Tag Archives: Arab

Tunisia says it will coordinate Arab response to U.S. move on Golan

Tunisia says it will coordinate Arab response to U.S. move on GolanTunisia will coordinate with fellow Arab countries to contain any fallout from the U.S. decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui said on Friday. “We will work with fellow Arab countries and the international community to contain the expected repercussions of this decision in the various regional and international forums,” Jhinaoui told the meeting in Tunis.



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Israel's top court disqualifies far-rightist, approves Arab party for ballot

Israel's top court disqualifies far-rightist, approves Arab party for ballotThe Supreme Court rulings were widely expected and unlikely to shake Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to craft a rightist alliance that might secure him a record fifth term. The court found in favor of appellants who argued that Michael Ben-Ari of the Jewish Power party had displayed anti-Arab racism. Other members of Jewish Power, a small faction that is part of an ultra-nationalist list which last month forged an election alliance with Netanyahu’s Likud party, remain eligible to run.



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U.S. meeting on Middle East brings together Israel, Gulf Arab states

U.S. meeting on Middle East brings together Israel, Gulf Arab statesBy Lesley Wroughton and Justyna Pawlak WARSAW (Reuters) – A U.S.-sponsored Middle East conference aimed at building a coalition against what Washington sees as the threat posed by Iran also produced signs of a warming of ties between Israel and some Arab countries on Wednesday. Foreign ministers and other officials from more than 60 countries were gathering for the conference in Warsaw, which was starting on Wednesday evening and whose agenda included Iran, conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Israeli-Palestinian peace. …



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Syria opposition urges Arab states not to mend ties with Assad

Syria opposition urges Arab states not to mend ties with AssadSyria’s opposition chief on Sunday urged Arab leaders not to rebuild relations with President Bashar al-Assad’s government, voicing frustration amid apparent efforts to bring the Damascus regime back into the Arab fold. After years of frosty ties, the United Arab Emirates last month reopened its embassy in the Syrian capital, and fellow Gulf state Bahrain has followed suit. “We hope that our brothers, the leaders of Arab nations, will not abandon the Syrian people,” he added, urging them to reconsider their decisions.



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UAE re-opens embassy in Syria as Arab leaders begin to welcome Assad back from the cold

UAE re-opens embassy in Syria as Arab leaders begin to welcome Assad back from the coldThe United Arab Emirates (UAE) has re-opened its embassy in Syria, taking a major public step towards welcoming Bashar al-Assad back into the fold of Arab leaders after years of estrangement.   Syria was suspended from the Arab League shortly after the Syrian war broke out in 2011 and most Arab states closed their embassies in Damascus in protest at Assad’s violent crackdown against the opposition.  However, as it has becoming increasingly clear that Assad is likely to stay in power and prevail over downtrodden rebel forces, Syria’s Arab neighbours have begun moving to restore diplomatic ties with the former pariah.   The re-opening of the UAE’s embassy in Damascus is the most significant public step so far towards Assad’s rehabilitation in the Arab world. The move is likely to have been coordinated with Saudi Arabia, the UAE’s more powerful neighbour and close ally.  Syria state media reported that Bahrain may re-open its own embassy in Damascus next week.  One complicating factor is the role of Iran, which has strongly supported the Syrian regime throughout the seven-year war but is considered a major enemy by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies. Pictures circulating on social media purportedly showing the (defunct) UAE Embassy in Damascus being renovated ahead of a potential resumption of diplomatic ties between the two countries #Syria#UAEpic.twitter.com/5cdwC9nwx6— Michael A. Horowitz (@michaelh992) December 26, 2018 In a statement, the UAE presented the embassy re-opening as a part of an effort to bring Syria back into the orbit of its fellow Arab states as opposed to its Persian Iranian allies.   The UAE said said it was keen to “restore relations between the two brotherly countries to their normal course” and wanted to enhance “the Arab role” in supporting Syria’s independence and sovereignty.  “This move will also prevent the dangers of regional interference in Syrian affairs,” the UAE foreign ministry said, in a veiled reference to Iran’s role in Syria.   The UAE helped finance some anti-Assad rebels in the early stages of the the war but played a smaller role than Qatar, Saudi Arabia or Turkey. Much of the Gulf funding for rebel groups has now dried up.  Jalel Harchaoui, a lecturer in geopolitics at Versailles university, said both the UAE and Egypt had grown sceptical about overthrowing Assad because they saw him as a bulwark against their shared Islamist enemies. “As Assad’s survival in Damascus is now an indisputable fact of life, and as the West’s 2012 bet appears as a miserable failure, the ideological stance of the UAE and Egypt is being largely vindicated. Both states will now lead the campaign consisting in having the rest of the Arab world embrace that reality,” he said.  Omar Bashir, the president of Sudan, this month became the first Arab leader to travel to Damascus since 2011. His visit was hailed by regime media as sign that Syria was being welcomed back in from the cold.  There also appears to be increasing momentum for Syria to be re-admitted into the Arab League. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Egyptian who serves as the League’s secretary general, said earlier this year that Syria’s suspension had been hasty. The next meeting of the Arab League will take place in Tunisia in March. Thursday also saw the first commercial flight from Damascus to Tunisia since 2011. "This trip is the reopening of tourism links between Syria and Tunisia," said Moataz Tarbin, the head of the tourism firm that organised the flight. Syrian state media said earlier this week that Major General Ali Mamlouk, one of Assad’s top security officials, had visited Cairo to discuss terrorism issues with his Egyptian counterparts.  The UAE’s charge d’affaires at the embassy resumed work on Thursday as the UAE’s red, black, and green flag was hoisted for the first time in seven years. Syria regime media showed last-minute construction work to restore the UAE’s state seal on the embassy’s outer wall.  “The UAE expressed its wish that peace, security and stability would prevail throughout Syria,” the foreign ministry said. 



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Sudan's president is first Arab leader to visit Syria since crisis

Sudan's president is first Arab leader to visit Syria since crisisSudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrived in the Syrian capital Damascus on Sunday, the first such visit by an Arab leader since the start of the Syrian conflict, Syrian state media said. President Bashar al Assad welcomed him at the airport, official photos showed. Many Arab countries have shunned Assad since the conflict that began early in 2011 after protests calling for his downfall swept Syria.



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Sudan president lands in Syria in 1st visit by Arab leader

Sudan president lands in Syria in 1st visit by Arab leaderDAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Sudan's president on Sunday became the first Arab League leader to visit Syria since civil war erupted there nearly eight years ago.



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Saudi crown prince arrives in Egypt on third leg of Arab tour

Saudi crown prince arrives in Egypt on third leg of Arab tourSaudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Egypt on Monday, the third leg of his first trip abroad since the murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey last month. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi greeted the heir to the throne of the world’s top oil exporter at the airport in Cairo when he arrived from Bahrain after a visit to the United Arab Emirates. The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of the crown prince, at Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul six weeks ago has strained Saudi Arabia’s ties with the West and battered Prince Mohammed’s image abroad.



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Saudi crown prince goes on tour of Arab states amid Khashoggi storm

Saudi crown prince goes on tour of Arab states amid Khashoggi stormSaudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday at the start of a tour of several Arab countries, his first trip abroad since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi that caused a global outcry. The prince, the country’s de facto ruler, is also expected to participate in a G20 meeting in Buenos Aires at the end of the month which will be attended by leaders from the United States, Turkey and European countries. The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of the crown prince, at Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul six weeks ago has strained Saudi Arabia’s ties with the West and battered Prince Mohammed’s image abroad.



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Iran points finger at Arab separatists for deadly attack

Iran points finger at Arab separatists for deadly attackIranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday appeared to blame Arab separatists for an attack on a military parade the previous day that left 29 people dead. “It is absolutely clear to us who has done this, which group it is and to whom they are affiliated,” Rouhani said on state television shortly before leaving Tehran for the UN General Assembly in New York. “Those who have caused this catastrophe … were Saddam’s mercenaries as long as he was alive and then changed masters,” he said, referring to late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.



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