Houthi missiles hit Mocha as UN Yemen envoy visits city

UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg called for an ‘inclusive political settlement’ to end the conflict as he wrapped up his first visit to Yemen. (AFP)
UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg called for an ‘inclusive political settlement’ to end the conflict as he wrapped up his first visit to Yemen. (AFP)
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Updated 11 November 2021

Houthi missiles hit Mocha as UN Yemen envoy visits city

UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg called for an ‘inclusive political settlement’ to end the conflict as he wrapped up his first visit to Yemen. (AFP)
  • Three large explosions had rocked areas on edge of the city, causing damage to private properties

AL-MUKALLA: Three missiles fired by the Iran-backed Houthis on Wednesday struck Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Mocha during a visit by the UN’s special envoy to the country.

Residents claimed three large explosions had rocked areas on the edge of the city, causing damage to private properties.
“The missiles hit areas close to farms and residential areas on the city’s outskirts. I think the missiles were aimed at a security facility in Mocha,” an official, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg was reportedly in Mocha meeting with local officials, political leaders, and civil society representatives when the aerial attacks took place on Wednesday morning.
His discussions had centered around the humanitarian crisis in the Red Sea area, growing displacements, and the impact of Houthi attacks on peace and public facilities. The UN ambassador also held talks with Brig. Gen. Tareq Mohammed Saleh, nephew of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and commander of the National Resistance in the country’s western coast, on efforts to end the war.
In September, the Houthis launched a number of missiles and explosive-rigged drones toward Mocha port as officials were preparing to reopen the strategic dock. The strikes damaged parts of the newly repaired infrastructure, disrupting traffic and the reopening ceremony.
On Tuesday, during a rare visit by a UN official to the besieged city of Taiz, Grundberg met with the governor of Taiz and local political party leaders.
On his trip to Taiz, the envoy said: “We see people that are having their freedom of movement severely restricted; we see people that are affected by the declining economic situation, the frequent interruptions in the delivery of basic services like water and electricity, and a general state of insecurity.”

BACKGROUND

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg was reportedly in Mocha meeting with local officials, political leaders, and civil society representatives when the aerial attacks took place on Wednesday morning.

The Houthi missile strikes on Mocha came hours after the group’s officials had slammed Grundberg for visiting government-controlled areas, accusing him of giving a morale boost to it opponents.
Abdul Kader Al-Murtadha, head of the Houthi prisoner exchange committee, tweeted that the UN envoy had failed to broker a new prisoner swap between the movement and the Yemeni government. “It is clear that his mission is to conduct some visits to the mercenaries’ areas to raise their morale more than anything else,” Al-Murtagh said.
The UN Security Council on Tuesday imposed sanctions on three Houthi military leaders, accusing them of undermining peace and stability in Yemen and committing humanitarian abuses.
The council’s 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee added Saleh Mesfer Saleh Al-Shaer, Muhammad Abd Al-Karim Al-Ghamari, and commander of the Houthi 5th Military Region, Yusuf Al-Madani, bringing the total number of blacklisted Yemeni figures to nine.
The three leaders were blacklisted for their alleged roles in orchestrating systematic human rights crimes, including the arbitrary abductions of opponents and activists, commanding military units that shelled and attacked Yemeni cities including Marib, and smuggling weapons.
 The committee said: “As of 2021, Al-Madani was assigned to the offensive targeting Marib. Persistent Houthi repositioning and other violations of the ceasefire provisions of the Hodeidah Agreement have destabilized a city that serves as a critical thoroughfare for humanitarian and essential commercial commodities.”
Al-Shaer, Al-Ghamari, and Al-Madani are included on the Arab coalition’s list of most wanted Houthi leaders.
Meanwhile, the killing of a pregnant journalist in the port city of Aden on Tuesday was condemned by local Yemeni officials and foreign envoys who demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

Yemeni writer Rasha Al-Harazi and her husband Mahmoud Al-Atemi, also a journalist, were in their car when a blast ripped through it, killing her and critically wounding Al-Atemi.

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate described her death as “an unprecedented horrific crime,” and called on local authorities in Aden to launch an immediate probe into the incident.

Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said he had ordered an investigation by security authorities, and he vowed to put an end to terrorism.


Egypt pledges to help Libya reconstruction

Egypt pledges to help Libya reconstruction
Updated 16 sec ago

Egypt pledges to help Libya reconstruction

Egypt pledges to help Libya reconstruction

CAIRO: The head of the Egypt-based Arab Organization for Industrialization said it will “participate with its various companies and factories in the initiative to rebuild Libya.”

Abdel Moneim Al-Terras added: “The Egyptian state believes in the necessity of carrying out its national duty to support the brothers in Libya.”

He said: “Delegates from the Egyptian government had conducted exploratory visits in Libya … to determine the priority sectors in which Egyptian companies can work, as part of the reconstruction plans.”

Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Ali Faraj Al-Qatrani said reconstruction is a priority for his government, which will support all companies wishing to take part.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Syndicate of Engineers signed a cooperation protocol with the Libyan General Syndicate of Engineering Professions.

Tarek Al-Nabarawy, chairman of the Egyptian syndicate, said the protocol includes exchanging experiences.


