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Gaza: Arab League Holds Emergency Meeting

UAE Ambassador Mariam Khalifa Al Kaabi affirmed that the UAE continues to mobilise efforts to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip….reports Asian Lite News

The United Arab Emirates participated in an extraordinary meeting of the Arab League Council regarding Palestine, which was held in Cairo, Egypt.

Mariam Khalifa Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt and Permanent Representative to the Arab League, headed the UAE delegation.

In her speech at the Arab League headquarters, Ambassador Al Kaabi affirmed that the UAE continues to mobilise efforts to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Al Kaabi underscored the UAE’s dedication to provide protection for civilians, extend humanitarian aid, and collaborate with partners to work towards a comprehensive peace solution.

During her address, Al Kaabi highlighted the proactive stance of the UAE’s leadership, which has engaged in numerous diplomatic and humanitarian initiatives in support of the Palestinian cause.

She emphasised the success of the UAE’s non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, during which resolutions 2712 and 2720 were adopted.

Al Kaabi highlighted that the UAE strongly condemns Israel’s policy of collective punishment against Palestinians and reiterated the UAE’s rejection of any attempts to displace them. She stressed the nation’s unwavering focus on safeguarding civilian lives, providing essential relief and medical aid to Gaza residents, and preventing further escalation that could threaten regional stability.

The extraordinary meeting, at the level of permanent representatives of member states in the Arab League and convened at the request of Palestine with the backing of Arab countries, discussed Israeli actions against the Palestinian people. Discussions also centred on potential political, legal, and economic measures to be supported within the Arab League framework.

The meeting highlighted the escalating Israeli offenses in the West Bank, the systematic destruction of infrastructure in Palestinian refugee camps, daily raids in dozens of cities, villages, and camps, the killing and injuring of hundreds of Palestinian citizens, the demolition of homes, and the inhumane detention of thousands.

Qatar’s new peace initiatives

Qatar, the chief negotiator in the Israel-Hamas war, has said it is getting replies from both Israel and the Hamas as it engages in serious discussions with them to find a new solution to end the war that includes a two-state formula.

The war has so far killed over 20,000 Palestinians and 2,000 Israeli soldiers in a span of over 100 days.

Qatar said it’s engaged in “serious discussions” with Israel and Hamas and is receiving “constant replies” from both sides. But statements made by Israeli officials “lead to a harder mediation process”, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Majed Al-Ansari, said in a news conference on Tuesday.

“Obviously, when one side says they don’t accept the two state-solution and that they won’t stop this war eventually… it leads to a harder mediation process,” Al-Ansari pointed out.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected global calls, including from the US, for Palestinian sovereignty following talks with US President Joe Biden about Gaza’s future, suggesting Israel’s security needs would be incompatible with Palestinian statehood.

Communication breakdown and the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza has impacted the talks from yielding results, media reports said.

But mediation is in full swing with Qatar exchanging ideas between both sides, Al-Ansari said.

“Our negotiators are working around the clock to exchange these ideas, a lot of these media reports are either missing elements or completely false,” he said in response to news reports that Israel offered a two-month ceasefire to Hamas as part of a prospective hostage deal.

Meanwhile, the situation around the Khan Younis hospitals is deteriorating amid intense shelling, the United Nations said.

The UN says that the situation at hospitals in the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza has deteriorated as Israeli military operations in the area have expanded, CNN reported from Gaza.

“Reportedly, Israeli forces struck the vicinity of Al-Amal hospital and the ambulance headquarters, as intense fighting continued in the area, including dozens of casualties,” the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday, adding that it estimated that “13,000 displaced people who have taken shelter in Al Amal Hospital and the PRCS [Palestinian Red Crescent Society] headquarters were unable to leave”.

OCHA cited humanitarian partners as saying that people in the vicinity and in the Al Kheir area east of Al Mawasi had lost access to the health facility, reports said.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that it had surrounded Khan Younis and instructed civilians to leave several districts and move towards the coast, which it described was “safer”.

