foreign mercenaries out of Libya
  • Macron was speaking after his first face-to-face with Erdogan in more than a year

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said he had received assurances from Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan that he wanted foreign mercenaries to leave Libyan territory as soon as possible.
“We agreed to work on this withdrawal (of foreign mercenaries). It doesn’t just depend on the two of us. But I can tell you President Erdogan confirmed during our meeting his wish that the foreign mercenaries, the foreign militias, operating on Libyan soil leave as soon as possible,” Macron told a news conference at the end of a summit of NATO leaders in Brussels.
Macron was speaking after his first face-to-face with Erdogan in more than a year as tensions between the two NATO allies worsened especially over the conflict in Libya.
Turkey deployed troops to Libya under an accord on military cooperation signed with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), helping it repel an assault by forces from eastern Libya. It also sent thousands of Syrian fighters to Libya.


UK Muslim charity steps up humanitarian work in Palestine

UK Muslim charity steps up humanitarian work in Palestine
Updated 46 min 2 sec ago

UK Muslim charity steps up humanitarian work in Palestine

UK Muslim charity steps up humanitarian work in Palestine
  • Penny Appeal’s goal is to ‘break the cycle of poverty at every stage,’ founder tells Arab News
  • CEO: ‘Once again we have had to pivot our efforts from long term sustainable projects to short term emergency response’

LONDON: A British Muslim charity has ramped up its humanitarian work in Palestine, crediting the generosity of communities of all faiths in supporting their emergency humanitarian response to last month’s fighting in Gaza.

Penny Appeal has worked in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank for close to 10 years, and maintains a range of humanitarian projects alongside partner organizations on the ground. 

Following May’s flare-up in violence — which claimed over 250 Palestinian lives, including 66 children — Penny Appeal said: “Once again the slow and painful process of rebuilding has begun.”

By providing cash support, distributed food packs, provisions for babies and women’s hygiene products, Penny Appeal has directly assisted over 77,000 people since last month’s fighting.

Its founder Adeem Younis told Arab News that the charity’s goal is to “break the cycle of poverty at every stage.”

From early-life interventions for mothers and children all the way to the end of life, Penny Appeal runs initiatives that aim to cut poverty and improve quality of life.

However, Younis said the latest round of Israeli attacks on Gaza meant that he and his team have had to focus on providing immediate humanitarian relief and support to victims and their families.

“Sadly, there has been an increase in the number of orphans we’re having to support,” he added, lamenting the cyclical nature of conflict in Gaza.

“We want to provide sustainable solutions that we can empower the community with, but our solutions are sometimes not effective because every year, every two years, it all gets destroyed again, or there’s an emergency situation that takes you back to square one,” he said.

In a statement issued to Arab News, the charity’s CEO Harris Iqbal said: “Sadly, once again we have had to pivot our efforts from long term sustainable projects to short term emergency response. We have been focusing in particular on medical treatment and supplies, working with a network of hospitals and medical organisations, as well as distributing food packs for families displaced by the bombing.”

But while Gazans continue to confront a familiar cycle of progress followed by setback, Younis said he and his team noticed that the external reaction was markedly different this time around.

“We’ve already raised over £500,000 ($705,850) for the most recent emergency. Donations have come from not just Muslims but from all faiths, from all backgrounds. Even today we still have people calling on a daily basis,” he added.

“What we’ve seen is that the compassion and support from the wider community, not just Muslims, has been very, very different.”

He said not only do those donations assist with emergency response on the ground in Gaza and the West Bank, but they also make Palestinians — who are largely cut off from the outside world — realize that they have the support of countless people worldwide.

“The recipients tell us all the time that they’re very grateful for the support they receive. They can’t believe the support they receive. They can’t believe that people are thinking about them as well. It means a lot for them to receive the aid, to have that help,” Younis added.

“That gives them a sense that the world is listening … When they receive outside aid, they don’t just feel the aid but they feel the support — it keeps their spirits high.”


Nato summit statement: 'We call on Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities'

Nato summit statement: 'We call on Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities'
Updated 14 June 2021

Nato summit statement: 'We call on Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities'

Nato summit statement: 'We call on Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities'

BRUSSELS: NATO leaders on Monday agreed to step up their collective defence "against all threats, from all directions," according to their final statement.
NATO said it would adapt to climate-reated security challenges, called on Russia to drop its designation of two allies - the United States and the Czech Republic - as "unfriendly countries" and committed funds to the Kabul airport.
It said it would respond to Russia's growing nuclear arsenal and called on Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities.
In a first for the Western military alliance, it said China was posing "systemic challenges" for the 30-nation pact.


