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Netanyahu’s diplomacy works in Israel’s ties with Arab States




Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suddenly turned into a diplomatic superstar saying that Israel is undergoing a “revolution” in its relations with Arab states in the region.

Speaking at a military graduate ceremony in the National Security College on Wednesday evening, Netanyahu said that Israel is witnessing a “revolution in relations with important Arab states”, adding the normalisation can, in its turn, push forward a peace deal with the Palestinians, Xinhua reported.

“The Arab countries realise now that Israel is not an enemy but an ally against the threat of Islamist extremism,” the prime minister said, according to a statement from his office.

He had also said that unlike the common view up until now, suggesting a peace deal with the Palestinians would advance normalisation with Arab states, the order can be reversed.

“We have always said that the moment we reach peace with the Palestinians, we will be able to achieve peaceful relations with the entire Arab world… but I have grown to think this process could also run in the opposite direction,” Netanyahu said.

The Prime Minister had mentioned the close relationship Israel maintains with two of its neighboring Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan, with which Israel signed peace treaties in 1979 and 1994, respectively.

The international community had recently stepped up the pressure on Israel to restart peace talks with the Palestinians, based on the two-state solution. The last round of peace talks between the parties fell apart in April 2014 without results.

The pressure comes amid a 10-month-long wave of violence which had claimed the lives of 34 Israelis and 216 Palestinians.

France had introduced in January its plan to hold an international conference later this year in order to restart peace talks between the parties, with the assistance of the international community.

While Palestinians lauded the initiative, Israel rejected it. Israeli leaders claim international forums would allow Palestinians to refrain from direct talks with Israel.

Netanyahu and other officials have instead reiterated the importance of restarting the peace talks with the active help of Arab states in the region, with Egypt playing a prominent role.

In May, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said there’s a “real chance” to resume peace talks and achieve a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, with the mediation of Arab countries. Netanyahu and Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman repeatedly lauded the comments since.

Middle East

Rouhani warns Trump against walking away from n-deal

I am telling those in the White House that if they do not live up to their commitments, the Iranian government will react firmly.




Tehran, April 24 : Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday warned his US counterpart Donald Trump that abandoning a nuclear deal that the Tehran government signed with world powers in 2015 would lead to “serious consequences”.

Speaking live on television, Rouhani said his government had kept its end of the deal and warned Trump not to tear up the agreement, which had also been signed by Russia, China, Germany, the UK and France.

“I am telling those in the White House that if they do not live up to their commitments, the Iranian government will react firmly,” Rouhani said.

“If anyone betrays the deal, they should know that they would face severe consequences,” he added.

Trump has said that unless the US’ European allies put right what he has described as “terrible flaws” in the deal by May 12, his government would re-establish economic sanctions on Iran, dealing the pact a major blow, Xinhua news agency reported.

Rouhani stressed that Iran was complying with the deal, as has been confirmed a dozen times by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose Director General Yukiya Amano said in March that a possible failure of the agreement would be a great loss.

French President Emmanuel Macron was in Washington in an attempt to try and persuade Trump not to walk away from the accord.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday he had agreed with his Chinese counterpart that Moscow and Beijing would try to block any US attempt to wreck the nuclear deal.

Iran has said it would ramp up its nuclear programme if the deal collapses.

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Middle East

Putin warns against further actions violating UN charter



Vladimir Putin

Moscow, April 16 : Further actions violating the UN charter such as the recent US-led strikes on Syria will result in chaos in international relations, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over phone on Sunday.

The two leaders condemned Saturday’s airstrikes by the US and its allies on Syria and agreed that it would hinder the process of a political settlement in the war-torn country, according to a Kremlin statement, Xinhua news agency reported.

“It was stated that this illegal action seriously damages the prospects for a political settlement in Syria. Putin in particular stressed that if such actions, carried out in violation of the UN Charter, continue, it will inevitably lead to chaos in international relations,” the statement read.

The US, together with Britain and France, launched missile strikes on Syria on Saturday, saying that it was in response to an alleged chemical weapon attack by the Syrian military. The Syrian government has categorically denied the accusation.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the same day held an emergency meeting over the missile attack at Russia’s request but failed to approve a resolution condemning the bombardment.

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Middle East

Saudi Arabia supports US-led airstrikes on Syria

The Ministry expressed Saudi Arabia’s full support to the US, Britain and France’s military operations on military targets in Syria.



Syrian Strike

Riyadh, April 14 : Saudi Arabia on Saturday extended support to the coordinated missile strikes by the US, Britain and France on military targets in Syria.

The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited a source in the Saudi Foreign Ministry as saying that “the Ministry expressed Saudi Arabia’s full support to the US, Britain and France’s military operations on military targets in Syria”.

An official from the Ministry highlighted that the operations were a response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against innocent civilians and its years of “horrible crimes”, the agency report said.

The official held the Syrian government responsible for such military attack and the international community for not taking serious steps against the regime.

The US, Britain and France launched coordinated strikes against Syria’s research, storage and military targets to “punish” the Bashar al-Assad regime for an apparent chemical attack in Douma last week that killed over 70 people. The military action was denounced by Damascus and its ally Moscow as a “failure” and “an act of aggression”.

Western allies warned Syria on Saturday that they could launch further attacks if chemical weapons were used again.

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