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Libya: Gaddafi’s son is France’s winnig card

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According to unnamed sources Saif Gaddafi is still in Zintan and he is in contact with international figures for his political ambitions. In particular, France is using Saif and backing him up in order to overcome the influence of the UAE in Libya.

El-Sisi met the UAE leaders in Abu Dhabi

in AFRICA/POLITICS by

An official statement of the Egyptian presidency said that El-Sisi had a meeting with the Prime Minister, the Vice President, the Crown Prince  of Abu Dabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander  of the UAE in Abu Dhabi. The discussion concerned bilateral relations and ways to boost cooperation between the two countries. Furthermore they discussed about cooperation in counterterrorism between Arab countries. The state news agency of the UAE said that the relations between the two countries are based on strong foundations of consensus. The Egyptian President visited the UAE after his first meeting in Oman  with Sultan Qaboos Bin Said.

Where is now the Saudi-led coalition

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

In the framework of the conflict between government forces and separatists, new questions on the role of the unity of action of the Saudi-led coalition rise. Indeed, the observers have noted that the weakening of Hadi’s government has gone hand-in-hand with the UAE’s growing power. Indeed, the United Arab Emirates is believed to be sponsoring southern Yemen’s secession in order to advance its interest in the region. Saudi Arabia support for Hadi’s government, who is from 2016 resident in Riyadh, can be also explained by the fact that its government is the one internationally recognised, thus meaning a source of legitimization for Saudi military intervention in Yemen. However, Saudi’s involvement in the conflict has diminished over time and it is more concentrated in blocking Houthi forced in its southern borders. In the meantime, the United Arab Emirates has become more involved in the conflict, indicating a division in the two countries’ agendas. Despite having a relatively small army, the UAE sent a significant number of ground forces to Yemen. In contrast, Saudi Arabia was cautious to deploy troops. The United Arab Emirates’ interest relates to the security of the Bab el-Mandab strait, one of the world’s busiest oil and gas shipping lanes. Indeed, protecting the flow of oil and gas shipments in the Red Sea and Egypt’s Suez Canal is vital for UAE’s ability to trade with Europe and North America. Since the start of the conflict, according to Human Right Watch, the UAE has been financing and training armed groups that only answer to it, setting up prisons, and creating a security establishment parallel to Hadi’s government. The Middle East Eye news website, quoting sources, reported that Hadi was incensed with the UAE, accusing Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of acting as an occupying force as opposed to a liberation one.

‘UAE on the verge of splitting Yemen in two’

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

After a tumultuous marriage of more than 27 years, South Yemen appears to be edging closer to divorcing the north in a move politically and financially sponsored by the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE). In the southern coastal city of Aden, unified Yemen’s familiar flag of three horizontal bars has all but vanished, replaced by the former Communist nation’s emblem of a red star within a sky-blue chevron, while pictures of Emirati royals adorn the hallways of government buildings and ministries. Military units once loyal to the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi are also distinctly absent. Instead, local militias and Yemeni soldiers are flanked by Emirati troops – tasked with guarding key installations and protecting Aidarous al-Zubaidi – the UAE’s ‘man in the south’ and leader of the southern secessionist movement. Perceived by some as the only credible rival to Hadi, the 50-year-old militia leader set out his vision for the region on Friday saying an independence referendum would be “held soon.” Speaking to a raucous crowd of southerners hungry for secession, he announced the formation of a new 303-member parliament, a body analysts say will be administered under his presidency.

European Parliament and Saudi Arabia confirmed their strong ties

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

A seven-member delegation from the Saudi Parliamentary Friendship Committee, led by Prince Khalid bin Abdullah bin Mishari, met in Brussels on Monday with members of the European Parliament, who reaffirmed the strong ties between the Kingdom and Europe. The head of the Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the Arabian Peninsula (DARP), Michele Alliot-Marie, said that the presence of the Saudi delegation was very significant and reflected the desire to strengthen the Kingdom’s relations with the EU. Saudi Arabia is determined to end the suffering of the Yemeni people by supporting the legitimacy and efforts of friendly countries to negotiate reconciliation. Alliot-Marie pointed out that the political crisis between Qatar and Saudi, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt is of concern to the EU, which hopes a quick solution can be reached.

