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Angered by Arab-Israel ties, Palestine quits chairing Arab League sessions

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Riyad al-Maliki
FILE PHOTO: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki is seen during preparatory meeting for the GCC, Arab and Islamic summits in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

RAMALLAH, West Bank/GAZA: Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal relations with Israel.

Palestinians see the accords that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.

Earlier this month, the Palestinians failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn member nations breaking ranks and normalising ties with Israel.

Palestine was supposed to chair Arab League meetings for the next six months, but Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah that it no longer wanted the position.

“Palestine has decided to concede its right to chair the League’s council (of foreign ministers) at its current session. There is no honour in seeing Arabs rush towards normalisation during its presidency,” Maliki said.

After initial remarks, Maliki read from a letter he said he sent to Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit informing him of the Palestinian move and criticising the UAE and Bahrain, both Gulf Arab nations that share Israeli concerns about Iran.

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The UAE’s deal with Israel “created a deep crisis in the Arab League” and the accord was followed “by a similar collapse by the Kingdom of Bahrain”, Maliki said, quoting from the letter.

In a new move addressing internal Palestinian divisions, officials from West Bank-based President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Islamist Hamas movement were due to hold reconciliation talks in Turkey on Tuesday.

Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Fatah forces during a brief round of fighting. Differences over power-sharing have delayed implementation of unity deals agreed since then.

Middle East

Guterres hopes Israel-Sudan agreement will bring peace to wider regions

The United Nations remains fully committed to supporting Sudan’s efforts to achieve socio-economic recovery, stability and prosperity for all people in Sudan and the wider region, the statement added.

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Antonio Guterres

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday expressed hope that the agreement between Israel and Sudan to normalise relations will create opportunities for peace and prosperity in the wider regions, said his spokesman.

Guterres took note of the announcement of the agreement by the governments of the United States, Israel and Sudan, Xinhua news agency reported.

He hoped the agreement will further cooperation, enhance economic and trade relations, and bring about new opportunities to advance peace and economic prosperity in the wider Horn of Africa and Middle East regions, said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement.

The United Nations remains fully committed to supporting Sudan’s efforts to achieve socio-economic recovery, stability and prosperity for all people in Sudan and the wider region, the statement added.

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Middle East

Crude oil: Biden presidency likely to be a huge win for the Middle East

A Biden win will likely be an upward catalyst for oil prices because it will increase costs for shale patch and will likely result in a weaker U.S. dollar, the report said.

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oill

New Delhi, Oct 16 : A Biden presidency is likely to be a huge win for the Middle East to gain back the market share as it restricts shale production and can be supportive for crude oil prices.

According to a report by Motilal Oswal Financial Services, for years, if not decades, OPEC members have been jousting for market share, which is, of course, the reason why the latest Saudi-Russia oil price war happened in the first place.

“A Biden presidency is likely to be a huge win for the Middle East to gain back the market share as it restricts shale production and can be supportive for crude oil prices,” the report said.

Talking about the OPEC approach, Trump would likely continue practicing Twitter oil diplomacy, which he started in his first term to urge OPEC plus producers to increase or cut supply during their meetings in Vienna. He takes credit for helping to negotiate an end to the March oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

“Under Biden, any US diplomacy toward OPEC might return behind the scenes. Antitrust legislation against OPEC would only see renewed interest if gasoline prices soar,” the report said.

Crude oil investors are facing a confused stance as US President Donald Trump’s presidency brings stability and Presidency under Joe Biden might bring uncertainty and more volatility in the market.

Prices can remain in levels of $45 as President Trump would like to keep prices at this level to make sure gasoline prices remain in control, which remains a main concern of taxpayers in U.S.

If U.S. voters decide to stay the course, the current push for energy dominance through increased drilling will continue. He is seen as a promoter of Shale which might put pressure as any stimulus and benefit to shale sector would lead to overproduction and more responsibility on OPEC plus to cut production and bring balance in the market.

Compared with a second term of the Trump administration, a Biden presidency could be a positive for U.S. oil and gas drillers because tougher regulations on hydraulic fracturing would likely reduce production, raising crude prices to levels of WTI $45-$55 in coming months after elections. If they elect a new president, the challenger has pledged to end new drilling on public lands and move toward a carbon-free future.

With his $2 trillion plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Joe Biden might seem a far-from-ideal president for the Texas oil and gas industry. Looks like for Crude oil to rally, markets are praying for Vice President Biden to win and bring back optimism in the market as demand recovery is stalling and it might take more months for crude demand to recover.

A Biden win will likely be an upward catalyst for oil prices because it will increase costs for shale patch and will likely result in a weaker U.S. dollar, the report said.

However, headwinds remains to this optimistic view that if sanctions are pulled off from Venezuela or Iran, they might re-emerge as a significant oil exporter, it might put pressure on prices and can force adjustment in production for the three big oil producers and likely a reduction in through cycle prices which can push additional pressure on prices and bring back glut fears and push prices to levels of $35.

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Disaster

Palestinian official praises China’s COVID-19 response

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Coronavirus Russia

RAMALLAH, Oct. 15 : A senior Palestinian official on Wednesday praised China’s model in confronting the novel coronavirus in order to protect the Chinese people.

Hanna Issa, deputy commissioner-general for Arab and China relations in the country’s major Fatah party, said that China’s COVID-19 response has won the respect of the world.

“China had followed strict precautionary and preventive measures for months to fight the unprecedented pandemic,” Hanna said at a virtual symposium with the Communist Party of China and 50 other political parties from around the world.

He said that China has helped many countries fight the novel coronavirus by providing essential information about it and sharing its experiences in confronting the public health crisis.

In addition, China has donated large sums of fund to the World Health Organization to support its efforts to combat the disease and sent medical delegations, equipment and medical supplies to more than 130 countries around the world, including Palestine, he added.

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