Roads leading to Al-Amal hospital were closed due to ongoing shooting by IDF in Khan Younis, the PRCS said on Tuesday. Separately, the UN relief agency in Gaza said that one of its shelters in the Khan Younis area had been hit.

At least six displaced people were killed and many more injured during intense fighting around the shelter. Terrified staff, patients and displaced people are now trapped inside the few remaining hospitals in Khan Younis as heavy fighting continues,” the agency’s director, Phillipe Lazzarini, said on X.

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COP28: Arab League Launches Three Novel Climate Initiatives

Dr. Mahmoud Fathallah, Director of the Arab League’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Meteorology and Head of Pavilion said the Arab region is facing a major challenge: desertification.

Inaugurating its debut at a UN Climate Change Conference, the League of Arab States Pavilion at COP28 has introduced three novel climate initiatives: the circular economy, nature-based solutions, and biodiversity.

Dr. Mahmoud Fathallah, Director of the Arab League’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Meteorology and Head of Pavilion, made this announcement in a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM). He described desertification, drought, and food security as the most prominent challenges resulting from climate change in the Arab region.

Looking ahead to future cooperation on climate issues within the Arab world, Fathallah announced that the next meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment, scheduled for October 2024, will focus on participation in the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 16), set to take place in Saudi Arabia in December 2024.

He said the Arab region is facing a major challenge: desertification. This environmental phenomenon has already impacted an area of approximately 9 million square kilometres, representing a staggering 68% of the total landmass in Arab countries. The Maghreb region in Africa bears the brunt of this issue, with over half (53.4%) of its land affected by desertification. Additionally, a further 3.6 million square kilometres are considered at risk, according to the Joint Arab Economic Report 2022.

He added that Arab countries will be convening in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for preparatory meetings in advance of the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6). Scheduled for February 26th to March 1st, 2024, in Nairobi, Kenya, UNEA-6 presents a crucial opportunity for international collaboration on environmental issues.

He stated that specialised Arab organisations, acting as the technical arm of the League of Arab States, are playing a vital role in this fight. They are actively involved in preparing studies and reports on desertification and the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development (AOAD), in particular, is dedicated to equipping Arab experts with the knowledge and skills needed to address these pressing environmental concerns.

Fathallah stated that the AOAD, in cooperation with the League of Arab States, held a high-level regional dialogue on the sidelines of its participation in COP28 under the title “Addressing the interrelated challenges of climate change, peace and food security in the Arab region with a focus on fragile societies and countries in conflict.”

He pointed out that the dialogue made it clear that the Arab region is the most water-scarce and the most dependent on food imports in the world, with high rates of malnutrition in the region, noting that the overexploitation of the region’s resources has led to a severe deterioration in ecosystems.

Fathallah stated that the Arab countries have approved national programmes and policies that have been integrated into their development programmes to mitigate the effects of climate change and adaptation plans.

ALSO READ: Talks on Fossil Fuels Heat Up at COP28

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Arab League Envoys Voice Solidarity With Palestinians

The League of Arab States (LAS) and the United Nations (UN) collaborate to promote peace, security, and economic development, while also advancing human rights and political inclusion….report Asian Lite News

The League of Arab States on Tuesday commemorated the ‘International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’ at the Palestinian Embassy in New Delhi.

The League of Arab States (LAS) shares a common mission with the United Nations (UN): promoting peace, security and stability by preventing conflict, resolving disputes and acting in a spirit of solidarity and unity. In doing so, the two organisations also work together to expand economic opportunity, advance respect for human rights and build political inclusion.

Meanwhile, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, recently said that India advocates for the resumption of direct negotiations towards establishing a sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly informal discussions on the humanitarian situation in Palestine on Monday, Kamboj said, “India’s consistent position of achieving a just, peaceful and lasting solution to the Israel-Palestine issue. India has always advocated the resumption of direct negotiations towards establishing a sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine.”

