Libya armed groups step back after Tripoli escalation

Libya armed groups step back after Tripoli escalation
Fathi Bashagha holds a news conference after east-based lawmakers named Bashagha to replace then Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah as head of a new interim government, in Tripoli in February. (AP)
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Updated 11 March 2022

Libya armed groups step back after Tripoli escalation

Libya armed groups step back after Tripoli escalation
  • Libya has had rival administrations since the eastern-based assembly swore in a prime minister
  • Pro-Bashagha forces had deployed on the eastern edges of Tripoli on Thursday

TRIPOLI: Libya’s parliament-appointed prime minister said Friday that armed groups backing him had withdrawn from positions around Tripoli, after the UN warned of a new escalation in the divided country.
Libya has had rival administrations since the eastern-based assembly swore in a prime minister earlier this month in a challenge to interim premier Abdulhamid Dbeibah.
Dbeibah has refused to hand over power to Fathi Bashagha, arguing that his own administration, installed last year under a United Nations-led peace process, has a mandate to rule until elections.
Pro-Bashagha forces had deployed on the eastern edges of Tripoli on Thursday, prompting the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to warn against any escalation.
But Bashagha’s office said in a statement in the early hours of Friday that the groups had “opted not to use arms, and to return to their bases.”
The groups had mobilized “to provide security, not to wage war,” it said.
Libya has been riven by conflict since the 2011 revolt that toppled dictator Muammar Qaddafi, and has had two rival governments before: from 2014 until Dbeibah was sworn in last year.
Washington’s ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, had also warned Thursday against spiralling tensions.
Late Thursday evening he said he had spoken to both Dbeibah and Bashagha, praising what he said were moves to resolve the standoff peacefully.
He commended Dbeibah’s “commitment to protect lives” and Bashagha’s “willingness to de-escalate tensions.”
“Libya’s stability and unity can only be sustained through dialogue and respect for the right of freedom of movement throughout the country,” he tweeted.
In a recording published on Friday, Bashagha said he was “ready for any dialogue” and repeated that he was “a supporter of peace, not war.”
“We reassure our compatriots in Tripoli that there will not be a war,” he said.


US says only way to achieve return to nuclear deal is for Tehran to abandon extraneous demands

US says only way to achieve return to nuclear deal is for Tehran to abandon extraneous demands
Updated 8 sec ago

US says only way to achieve return to nuclear deal is for Tehran to abandon extraneous demands

US says only way to achieve return to nuclear deal is for Tehran to abandon extraneous demands

LONDON: The only way to achieve a mutual return to the nuclear deal is for Tehran to abandon its extraneous demands, the US State Department said on Monday.

Developing 


EU joins protests over Israeli decision to demolish Palestinian Bedouin school

EU joins protests over Israeli decision to demolish Palestinian Bedouin school
Updated 11 min 3 sec ago

EU joins protests over Israeli decision to demolish Palestinian Bedouin school

EU joins protests over Israeli decision to demolish Palestinian Bedouin school
  • Palestinian politician Mustafa Al-Barghouthi told Arab News that Israel does not take the EU seriously

RAMALLAH: Palestinians have expressed anger over an Israeli court decision to demolish a school serving a Palestinian Bedouin community east of Ramallah in the West Bank that was built with EU financial support early this year.

The school was built in mid-January, and served 17 students and children of the Bedouin community from the first to the sixth grade.

More students were expected to attend the school in the coming year. The only other school available to the Bedouin community is 11 km away.

The Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission, in cooperation with a Palestinian legal body, succeeded in obtaining a decision from the Israeli court in Jerusalem not to demolish the school for 10 days after the civil administration staff of the Israeli authorities stormed the area and announced its intention to carry out the demolition.

On Aug. 12, representatives, ambassadors and consuls of the EU visited the school to show solidarity with the students and protest against the court’s decision.

Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff, the EU’s representative in Palestine, said: “This is not the first visit in which we meet to protest against the decisions of the occupation. Israel, as the occupying power, must respect the right to education under international law and relevant international conventions, and guarantee the right of Palestinian children to reach their schools easily.”

He described the decision to demolish the school as “illogical,” adding that it is a clear violation of all international obligations and amounts to forced displacement.

Palestinian politician Mustafa Al-Barghouthi told Arab News that Israel does not take the EU seriously.

Barghouthi said that that the circumstances surrounding the school demolition reveal the EU’s double standards over Ukraine and what is happening in Palestine, adding that Israel understands only the language of force, and does not respect human rights or the rights of the Palestinian people.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh affirmed his rejection of the Israeli court decision.

“The Israeli occupation’s decision to demolish the Ein Samiya school comes within the framework of the war on Palestinian identity, and within the framework of frantic attempts to the family education,” he said during the Cabinet session on Monday.

“The halt to the completion of the construction of the Ein Samiya school and the attempts to impose the Israeli curriculum on Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem are two sides of the same coin.”

