UAE minister Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak opens World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi

Update UAE tolerance and coexistence minister, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, during his opening address at the World Policy Conference. (Screenshot/WPC)
UAE tolerance and coexistence minister, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, during his opening address at the World Policy Conference. (Screenshot/WPC)
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Updated 01 October 2021

UAE minister Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak opens World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi

UAE tolerance and coexistence minister, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, during his opening address at the World Policy Conference. (Screenshot/WPC)
  • WPC is an independent organization which was launched in 2008 by Thierry de Montbrial, the President and Founder of the French Institute of International Relations

ABU DHABI: Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, UAE tolerance and coexistence minister, officially opened on Friday the World Policy Conference (WPC) in Abu Dhabi.

“We welcome you again to the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi, as a distinguished group of influential political, economic and business leaders,” Al-Nahyan said during the opening.

The minister praised the country’s efforts at co-existence among different cultures and religions and said it creates a conducive environment and makes doing business easier.

WPC is an independent organization which was launched in 2008 by Thierry de Montbrial, the President and Founder of the French Institute of International Relations, to enhance governance and promote a more open and prosperous world.

The organizers say the annual event “brings together leading figures from all five continents – political and business leaders, academics and journalists – in a spirit of tolerance that is the only one conducive to the pursuit of the common good.”

During an earlier session, Josep Borrell Fontelles, the high representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, spoke about the neighboring Middle East, the Lebanese crisis and Tunisia.

“I don’t think we need a full strategy from Gibraltar to Syria, but we need to have a clear idea of how to deal with our neighbors, and I think we have,” he said, highlighting that Lebanon is a different case.

Fontelles added that since the Beirut port explosion, he and other officials including French President Manual Macron, have been pushing the political class of Lebanon to act and face the political challenges of the country, but admitted that the EU’s “ambitions” for the region have not been “fulfilled.”

“We can help them, we can provide political support, we can put political pressure, but we can not substitute them,” he commented on the current Lebanese crisis.

Meanwhile in Tunisia “we had to place ourselves in respect to the political development,” Fontelles added.

On behalf of Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, deputy minister for foreign affairs Waleed Alkhereiji, conveyed the Kingdom’s congratulations to the UAE on its 50th national day, the inauguration of Expo 2020 in Dubai as well as organizing the 14th World Policy Conference.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the UAE for three occasions. First, their 50th national day anniversary, and second for the inauguration of Expo, and third for convening or hosting this conference in the capital Abu Dhabi,” Alkhereiji said.

He said the conference presents a unique opportunity to improve direct engagement on regional and global issues.

“The insight shared here works towards informing policy making by gathering officials, researchers, business leaders and industry experts under the same roof,” Alkhereiji said.

The conference will host several prominent politicians such as existing and previous prime ministers, foreign ministers and high-ranking officials of global and regional organizations. The international guests will discuss health, environment, sustainability, food resources and other political issues.


Egypt church fire not deliberate: Probe

Egypt church fire not deliberate: Probe
Updated 18 August 2022

Egypt church fire not deliberate: Probe

Egypt church fire not deliberate: Probe
  • The public prosecution questioned 33 witnesses, including the 16 people injured

CAIRO: The fire that broke out in the Abu Sefein Church in Egypt on Sunday was not deliberate, according to an investigation by the public prosecution.
The cause of the fire, which killed 41 people, was a defect with an electric generator in the church after it was turned on due to a power outage.
The public prosecution questioned 33 witnesses, including the 16 people injured, who said they heard the sound of electric charges emanating from inside the church, and the fire broke out after that. Prosecutor General Hamada El-Sawy said the victims had died of smoke inhalation.


Coptic pope offers condolences over church fire

Coptic pope offers condolences over church fire
Updated 18 August 2022

Coptic pope offers condolences over church fire

Coptic pope offers condolences over church fire
  • Blaze in Egyptian city of Giza killed 41 people, injured 16
  • ‘We thank God for all those who contributed to containing this crisis’

CAIRO: The Egyptian people showed their genuine nature with regard to Sunday’s fire in Abu Sefein Church that killed 41 people and injured 16 in the city of Giza, said the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Pope Tawadros II thanked everyone who contributed to containing the blaze, and offered condolences to the family of a priest who died.

“He was a beloved priest until his last breath, and we console the people of the church, both adults and children, knowing that they are with Christ, and that is very much better,” the pope said.

“We thank God for all those who contributed to containing this crisis, including the concerned agencies, officials, the people and neighbors.”

