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Nigeria, famine risk

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The presidency has warned that Nigeria, Africa’s largest producer of cereals and grains, risks famine from early next year following a huge demand in the global market targeting the country’s surplus production. The huge demand for Nigerian grains in the global market is creating an excellent environment for the mindless export of Nigerian food across the borders and unless this is curtailed, Nigerian markets will be bereft of grains by January next year. The Ministry of Agriculture advised the president to call the attention of all Nigerians to the issue which, if not addressed promptly, could lead to a shortage of grains in the country.

UGTT is willing to return to the table of dialogue

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Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Secretary-general Hassine Abassi said, on Friday, that the difference between UGTT and the current government that wants to postpone the payment of wage increases, can only be settled through bringing justice to the rights holders, affirming that it is inconceivable to trample on this right. In a statement to the media at the end of a meeting with House of People’s Representatives Speaker Mohamed Naceur, Abassi added that UGTT is willing to return to the table of dialogue and accept possible options provided that this right is not violated. He pointed out that this consultation meeting, which was held at the initiative of Ennaceur whom he described as “a man of dialogue,” had turned on the difference between UGTT and the government. UGTT, he specified, still considers this government as the result of a large consultation between political parties and UGTT, which is still attached to the Carthage Document. For his part, Ennaceur underlined that dialogue will continue and that there is a real will and commitment on the part of the country’s senior officials to preserve the national union, overcome current difficulties and reinforce the citizen’s confidence in his country. There are proposals that will be looked at to reach a solution and iron out difficulties, he said.

The relations between US and KSA will remain strong

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A senior American diplomat has reassured the Kingdom about America’s continuing commitment to strong and robust relations regardless of the changes one may see after the US administration is led by Donald Trump. Christopher Henzel, deputy chief of mission at the Riyadh-based US Embassy, said that the Saudi-US partnership “will remain strong.” “This partnership is driven by the interests of both countries, and is sustained by the dense network of relationships and cooperation that has developed over the past 80 years,” said Henzel, while speaking during an election night reception hosted by the US Embassy here on Tuesday.

Another oil pipeline blown up by Nigerian militants

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Nigerian militants say they have blown up again an oil pipeline carrying crude for export from Shell’s Forcados terminal in the country’s south. It’s the third attack in eight days on the Trans Forcados pipeline network. Militants and community leaders want development and a bigger share of revenues from oil that has massively polluted the southern Niger Delta. The Niger Delta Avengers said the Tuesday night’s bombing is to reinforce warnings for oil companies to desist from repairing attacked installations.

Israel has been warned by Syria against future raids

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Syria warned Israel against future raids after the Israeli army responded to errant mortar fire that struck the northern Golan Heights. A mortar shell fired from Syria landed in Israeli territory on Wednesday morning, causing neither injury nor damage. The projectile, as with most others emanating from the war-torn country, appeared to be accidental spillover rather than an intentional attack on Israel, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. Nevertheless, the Israeli army fired back into Syria, hitting “artillery positions belonging to the Syrian regime in the northern Syrian Golan Heights,” the military said.

PM Chahed and French FM Ayrault discussed on the “Tunisia 2020” Conference on Investments

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Prime Minister Youssef Chahed met, on Wednesday in Paris, with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. In a statement to TAP, the French FM said that during the meeting they discussed the ways to provide the conditions for success of the International Conference on Investment “Tunisia 2020” scheduled for November 29 and 30. Emphasis was also placed on security co-operation between the two countries and the means and mechanisms that should be put in place to encourage the rapid return of French tourists to Tunisia. “France is actively encouraging tourists to visit Tunisia,” he said, adding that whoever believes in the Tunisian democracy should not hesitate to visit this country. Jean-Marc Ayrault also stressed that France is already very committed to Tunisia through the mobilisation of a EUR 1 billion fund over five years and contributes significantly to the doubling of European financial support to Tunisia.

French tourist have been called to return to Tunisia for their holidays

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French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, on Wednesday, called on French tourists to return to Tunisia and take full advantage of their holidays in this “beautiful country”. Tourism is a driving element of the Tunisian economy and the security situation has improved considerably, he said at the end of his meeting with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. He is making a two-day official visit to France. Some 464,665 French tourists visited Tunisia in 2015, down 35.5% compared to 2014. France has been the leading European customer of Tunisia in terms of tourism since 2004. In an exclusive statement to TAP, France’s ambassador to Tunis, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor stressed his country’s determination to actively encourage the rapid return of French tourists to Tunisia. “This position is explained by the stabilisation of the political and security situation in Tunisia insofar as the danger of terrorism is largely controlled by the efforts exerted by the military and security institutions,” he said.

Artillery strike on Syrian army targets launched by IDF

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On Wednesday the IDF launched an artillery strike on Syrian army targets in the norther Golan Heights in response to a mortar shell that fell in Israeli territory earlier in the day. The mortar shell was thought to have breached the border as fallout from fighting in Syria, however the IDF said it holds the Syrian regime responsible for all activities emanating from its territory. No injuries or damages were reported in the attack.

Errant fire from the conflict in Syrian has sporadically landed in Israeli territory during the country’s more than five-year civil war.

Current cooperation between Yemen and Russia renewed

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Acting Minister of Defense Husein Khairan met on Tuesday in Sana’a the acting Russian ambassador to Sana’a. During the meeting, they reviewed the current cooperation relations between the two countries, out of which the ongoing military cooperation between the two countries’ armies, in addition to a number of issues of common interest. Khairan affirmed readiness to facilitate tasks of the Russian acting ambassador in order to boost and expand cooperation relations between the Republic of Yemen and Russia. For his part, the Russian acting ambassador affirmed his country’s firm stance with Yemen’s unity, security and stability, affirming that he will exert all efforts in order to translate that in a way that serves relations of the two countries in different fields.

Tunisian PM wants new relations between Tunisia and France to be invented

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“We have to invent new relations between Tunisia and France,” Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on the eve of his official visit to France (November 9 and 10), the first to a European country since he took office as PM. The political commitment of France to Tunisia “needs to be taken to a higher level.” Being “the exception in the Arab Spring, the challenge now is a successful transition to a new model,” he stressed in an interview with French newspaper “Le Monde” on Tuesday. Youssef Chahed said Tunisia defends the same universal values of democracy and human rights on which Europe is built and therefore “we have to be a strategic partner with a strong commitment from the international community.” Asked about his decision to postpone salary increases in the public service and to impose new taxes on liberal professions, the Prime Minister said Tunisia is facing “a difficult economic situation (requiring) tightening a bit the belt”. “We need everyone to be involved in these sacrifices to rescue the public finances,” he said.

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