Saudi foreign minister says Saudi, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain working on list of Qatar ‘grievances’

Adel al-Jubeir17/06/2017 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Friday that his country, Egypt and two other Arab states that broke ties with Doha were drawing up a list of “grievances,” and would present them soon, warning that Qatar could not fund extremism and remain on good terms with neighboring states. The minister, Adel al-Jubeir, told journalists in London that Qatar should respond to demands to halt its support for “extremism and terrorism” which, he said, were being made by the whole world and not just Gulf states. Four Arab states – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – severed diplomatic relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and Iran – charges that Doha has denied. The UAE has also decided to blacklist Qatari individuals and entities…,-Egypt,-UAE-and-.aspx


Qatari individuals, entities listed as terror supporters in joint Saudi, Egyptian UAE and Bahraini statement

09/06/2017 (Arab News – KSA): JEDDAH: Fifty-nine Individuals, including members of the Qatari royal family and controversial Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf Qaradawi, as well as 12 Qatari entities have been listed on a new terror list announced in a Saudi, Emirati, Bahraini and Egyptian joint-statement.  According to the statement — which was carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) — the list comes as a result of “the continuous and ongoing violations of the authorities in Doha of Qatar’s commitments and obligations, enshrined in agreements to which it is a signatory, have necessitated The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Bahrain to act to update their respective lists of designated terrorist organizations and individuals”…

Trump will not move US embassy to Jerusalem for now

03/06/2017 (The Jordan Times – Jordan): President Donald Trump postponed moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on Thursday, avoiding what would be a provocative decision as he tries to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. On the campaign trail Trump repeatedly pledged that he would shift the embassy from Tel Aviv to the city claimed as capital by both Israel and its Palestinian neighbours, and he appointed a US ambassador who shares this goal. But since coming to office in January, Trump has met both Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Washington and in a visit to the region last week and has committed himself to seeking a long-elusive final peace deal between them. Congress passed a law in 1995 making it US policy to move the embassy to Jerusalem, symbolically endorsing Israel’s claim on the city as its capital. But the law contained a clause that has allowed each president since to issue and renew a six-month waiver on carrying out the move. On Thursday, the waiver came up for renewal for the first time on Trump’s watch, and he followed the example of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama before him in instructing his secretary of state to hold off on the move…


Qatar’s Emir Tamim calls Iran’s President Rouhani seeking ‘deepening of ties’

28/05/2017 (Al Arabiya news – UAE): In a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and that was initiated by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani described the ties between both countries as historic and firm, according to the official website of the Iranian presidency. He added “we are willing to strengthen these relations”. From his part, Rouhani stressed that “there are ample grounds and potentials for developing Iran-Qatar cooperation in political and economic fields and we should make the best use of them to promote relations”. Sheikh Tamim also said: “We believe that there is no obstacle on the way of deepening Iran-Qatar relations”. Al-Thani’s recent controversial statements, which Doha tried to refute by saying the statements were published by hackers on Qatar News Agency (QNA)’s website, have raised questions in recent days…


Egypt’s Sisi arrives in Saudi Arabia, to give speech on counterterrorism at Riyadh summit Sunday

Sisi 20/05/2017 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrived in Saudi capital Riyadh Saturday on a two-day visit to participate in the Arab Islamic American Summit with US President Donald Trump Sunday. Trump landed Saturday in Riyadh in his first foreign tour to the Middle East and Europe. He is also scheduled to travel to Israel and the Vatican. The US president described the summit earlier as “a truly historic gathering in Saudi Arabia with leaders from all across the Muslim world.” Sisi is set to deliver a speech on Sunday during the Riyadh summit, according to presidency spokesman Alaa Youssef. “The president will address the Egyptian vision towards framing a comprehensive strategy to fight the danger of terrorism, through intensifying international efforts aimed at suspending financing for terrorist organisations, [preventing them gaining] weapons and fighters, and [denying them] shelter,” the spokesman added.,-to-give-speec.aspx


