UN envoy: UAE has important role in supporting a Yemen-led political settlement

UN envoy: UAE has important role in supporting a Yemen-led political settlement
The UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg and the diplomatic adviser to the UAE president, Anwar Gargash, meet in the UAE. (@OSE_Yemen)
Short Url
Updated 28 October 2021

UN envoy: UAE has important role in supporting a Yemen-led political settlement

UN envoy: UAE has important role in supporting a Yemen-led political settlement
  • The envoy held meetings with senior Emirati officials and Yemenis from various political components
  • Grundberg expressed his concern over the rapidly deteriorating situation in Yemen

LONDON: The UAE has an important role in supporting a Yemen-led and inclusive political settlement to the conflict, the UN’s envoy for the country said.

“In that same spirit, progress in the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement would also contribute to strengthening political partnerships, supporting basic service delivery and stabilizing the economy,” Hans Grundberg added as he ended his visit to the UAE on Thursday.

The envoy held meetings with senior Emirati officials and Yemenis from various political components and the private sector during the visit, his office said.

He met with the diplomatic adviser to the UAE’s president Anwar Gargash and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalifa Shaheen.

The diplomats discussed the latest developments in Yemen and ongoing UN efforts to resume a comprehensive and sustained political dialogue among Yemeni parties. 

Grundberg expressed his concern over the rapidly deteriorating situation in Yemen, including intensification of the war, fragmentation of state institutions, the impact of the conflict on the economy, and delivery of basic services.

“It is high time that progress be made toward immediate and longer term political, economic and security priorities in the best interest of Yemenis,” he said.


Libya court reinstates Qaddafi presidential bid amid election chaos

Updated 7 sec ago

Libya court reinstates Qaddafi presidential bid amid election chaos

Libya court reinstates Qaddafi presidential bid amid election chaos
TRIPOLI: A Libyan court ruled on Thursday that the late leader Muammar Qaddafi’s son could run for president, his lawyer said, as arguments intensified over the conduct of an election aimed at ending a decade of turmoil.
Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi’s appeal against disqualification for the Dec. 24 vote was delayed for days as fighters blocked off the court, one of several incidents that may foreshadow wider election unrest.
In another incident on Thursday, the elections commission said armed men had stormed five election centers in western Libya, stealing ballot cards.
Analysts fear a contested vote, or one with clear violations, could derail a peace process that this year led to the formation of a unity government in an effort to bridge the rift between warring eastern and western factions.
A final list of candidates for the election has not yet been released amid a chaotic appeals process after the election commission initially disqualified 25 of the 98 who registered to run for president.
Qaddafi, who was sentenced to death by a Tripoli court in absentia in 2015 for warcrimes committed during the failed battle to save his father’s 40-year rule from a NATO-backed uprising, is one of several divisive candidates in the race.
He is a figurehead for Libyans still loyal to the former government of his father, whose toppling and death in 2011 heralded a decade of strife. After his lawyer announced the decision, his supporters celebrated in the streets across Sebha, witnesses said.
However, many other Libyans, including in the armed groups that hold the balance of power across swathes of the country, view his presence on the ballot as unacceptable after the bloody struggle to oust his father.
The blockade of the Sebha court this week by fighters allied to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar indicated the potential chaos that the planned election could unleash with armed groups backing or opposing rival candidates.
Haftar, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) controls much of eastern and southern Libya, is himself a candidate for the election. The LNA said the units allied to it had been protecting the court rather than blocking it.

El-Sisi on Renaissance Dam: We are committed to preserving our water security

El-Sisi on Renaissance Dam: We are committed to preserving our water security
Updated 29 sec ago

El-Sisi on Renaissance Dam: We are committed to preserving our water security

El-Sisi on Renaissance Dam: We are committed to preserving our water security
  • Speaking after a meeting with Spanish prime minister, Egyptian president stressed the importance of a just agreement between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on use of the dam
  • He also warned against any unilateral action that results in a fait accompli that ignores the rights of peoples in countries downstream of the dam

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Thursday reiterated Egypt’s determination to guarantee and maintain its water security, now and in the future, in light of concerns about the new Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia.

Speaking in Cairo after a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, he stressed the importance of reaching a comprehensive, just and legally binding agreement between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the rules for filling and operating the dam, which is on the Blue Nile River. He also highlighted the important role of the international community in pushing for this and working to support an effective negotiation process to achieve it.

El-Sisi also warned against any unilateral actions that result in a fait accompli that ignores the rights of the countries’ peoples, and Egypt’s vision to make the Nile River a source of cooperation and development as a lifeline for all the people of the Nile Basin countries.

Regarding the other issues discussed by the two leaders, El-Sisi said: “I had fruitful and constructive discussions with the Spanish prime minister which clearly reflected our common political will to strengthen cooperation frameworks between Egypt and Spain in various fields, allowing optimal use of our capabilities to serve the interests of both countries.

“I also exchanged views with the Spanish prime minister regarding developments in our region in general, and with regard to the overall strategic situation in the Mediterranean Basin and our common regional neighborhood."

According to the official spokesman for the Egyptian presidency, Sanchez stressed that Egyptian-European cooperation reflects common interests and enhances the distinguished relationship between the two sides, especially in light of the fact that Egypt hosts millions of refugees, and its efforts to control its coasts which have resulted in no cases of illegal immigration since 2016.

