Oman calls during UN address for peace and progress in Yemen and Palestine

Oman calls during UN address for peace and progress in Yemen and Palestine
Oman’s permanent representative to the United Nations Mohammed Al-Hassan addresses the 77th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, at the U.N. headquarters. (AP)
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Updated 26 September 2022

Oman calls during UN address for peace and progress in Yemen and Palestine

Oman calls during UN address for peace and progress in Yemen and Palestine
  • All parties in Yemen must abide by Gulf Cooperation Initiative, said head of Omani UN delegation Mohammed Al-Hassan as he reaffirmed support for work of UN and US envoys
  • He also reiterated his country’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Palestinian crisis, describing it as ‘an urgent need and strategic necessity’

NEW YORK CITY: The head of the Omani delegation to the UN, Mohammed Al-Hassan, told the 77th session of the UN General Assembly on Monday that the sultanate “continues to spare no effort, through constructive cooperation with all parties, to achieve peace in brotherly Yemen.”

He appealed “to all Yemeni parties to come to terms with the painful past and focus on formulating a promising and a better future for the country that would preserve their unity, security and stability.”

Al-Hassan called on those involved in the conflict to abide by the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and all relevant UN resolutions. He added that the sultanate will continue to support the UN and US envoys to the country and appreciates “their endeavors to achieve lasting peace in Yemen through dialogue.”

He called on all Yemeni parties to formulate an approach to peace and the political process in the country that will “safeguard the sovereignty, independence, security and stability of Yemen.”

Oman will “continue to provide all possible facilities and humanitarian assistance to the various Yemeni regions and governorates without exception,” Al-Hassan said, to help end the “suffering of the Yemeni people.”

Shifting his focus to the Palestinian issue, the envoy reaffirmed his country’s commitment to a “two-state solution,” which he described as an “urgent need and a strategic necessity to achieve lasting peace, mutual trust and positive cooperation among all parties in the region.”

Al-Hassan said Oman is also taking an interest in developments in Libya, Syria and Sudan, and is hoping for security and stability in “these brotherly countries.”

Looking further afield, he said that “dialogue and negotiation” efforts must be redoubled as part of moves to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

Turning to climate issues, Al-Hassan wished Egypt success when it hosts COP27, the UN Climate Change Conference, in November.

“Climate change is one of the most prominent issues of our time,” he added. “We are now facing a decisive moment. The world is in a real and difficult situation, a challenge that has wide-ranging effects, be it rising temperatures or catastrophic floods, which are all threatening the food security of many countries.”

Al-Hassan warned that these problems will become more costly to deal with unless the international community unites to address climate change. He said that Oman is launching several initiatives designed to mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce carbon emissions by “7 percent by 2030, in accordance with the UN climate agreement.”

He added: “We are moving toward achieving a neutrality of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Al-Hassan highlighted Oman’s green-energy sector and set out the sultanate’s green hydrogen aspirations. Referring to the National Alliance for Hydrogen, he noted that the country’s climate is favorable for the development of green hydrogen technology, with the efforts enhanced by the sultanate’s strategic geographical location.

Oman is currently developing the world’s largest green hydrogen plant, which is scheduled to commence operations in 2028 in Al-Wusta governorate.


Iranian ex-president lauds anti-regime protests

Iranian ex-president lauds anti-regime protests
Updated 07 December 2022

Iranian ex-president lauds anti-regime protests

Iranian ex-president lauds anti-regime protests
  • ‘Freedom trampled under pretext of protecting security,’ says Mohammad Khatami
  • Former leader calls on regime to meet protesters’ demands ‘before it is too late’

LONDON: Iran’s former President Mohammad Khatami has praised anti-regime protests and urged authorities to meet protesters’ demands “before it is too late,” the BBC reported.

The two-term reformist president, who served between 1997 and 2005, described “woman, life, freedom” as a “beautiful slogan,” and said that it showed Iranian society was moving toward a better future.

Khatami also criticized the security forces’ crackdown and arrest of students.

“It should not be allowed that freedom and security are placed in opposition to one another, and that as a result freedom is trampled under the pretext of maintaining security, or that security is ignored in the name of freedom,” he said.

“I advise officials to appreciate this presence and instead of dealing with it unjustly, extend a helping hand to them and, with their help, recognize the wrong aspects of governance and move toward good governance before it is too late.”

Khatami’s comments came in a statement to mark Student Day on Wednesday, with students having been at the forefront of the wave of protests that are now into their fourth month.

Protests were sparked by the September murder of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s notorious morality police.

Her death ignited pent-up frustrations over falling living standards, and discrimination against women and minorities.

Protests have spread to more than 150 cities and 140 universities in all 31 of Iran’s provinces, and are now considered the most serious challenge to the regime since it took power in the 1979 revolution.