He said he is scheduled to meet in the next few days with the victims’ families, adding that Christian and Muslim communities in various countries have offered their condolences. The Interior Ministry said an electrical fault had caused the fire.


Russian ship carrying ‘plundered’ Ukraine grain reaches Syria: embassy

Russian ship carrying ‘plundered’ Ukraine grain reaches Syria: embassy
Updated 18 August 2022

Russian ship carrying ‘plundered’ Ukraine grain reaches Syria: embassy

Russian ship carrying ‘plundered’ Ukraine grain reaches Syria: embassy
  • "According to our information, SV KONSTANTIN has docked in Syria," the embassy said
  • It said the ship was carrying "grains that were plundered and illegally transported by the Russian occupation authorities"

BEIRUT: A Russian cargo ship allegedly carrying stolen Ukrainian grain has reached Syria, Kyiv’s embassy in Beirut said Thursday, the latest in a series of contested shipments arriving in the war-torn country.
“According to our information, SV KONSTANTIN has docked in Syria,” the embassy said in a statement to AFP.
It said the ship was carrying “grains that were plundered and illegally transported by the Russian occupation authorities,” adding that the vessel was initially destined for the Lebanese port of Tripoli.
Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russian forces of ransacking its grain warehouses since they invaded the country in late February.
The embassy’s statement came as another cargo ship carrying the first shipment of grain allowed to leave Ukraine under a UN-backed deal reportedly unloaded its cargo at the Syrian port of Tartus, which is managed by a Russian firm.
The Sierra Leone-flagged vessel Razoni was expected to arrive in Lebanon, but the shipment’s five-month delay prompted the Lebanese buyer to cancel the deal once the ship was already at sea, Ukrainian officials had said.
According to Samir Madani, co-founder of oil shipping monitoring website TankerTrackers.com, the vessel docked in Tartus earlier this week.
Satellite imagery appeared to show that the ship — which was carrying 26,000 tons of corn — was unloading its cargo, Madani tweeted on Thursday.
Earlier this month, a Syrian-flagged ship was briefly seized by Lebanese authorities following similar claims by the Ukrainian embassy that it was laden with stolen cargo.
Lebanon later released the Laodicea vessel after investigations failed to prove it carried stolen goods, drawing criticism from Kyiv’s embassy.
The Laodicea started unloading its cargo at Tartus on August 8, according to Syrian state media.
Syria is a staunch ally of Russia, which intervened in the country’s civil war in 2015 to support President Bashar Assad’s government.
Moscow has lent Damascus very limited amounts of financial aid, but it has supplied Syria with wheat as a form of assistance.
The Syrian government relies on Moscow for the bulk of its wheat imports.


Egyptian, Canadian ministers discuss cooperation

Egyptian, Canadian ministers discuss cooperation
Updated 18 August 2022

Egyptian, Canadian ministers discuss cooperation

Egyptian, Canadian ministers discuss cooperation
  • Sajjan said: “I was impressed by the Egyptian vision of empowering women.”

CAIRO: Nevin Al-Kabbaj, Egypt’s minister of social solidarity, met with Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s minister of international development, to discuss cooperation in various fields.
Al-Kabbaj reviewed her ministry’s programs and activities, including those focusing on the rights of women and the disabled.
Sajjan said: “I was impressed by the Egyptian vision of empowering women.”
Al-Kabbaj expressed her appreciation for the efforts of the Canadian Embassy and the Canadian Development Agency to support development in Egypt and her ministry’s economic-empowerment projects.


Egypt sends aid to flood-hit Sudan

Egypt sends aid to flood-hit Sudan
Updated 18 August 2022

Egypt sends aid to flood-hit Sudan

Egypt sends aid to flood-hit Sudan
  • Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed or damaged by torrential rains and floods, according to the Sudanese Civil Defense

CAIRO: Egypt has sent five military transport planes loaded with tons of relief aid to Sudan, where floods have killed 77 people and injured more than 30.

A spokesman for Egypt’s military said the aid comes “in the framework of Egypt’s support and solidarity with the brotherly Sudanese people.”

The aid includes tents, blankets, foodstuffs, medicines and medical supplies provided by the defense and health ministries.

Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed or damaged by torrential rains and floods, according to the Sudanese Civil Defense.

Heavy rains usually fall in Sudan between May and September, a period when the country experiences flash floods that damage housing, infrastructure and crops.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that 38,000 people across Sudan have been affected by rains and floods since the start of this season.