Ethiopia’s decision to proceed with the second phase of the filling of the Renaissance Dam this year before reaching a binding agreement with downstream countries Sudan and Egypt has been the most prominent challenge during the decade-long negotiation process between the three countries about the dam. The talks have been officially suspended since April after they failed to reach an understanding prior to the start of phase two. Egypt and Sudan reject Ethiopia’s decision to proceed before reaching a binding agreement on filling the dam and its operation.


Christmas cheer at Gaza Catholic school as war damage repairs go on

Christmas cheer at Gaza Catholic school as war damage repairs go on
Updated 24 min 24 sec ago

Christmas cheer at Gaza Catholic school as war damage repairs go on

Christmas cheer at Gaza Catholic school as war damage repairs go on
  • Holiday decorations are going up even as repairs to the facility continue after last May's 11-day Gaza war
  • "War won't stop us," said Sister Nabila, who joined colleagues and students in decorating a Christmas tree

GAZA: Seven months ago, Sister Nabila and two other nuns huddled in a Gaza Catholic school compound, shaken by the sound of explosions from Israel’s bombing of what it said were Palestinian militant targets nearby.
Now she is looking forward to some Christmas cheer in the Rosary Sisters’ school, where she serves as principal. Holiday decorations are going up even as repairs to the facility continue after last May’s 11-day Gaza war.
The explosions outside the school perimeter were still powerful enough to cause the structure to lean 8 centimeters (3 inches), Sister Nabila said. Engineers saved it from demolition and began fixing damaged classrooms.
No students were in the kindergarten-grade 12 school during the night-time attack on what Israel described as tunnels in the neighborhood used by militants who fired rockets at its towns.
“War won’t stop us,” said Sister Nabila, who joined colleagues and students in decorating a Christmas tree. “We are determined to have a Christmas atmosphere inside the school because this symbolizes continuity.”
With fewer than 1,000 Christians in Gaza, where two million people live, 95 percent of the 1,150 students are Muslim. Mainly Greek Orthodox, Gaza’s Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7.
Sister Nabila said she was still “overcome with fear and horror” when she recalled the night of the bombing. She and two other nuns live in the school compound.
“I thought the entire school had collapsed,” she said. “I hope there will be no more wars because Gaza had enough — our children shouldn’t live through any more wars because they leave bad memories.”
Palestinian authorities said Israeli strikes on Gaza killed 250 people, while Israeli officials put the death toll in Israel from Gaza rocket salvoes at 13. The Hamas group, which has fought four wars with Israel since 2008, runs Gaza.


Bus attack kills 10 oil workers in east Syria: state media

Bus attack kills 10 oil workers in east Syria: state media
Updated 02 December 2021

Bus attack kills 10 oil workers in east Syria: state media

Bus attack kills 10 oil workers in east Syria: state media
  • “Ten workers at the Al-Kharata oil field were martyred and another was wounded in a terrorist attack on a bus transporting them back from work,” the official SANA news agency said
  • Daesh group has regularly claimed operations in the oil-rich province

DAMSCUS: At least 10 oil field workers were killed Thursday in an attack on their bus in eastern Syria’s Deir Ezzor province, state media reported.

“Ten workers at the Al-Kharata oil field were martyred and another was wounded in a terrorist attack on a bus transporting them back from work,” the official SANA news agency said, without elaborating.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible.

But Daesh group has regularly claimed operations in the oil-rich province that was once a part of its sprawling proto-state straddling Syria and Iraq.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an explosive device was used in the bus attack in an area of Deir Ezzor where “Daesh sleeper cells are active.”

Al-Kharata oil field lies 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of Deir Ezzor city, said the Observatory.

Regime forces recaptured it in 2017 after Daesh militants were expelled from the area, the Observatory said.

The Daesh group’s self-proclaimed caliphate was declared defeated in Syria in the riverside hamlet of Baghouz in March 2019 following a gruelling US-backed offensive.

But the group still attacks government forces from hideouts in the vast Syrian desert, which stretches all the way from the Damascus outskirts to the Iraqi border.

Last month, Daesh killed at least 13 pro-regime militia fighters in an ambush in Deir Ezzor province, according to the Observatory.

Another five Syrian soldiers were killed in an explosion in Deir Ezzor that same week, state media reported.

The government’s ally Russia has carried out heavy air raids on Daesh positions in the desert over the past two days, the Observatory said.


Japan’s foreign minister urges Iran to cooperate with IAEA

Japan’s foreign minister urges Iran to cooperate with IAEA
Updated 02 December 2021

Japan’s foreign minister urges Iran to cooperate with IAEA

Japan’s foreign minister urges Iran to cooperate with IAEA

TOKYO: Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa on Thursday urged Iran to make serious efforts towards the immediate return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and to cooperate fully and immediately with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In a telephone conversation with Dr. Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Foreign Minister of Iran, Minister Hayashi also expressed his intention to cooperate with Minister Amir Abdollahian “to further strengthen and expand the historically friendly relationship between Japan and Iran in a wide range of fields.”

In response, Minister Amir Abdollahian expressed Iran’s intention to further deepen the long-established relationship between Japan and Iran, according to the foreign ministry in Tokyo.

The ministers exchanged candid views on the JCPOA in light of the talks among relevant parties that are taking place in Vienna.

In the talks, Minister Amir Abdollahian explained Iran’s stance on the nuclear issue, and both sides agreed to continue close communication on this matter.

Both ministers exchanged views on regional issues including the situation in Afghanistan, and confirmed that Japan and Iran will continue to cooperate towards the realization of peace and stability in Afghanistan, Japan’s foreign ministry said.

This story originally appeared on Arab News Japan