Turnout is key for Iran’s election, a challenge for Rouhani

13/05/2017 (Arab News – KSA): TEHRAN: Iran’s presidential election may turn on turnout. Historically, the more Iranians who cast ballots, the greater the chance a reformist or a moderate like incumbent President Hassan Rouhani will be elected. However, Rouhani’s bid for another four-year term comes amid apathy and grumbling from an electorate that largely hasn’t seen the benefits of his signature nuclear deal with world powers. As his opponents promise populist cash handouts to the poor, Rouhani needs all the voters he can to cast ballots on May 19. But even some of his supporters say they may stay home. “I will not vote,” said Hossein Ghasemi, a 35-year-old taxi driver who voted for Rouhani in 2013. “None of them care about our demands and difficulties linked to daily increasing prices.”..


Pope urges mediation to end North Korea crisis, avert devastating war

Pope30/04/2017 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Pope Francis said on Saturday a third country, such as Norway, should try to mediate the dispute between North Korea and Washington, to cool a situation that had become “too hot” and posed the risk of nuclear devastation. Francis said he believed “a good part of humanity” would be destroyed in any widespread war. Speaking to reporters aboard the plane taking him back from Cairo, Francis also said he was ready to meet U.S. President Donald Trump when he is in Europe next month but that he was not aware that Washington had made a request for a meeting. In answer to a question about the tensions between the United States and North Korea, Francis said the United Nations should re-assert its leadership in world diplomacy because it had become “too watered down”…,-av.aspx


Syria needs $900 billion for reconstruction: Arab League chief

Arab League22/04/2017 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Arab League chief Ahmed Abo El-Gheit has said that the process of reconstruction in Syria, which has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011, will cost $900 billion, Egypt’s state-owned news agency MENA reported on Saturday. Speaking during a celebration marking 70 years since the establishment of the Arab League at Alexandria University, Abo El-Gheit said that the ongoing war in Syria has led to the displacement of roughly five million people, arguing that the pan-Arab organisation is passing through “the most difficult period in its history.” “Fifty percent of the world refugees are Arabs, which means that one in every three refugees is Syrian,” he added. Abo El-Gheit also noted that other Arab states have suffered destruction over the past six years, which “jeopardises the social fabric of Arab societies.”…–billion-for-reconstruction-Arab-Leagu.aspx


Saudi-led coalition ‘will not allow Houthi militia to become another Hezbollah’

15/04/2017 (Arab News – KSA): The Arab coalition will not allow Houthi militias in Yemen to become like Hezbollah in Lebanon, its spokesman said. Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri said the coalition would not accept any notion that the militants become part of a solution in Yemen. Speaking at a forum in Paris, Al-Assiri said military operations in Yemen are being performed with caution in order to protect civilians, adding that Houthi militias are trying to hide their command and control centers among civilians. “We seek to deliver humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people,” he said. “The Arab coalition was created to preserve the Yemeni state, and the coalition’s main goal is to preserve its legitimacy and people’s rights, and to alleviate the suffering of civilians subjected to Houthis’ injustice.”..


Egypt’s Sisi concludes visit to US, returns to Cairo

SISI07/04/2017 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has concluded his first official visit to the US as a head of state, returning to Cairo on Friday, the president’s office said. In an official statement on Friday, the presidency announced the president’s return after a five-day visit, during which El-Sisi met his US counterpart Donald Trump and other top US officials. On Thursday, El-Sisi received the chairman of Senate Committee of Armed Services John McCain and the head of the Senate’s committee of appropriations Lindsay Graham, to whom he expressed Egypt’s keenness to develop strong strategic bilateral relations with the US. El-Sisi also expressed hopes that his visit would reflect positively on the future of Egypt-US relations, stressing his commitment to continued coordination with congress leaders to keep the US appraised of Egypt’s efforts on counterterrorism and economic reform. Both US officials praised the “fruitful” meeting El-Sisi had with Trump, expressing their appreciation for the pivotal role that Egypt plays in the Middle East…,-returns-to-Cair.aspx