President Al-Alimi calls for active Arab role in support of Yemeni people | Arab News

2022-06-18 23:49:12 By : Mr. Frank Lee

RIYADH: Yemeni President Rashad Al-Alimi on Sunday called for more efforts in defending Arab nation’s interests, including advocating the rights of the Yemeni people to restore their own state and eliminate a coup by the Houthi militia, the government’s Saba news agency said. Al-Alimi was speaking during an Arab League session in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, where he praised the organization’s significant role and its united stance in support of Yemen, and stressed the important role of regional organizations in achieving peace, along with the UN and international community. He said he hoped the mounting pressures on the Iran-backed Houthis would force them to fulfill their obligations under the UN-brokered truce agreement, including opening roads to Taiz and other cities, rescuing the Safer oil tanker to prevent unaffordable environmental disaster in the Red Sea, releasing prisoners and detainees, and paying salaries of employees in militia-controlled areas. “The continuation of the cross-borders attacks constitute the most dangerous threat to the global energy supplies from the neighboring countries that have been very keen on maintaining Yemen’s security, stability, and ending its peoples’ suffering,” Al-Alimi said, in reference to Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He also commended the Arab League’s decision to list the Houthis as a terrorist organization,and urged Arab countries to enforce this decision into effect immediately to deter the militia from committing further violations against the Yemeni people. During his visit to Cairo, the Yemeni president also met with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abu Al-Gheit, where they discussed the latest development in the war-torn country.

SAMAWAH, Iraq: Gazelles at an Iraqi wildlife reserve are dropping dead from hunger, making them the latest victims in a country where climate change is compounding hardships after years of war. In little over one month, the slender-horned gazelle population at the Sawa reserve in southern Iraq has plunged from 148 to 87. Lack of funding along with a shortage of rain has deprived them of food, as the country’s drought dries up lakes and leads to declining crop yields. President Barham Saleh has warned that tackling climate change “must become a national priority for Iraq as it is an existential threat to the future of our generations to come.” The elegant animals, also known as rhim gazelles, are recognizable by their gently curved horns and sand-colored coats. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classes the animals as endangered on its Red List. Outside Iraq’s reserves, they are mostly found in the deserts of Libya, Egypt and Algeria but are unlikely to number “more than a few hundred” there, according to the Red List. Turki Al-Jayashi , director of the Sawa reserve, said gazelle numbers there plunged by around 40 percent in just one month to the end of May. “They no longer have a supply of food because we have not received the necessary funds” which had come from the government, Al-Jayashi  said. Iraq’s finances are under pressure after decades of war in a poverty-stricken country needing agricultural and other infrastructure upgrades. It is grappling with corruption, a financial crisis and political deadlock which has left Iraq without a new government months after the October elections. “The climate has also strongly affected the gazelles,” which lack forage in the desert-like region, Al-Jayashi  added. At three other Iraqi reserves further north, the number of rhim gazelles has fallen by 25 percent in the past three years to 224 animals, according to an agriculture ministry official who asked to remain anonymous. He blamed the drop at the reserves in Al-Madain near Baghdad, and in Diyala and Kirkuk on a “lack of public financing.” At the Sawa reserve, established in 2007 near the southern city of Samawah, the animals pant under the scorching sun. The brown and barren earth is dry beyond recovery, and meager shrubs that offer slight nourishment are dry and tough. Some gazelles, including youngsters still without horns, nibble hay spread out on the flat ground. Others take shelter under a metal roof, drinking water from a trough. Summer hasn’t even begun but temperatures have already hit 50 degrees Celsius in parts of the country. The effects of drought have been compounded by dramatic falls in the level of some rivers due to dams upstream and on tributaries in Turkey and Iran. Desertification affects 39 percent of Iraqi land, the country’s president has warned. “Water scarcity negatively affects all our regions. It will lead to reduced fertility of our agricultural lands because of salination,” Saleh said. He has sent 100 million dinars (over $68,000) in an effort to help save the Sawa reserve’s rhim gazelles, Al-Jayashi  said. But the money came too late for some. Five more have just died, their carcasses lying together on the brown earth.

CAIRO: The Supreme Committee for the Management of the Epidemiology and Health Pandemic Crisis in Egypt has announced the abolition of all restrictions imposed on the entry of Egyptians or foreigners.

This followed a review of the epidemiological situation inside and outside the country, during a meeting of the committee headed by Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, prime minister of Egypt, at the government headquarters in the new administrative capital.

The official spokesman for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Ambassador Nader Saad, said: “During the meeting, a decision was approved stipulating that all restrictions imposed on the entry of Egyptians or foreigners into the Arab Republic of Egypt should be canceled.”

Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghafar, minister of higher education and scientific research, reviewed the latest epidemiological developments for the coronavirus locally and globally. He also reviewed the current statistics on vaccination, explaining that about 86.6 million doses were provided to citizens, with 4.5 million booster doses following. He added that there are currently 57.5 million doses available.

Spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Health, Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, said that the decision to cancel restrictions on the entry of Egyptians and foreigners was based on a study of the epidemiological situation around the world.

“The situation in Egypt is in a state of severe improvement, and the rates of infection and hospitalization are decreasing,” Abdel Ghaffar said.

