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Archive for Middle East

Newsline: Hard-Line Supporter of Israel Offers to Pay for US Embassy in Jerusalem

Sheldon G. Adelson, one of the most hawkish supporters of Israel among American Jews, has offered to help fund the construction of a new American Embassy in Jerusalem, according to the State Department, which on Friday said it was reviewing whether it could legally accept the donation. The total price tag to build the new embassy to replace the current one in Tel Aviv is estimated at around $500 million, according to one former State Department official. While private donors have previously paid for renovations to American ambassadors’ overseas residences, Mr. Adelson’s contribution would be likely to far surpass those gifts — and could further strain American diplomacy in the Middle East. Before the embassy is built, the Trump administration plans to open a temporary one in Jerusalem. On Friday, it said that it was accelerating the projected opening in time to mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel on May 14.

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Newsline: Turkish Embassy in Moscow receives envelope containing white powder

The Turkish Embassy in Moscow received an envelope containing white powder, said an Embassy employee. Preliminary examinations showed that this white powder was not hazardous, the Embassy employee told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. Since last week, 12 embassies in Moscow reported the reception of envelopes with white powder, according to security sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. No poisonous substances were discovered after examination.

https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2018/02/21/turkish-embassy-in-moscow-receives-envelope-containing-white-powder

Newsline: Iraqi ambassador to Moscow calls Turkish forces in Iraq “invaders”

The Iraqi ambassador to Moscow Haydar Hadi has described the presence of Turkish forces on Iraqi soil as an “invasion”, the Russian news site Sputnik Türkiye reported on Tuesday. “We see the Turkish soldiers’ presence in Iraq as an invasion, and have sent a message of protest on the topic,” said Hadi at a press conference in Moscow, adding that countries from the Arab League had supported Iraq’s stance. Turkish forces entered Iraq in 2015 to help the international coalition to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS), the extremist jihadist organisation that declared itself a caliphate in 2014 after seizing the Iraqi city of Mosul. The Turkish parliament voted to extend the deployment of troops at a military base in the town of Bashiqa for another year in September 2017, even though its stated objective of forcing ISIS out of Mosul had been achieved.

https://ahvalnews.com/iraq-turkey/turkish-forces-iraq-invaders-iraqi-ambassador

Newsline: Palestinians Attack Qatari Ambassador in Gaza

Palestinians in Gaza Strip attacked the Qatari ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi after his press conference at Dar al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza to announce the details of the Emiri Qatari grant, and they forced him to leave under direct threat to his life. Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that one of the cleaning workers in one of Gaza’s hospitals asked Emadi after the conference about the fate of their salaries given that they had not received any payment for the fifth month in a row. The ambassador told the striking workers, most of them hospital staff, that the Palestinian Authority was the only party authorized to discuss the issue of their unpaid salaries. He indicated that this is not an issue related to his country, adding: “This has nothing to do with the Qatari grant.” The ambassador’s response angered the workers who were hoping to receive help. They threw shoes at the ambassador before he was taken from the premises by security forces. Sources said that Emadi was not hit directly, but the workers tore pictures of the Emir of Qatar in the place, along with banners thanking Qatar for its financial aid to Gaza. Officials of the Ministry of Health in Gaza ordered the workers of the cleaning companies to attend the conference of Emadi, carrying the banners and pictures in an attempt to attract more support. The officials were also hoping to resolve the crisis that has been ongoing for more than two weeks, causing an environmental disaster in hospitals as a result of the accumulation of wastes. Asharq Al-Awsat learned that the ministry’s officials and a number of Hamas officially apologized to the Qatari ambassador.

https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1181206/palestinians-attack-qatari-ambassador-gaza-hamas-apologizes

Newsline: Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Denounces Swastikas Graffiti on Polish Embassy

Swastikas and anti-Polish obscenities on the entrance to the Embassy of Poland in Tel Aviv are not to be tolerated in Israel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Monday. Hotovely was responding to a Polish protest to the Foreign Ministry about the anti-Polish graffiti that was found at the embassy on Sunday, hours after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at the Munich Security Conference that just as there were Polish, Ukrainian and Russian perpetrators of the Holocaust – not only German ones – so too there were Jewish perpetrators.

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Hotovely-decries-graffiti-at-Polands-Tel-Aviv-embassy-543086

Newsline: Turkey renames US embassy street amid row over Syria operation

The street in Ankara where the US embassy is located was renamed after Turkey’s offensive against a Kurdish militia yesterday (19 February), just days after the two sides agreed on the need to normalise relations. Already tense ties were strained further when Ankara started a ground and air offensive dubbed “Olive Branch” last month against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in its enclave of Afrin in western Syria. Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an insurgency in Turkey which is listed as a terror organisation by the US and the European Union. But in Syria, Washington has been providing arms to the YPG against the Islamic State group, much to Ankara’s chagrin in a dispute that has ignited the biggest crisis in bilateral ties since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. The US has previously called on Ankara for restraint and said operation “Olive Branch” risked becoming a distraction from the fight against jihadists in Syria.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/turkey-renames-us-embassy-street-amid-row-over-syria-operation/

Newsline: Nigerian Official Issued with Wrong Visa By Turkish Consulate In Abuja Demands Compensation

A top official of Federal Capital Territory Administration, Dr. (Mrs.) Kehinde Catherine Ilupeju is demanding the sum of N50 million from the Embassy of Turkey in Nigeria for issuing her a wrong visa. Dr. Ilupeju, recalled that she had on 15 December 2017 applied for a visa at Turkish Embassy in Nigeria to visit her son who was studying at European University, Cyprus. She said she got the visa on December 20 2017 and thus, embarked on the trip to Turkey from Abuja on a few days later. However, she was arrested on arrival at Ercan International Airport by security operatives who alleged she did not have the necessary documents to enter that part of Cyprus. The civil servant lamented that she was treated as an illegal immigrant and subjected to the indignity of detention, harassment, untold embarrassment and eventual loss of huge financial resources despite the fact that she paid the sum of $400 in cash at the Turkish Embassy in Nigeria. The officials of Turkish Embassy were aware that our client was traveling to the European University of Cyprus for which she was charged $400 as processing fee which she paid in cash. “From the documents she submitted, the Embassy officials ought to have known they did not possess the authority to issue her a visa that would be respected in that part of Cyprus where the said university is located. This, our client considers as a serious breach of a duty of care owed to her by the Turkish Embassy in Nigeria,” solicitors to the FCTA official said in making the demand for the N50 million compensation. The petitioner’s lawyers threatened to take legal action against the Embassy if the demand of their client for compensation was not acceded to.

http://saharareporters.com/2018/02/17/nigerian-official-issued-wrong-visa-turkish-consulate-abuja-demands-n50-million