On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, affirmed that there is still no possibility in sight for another ministerial meeting of the Normandy Quartet (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) since a road map on Donbass, that the ministers will have to approve, hasn’t been agreed on yet. Lavrov also said that the Normandy Quartet leaders gave instructions to their foreign policy aides to draw up a road map, the aides have been maintaining constant contacts with each other. The aides have been working to outline the sequence of steps, taking into account the principle of simultaneous efforts, agreed on by the four leaders in Berlin on 20th of October. The principle concerns security sphere and political reforms that the Ukrainian authorities should carry out according to the Minsk agreements dated February 12, 2015.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic will meet leaders of the pro-Serb opposition in Montenegro even though some of them have been accused of involvement in a coup attempt. The leaders of the pro-Serbian opposition and Serb organisations demanded an urgent meeting with Vucic in Belgrade two weeks ago about what they said was the “intolerable situation” facing the Serb community in Montenegro, but Vucic told journalists that he had not meet them yet because he was too busy.
The White House says President Barack and European leaders focused their talks on Friday on the need to secure a diplomatic resolution to the conflicts in Syria and eastern Ukraine. On Syria, the White House says the leaders expressed grave concern about the humanitarian situation in Aleppo. They agreed that increased attacks by the Syrian regime and its supporters, including Russia and Iran, should be immediately halted. The White House says the leaders are also calling for humanitarian access to the city to be restored.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chaired on Tuesday the 15th Joint GCC Defense Council meeting, stressing that the GCC’s Ministers of Defense should work towards more military cooperation and joint defense, as “ongoing events in the region make it incumbent upon us to cooperate and coordinate our efforts to meet future challenges.” We look forward to discussing all topics on the agenda of the meeting and putting it into effect and to discussing the outcome of the Camp David meeting, which included strengthening the military and security strategic partnership with the United States for more stability in the Gulf region” Crown Prince said.
In a bid to deal with the problems of the desalination plant in Tobruk once and for all, the Beida-based interim Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni summoned all the top water resources officials in the east of the country to an emergency meeting today. Tobruk has been facing water shortages for years, in part because of a rise in consumption but also because of declining production at the desalination plant, the result of inadequate maintenance over more than 13 years. Cracked pipes and boilers have resulted in a drop in output. Distribution pipes in the town also need replacing. Faced with this, the local authorities have been looking at various alternatives over the past year and more – from digging new wells to the construction of a new plant with a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres of water a day.
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.
Kosovo’s Minister of Justice, Dhurata Hoxha has met today with the vice president of the European Parliament and rapporteur on Kosovo, Ulrike Lunacek. Lunacek’s visit takes place after the publication of the Progress Report on Kosovo by the European Commission, a report which identifies Kosovo’s positive steps and the criteria that must be delivered in order for the country to benefit from the visa liberalization regime.
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.
President of the Supreme Political Council, Saleh al-Sammad and his deputy Kasim Labuza held a meeting with Prime Minister Abdul Aziz Bin Habtoor. During the meeting, which was held on Tuesday, the officials reviewed the process of completing the formation of a new national salvation government. Prime Minister confirmed: “the time of declaring the new cabinet will be soon in the next few days.”
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.