Jordan's top diplomat wants to align Europeans behind a call for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi says his country wants a meeting of Mediterranean officials this week to help bridge a gap between Arab and European countries in calling for a humanitarian pause in Gaza to become a permanent cease-fire.
China welcomes Arab and Muslim foreign ministers for talks on ending the war in Gaza
China’s top diplomat welcomed four Arab foreign ministers and the Indonesian one to Beijing, saying his country would work with “our brothers and sisters” in the Arab and Islamic world to try to end the war in Gaza as soon as possible.
Haley says US forces 'need to align' with countries including Russia; campaign says she misspoke
Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley has suggested that United States forces “need to align” with non-European countries including Russia to enhance global security, a remark that comes amid the Biden administration’s approval for millions more in military aid to assist Ukraine in fending off Russia’s invasion.
Biden administration quietly ramping up aid to Palestinians
(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is quietly ramping up assistance to the Palestinians after former President Donald Trump cut off nearly all aid. AdIn general, the administration supports a resumption in aid to the Palestinians, State Department spokesman Ned Price said. Such payments were one reason the Trump administration cut off aid. The GAO based its findings on a review of aid provided to the Palestinians between 2015 and 2019, when Trump severed most of the aid. Soon after President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20, his administration announced that it would restore relations with the Palestinians and renew aid as key elements of support for a two-state solution to the conflict.
Final results confirm political deadlock after Israeli vote
(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)JERUSALEM – Final election results on Thursday showed Israel in political deadlock once again, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his opponents falling short of a governing majority. Tuesday’s vote, Israel’s fourth parliamentary elections in two years, was widely seen as a referendum on Netanyahu’s fitness to rule while on trial for corruption. A right-wing party led by former Netanyahu ally Naftali Bennett won seven seats and an Arab Islamist party led by Mansour Abbas won four. Israelis vote for party lists rather than candidates in a system that often gives outsized power to small, sectarian factions. Despite the charges against him, Netanyahu’s Likud party received around a quarter of the votes, making it the largest party in parliament.
France to speed up opening of secret archives on Algeria War
French President Emmanuel Macron announced a decision to speed up the declassification of secret documents related to Algeria's seven-year war of independence from 1954 to 1962. (AP Photo, File)PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron announced a decision Tuesday to speed up the declassification of secret documents related to Algeria’s 1954-62 war of independence from France. This includes archives related to Algeria War, the statement said. Broadening the opening of archives on the war was part of Macron’s commitments to reckon with France’s colonial-era wrongs in Algeria. AdMacron also plans to attend three commemoration ceremonies by next year, which will mark the 60th anniversary of the end of Algeria's war for independence.
US: Human rights will be 'central' to relations with Egypt
WASHINGTON – The Biden administration on Tuesday told Egypt that human rights will be “central” to its policy in dealing with the key Arab state and major American partner in the Middle East. It was not immediately clear how the new emphasis on human rights would manifest itself. The Trump administration had largely given Egypt's leadership a pass on human rights. Ad“The secretary raised concerns over human rights, which he emphasized would be central to the U.S.-Egypt bilateral relationship, and Egypt’s potential procurement of Su-35 fighter aircraft from Russia,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. However, rights groups accused authorities of targeting families of activists and rights defenders living abroad, in an apparent attempt to intimidate critics.
Gulf Arab leaders sign declaration to ease rift with Qatar
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told reporters after the summit that diplomatic relations would be restored in full with Qatar, although no time frame was given. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are primarily concerned about Qatar’s ties with Iran. The rift between Abu Dhabi and Doha has been deepest, with the UAE and Qatar at sharp ideological odds. Egypt’s foreign minister also attended the meeting of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which comprises Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. Qatar's only land border with Saudi Arabia, which it relied on for the import of dairy products, construction materials and other goods, has been mostly closed since June 2017.
Israel, Morocco to normalize ties; US shifts W Sahara policy
Trump has announced that Israel and Morocco will normalize relations in the latest achievement of his administration's press to push Arab-Israeli peace. “It is thus fitting we recognize their sovereignty over the Western Sahara,” Trump said. Kushner said the dispute over Western Sahara was an anachronism that needed to be addressed by a bold move. U.S. backing for Morocco's Western Sahara claim has long been a rumored, but unconfirmed, bargaining chip in talk about diplomatic ties. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the Israel-Morocco agreement but reserved judgment on the Western Sahara, according to a spokesman.
4 Arab American orgs partner for first Arab Film Fest Collab this December
Four Arab American organizations are partnering for the inaugural Arab Film Fest Collab (AFFC) later this year. The Arab American National Museum (AANM), Arab Film and Media Institute (AFMI), ArteEast and Mizna collectively present the Arab Film Fest Collab December 3–13, 2020. Other featured films include In Vitro (2019) by Palestinian artist and filmmaker Larissa Sansour. Languages represented in the films include Arabic, French, Somali and English, and every non-English offering is subtitled in English. To learn more about the Film Fest, sponsorship opportunities, and to sign up for updates, visit arabfilmfestcollab.org
Trump: Sudan to join UAE, Bahrain in recognizing Israel
In exchange, Trump notified Congress on Friday of his intent to remove Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. Previously, the Trump administration engineered diplomatic pacts between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — the first since Jordan recognized Israel in the 1990s and Egypt in the 1970s. “This is one of the great days in the history of Sudan,” Trump said, adding that Israel and Sudan have been in a state of hostilities for decades, even if they had not been in direct conflict. “Today, Khartoum is saying yes to peace with Israel, yes to recognition of Israel and yes to normalization with Israel," Netanyahu said. "This is a new era, an era of true peace — peace that is proceeding and widening with additional Arab countries.
