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Mideast countries differ on Bahrain-Israel normalization deal

But Jordan, the second Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel in 1994, sounded a more cautious note.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Jerusalem, Sep 13 : Middle Eastern countries have differed on the US-brokered normalization agreement between Israel and Bahrain, which came less than a month after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel reached a similar deal.

A joint statement issued on Friday by US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa hailed the Bahrain-Israel agreement as “a historic breakthrough”, reports Xinhua news agency

Bahrain, the second Gulf Arab country to normalize ties with Israel after the UAE announced a similar deal on August 13, is scheduled to sign the peace agreement with Israel on September 15 at a ceremony at the White House, during which the UAE-Israel deal will also be inked.

On Saturday, senior Bahraini officials welcomed the normalization with Israel as a contributor to regional security and stability.

The country’s Parliament, the National Assembly, also called for achieving a “just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution” to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

However, the Bahrain-Israel deal has enraged the Palestinian Authority, which strongly condemned it, while blasting the US for pressuring Arab countries into normalizing ties with Israel.

Shortly after the announcement of the Bahrain-Israel deal, the Palestinian leadership issued a statement condemning the Bahraini move as “a betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian cause”.

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki said that he would recall the Ambassador to Bahrain for consultations on how it would take “necessary steps” to respond to the move.

In separate statements, the Islamic Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad slammed deal as “a clear aggression against our people” and “a blatant coup against all Arab, national and Islamic constants of Palestine”.

Iran, Israel and the US’ top rival in the region, on Saturday vehemently condemned Bahrain for taking the step, adding that it was a “fundamental mistake” to “seek shelter” in Israel instead of “gaining legitimacy from its people”.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that the US presidential election due in November is one of the reasons for Bahrain to “sacrifice the cause of honourable Palestine”, warning that Tehran will hold Manama accountable for all the consequences of any action leading to Israel to “create insecurity in the Gulf region”.

Turkey also expressed strong condemnation and concern about the development which “violates the Arab Peace Initiative and the commitments made by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation”.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs called Bahrain’s move as “a heavy blow to the efforts to defend the Palestinian cause”, which will deepen Israel’s “illegal acts” in Palestine and encourage Israel to continue to occupy the Palestinian lands.

It stressed that the only way to establish peace and stability in the Middle East is to resolve the Palestinian issue fairly and comprehensively within the framework of international law and UN resolutions.

On the other side, Egypt, the first Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel in 1979, and the UAE both welcomed the Bahrain-Israel peace deal.

In a statement, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said that he valued this important step toward establishing stability and peace in the Middle East, in a way that achieves “a just and permanent settlement of the Palestinian issue”.

The UAE congratulated Bahrain and said that it hoped the agreement will have “a positive impact on the regional and international peace and cooperation atmosphere”.

But Jordan, the second Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel in 1994, sounded a more cautious note.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that ending the Israeli occupation and resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-state solution play the key role in realizing peace in the Middle East.

Safadi called for stopping all Israeli measures that undermine the two-state solution, and for creating an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in line with the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and the international resolutions.

“The effect of such deals relies on Israel’s actions,” he added.

India

India asks Saudi Arabia to take corrective steps on bank note

The world map on the new 20 Riyal banknote, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

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Anurag Srivastava

New Delhi, Oct 30: India has asked Saudi Arabia to take corrective steps on the misrepresentation of its territorial boundaries on a new bank note.

The world map on the new 20 Riyal banknote, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India has asked Saudi Arabia to take “urgent corrective steps” in the matter, and emphasized that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of the country.

“We have seen the banknote referred by you which gives an incorrect depiction of India’s external territorial boundaries. The note was issued by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority on October 24 to mark the occasion of Saudi presidency of the G20,” the MEA spokesperson said.

“We have conveyed our serious concern to Saudi Arabia, both through their Ambassador in New Delhi as well as in Riyadh, for this gross misrepresentation of India’s external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked Saudi Arabia to take urgent corrective steps in this regard,” Srivastava said.

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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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