Middle-east

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Abadi defends role of Iranian-backed paramiltaries at meeting with Tillerson

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi defended the role of an Iranian-backed paramilitary force at a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday in Baghdad. Tillerson arrived on Monday hours after the Iraqi government rejected his call to send home the Popular Mobilisation, an Iran-backed force that helped defeat Daesh and capture the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk. In his opening remarks at the meeting with Tillerson, Abadi said Popular Mobilisation “is part of the Iraqi institutions,” rejecting accusations that it is acting as an Iranian proxy. “Popular Mobilisation fighters should be encouraged because they will be the hope of country and the region,” he added. Iraq is one of the few countries allied closely to both the United […]

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Tillerson urges Iraq, Kurds to resolve conflict through dialogue

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan region on Monday to resolve their conflict over Kurdish self-determination and disputed territories through dialogue. Tillerson laid out his position at the start of a meeting in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who in turn defended the role of an Iraqi paramilitary force backed by Iran against criticism the secretary of state made on Sunday. “We are concerned and a bit sad,” Tillerson said in his opening remarks. “We have friends in Baghdad and friends in Erbil and we encourage all parties to enter into discussion … and all differences can be addressed,” he said, referring to the Iraqi and Kurdistan region capitals. Read More: […]


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UK certain Iran nuclear deal to be preserved, US says remains committed

There is absolutely no doubt that a deal between Western powers and Iran to curb its nuclear programme will survive despite the US decision not to recertify the deal, Britain’s foreign minister Boris Johnson said on Monday. Johnson was giving a speech on foreign affairs in London. US President Donald Trump broke ranks with other major powers earlier this month by refusing to formally certify that Tehran is complying with the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), even though international inspectors say it is. Read More: US’ Rex Tillerson lands in Riyadh at start of Gulf, South Asia tour The US Congress now has 60 days since Trump’s action to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions […]


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Egypt: Government sponsors home daycare

Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity will launch a project to expand the establishment of nurseries, including a new system for home nurseries, later next year. The government intends to spend 250 million pounds on the program in its first phase which will start in six provinces and last for three years, Sahar Mashhour, the adviser to the Minister of Solidarity for Social Welfare, told Masrawy. The project comes as part of the government’s request to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $12 billion loan to support the economic reform programme. According to Masrawy, the “National Early Childhood Development Program” will need an executive director and an integrated team to start work, Sahar said. Nurseries in Egypt There is currently a large […]


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Israel demolishes two Palestinian homes in Nakab

Israeli army bulldozers demolished today two Palestinian houses in the Bedouin villages of Wadi Al-Na’am and Al-Zarnouq, in the occupied Nakab (Negev) region. The head Wadi Al-Na-am’s local committee, Youssef Al-Zayadin, told Quds Press that the Nakab region is currently experiencing what he described as the “most violent campaign” by the Israeli forces, noting that it had demolished numerous houses and distributed hundreds of eviction orders to the city’s Palestinian residents. Read More: Israel undermines Trump’s bargain of the century “Israel is practicing racist activities against the Palestinians led and directed by the right-wing occupation government,” Al-Zayadin said, stressing that the occupation has been forcibly displacing the Palestinians from their villages in an attempt to remove the Palestinian cities’ Arabic identity.” […]


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Saudi Arabia, Kurdish forces are trying to steal Raqqa, warns minister

The Syrian government does not consider any city or land as liberated until the Syrian Arab army forces enter it and raise the national flag over its buildings, Syria’s information minister, Mohammad Ramez Tardjaman, said citing the Kurdish forces’ control over the Raqqa city. “We do not consider any city liberated until the Syrian Arab army enters it and lifts the Syrian flag over it. This applies to any point of the Syrian map,” Tardjaman told Russia’s Sputnik. He added that Damascus regards the withdrawal of Daesh from Raqqa as a “positive event,” stressing that it still requires the Syrian troops to enter into the city for it to be fully liberated “regardless of whether Daesh is there or some other faction or organisation”. […]


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Kuwait envoy represents conscious of Arab nations

In a surprising reaction to a report which condemned Israel, Kuwaiti Speaker of Parliament Marzouq Al-Ghanim called Tel Aviv’s delegation “brutal occupiers” and called for them to leave the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) session in Russia last week. The Israeli delegation, headed by Nachman Shai, had objected to a report submitted to the IPU which documented Israel’s repeated aggression against the Palestinian people and their parliamentarians. “I say to the brutal occupier, if you do not feel shame, then do as you please,” Al-Ghanim said, adding that the Israeli delegate “represents the most dangerous form of terrorism; state terrorism”. The video of Al-Ghanim’s poignant address has since gone viral on social media. It was clear that Arabs had longed to see […]


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Increase in number of Tunisians seeking to leave

On 17 October the Tunisian National Guard stopped five minors from illegally crossing in to Europe onboard a ship docked at the Rades Port. Locally known as the “el-harka” (the break) movement, there has been an increase in the number of people who have been attempting to smuggle themselves into Europe. The five pupils were arrested and held in custody. This came days after a boat carrying Tunisian migrants sank on its way to Italy, killing all who were on board. The event highlighted a shift in Tunisian society. Though it was previously unemployed men who made the perilous journey across the sea in hope of a better life, the victims of this boat included women and children. The number […]


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Iraq strikes back in lightening Kirkuk offensive

The Iraqi Army and allied Popular Mobilisation Units’ lightening and relatively bloodless offensive to retake Kirkuk and other disputed areas is being widely interpreted as a shot in the arm for the embattled Iraqi state. It comes on the heels of Iraq’s recapture from Daesh of Hawija, the last major Iraqi urban centre under the control of the militant group. The offensive against Kurdish Peshmerga in Kirkuk was a direct response to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s “illegal” independence referendum as Kurdish leaders had been warned repeatedly of the risk of military intervention if they pressed ahead with their plans. Now that Kurdish expansionism has been cut down to size in Iraq it is important to take stock of the broader […]


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Calls for Egypt too build more prisons

Head of the Human Rights Committee in the Egyptian Parliament Alaa Abed called for expanding prisons and detention rooms, the New Khaleej reported on Friday. During a TV Show, he said: “We visited some of the detention departments in the popular areas. There are six or seven detention rooms in every detention department. The number should be increased because the population has increased and crime developed.” Abed, who was a police officer and has been accused of torture, stressed on the importance of financial support for detention centres. “Each department is enough only for one street and we need to expand the departments,” he said. “This needs a budget.” Read: Ibrahim Halawa released from jail in Egypt In October 2016, Abed was […]