Egypt urges renewal of Black Sea grain export deal

Egypt urges renewal of Black Sea grain export deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Strel'na, outside Saint Petersburg, on July 26, 2023, ahead of the second Russia-Africa summit. (AFP)
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Updated 28 July 2023
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Egypt urges renewal of Black Sea grain export deal

Egypt urges renewal of Black Sea grain export deal
  • “I underline the importance of finding urgent solutions to furnish food and fertilizer at prices that will help Africa to surmount this crisis,” Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said
  • Russia last week refused to extend a deal brokered by UN and Turkiye

MOSCOW: Egypt’s president on Friday called on Russia and Ukraine to find “urgent solutions” to allow the resumption of Ukraine grain exports to Africa, after Moscow’s withdrawal led to the collapse of a Black Sea pact.
The Ukraine grain deal was agreed last year and allowed around 33 million tons of grain to leave Ukrainian ports, helping to stabilize global food prices and avert shortages.
“I underline the importance of finding urgent solutions to furnish food and fertilizer at prices that will help Africa to surmount this crisis,” Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said at a Russia-Africa summit in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg.
“I hope to come to a consensual solution on a grain export agreement, taking into account the requests and interests of all the parties, in order put an end to the rise in price,” he said.
Russia last week refused to extend a deal brokered by UN and Turkiye, under which Ukrainian grain exports passed through the Black Sea to reach global markets, including Africa, easing pressure on food prices.
Moscow withdrew from the agreement after protesting for months that the parts of the deal that allowed for the export of Russian fertilizer were not honored.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday opened a two-day summit in Saint Petersburg with African leaders, offering free grain to six countries on the continent.
Russia has sought in recent years to increase its influence in Africa and its Wagner mercenary group has been an active player in several African countries in recent years.


Several blasts heard in Syria capital: AFP

Several blasts heard in Syria capital: AFP
Updated 8 sec ago
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Several blasts heard in Syria capital: AFP

Several blasts heard in Syria capital: AFP

Several blasts heard in Syria capital: AFP

(Developing story)


Israel puts Golan, Nevatim, Dimona, Eilat residents on impact standby

Israel puts Golan, Nevatim, Dimona, Eilat residents on impact standby
Updated 13 min 13 sec ago
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Israel puts Golan, Nevatim, Dimona, Eilat residents on impact standby

Israel puts Golan, Nevatim, Dimona, Eilat residents on impact standby
  • Israel has a nuclear reactor on the outskirts of Dimona

JERUSALEM: Israel’s military put the northern part of the occupied Golan Heights as well as Nevatim, Dimona and Eilat on standby for possible impact from Iranian drone launches early on Sunday, instructing residents to stay close to bomb shelters.
The Golan was captured from Syria in a 1967 war. Nevatim is the site of an Israeli air base. Israel has a nuclear reactor on the outskirts of Dimona. Eilat is Israel’s southern Red Sea port, which has come under repeated attack by Yemen’s Houthis.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army said it sounded sirens in a kibbutz near the Lebanon border early Sunday, after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel.
"Sirens sounded in Kibbutz Snir, northern Israel," the army said in a statement.

 

 


Reaction to Iran’s drone, missile attack on Israel

Reaction to Iran’s drone, missile attack on Israel
Updated 19 min 8 sec ago
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Reaction to Iran’s drone, missile attack on Israel

Reaction to Iran’s drone, missile attack on Israel
  • Israel puts Golan, Nevatim, Dimona, Eilat residents on impact standby

DUBAI: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said it launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday, in an attack that could lead to a major escalation between the regional archenemies.
Here is some reaction to the attack from official statements and postings on social media:

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU
“In recent years, and especially in recent weeks, Israel has been preparing for a direct attack by Iran. Our defensive systems are deployed; we are ready for any scenario, both defensively and offensively. The State of Israel is strong. The IDF is strong. The public is strong.
“We appreciate the US standing alongside Israel, as well as the support of Britain, France and many other countries. We have determined a clear principle: Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We will defend ourselves against any threat and will do so level-headedly and with determination.”

IRAN’S MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS
.”.. Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus. The matter can be deemed concluded.
“However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the US MUST STAY AWAY!“

US NATIONAL SECURITY SPOKESPERSON ADRIENNE WATSON
“President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel’s security is ironclad. The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran.”

US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SPEAKER MIKE JOHNSON
“As Israel faces this vicious attack from Iran, America must show our full resolve to stand with our critical ally. The world must be assured: Israel is not alone.”

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER RISHI SUNAK
“I condemn in the strongest terms the Iranian regime’s reckless attack against Israel. These strikes risk inflaming tensions and destabilising the region. Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard.
“The UK will continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that of all our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq. Alongside our allies, we are urgently working to stabilize the situation and prevent further escalation. No one wants to see more bloodshed.”

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER STEPHANE SEJOURNE
“France condemns in the strongest terms the attack launched by Iran against Israel. By deciding on such an unprecedented action, Iran is taking a new step in its destabilizing actions and taking the risk of a military escalation.”

EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF JOSEP BORRELL
“The EU strongly condemns the unacceptable Iranian attack against Israel. This is an unprecedented escalation and a grave threat to regional security.”

EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT CHARLES MICHEL
“Strongly condemn the attack launched by Iran on Israel. Everything must be done to prevent further regional escalation. More bloodshed must be avoided. We will continue to follow the situation closely with our partners.”

SPANISH PRIME MINISTER PEDRO SANCHEZ
“We are following events in the Middle East with the deepest concern. We are in permanent contact with our embassies in the region which will remain open to support Spaniards in the area.”

DUTCH PRIME MINISTER MARK RUTTE
“Very worrying situation in the Middle East. Earlier today, the Netherlands and other countries sent a loud and clear message to Iran to refrain from attacking Israel. The Netherlands strongly condemns Iran’s attacks on Israel. Further escalation must be prevented. ... We continue to monitor developments very closely.”

DANISH FOREIGN MINISTER LARS LOKKE RASMUSSEN
“Denmark strongly condemns Iran’s announced attack on Israel. I urge everyone to show restraint and deescalate the situation. Iran’s destabilising role in the Middle East is unacceptable — and so is this attack.”

NORWEGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ESPEN BARTH EIDE
“I condemn the illegal and dangerous Iranian attack underway against Israel. This will further deteriorate an already extremely volatile situation. We must prevent further escalation of violence in the Middle East. I call upon all parties to exercise maximum restraint.”

CZECH REPUBLIC FOREIGN MINISTRY
“Czechia firmly condemns the destabilizing behavior of Iran and its proxies who decided to attack Israel. We reiterate the Israeli right for self-defense. Iran’s long term aggressive behavior is preventing the Middle East region to live in peace and security.”

MEXICO’S FOREIGN MINISTRY
“The government of Mexico expresses deep concern over Iran’s attack against Israeli territory, and the impact that this could have on thousands of human lives. Mexico condemns the use of force in international relations, and calls on the parties to self-restrain and seek solutions peacefully to avoid a more general conflict in the Middle East. Mexico also emphasizes the importance of respecting international law for the sake of international peace and security.”

 


US intercepts Iranian drone bound for Israel; Jordan’s air defense ready to shoot down any Iranian aircraft that violate its airspace

US intercepts Iranian drone bound for Israel; Jordan’s air defense ready to shoot down any Iranian aircraft that violate its airspace
Updated 1 min 12 sec ago
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US intercepts Iranian drone bound for Israel; Jordan’s air defense ready to shoot down any Iranian aircraft that violate its airspace

US intercepts Iranian drone bound for Israel; Jordan’s air defense ready to shoot down any Iranian aircraft that violate its airspace

WASHINGTON: The US military has shot down Iranian drone aircraft headed toward Israel on Saturday, three US officials said, without disclosing how many drones were shot down or the precise locations.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said it launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel in an attack that may trigger a major escalation between the regional archenemies.

In Jordan, two regional security sources said the country's air defenses were ready to intercept and shoot down any Iranian drones or aircraft that violate its airspace.

They said the army was also in a state of high alert and radar systems were monitoring any drone activity coming from the direction of Iraq and Syria.

Residents in several cities in the northern part of the country near Syria and central and southern areas heard heavy aerial activity. A security source said the country’s air force was intensifying reconnaissance flights.
Jordan had earlier said it closed its airspace starting on Saturday night to all incoming, departing and transiting aircraft in what officials told Reuters were precautionary measures in the event of an Iranian strike across its border.
“The relevant authorities took the decision to close the airspace for precautionary reasons as a result of the surrounding security situation,” Jordan’s government spokesperson Muhannad Mubaideen said.
Mubaideen denied media reports that the kingdom had announced a state of emergency, adding they were baseless and there was no cause for concern among its citizens.
Jordan neighbors Syria and Iraq – both countries where Iranian proxy forces operate – and also is next door to Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
It has watched Israel’s war against the Palestinian group Hamas, another Iranian ally, with rising alarm for fear of getting caught in a crossfire.
Late last year, Amman asked Washington to deploy Patriot air defense systems to Jordan to bolster its border defenses.
Officials say the Pentagon had since increased its military aid to the kingdom, a major regional ally, where hundreds of US troops are based and hold extensive exercises with the army throughout the year.
In January, three US service members were killed and dozens wounded in a drone attack by Iran-backed militants on US troops in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border.
It was the first deadly strike against US forces since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in October, and marks a major escalation in tensions that have engulfed the Middle East.


Iran’s UN mission: attack on Israel is a conflict between Iran and Israel

Iran’s UN mission: attack on Israel is a conflict between Iran and Israel
Updated 37 min 18 sec ago
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Iran’s UN mission: attack on Israel is a conflict between Iran and Israel

Iran’s UN mission: attack on Israel is a conflict between Iran and Israel
  • ” Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus

DUBAI: The United States must stay away from the conflict between Iran and Israel, Iran’s mission to the United Nations said on social media platform X on Sunday, warning Tehran’s response would be more severe if Israel retaliates.
” ... Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus. The matter can be deemed concluded,” the mission said on X.
“However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the US MUST STAY AWAY!.”