He said that the Supreme Committee took the decision to lift the measures based on the above, explaining that “38 countries worldwide have taken the same measures since May.”

“Today, after two years of dealing with the coronavirus, vaccines have been made available, the virus and its mutations have been understood, and the health world is looking at a different strategy toward the epidemic,” he said.

LONDON: Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa on Saturday in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh, the Egyptian Presidency said in a statement.

The pair discussed bilateral ties and regional and international developments, the statement added.

During the meeting, which also discussed joint cooperation particularly in the fields of investment and economy, El-Sisi expressed Egypt’s keenness to strengthen cooperation and coordination to help the region confront current challenges.

King Hamad praised Egypt's role in ensuring security and stability in the region and highlighted the historic ties his country has with Egypt, while noting the improvement of ties between Manama and Cairo in various economic, political and developmental fields, adding that Bahrain is keen on strengthening these relations.

El-Sisi and King Hamad welcomed the upcoming summit being hosted by Saudi Arabia next month during US President Joe Biden’s visit to the Kingdom.

The summit will bring together Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders, Jordan’s King Abdullah, El-Sisi and Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi as well as Biden.

AL-MUKALLA: Four Yemeni army soldiers were killed and 17 more wounded in the latest wave of Houthi attacks in three days, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said, adding a further blow to the UN-brokered truce.

The ministry said that the Houthis violated the truce 288 times on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in former flaring battlefields across the country.

It added that Yemeni forces pushed back many attempts by the Houthis to seize control of new areas and came under drone and missile attacks by the Houthis in the provinces of Hodeidah, Taiz, Marib, Hajjah, Jouf and Dhale.

Most of the Houthi attacks — 80 violations — occurred in the contested Hays district in Hodeidah province followed by 65 violations in Taiz where the Houthis attacked government troops with explosives-rigged drones and medium and heavy machine guns, killing four soldiers and wounding 17.

The total number of army deaths since last Saturday is nine.

Brig. Gen. Abdu Abdullah Majili, a Yemeni Army spokesperson, told Arab News that the army is still observing the truce, despite the Houthi’s violations, repeating appeals to the international community to mount pressure on the Houthis to stop the attacks.

“The terrorist Houthi militia have broken the renewed truce hundreds of times in a clear disregard to international agreements. There are many martyrs in the army in the attacks,” Majili said.

Despite confirmed reports about the violations, the UN and international aid organizations said that human casualties have significantly dropped during the truce and vital humanitarian assistance reached the needy across the country.

In Sanaa, the Houthis arranged military funerals for five officers who were killed on the battlefield.

Dozens of dead Houthi fighters have been buried in similar military funerals during the past two months across the Houthi-controlled areas.

In addition to reducing hostilities, the truce that came into effect on April 2 allowed the resumption of commercial flights from Sanaa airport for the first time in six years and also at least a dozen fuel ships entered Hodeidah port.

But the Houthis have not lifted their siege on Yemen’s city of Taiz, one of the elements of the truce despite two rounds of talks with the Yemeni government and mounting international pressure.

Separately, the EU on Saturday called on local authorities in Yemen’s southern city of Aden to find the people who assassinated journalist Saber Al-Haidari last week.

Al-Haidari, a Yemeni Information Ministry employee and a reporter for a Japanese media outlet, was burned to death in Aden after an IED ripped through his car.

“The EU condemns the killing of journalist Saber Al-Haidari in Aden on Wednesday. We call on the authorities to investigate the incident and bring the culprits to justice,” the EU said on Twitter.

TANGIERS, Morocco: Four women have pressed charges in Morocco against French insurance tycoon Jacques Bouthier, currently under arrest in Paris on charges of raping a minor, a rights group said Friday. Bouthier is accused of various acts of “people trafficking, sexual harassment and verbal and moral violence,” between 2018 and this year, said Karima Salama, a lawyer from the Moroccan Association for the Rights of Victims (AMDV). “An enquiry has been opened and we have faith in the justice system,” she said at a press conference in the northern port city of Tangiers, where the four alleged victims, aged from 26 to 28, had been employed by Bouthier’s firm. Bouthier, 75 and one of France’s richest men, is ex-CEO of insurance group Assu2000, later renamed Vilavi. Three of his Moroccan alleged victims told journalists on Friday about their experiences, using sanitary masks and dark glasses to hide their identities. “He asked to sleep with me and when I said no, he asked me to introduce him to a sister, a female cousin or a friend, saying he would give me a nice present in exchange,” one said. The women said they had been sacked after refusing to “give in to harassment and blackmail” over their employment by Bouthier and other French and Moroccan executives. The women said they had faced repeated sexual harassment and intimidation as well as threats to their jobs, in a city where many struggle to find work. One said he had presented them to men working at the firm, telling them: ‘If you bring in contracts, there will be beautiful Moroccan girls’. “Jacques Bouthier... believes that with his financial power he can get away with anything, in complete impunity,” said AMDV chief Aicha Guellaa. Bouthier, was indicted on May 21 and arrested by Paris prosecutors after a preliminary investigation into accusations of people trafficking and rape of a minor. He is also being prosecuted for conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping in an organized gang and possession of child pornography.