New Israeli government faces tension with Palestinians over Jerusalem

New Israeli government faces tension with Palestinians over Jerusalem
Updated 14 June 2021

New Israeli government faces tension with Palestinians over Jerusalem

New Israeli government faces tension with Palestinians over Jerusalem
  • Jerusalem march by Jewish nationalists poses immediate challenge to the new coalition

JERUSALEM: Veteran leader Benjamin Netanyahu handed over power in Israel on Monday to new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett but remained defiant as the patchwork government faced tensions with Palestinians over a planned Jewish nationalist march.
Minutes after meeting Bennett, Netanyahu repeated a pledge to topple the new government approved on Sunday by a 60-59 vote in parliament.
“It will happen sooner than you think,” Netanyahu, 71, who spent a record 12 straight years in office, said in public remarks to legislators of his right-wing Likud party.
Formation of the alliance of right-wing, centrist, left-wing and Arab parties, with little in common other than a desire to unseat Netanyahu, capped coalition-building efforts after a March 23 election, Israel’s fourth poll in two years.
Instead of the traditional toasts marking Bennett’s entry into the prime minister’s office, Netanyahu held a low-key meeting there with the former defense chief, who heads the nationalist Yamina party, to brief him on government business.
“Sour, grumpy, not stately – Trump-like until the final moment,” Yossi Verter, a political affairs commentator, wrote in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper.
The government was already facing a sensitive decision over whether to approve a flag-waving procession planned for Tuesday by Jewish nationalists through the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.
Palestinian factions have called for a “day of rage” against the event, with memories of clashes with Israeli police still fresh from last month in contested Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and in a neighborhood of the city where Palestinians face eviction in a court dispute with Jewish settlers.
“This is a provocation of our people and an aggression against our Jerusalem and our holy sites,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said.
The Hamas Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip warned of the possibility of renewed hostilities if the march goes ahead, less than a month after a cease-fire ended 11 days of cross-border hostilities with Israeli forces.
A route change or canceling the procession could expose the Israeli government to accusations from its right-wing opponents of giving Hamas veto power over events in Jerusalem.
Israeli police were due to present their route recommendations to government officials on Monday.
Deputy internal security minister Yoav Segalovitz said past governments had stopped nationalists visiting Muslim sites in times of tension.
“The main thing is to consider what’s the right thing to do at this time,” he told Israel’s Kan radio.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, to be the capital of a state they seek to establish in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem in a move that has not won international recognition after capturing the area in a 1967 war, regards the entire city as its capital.
With any discord among its members a potential threat to its stability, Israel’s new government had hoped to avoid hot-button issues such as policy toward the Palestinians and to focus on domestic reforms and the economy.
“I think the milestone to look out for is the budget,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute. “If within 3-4 months this government will pass the 2021-22 budget then we can expect this government to serve for at least two or three years. Otherwise, the instability will continue.”
Palestinians held out scant hope of a breakthrough in a peace process leading to a state of their own. Talks with Israel collapsed in 2014.
“We don’t see the new government as less bad than the previous ones,” Shtayyeh told the Palestinian cabinet.
Under the coalition deal, Bennett, a 49-year-old Orthodox Jew and tech millionaire who advocates annexing parts of the West Bank, will be replaced as prime minister in 2023 by centrist Yair Lapid, 57, a former television host.
Lapid, widely regarded as the architect of the coalition that brought down Netanyahu, is now foreign minister.


Sudan says it is open to conditional interim deal on Ethiopia dam

Sudan says it is open to conditional interim deal on Ethiopia dam
Updated 14 June 2021

Sudan says it is open to conditional interim deal on Ethiopia dam

Sudan says it is open to conditional interim deal on Ethiopia dam
  • Ethiopia is pinning its hopes of economic development and power generation on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
  • Sudan and Egypt agreed last week to coordinate efforts to push Ethiopia to negotiate "seriously"

KHARTOUM: Sudan is open to a partial interim agreement on Ethiopia’s multi-billion-dollar dam on the Blue Nile, with specific conditions, Irrigation Minister Yasir Abbas said on Monday.
While Ethiopia is pinning its hopes of economic development and power generation on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Egypt fears it will imperil its water supply and Sudan is concerned about the impact on its own water flows.
Sudan and Egypt agreed last week to coordinate efforts to push Ethiopia to negotiate “seriously” on an agreement on filling and operating the GERD.
Cairo and Khartoum had been aligned on the need for any agreement to be comprehensive, but Abbas’s comments mark a potential shift in Sudan’s position.
” conditions include the signing-off of everything that has already been agreed on in negotiations, ... provisions to ensure that the talks continue even after the filling scheduled for July, and the negotiations adhering to a definite timetable,” Abbas told a news conference, citing a time crunch.
Ethiopia has said it will begin a second filling of the reservoir behind the dam during the rainy season this summer.
Talks overseen by the African Union, aimed at reaching a binding agreement, have repeatedly stalled.