The Palestinian Ministry of Education also condemned the Israeli court’s decision.  

A ministry spokesman, Sadiq Al-Khaddour, said that the decision aims to displace Palestinians from their lands.

Israel’s targeting of Ein Samiya school is part of an attack on Palestinian national identity and education in all areas, he said.

The ministry said that it is looking at mechanisms to stop the demolition, in cooperation with friends, partners, organizations and international bodies.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities canceled the licenses of six Palestinian private schools in Jerusalem for teaching the Palestinian curriculum instead of the Israeli version.

“We will defend our Palestinian curriculum and the right of our children to education in all regions,” Shtayyeh said.

 


Canada, Egypt discuss aspirations to boost bilateral cooperation 

Canada, Egypt discuss aspirations to boost bilateral cooperation 
Updated 31 min 29 sec ago

Canada, Egypt discuss aspirations to boost bilateral cooperation 

Canada, Egypt discuss aspirations to boost bilateral cooperation 
  • Foreign Affairs minister says Egypt hopes Canada will increase investments in the country

CAIRO: Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met with Canadian Minister of International Development Harjit Sajan on Sunday to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations and other topics of common interest, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry reported.

Shoukry emphasized the remarkable increase in cooperation between the two countries in recent years and discussed with Sajan the importance of developing relations across various fields, including health, rural development, women’s empowerment and capacity-building within the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals framework.

The two parties also discussed ways to address developmental and economic challenges at the international and regional levels. 

Shoukry expressed Egypt’s desire to increase the volume of existing projects and, indirectly, Canadian investment in the country.

As the president-designate of the upcoming UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, or COP27, Shoukry reviewed the most recent developments concerning Egypt’s hosting of the conference in Sharm El-Sheikh this November. 

He reiterated Egypt’s vision for COP27, which focuses on moving from promises to actual implementation of initiatives, building on the momentum gained at COP26 to mobilize support for global climate action. 


Kuwait’s Nayef Palace granted Islamic Heritage Site status

Kuwait’s Nayef Palace granted Islamic Heritage Site status
Updated 15 August 2022

Kuwait’s Nayef Palace granted Islamic Heritage Site status

Kuwait’s Nayef Palace granted Islamic Heritage Site status
  • ICESCO award recognizes historical significance of 219-room building
  • Decision marks another cultural milestone for Kuwait, official says

KUWAIT: Naif Palace in Kuwait City has been designated an Islamic Heritage Site by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Kuwait News Agency reported on Monday.

Dr. Waleed Al-Saif, president of the heritage committee of the Islamic world at ICESCO, said the decision to recognize the palace was made during the committee’s 10th session in Rabat.

He hailed it as another cultural milestone for the country.

Kuwait’s Kazma area, Failaka Island and Al-Qurainya are already on the list.

Other Kuwaiti sites that made the ICESCO preliminary list were: Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jabir Palace, Mubarak Al-Kabeer marine reserve and Boubyan Island.

According to Al-Saif, the committee has members from nine Islamic nations chosen by the culture ministers of 54 Muslim countries.

He said the decision to make Naif Palace an Islamic Heritage Site was made in accordance with international standards of evaluation, adding that such monuments needed to be preserved and protected for future generations.

Naif Palace, which covers an area of 28,802 square meters, was built in 1919, during the reign of Emir Sheikh Salem Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. It has 219 rooms and also houses a mosque, a garrison dormitory and an ammunition depot.

The palace was expanded in 1950 and now serves a ceremonial role during Ramadan, with a canon drill performed and broadcast on national TV to signal the breaking of fast.


Muslim rescues children from Egypt church fire

Muslim rescues children from Egypt church fire
Updated 26 min 23 sec ago

Muslim rescues children from Egypt church fire

Muslim rescues children from Egypt church fire
  • Muhammad Yahya: I quickly entered the church to save people … and I encountered a lot of fire and smoke
  • The density of the fumes obstructed Yahya’s breathing and vision, so he took off his T-shirt, doused it in water and placed it over his nose to block the fumes

CAIRO: A young Egyptian Muslim rescued five children from Sunday’s fire at the Abu Sefein church in the city of Giza, which killed 41 people and injured 14.

“I quickly entered the church to save people … and I encountered a lot of fire and smoke,” said Muhammad Yahya, who lives next door and was injured during the rescue.

He added that he headed to the church because he heard screams from inside the building. The density of the fumes obstructed Yahya’s breathing and vision, so he took off his T-shirt, doused it in water and placed it over his nose to block the fumes from his respiratory path.

He tried to rescue an elderly man by carrying him on his back, but he slipped due to the large amount of water used to extinguish the fire, and they both fell to the ground.

Yahya broke his leg in the fall and was taken to hospital. He has been visited by priests checking on his health and thanking him for his bravery.

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