Israel, Bahrain sign deal establishing formal ties
(Ronen Zvulun/Pool Photo via AP)JERUSALEM – Israel and Bahrain on Sunday agreed to establish formal diplomatic relations, making the small Gulf country the fourth Arab state to normalize ties with Israel. While the UAE’s deal with Israel formally established ties, the agreement with Bahrain was less detailed and included a mutual pledge to follow suit. “Today we made the first formal step in bringing closer ties between the countries,” Ben-Shabbat said. Egypt and Jordan are the only other two Arab states to sign diplomatic treaties with Israel, in 1979 and 1994, respectively. Other Arab countries could follow suit, with analysts and insiders pointing to Sudan, Oman and Morocco as possibilities.
The Latest: Mali notable in its absence from UN meeting
As late as last week, the United Nations still listed the deposed president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, as an upcoming speaker. But the final countries addressed the U.N. gathering on Tuesday afternoon with no word from Mali. Before this latest coup, extremists were moving south into more densely populated areas, adding to the frustrations that fed massive protests in the weeks ahead of the coup. He delivered a prerecorded address Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly’s annual meeting of global leaders, being held virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emirati foreign minister also warned against what he said were “the expansionist ambitions of some countries in the region."
UAE: Iran's aggressive policies made Arabs look at Israel
But its actions had an impact in the region, he said, though he wouldn’t speculate on whether other Arab countries would follow the UAE and Bahrain in establishing relations with Israel. “The only thing I want to say is the more strategic the Israelis look at these relationships, the more doors will open to them,” Gargash said. Looking back at the UAE's decision to normalize relations with Israel, Gargash said the government decided it was strategically good for the country, “and will make the UAE more of a global presence." But the Arab world and the region remain polarized, Gargash said, though “I would like to say we haven’t lost a single friend.”The UAE minister called the Iranian reaction “very alarming." ___Edith M. Lederer, chief U.N. correspondent for The Associated Press, has been covering world affairs for nearly a half-century.
Netanyahu says UAE deal signals end to 'land for peace'
Israel and the UAE announced Thursday they were establishing full diplomatic relations in a U.S.-brokered deal that required Israel to halt its contentious plan to annex occupied West Bank land sought by the Palestinians. Netanyahu has insisted the annexation plans are only on temporary hold at the request of the United States. Netanyahu also reiterated Sunday his interpretation of the UAE deal: that annexation was only being suspended and that it was still on the table, so long as it was done in coordination with Washington. UAE officials have indicated that the deal means annexation has been shelved entirely. After President Donald Trump released his Mideast plan earlier this year, which was favorable to Israel, Netanyahu said he would forge ahead with annexing parts of the West Bank.
Iran threatens 'dangerous future' for UAE after Israel deal
TEHRAN Irans powerful Revolutionary Guard vowed Saturday there would be dangerous consequences for the United Arab Emirates after it announced a historic deal with Israel to open up diplomatic relations. The UAE is the first Gulf Arab state to do so and only the third Arab nation to establish normalized relations with Israel, Iran's regional archenemy. The Guard warned that the deal with Israel will set back American influence in the Middle East, and bring a dangerous future" for the Emirati government. In a televised speech Saturday, he warned that the United Arab Emirates has made a huge mistake in reaching a deal toward normalizing ties with Israel. Israel has quietly cultivated ties with the UAE and other Gulf countries for several years as they have confronted a shared enemy in Iran.
Arab Israeli diplomat says security guards choked him
The incident trained a spotlight on the ongoing struggles of Israel's Arab citizens, a large minority that makes up about 20% of the population. But what happened after that, he said, was a series of mistakes by security guards unlike anything he had seen before. He also said he understands that Israeli security guards have a job to do. But he said there is an extreme minority of security guards who behave like Rambos, especially when dealing with Arabs. The incident began after the security guard requested from Khaldi to show his ID, according to security rules and regulations, Rosenfeld said.
Saudi Arabia, Yemens Houthi rebels in indirect peace talks
Saudi Arabia and Yemens Iran-backed rebels are holding indirect, behind-the-scenes talks to end the impoverished Arab countrys devastating five-year war. Officials from both sides have told The Associated Press that the negotiations are taking place with Oman, which borders both Yemen and Saudi Arabia, as mediator. Thats according to Gamal Amer, a negotiator for the Yemeni rebels known as Houthis. They have also talked through European intermediaries, according to three Houthi officials. The Saudi-led military coalition, which entered the war in 2015, is fighting on behalf of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his internationally recognized government.
Saudi bus crash kills 35 in holy city of Medina
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(CNN) - A bus crash in the Saudi city of Medina killed 35 foreigners and wounded four others on Wednesday evening, a police spokesman cited by the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said. The privately chartered bus collided with a heavy vehicle, the Medina police spokesman said. The Prophet Mohammed's mosque is in Medina, making it the second-holiest site in Islam after Mecca. The injured have been transferred to al-Hamna Hospital and authorities are investigating the cause of the collision, according to SPA. The-CNN-Wire & 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company.
Iran says it seized foreign oil tanker in Gulf for smuggling fuel
CNN Video(CNN) - Iran said Sunday that it had seized a foreign oil tanker that it claimed was smuggling fuel to Arab states, the latest maritime interception in recent weeks. Iran's state media Press TV said the vessel had seven crew members and was carrying 700,000 liters of fuel, or about 4,500 barrels. Ramadan Zirahi, commander of that naval unit, told ISNA that the vessel carrying the "seized smuggled fuel" was transferred to Bushehr and that the fuel was delivered to the National Oil Distribution Company of Bushehr in coordination with the judiciary. Iran has released nine of the 12 Indian crew members who were on board the Panamanian-flagged tanker that it seized after claiming the vessel was carrying 1 million liters of smuggled fuel. Iran has granted consular access to 18 Indian crew members of the seized British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero.