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Middle East – Africa - page 5

Guterres denies that the UN is biased on Israeli-Palestinian issues

On monday U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he believed former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad was the right person to be the world body’s envoy to Libya after the United States raised objections to the choice. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has expressed disappointment over Guterres’s choice, saying the United Nations had for too long been “unfairly biased in favour of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel”. “It is a loss for the Libyan peace process and for the Libyan people that I am not able to appoint him” Guterres said at the World Government Summit in Dubai. “I do not think there is any valid reason to avoid someone who is very competent to do a job that is extremely important” he said, adding that ending the Libyan conflict was in “everybody’s interest.” It is unclear whether the U.S. objection has ended Fayyad’s candidacy. Guterres declined to answer questions when approached by Reuters immediately after his comments. Guterres dismissed the accusation that the United Nations is biased on Israeli-Palestinian issues and said the body’s only loyalty was to its charter.

Egypt could launch an Arab rescue initiative based on a strategy to fight terrorism

President Michel Aoun on Monday started his first visit to Cairo since his election in October and held talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. “Hopes of the role that Egypt could play are high. An Egypt of moderation and openness… could launch an Arab rescue initiative based on a strategy to fight terrorism,” Aoun said at a joint press conference. The two sides “agreed on the need to stand together against the dangers of terrorism,” Sisi said, adding that Egypt was ready “to support the capabilities of Lebanon’s army and its various security bodies”. On Tuesday, Aoun will visit Jordan at the invitation of Jordanian King Abdullah II.

Aoun noted that Hezbollah’s arms are an essential component to defend Lebanon

President Michel Aoun tried again today to justify the presence of Hezbollah arms in Lebanon , stressing that the Lebanese army is not strong enough to defend Lebanon. Aoun, a key all of the Iranian backed militant group also issued a personal guarantee that Hezbollah will not point its guns against the Lebanese people. “Hezbollah are the residents of the South and are among the Lebanese citizens whose land was occupied and part of the land is still occupied,” the president noted, emphasizing that “certainly Hezbollah’s arms do not contradict with the State and are an essential component of the means to defend Lebanon.” Aoun added: “We have a land occupied by Israel and when Israel usurps certain territory, it would be difficult to recapture it. This is how we must view Hezbollah’s weapons.”

The trade exchange between Iraq and Iran has reached $6 billion in the last two years

On monday Iraqi Ministry of Trade announced that the trade exchange between Iraq and Iran has reached $6 billion in the last two years. Iraq exported goods worth $60 million to Iran in 2015 and 2016, according to the statement.“The annual rate of increase of the trade exchange between Iraq and Iran has reached more than $250 million,” the statement reported. “The rate continuously increases despite the oil price, which is low at international markets.”Trade and economic relations between Iraq and Iran have increased since 2003.

Salami: Enemies urged to be careful when talking to Iranian Nation

Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami advised enemies to be respectful and careful when addressing the Iranian nation. He said: “The enemies had better speak to the proud, resistant and strong-minded nation of Iran with respect and caution”. Salami added that the massive turnout in rallies marking the Islamic Revolution anniversary on Friday demonstrated Iran’s greatness and might to the foes, especially the US. The remarks seem to be in reaction to US President Donald Trump’s recent comment about Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Turkey is hosting three million refugees without much support

The generosity of Turkey regarding taking care of Syrian refugees should be matched by other countries, UN Chief Antonio Guterres said in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Friday. Guterres had high praise for Turkey’s efforts to deal with the millions of refugees pouring into its country. He stressed that Turkey is effectively handling the situation single-handedly at a time when other countries are closing their borders and walking away from responsibility. “This generosity should be matched,” he said of Turkey. “This is also a moment to launch an appeal – when we see so many borders being closed and when we see so many escaping their responsibilities-this is a moment to appeal for effective burden-sharing and to make sure that the integrity of the international refugee protection regime is maintained.” On Cyprus, he said the UN is in service to the two communities and the guarantor states stand ready to support a solution accepted by everyone. Prime Minister Yıldırım once gain urged the world to do its fair share to help solve problems in the region. Yıldırım said Turkey is hosting three million refugees without much support from other countries and the entire world is aware. “We want everybody to accept their responsibilities and not to be stingy on sharing burdens to end the problems in this region,” he said. Referring to Cyprus talks, Yıldırım said any new administration there should be just and the two communities, Turkish and Greek, must be equally represented.

UN Secretary Guterres: “Saudi’s stability is a model for the pursuit of change and growth”

During his first visit to Saudi Arabia, the UN Secretary General Guterres said “Saudi’s stability is a model for the pursuit of change and growth”. He also added that the cooperation between the Kingdom and the United States is key to fight terrorism. To what concern the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Guterres expressed the necessity that yemeni parties don’t take advantage of humanitarian aid. On the other hand Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Jubeir remembered the 70 agreements which the Kingdom made with Houthis and ex-President Saleh and that were never implement. Nevertheless the Kingdom will continue send humanitarian aid to Yemen.

Derna residents objected to the appointment of Brigadier General as mayor for the city

Several Derna residents objected to the appointment of Brigadier General, Hamad Al-Shalwi, as mayor for the city, saying that there is a civilian council elected in the city.
Residents have confirmed that all oppose all orders given by the so-called military governor of the eastern region, Abdelraziq Al-Nathori, in particular the decision to appoint Al-Shalwi in Derna. “All the measures following the appointment is invalid, in particular the decision to freeze the bank accounts of Derna City.” Residents have explained, rejecting the decisions that may harm the security and sovereignty of the country. They stressed that support should be given to the City Council elected, urging all official authorities to cooperate with it in its work in the city. The Chief of Army Staff of Khalifa Haftar, Al-Nathori, who was appointed by the President of the HoR as military governor to the east, had issued several orders of dubious to dismiss elected mayors and replaced them with military men, and Derna a case in point.

Libya accuses Italy of shooting down Dignity Operation ’s mi-35 attack helicopter

Member of Tobruk-based House of Representatives Ibrahim Zagaid has accused Italy of shooting down Dignity Operation ’s mi-35 attack helicopter on Friday. Speaking to Jordan-based Libya Channel on Saturday, he claimed that an Italian frigate off Sirte coast had shot down the helicopter, killing all three pilots on board. “We confirm, beyond doubt, that an Italian frigate on the shores of Sirte was behind the downing of the helicopter,” he claimed, adding that he is responsible for what he say. Zagaid, a mouthpiece of KhalifaHaftar, also claimed that a Russian newspaper had reported that the helicopter was shot down by an Italian sea-fired missile. He called on all supporters of KhalifaHaftar’s self-styled army to go to the streets to denounce Italy and its attempts to occupy Libya.

Kurdish Peshmergas attacked Islamic State’s headquarters

Media Official of Peshmerga forces in Sinjar District announced that the Kurdish forces attacked strongholds and headquarters of the Islamic State in the area.“Kurdish Peshmerga forces attacked three headquarters of the Islamic State in Rambousi Village and Telskuf area.” have said Khalil Shafan. “Last night, Peshmerga forces located members of the Islamic State in the areas of al-Baaj and al-Balij, where the militants were trying to flee toward Syria,” he further added and that the Kurdish security forces are waiting for President of Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani’s orders to liberate the remaining areas of Sinjar from ISIS control.

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