Iran’s leadership has sought to portray the protests as “riots” instigated by “foreign enemies.”

Despite the brutal crackdown by security forces, which have led to the deaths of 473 protesters and the detention of more than 18,000 people, demonstrations show little sign of abating, with Khatami describing student involvement as “perhaps unprecedented.”

Iran’s judiciary also sentenced five protesters to death on charges of “corruption of the Earth” on Tuesday, with 11 others, including three children” handed long prison sentences.

Director of Iran Human Rights Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam told AFP News: “These people are sentenced after unfair processes and without due process. The aim is to spread fear and make people stop protesting.”

A total of 11 protesters have now been sentenced to death, with the country’s judiciary chief saying on Monday that executions will be carried out “soon.”


Iran executions up more than 50% this year

Iran executions up more than 50% this year
Updated 07 December 2022

Iran executions up more than 50% this year

Iran executions up more than 50% this year
  • Over 500 people killed, says rights body
  • ‘Crackdown led by President Ebrahim Raisa’

LONDON: Iranian authorities have executed more than 500 people this year, according to data released by Iran Human Rights.

Up more than 50 percent on 2021’s figure of 333, the spike in executions marks a dramatic shift following years of decline, with numbers only likely to climb amidst the government’s brutal response to protests in the wake of the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody.

Five further death sentences were handed out to protesters yesterday, for killing a member of the security forces, bringing to 11 the total number arising from the protests.

Meanwhile nine people have been charged over the killing of Iran’s nuclear weapons chief, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in November 2020. Israel’s security agency, Mossad, has been blamed for Fakhrizadeh’s death.

Newly elected president and former prosecutor, Ebrahim Raisi, played a central role in the 1980s killing spree that resulted in the execution of thousands of opposition supporters.

His election last year, combined with the surging number of death sentences, are considered reflective of the increasing dominance of hardliners over Iranian politics.


New launch date floated for UAE’s moon mission

New launch date floated for UAE’s moon mission
Updated 07 December 2022

New launch date floated for UAE’s moon mission

New launch date floated for UAE’s moon mission
  • Initial launch date was delayed several times to allow for additional pre-flight checks

DUBAI: The UAE’s moon rover is set to blast off “no earlier than Dec. 11” after a series of tests were conducted on the SpaceX rocket.

In a statement, ispace inc., the Japanese firm that built HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lander carrying the UAE’s Rashid rover, said the initial launch date was delayed several times to allow for additional pre-flight checks on the rocket.

The Emirati-made Rashid rover will launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, US, at 7:38 a.m. GMT on Dec. 11, embarking on a five-month journey to the moon in the Arab world’s first lunar mission.

 

 

“ispace’s Mission 1 lunar lander was integrated into the SpaceX Falcon 9 fairing and battery charging operations for the lander will continue,” said the firm.

“No issues with the lander itself have been identified. As of today, no major operational changes are planned, with lunar landing scheduled for the end of April 2023.”

If the rover lands successfully, the UAE will be the fourth country to reach the moon.


Somalia praises UAE for its relief efforts in the country

Somalia praises UAE for its relief efforts in the country
Updated 07 December 2022

Somalia praises UAE for its relief efforts in the country

Somalia praises UAE for its relief efforts in the country
  • Abdul Shakour’s comments were made on the sidelines of a conference held on Wednesday at the Arab League headquarters

DUBAI: Abdul Rahman Abdul Shakour, Somalia’s special envoy for the President for Humanitarian Affairs and Drought, praised the UAE on Wednesday for its relief efforts in the drought-stricken country. 
“The UAE is a pioneer in providing the necessary support to Somalia in this crisis, as it was the first country to respond to the appeal launched by the Somali government to provide urgent relief to those affected by drought,” said Abdul Shakour.
He noted that the UAE fulfilled the needs of approximately 2.5 million people after it airlifted supplies and sent a ship carrying more than 1,000 tons of food and relief items to Somalia. 
Abdul Shakour’s comments were made on the sidelines of a conference held on Wednesday at the Arab League headquarters, which was jointly sponsored by the Arab League and United Nations.
The conference included several of senior officials from Arab philanthropic organizations and UN humanitarian bodies that aim to coordinate actions plans that will help address the worsening food situation in the African nation.


UAE leaders meet Afghanistan’s acting minister of defense

UAE leaders meet Afghanistan’s acting minister of defense
Updated 07 December 2022

UAE leaders meet Afghanistan’s acting minister of defense

UAE leaders meet Afghanistan’s acting minister of defense

DUBAI: UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum met with Afghanistan’s acting minister of defense during his official visit to the country.

The leaders discussed bilateral ties and areas of potential cooperation with Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob in two separate meetings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, reported state news agency (WAM).

They also reviewed issues of mutual interest.