Members of Libya’s High Council of State have agreed to meet a delegation from the Libyan House of Representatives in Cairo as part of talks hosted by Egypt to reach a political settlement to the Libyan civil conflict, according to Egypt’s army spokesman. Egypt’s Army Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazi, who is mediating talks between Libyan factions, received on Thursday the delegation from Libya’s High Council of State with the attendance of Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry. Talks were held on Monday and Tuesday between the chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council Fayaz Al-Sarraj, who is based in the capital Tripoli in the west of the country and is recognised by the UN as the country’s president, and Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar and Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh, who both represent the House of Representatives in eastern Libya’s Tobruk. Attendants of the meeting expressed their appreciation for the Egyptian role to reach a solution to the Libyan crisis, calling on Libya’s House of Representatives to make use of this opportunity to save the situation in the country. Over the past months, Cairo has held meetings with different Libyan political factions, where Egypt has stressed the need for a political consensus to end the crisis in the country.
Speaking at the opening of the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul, Yildirim said the threat from terrorism was global. “If we are talking about security, nowhere in the world is safe… terrorism does not recognize borders” he said. “There is no place safe from terrorism. The fear and threat of terrorism is only useful to terrorists. “I say it proudly and confidently – Turkey is as safe as the United States, Istanbul is as safe as Paris, Ankara is as safe as Sarajevo, Izmir is as safe as Baku. Therefore, please do not let terrorism sabotage tourism”. The prime minister hailed those working in the tourism sector as “volunteer peace ambassadors”. A string of terror attacks across Turkey have threatened the country’s vital tourism industry, with the number of foreign visitors dropping from 36.8 million in 2014 to 25.4 million last year, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry. However, Yildirim said Turkey aimed to attract 8 million more tourists in the first stage of a campaign to boost tourism earnings to $50 billion, unveiled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week. He also stressed the non-financial benefits of tourism. “It is insufficient to evaluate tourism only from an economic point of view” he said. “Tourism is beyond that. It is primarily the meeting of cultures, the meeting of civilizations
Lahur Talabani, Director of the Kurdistan Region’s Protection and Information Agency, have said there were signs that ISIS was planning to shelter in the Hamrin Mountains in the northeast of Iraq. “It is a very tough terrain. It is very difficult for the Iraqi military to control” and “It’s a good hideout place and a place they could have access from province to province without getting detected”, he added. Talabani also expressed concern that another group similar to ISIS could manifest in Iraq if political leaders failed to secure reconciliation between sects: “… maybe not Daesh [ISIS], but another group will pop up under a different name, a different scale. We have to be really careful, These next few years will be very difficult for us, politically”. Lastly he have said that Iraqi forces have months of street-to-street and house-to-house fighting ahead of them before the western side of Mosul is regained from the militants.
Concerns of the agricultural sector are been discussed in a meeting this Thursday between Youssef Chaded, Chief of Government, and the President for Tunisian Unity of Agriculture and Fishery (UTAP). After this meeting they have decided to creat a commision 5 and 5 (Government and UTAP) wich will focus on important and vital issue, including irrigation water, milk price and agricultural extension. Meeting between these two leader comes after the statement by UTAP members to boycott the collection of agricultural products. According to UTAP Government has not honored its commitments, in addition of its lack of seriousness in the management of issue in this sector.
Liberating Syria’s northern city of Raqqa, a Daesh stronghold, is not a top priority for the Syrian government, even though it is on the list of important objectives, Syrian President Bashar Assad said. He stressed that Raqqa is “no more than a symbol of the Islamic State [Daesh]”, and that “the IS [Daesh] is present everywhere” – near Damascus, in Palmyra, eastern Syria. Priorities are everywhere. And they depend on the military development. But for us everything is important — Raqqa, Idlib, Palmyra”, Assad told French radio station Europe1 in an interview published on Thursday.
Eleven minors including small children were among the 24 civilians killed in new Turkish airstrikes against al Bab, the national observatory for human rights in Syria (Ondus) said Thursday. Eight women were also reportedly among the dead. Ondus said 89 civilians including 27 minors and 16 women have died in Turkish air strikes against the last remaining ISIS stronghold in northwest Syria in the last 10 days.
A military leadership will never take hold of Libya” Belhaj told Middle East Eye. “Haftar has no chance at ruling this country at all and the coming days will attest to this”.Belhaj, who heads the al-Watan Party, is based in Tripoli where the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) has held power since December 2015. But the GNA’s authority faces huge challenges. Egypt-allied Haftar and the head of the Presidential Council of the GNA, Fayez Al-Sarraj, met in Cairo earlier this week as part of a series of Tunisian-Algerian-Egyptian initiatives aimed at resolving Libya’s crisis. Although Sarraj and Haftar refused to meet face-to-face, they agreed to honor a plan to create a joint committee to negotiate reconciliation and elections by February 2018, despite lingering tensions. The discussions revolved around forming a mini-government that would have a unified military council headed by Haftar in cooperation with military officers from all across Libya. The initiative reportedly gathered support from Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, three countries that have over the past months been involved in mediation efforts focused on launching a Libya-Libya dialogue for national reconciliation. Despite the combined pressure from Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt to resume peace talks, the political process is unlikely to move forward in the foreseeable future because on the one hand Haftar is convinced he doesn’t need a deal and the other side is very fragmented.
The interior minister confirmed the arrest of 18 individuals in the Kingdom belonging to four islamic state in Iraq and Syria. Fifteen of them were Saudi citizens and the other three were from Yemen and Sudan. During the arrests about two million riyals were confiscated and the spokesperson for Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry al-Turki said most of those arrested supply materials to the ISIS cells in Riyadh. The ministry affirmed that ISIS cells in Saudi Arabia have spread to Mecca, Medina, Riyadh and Qassim regions.
An explosion occurred in southwestern Baghdad on Thursday killing 45 people and wounding another 56 second the CNN. The explosion was due to a car bomb which hit a busy car market in the predominately Shia district of al-Bayaa. Medical sources told Reuters that the death toll is expected to rise as the wounded are in critical condition while ISIS claimed the responsibility with an online statement.
300 civilians were kidnapped by the Houthi militias in the district of Ramid maybe in revenge for the killing of Houthis commander Al-Alwi last Friday in the district. Before kidnapping civilians, militias raided the houses, drove out families by force and now they continue to surround the village blocking its entrance and exit points. The majority of the civilians kidnapped are children and according to local and international human rights reports many of the detained are subjected to torture,beatings,flogging and electrocution and exposed to frost and ironing with fire to force them to confess crime they did not commit.