Egypt’s Sisi visits Emirati crown prince to discuss relations, regional issues

in AFRICA/MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, on Monday in order to develop bilateral relations with the Gulf nation.El-Sisi arrived in Abu Dhabi earlier on Monday as part of a two-day official visit, where he was received at the Emirati capital by Mohamed bin Zayed and a range of top UAE officials.Both El-Sisi and bin Zayed stressed the distinguished strategic relations between the two countries and agreed to continue joint coordination in combating the unprecedented challenges that threaten the stability and the security of Arab nations.Egypt and the UAE maintain strong economic ties. In mid-August, the Emirati ambassador to Cairo announced that the UAE is among the biggest Arab investors in Egypt at $4.9 billion.Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also expressed his country’s full support for Egypt’s fight against terrorism. Both El-Sisi and bin Zayed discussed their efforts to combat extremism, as well as the importance of the efforts of other Arab nations and of the wider international community, especially in stopping the funding and favorable media coverage of terrorist groups.

Foreign ministers of Arab states boycotting Qatar discuss dispute during New York talks

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The foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain agreed during talks in New York on Monday that they welcome a political resolution to the festering three-month row with Qatar, on condition that the Gulf state complies with the demands and principles outlined by the quartet of Arab nations.”We discussed recent developments in the dispute with Qatar,” Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters following the talks, which were held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly at the headquarters of the Egyptian mission to the UN.The four Arab nations demand that Doha comply with six principles, including a commitment to combating terrorism and ending what they describe as acts of incitement and interference in the internal affairs of other Arab countries.They also demand that the Gulf monarchy abide by a list of 13 demands for Qatar, which include ending its support for the Muslim Brotherhood group, shutting down the Doha-based Al-Jazeera news channel, closing a Turkish military base and downgrading its ties with Iran.

Al-Qaeda ousted from Hadi’s home district

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Yemeni forces backed by the UAE have driven Al-Qaeda militants from a southern district that is the birthplace of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Seven suspected Al-Qaeda members were arrested during the Wadea operation including an alleged explosives expert known as Abu Abdallah. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, seen by the US as the network’s most dangerous branch, has exploited years of conflict between the government and Houthi militias to expand its presence in Yemen, particularly in southern provinces. Separately, a Saudi pilot was killed in Yemen while providing air support for an operation against Al-Qaeda militants, a Saudi-led coalition backing the government. The Saudi Royal Air Force plane crashed in the southern province of Abyan on Wednesday night “due to a technical failure. Meanwhile, UN humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick said in Aden that the UN is in the process of expanding its role in southern Yemen.

Houthis threaten Saudi, UAE civilian targets

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Houthi insurgents threatened to attack civilian targets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE in response to Saudi Arabia’s call to put Yemen’s Al-Hodeida port under UN administration. Houthi leader Abdel-Malek Al-Houthi said his militia’s ballistic missiles were capable of reaching the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi and anywhere inside Saudi Arabia. The Iran-backed Houthi rebels had repeatedly launched missiles and rockets toward targets in Saudi Arabia, including two that Saudi security officials had said were aimed at the holy city of Makkah. In both instances, the missiles were shot down by Saudi Air Defenses Forces before they could cause any damage. A number of rocket attacks aimed at targets across Saudi Arabia’s southern border with Yemen had resulted in deaths and injuries, both involving military and civilians. Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, is fighting to drive the Houthis out of cities they seized in 2014 and 2015 in a rapid rise to national power. The United Nations had proposed that the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, where 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports arrive, should be handed to a neutral party, to smoothen the flow of humanitarian relief and prevent the port from being engulfed by Yemen’s two-year-old war.

Arab-Qatari crisis continues to escalate during UN Human Rights session in Geneva

in AFRICA/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The three-month old crisis between four Arab countries and Qatar has continued to escalate, as the latest conflict took place on Monday at a UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.Speaking on behalf of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt during the session, the Emirati envoy to the UN, Obaid Al-Zaaby, accused the Qatari foreign minister of “distorting facts, reflecting the Qatari approach in misleading the international public opinion towards the political crisis”.Al-Zaaby read a joint statement issued by the four boycotting countries, which stated that the Qatari foreign minister ought to announce the end of his country’s support of terrorism.Meanwhile, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani maintained that the boycotting states were violating international and human rights, adding that there were about 26,000 complaints filed by Qatari citizens claiming to have faced personal inconveniences. Accusing the four states of imposing a “blockade”, Al-Thani called on the international community to take measures against them.

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