Egypt, Qatar discuss cooperation in health sector

Egypt, Qatar discuss cooperation in health sector
Updated 25 May 2022

Egypt, Qatar discuss cooperation in health sector

Egypt, Qatar discuss cooperation in health sector

CAIRO: Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Egypt’s acting minister of health and population, discussed with his Qatari counterpart Hanan Mohamed Al-Kuwari cooperation between the two countries in the health sector.

The meeting was among others held by Abdel Ghaffar on the sidelines of the 75th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

He and Al-Kuwari discussed investment opportunities in Egypt’s health sector through the construction of advanced health facilities on par with international standards, as well as developing and raising the efficiency of medical units, centers and hospitals. They also reviewed achievements in Egypt’s health sector.

Abdel Ghaffar stressed the importance of developing a plan to raise the efficiency of medical cadres working in the health sector in Egypt and Qatar, as well as providing training programs for nursing teams and radiology technicians. He invited Al-Kuwari to visit Egyptian health facilities.


Turkey says normalization of Israel ties will help resolve Palestinian conflict

Turkey says normalization of Israel ties will help resolve Palestinian conflict
Updated 25 May 2022

Turkey says normalization of Israel ties will help resolve Palestinian conflict

Turkey says normalization of Israel ties will help resolve Palestinian conflict
  • Mevlut Cavusoglu: Two countries agreed to ‘re-energize’ relations in many areas

ISTANBUL: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that the normalization of ties between Turkey and Israel will have a “positive impact” for a “peaceful” resolution to the Palestinian conflict.
In a news conference after talks with his Israeli counterpart, Cavusoglu said the two countries agreed to “re-energise” relations in many areas, including resuming talks on civil aviation.


76 people missing after migrant boat sinks off Tunisia

76 people missing after migrant boat sinks off Tunisia
Updated 25 May 2022

76 people missing after migrant boat sinks off Tunisia

76 people missing after migrant boat sinks off Tunisia

TUNIS: Seventy six people were missing after a crowded boat of migrants sank off Tunisia on Wednesday, the International Organization for Migration said, as the numbers risking the dangerous crossing to Europe increase.
The IOM said 24 people had been rescued from the boat, which had departed from the beaches of Zawara in Libya and sank off the coast of Sfax.
In recent months, dozens of people have drowned off the Tunisian coast, with an increase in the frequency of attempted crossings from Tunisia and Libya toward Italy.
Hundreds of thousands of people have made the perilous Mediterranean crossing in recent years.


Sweden, Finland delegations in Turkey for NATO talks

Sweden, Finland delegations in Turkey for NATO talks
Updated 25 May 2022

Sweden, Finland delegations in Turkey for NATO talks

Sweden, Finland delegations in Turkey for NATO talks
  • Sweden and Finland submitted their written applications to join NATO last week
  • Turkey’s objections have dampened Stockholm’s and Helsinki’s hopes for their quick membership

ANKARA: Delegations from Sweden and Finland were scheduled on Wednesday to hold talks in Ankara with senior Turkish officials in an effort to overcome Turkey’s objections to their historic bids to join the NATO alliance.
Sweden and Finland submitted their written applications to join NATO last week in a move that marks one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications of Russia’s war in Ukraine — and which could rewrite Europe’s security map.
Turkey has said it opposes the two Nordic countries’ membership in the military alliance, citing grievances with Sweden’s — and a to a lesser extent Finland’s — perceived support to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and other entities that Turkey views as a security threat. It also accuses the two of imposing arms exports restrictions on Turkey and refusing to extradite suspected “terrorists.”
Turkey’s objections have dampened Stockholm’s and Helsinki’s hopes for their quick membership in NATO amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and puts the trans-Atlantic alliance’s credibility at stake. All 30 NATO members must agree to admit new members.
The Swedish and Finnish delegations are poised to take up Turkey’s grievances with Ibrahim Kalin, the spokesman of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal. The Swedish delegation would be headed by state secretary Oscar Stenström while Jukka Salovaara, the foreign ministry undersecretary, would lead the Finnish delegation, Turkish officials have said.
The PKK, which is listed as a terror organization by several of Turkey’s allies, has waged a decades-long insurgency against Turkey, a conflict that has cost the lives of tens of thousands people.
Turkey this week listed five “concrete assurances” it is demanding from Sweden, including what it said was “termination of political support for terrorism,” an “elimination of the source of terrorism financing,” and the “cessation of arms support” to the banned PKK and a Syrian Kurdish militia group affiliated with it. The demands also called for the lifting of arms sanctions against Turkey and global cooperation against terrorism.
Turkey said that it has been requesting the extradition of Kurdish militants and other suspects since 2017, but hasn’t received a positive response from Stockholm. Among other things, Ankara claimed that Sweden had decided to provide $376 million to support the Kurdish militants in 2023 and that it had provided military equipment to them, including anti-tank weapons and drones.
Sweden has denied that it was providing any “financial assistance or military support” to Kurdish groups or entities in Syria.
“Sweden is a major humanitarian donor to the Syria crisis through global allocations to humanitarian actors,” Foreign Minister Ann Linde told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
“Cooperation in northeastern Syria is carried out primarily through the United Nations and international organizations,” she said. “Sweden doesn’t provide targeted support to Syrian Kurds or to the political or military structures in northeastern Syria, but the population in these areas is, of course, taking part in these aid projects.”