Jordan announces cancelation of summit with Biden

Jordan announces cancelation of summit with Biden
People gather around bodies of Palestinians killed in a strike on the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza after they were transported to Al-Shifa hospital, on October 17, 2023. (AFP)
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Updated 18 October 2023
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Jordan announces cancelation of summit with Biden

Jordan announces cancelation of summit with Biden
  • The White House said Biden has postponed his visit to Jordan after a deadly strike on a Gaza hospital and will only go to Israel on his Middle East trip

Jordan on Tuesday announced the cancelation of a summit involving US President Joe Biden that it was hoped would breathe new life into the Middle East peace process following major fighting between Israel and Hamas.

The summit will be held “when the decision to stop the war and put an end to these massacres has been taken,” said Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

Biden said Tuesday he was “outraged” by a deadly explosion at a Gaza hospital and had told security advisers to gather more details.

Hamas has blamed Israel for the strike, while Israel says a rocket misfired by Islamic Jihad Palestinian militants was responsible.

“I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted,” Biden said in a statement as he headed on a visit to Israel.

He added that he had “directed my national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened.”

“The United States stands unequivocally for the protection of civilian life during conflict and we mourn the patients, medical staff and other innocents killed or wounded in this tragedy,” Biden said.

President Biden has postponed his visit to Jordan after a deadly strike on a Gaza hospital and will only go to Israel on his Middle East trip, the White House said Tuesday.

Biden decided after “consulting” with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and “in light of the days of mourning” announced by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who was due at the summit along with Egypt’s president, the White House said in a statement.

“The president sent his deepest condolences for the innocent lives lost in the hospital explosion in Gaza, and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded,” the statement added.


Hamas says US military aid to Israel ‘green light’ for Gaza ‘aggression’

Hamas says US military aid to Israel ‘green light’ for Gaza ‘aggression’
Updated 4 sec ago
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Hamas says US military aid to Israel ‘green light’ for Gaza ‘aggression’

Hamas says US military aid to Israel ‘green light’ for Gaza ‘aggression’
  • Condemns US House of Representatives’ approval of billions of dollars in new military aid to Israel
GAZA STRIP, Palestinian Territories: Palestinian militant group Hamas on Sunday condemned the US House of Representatives’ approval of billions of dollars in new military aid to Israel, much of which is to strengthen Israeli air defenses.
“This support, which violates international law, is a license and a green light for the Zionist extremist government (Israel) to continue the brutal aggression against our people,” Hamas said in a statement.

Iran president to visit Pakistan, boost ties: Islamabad

Iran president to visit Pakistan, boost ties: Islamabad
Updated 3 min 59 sec ago
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Iran president to visit Pakistan, boost ties: Islamabad

Iran president to visit Pakistan, boost ties: Islamabad
  • Ebrahim Raisi will be accompanied by ‘a high-level delegation comprising the foreign minister... as well as a large business delegation’

ISLAMABAD: Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi will travel to Islamabad on Monday to meet his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said, as the two countries seek to mend ties following deadly cross-border attacks this year.
Raisi will be accompanied by “a high-level delegation comprising the foreign minister... as well as a large business delegation,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The tit-for-tat missile strikes in January in the porous border region of Balochistan — split between the two nations — stoked regional tensions already inflamed by the Israel-Hamas war.
Tehran carried out the strikes against an anti-Iran group in Pakistan the same week it targeted Iraq and Syria.
Pakistan responded with a raid on “militant targets” in Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan province, one of the few mainly Sunni Muslim regions in Shiite-dominated Iran.
Both countries have in the past accused each other of sheltering militants.
A visit to Islamabad by Tehran’s foreign minister led to the two sides pledging to improve dialogue and install liaison officers in both countries.
Sistan-Balochistan province has for years faced unrest involving cross-border drug-smuggling gangs and rebels from the Baloch ethnic minority, and Muslim extremists.
Raisi will also visit Lahore and Karachi to meet provincial leaders, according to the statement.
The countries will further strengthen ties and enhance cooperation in “trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, and people-to-people contacts,” it added.
Pakistan is counting on a joint gas project with Iran to solve a long-running power crisis that has sapped its economic growth.
A $7.5-billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline intended to feed Pakistani power plants was inaugurated with great fanfare in March 2013.
But the project immediately stagnated following international sanctions on Iran.
Tehran has built its own section of the 1,800-kilometer (1,100-mile) pipeline, which should eventually link its South Pars gas fields to the Pakistani city of Nawabshah, near Karachi.
In February, Pakistan’s outgoing caretaker government approved the construction of an 80-kilometer section of the pipeline, primarily to avoid the payment of billions of dollars in penalties to Iran due to years of delays.
Washington has warned that Pakistan could face US sanctions, saying it does not support the pipeline going forward.


Emir of Qatar begins Asia tour with state visit to Philippines

Emir of Qatar begins Asia tour with state visit to Philippines
Updated 20 min 24 sec ago
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Emir of Qatar begins Asia tour with state visit to Philippines

Emir of Qatar begins Asia tour with state visit to Philippines
  • During his tour the emir will speak with the countries’ leaders and senior officials

DUBAI: The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad began his state visit to Manila, the Philippine capital, on Sunday as part of his Asia tour, reported the Qatar News Agency.

Sheikh Tamim received a welcome at Maharlika Presidential Airport from a delegation including Rafael Perpetuo Lotilla, minister of energy; Ahmed bin Saad Al-Humaidi, ambassador of Qatar to the Philippines; and Lilibeth Velasco Puno, ambassador of the Philippines to Qatar, along with several senior officials from the Philippine government and members of the Qatari embassy.

Accompanied by an official delegation, Sheikh Tamim’s itinerary includes visits to Bangladesh and Nepal following his time in the Philippines.

During his tour, the emir will speak with the countries’ leaders and senior officials, focusing on ways to enhance cooperation and discussing issues of common interest.

Additionally, agreements and memoranda of understanding are expected to be signed across various fields.


Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 34,097

Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 34,097
Updated 21 April 2024
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Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 34,097

Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 34,097
  • The tally includes at least 48 deaths in the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said

GAZA STRIP, Palestinian Territories: The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Sunday that at least 34,097 people have been killed in the territory during more than six months of war between Israel and Palestinian militants.
The tally includes at least 48 deaths in the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 76,980 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the war began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7.


Sultan of Oman to visit UAE on Monday - WAM

Sultan of Oman to visit UAE on Monday - WAM
Updated 21 April 2024
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Sultan of Oman to visit UAE on Monday - WAM

Sultan of Oman to visit UAE on Monday - WAM

DUBAI: Sultan Haitham of Oman will visit the UAE on Monday for talks with President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, state news agency WAM reported. 

During the visit, both leaders will discuss “the deep-rooted, historical relations between the UAE and Oman and cooperation in various fields,” the agency said. 

The two leaders will also discuss a number of regional and international issues of common interest.