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Arab states present new list of Qatar-linked terrorists



Salman bin Abdulaziz

Riyadh, July 25 : Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt on Tuesday presented a new list of nine organisations and nine individuals which they claim are backed by Qatar and allegedly involved in “terrorist activities”.

In a joint statement, the Arab states said that the list is framed “within their firm and solid commitment to fighting terrorism, cutting off sources of funding, prosecuting those who are involved in it and combating extremist ideologies and hate speech incubators”, reports Efe news.

The publication of these names came in response to the speech of Qatari emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on July 21, in which he showed Qatar’s disposition which included two conditions: non-interference and no acceptance of orders dictated from outside.

The announcement by the four states comes after the end of a trip by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Riyadh, Kuwait and Doha to try to mediate the crisis, which broke out on June 5, when the four countries cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar and established a maritime, land and air blockade after accusing it of “financing and supporting terrorism”.

“The terrorist activities of the aforementioned entities and individuals have direct and indirect ties with the Qatari authorities,” the statement said, urging Doha to take “urgent steps and legal actions to persecute terrorist and extremist individuals and entities and especially those on the list”.

In addition, the text warned that the four nations will continue with the current measures and “possible future measures that might be taken”, which they did not specify, unless Doha is “committed to fulfilling all the just demands, which enable the fight against terrorism and maintain security and stability in the region”.

The list includes three Qatari and one Emirati who allegedly raise money to support the al-Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, as well as “other terrorist militias in Syria”, according to the Arab quartet.

Likewise, the group maintained that three Yemenis and three entities of this nationality also support Al Qaeda and receive help from charities in Qatar.

The list also includes two Libyan citizens and six Libyan organisations, including armed groups and media outlets, which they call “terrorist groups” and allegedly received “substantial financial support from the Qatari authorities”.

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Middle East

Abbas says to address UN assembly on issues causing suffering to Palestinians



Mahmoud Abbas

Ramallah, Sep 16 : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that he will address the upcoming UN General Assembly on issues causing suffering to Palestinians.

Abbas made the remarks during a meeting he chaired for Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Xinhua reported.

“We will go to the United Nations to confront the world with the issues that our people are suffering,” said Abbas, who is scheduled to deliver a speech at the UN headquarters in New York on September 27.

The addressed issues include the Israeli decision to demolish Al-Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin village east of Jerusalem, and the status of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy city, he added.

“We are consulting with our brothers in Jordan to form a unified position to go to the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice on what is going on at the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Abbas noted.

The Palestinian President said the final decision will be made by the PLO central council after he returned from the UN assembly.

The United States and the Palestinians have almost severed ties since US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017.

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Middle East

Iran to increase uranium enrichment if EU fails



Iran President

Tehran, Sep 16 (IANS) Iran would increase uranium enrichment if the European Union (EU) fails to implement its obligations following the US withdrawal from the Iranian landmark nuclear deal, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday.

“The Europeans and the other signatories must act in order to compensate for the effects of the US sanctions,” Zarif was quoted as saying by Press TV.

He downplayed the possibility of Iran’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, but cautioned the EU partners that Iran might act if they fail to secure Iran’s interests in the deal.

“Oil and banks” are the “litmus test,” he said, alluding to the EU pledges to help Tehran in the face of US re-imposition of sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and banking transactions.

European parties need to decide whether being ready to follow their words, Zarif said, adding that “they should also decide if they want to submit to US pressure.”

Iran and six world powers, namely Russia, Britain, China, France, the United States and Germany, struck a landmark agreement over Iran’s nuclear programme in 2015, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

However, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw Washington from the deal on May 8 and re-impose sanctions, including oil embargo, on Iran.

Iran has held several rounds of talks with France, Britain and Germany to revive the blocking statute, a 1996 regulation that prohibits EU companies and courts from complying with foreign sanctions laws.

Iran has incessantly urged Europe to take “practical and tangible measures” to protect Iranian interests since the US pullout.

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Middle East

Palestinians still committed to making just peace with Israel: Abbas



Mahmoud Abbas

Jerusalem, Sep 14 (IANS) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that the Palestinian people are still committed to making just peace with Israel.

Abbas made the remarks during a meeting at his headquarters in Ramallah with the leaders of three main religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, in the Palestinian territories.

He stressed on the necessity of making peace with Israel based on international resolutions related to the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, Xinhua reported.

Abbas was quoted by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA as saying that the Palestinian people deserve an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, “which will be open for the three main religions”.

“Palestine is a model to be followed and a good example in coexistence and social peace,” the Palestinian leader said.

The religious leaders affirmed to Abbas their support to his policies that aim at achieving the hope and aspiration of the Palestinian people, namely freedom and independence.

Abbas is scheduled to address the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 27.

Ahmad Majdalani, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said that Abbas’ speech “will be like the worksheet for the coming stage”.

He told the official Voice of Palestine Radio that the Palestinians will carry on with their steps that will be escalated within the coming period, in response to the American and Israeli policies and measures that were taken to terminate the Palestinian cause.

The Palestinian Authority has been boycotting the US administration led by President Donald Trump as a peace broker, after Trump announced last December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and relocated the US ambassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed holy city in May.

The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled since 2014 after nine months of US-sponsored talks failed to make progress to resolve the decades-long conflict.

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