Archive for Middle East
If the Trump’s White House approves the relocation, it would overturn decades of international consensus on Jerusalem. The message to the Palestinians and Arab world would be clear and provocative, said Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official and former Palestinian foreign minister. “Moving the embassy is the same as recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s united capital. It’s a war crime,” he told Al Jazeera. “There’s no way we or the Arab world could accept it. It would mean the end of the US as the broker of the peace process. We would fight back and mobilise the rest of the world against the move.” The Israeli army has been advising the government of Benjamin Netanyahu on the possible fallout too, according to a report last week in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. A change of address would be seen as a US green light for Israel to extend its sovereignty over the city and its holy places, including the al-Aqsa mosque, in the view of Israeli military intelligence. Reactions could include mass protests from the Islamic movements inside Israel; riots in the occupied Palestinian territories and neighbouring states such as Jordan, which is the official guardian of al-Aqsa; and the collapse of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas inaugurated Palestinian embassy in Islamabad. The new Palestine Embassy Complex has been built in the Diplomatic Enclave. The government gifted land in 1992 for the purpose and in 2013 also contributed towards its construction. President Abbas thanked Pakistan for its support on constitution of the embassy and told the media he had briefed PM Nawaz about the latest situation between Palestine and Israel. Abbas is on a three-day visit to Pakistan. He is accompanied by a 17-member delegation, including five ministers. It is the third visit by President Abbas to Pakistan. He has previously been to the country in 2005 and 2013.
Ankara has stepped up efforts to bring the murderers of a Saudi citizen in Turkey to justice, said a top Turkish diplomat. Turkish Ambassador Yunus Demirer said: “My government will do all it can to apprehend those involved in this heinous crime.” Speaking on behalf of the Turkish government and its diplomatic mission in Riyadh, Demirer offered his “heartfelt condolences” to the bereaved family of Fahad Ibrahim Al-Doweirij, who was killed in the southern Turkish city of Mardin after a demonstration went on a rampage. The bodies of the Saudi victim and a Syrian were found on Oct. 8. He, however, said “this is an individual incident, which will not affect our ties.” Turkish authorities have announced that the Saudi citizen and the Syrian national had been killed by a group affiliated with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) group. The Saudi Embassy in Turkey is also closely following up on the case, said an SPA report.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to Saudize all contract jobs at embassies abroad, including allocating a third of all positions for women. Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Khaled bin Saud said the plan would ensure 100 percent Saudization in Arab countries and 75 percent in missions in non-Arab countries. He said the ministry is “closer than ever to achieving these numbers,” and that it had previously not “employed non-Saudi citizens in official positions, be they diplomatic or administrative.” He said the ministry was working to ensure gender equality in the diplomatic corps. “The ministry does not distinguish between men and women in the Foreign Ministry. Women are given the same career options and are able to reach high positions like their male counterparts. In this regard, and as per the directives of the minister, we aim to allocate one third of all positions for women.”
The Republic of Costa Rica opened an embassy in Turkey’s capital Ankara. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Costa Rican counterpart Manuel Gonzalez Sanz attended the inauguration ceremony. Cavusoglu said that cooperation between the two countries will mainly focus on economic opportunities and on establishing a free trade zone. The foreign minister also mentioned that Turkey is expanding its presence in Central America, increasing the number of countries with its embassies to 12 in the region. Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister Sanz described the day as a “historic one,” as Costa Rica became the first Central American country to open an embassy in Turkey.
The Greek Ambassador in Ankara, Kyriakos Loukakis, has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry following the Greek suspension of peace talks over Cyprus. The move came after the Greek Cypriot administration suspended negotiations over the divided island after Turkey sent a warship to monitor oil and gas exploration off the coast of Cyprus. Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades abandoned the talks with the Turkish Cypriot leadership Tuesday following reports that the Turkish corvette had been sent to monitor Greek Cypriot exploration. Anastasiades said the decision had been made after consulting with party leaders and the negotiator in the talks, Andreas Mavroyiannis. Turkey expects Greek Cypriots to quickly reverse a decision to halt reunification talks with Turkish Cypriots and resume their dialogue or risk harming peace prospects. Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras supported the decision to suspend the talks. Dervis Eroglu, the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, was expected to meet with Anastasiades to move on to a new phase of negotiations on October 9.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s office said on Sunday that it will summon the Swedish ambassador to protest the decision of newly-elected Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s decision to recognize the Palestinian state. Late on Saturday, Lieberman said in a statement that he ” regrets” that the Swedish Prime Minister “was in a hurry to make statements on Sweden’s position regarding recognition of a Palestinian state, apparently before he had time even to study the issue in depth.” In his inaugural address to parliament on Friday, Lofven said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be resolved by a two- state solution which “requires mutual recognition and the will to co-exist peacefully.” “Sweden will therefore recognize the State of Palestine,” Lofven said, but did not mention how or when it would be done. Israel fears that other major European countries will follow Sweden to recognize a Palestinian state.