Kamboj, welcoming the international efforts to ensure further de-escalation of the conflict, also affirmed that India opposes terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and is clearly against violence.

She said, “India welcomes all efforts by the international community that strive towards a de-escalation of the conflict and enables the delivery of urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Palestine.”

She added, “The message from our leaders has been clear and consistent – we are firmly opposed to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, clearly against violence and are on the side of adherence to international humanitarian law and ensuring that further escalation is prevented, humanitarian aid delivery continues, all hostages are released unconditionally and all parties work towards an early restoration of peace and stability. Towards this, we also welcome efforts for humanitarian pauses.”

Kamboj highlighted that India has already delivered 70 tonnes of disaster relief materials, including medicines and medical supplies, to the people of Palestine.

She stated, “We are also firm in our commitment to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Palestine and have already delivered 70 tonnes of disaster relief materials including 17 tonnes of medicines and medical supplies in two tranches and our humanitarian support continues.

Similarly, India continues to play an active role as a Member of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).”

Israel announced war against Hamas after it launched an attack on Israel on October 7 and killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, with around 240 people taken hostage, according to Israeli officials. (ANI)

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Arab FMs to Meet on Gaza Crisis

The meeting will be held at the request of Palestine and headed by Morocco, the current president of the Arab League Council at the ministerial level….reports Asian Lite News

Arab foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss ways to stop the ongoing conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, the Arab League (AL) has announced.

The meeting will be held at the request of Palestine and headed by Morocco, the current president of the AL Council at the ministerial level, the pan-Arab body stated.

Participants of the meeting are scheduled to discuss political action at the Arab and international levels to tackle the conflict, according to the AL.

Hamas on Saturday launched a surprise attack on Israeli towns adjacent to the Gaza Strip, prompting Israel to launch retaliatory strikes on Gaza.

Israel’s state-owned Kan TV reported on Monday that the death toll from Hamas’ attack on southern Israel rose to more than 900.

The death toll and injuries from Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have risen to 687 and 3,726, respectively, according to the latest update by the Palestinian Health Ministry on Monday.

Gaza Under Siege

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have “more or less” restored full control over the border fence with Gaza, after it was breached by Hamas militants following its October 7 surprise attack, a military official said.

Addressing a briefing, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said: “Looking towards the south, we have more or less restored full control over the border fence. Hopefully in the next few hours it will be final.” 

Hecht said Israeli forces have secured communities around the border and have nearly completed evacuations in the area, adding that there were two small firefights overnight in the Sa’ad and Kissufim communities. 

“We are focusing our offensive in the Gaza Strip and our airstrikes,” CNN quoted the spokesperson as saying.

In his address, Hecht also advised any Palestinians leaving Gaza to go to Egypt.

“I am aware that the Rafah crossing is still open,” the BBC quoted the IDF official as saying. 

“Anyone who can get out, I would advise them to get out”.

On Monday, the IDF said that the military had regained control over all the communities in southern Israel.

In a separate statement on Tuesday morning, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) claimed that it has hit 200 Hamas and other militant group targets in Gaza in overnight airstrikes.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UAE

Abdullah Calls Counterparts

UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has discussed the ongoing developments in the region over telephone calls with Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation; Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah, Foreign Minister of Kuwait; Eli Cohen, Foreign Minister of Israel; and Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition in Israel.

The UAE top diplomat reviewed with them the ongoing de-escalation efforts and underscored the importance of protecting civilians from the consequences of the current crisis.

During the telephone calls, Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the current situation requires urgent action from all active international parties to reduce tensions and prevent further deterioration of the situation.

He stressed the need to exercise the highest levels of wisdom, de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the region, which, Sheikh Abdullah said, can only be achieved through a comprehensive, just peace, and sustainable security.

The UAE foreign minister has met with his UK counterpart James Cleverly in London. He underscored the seriousness of the escalation that began in Gaza and its role in increasing tensions in the region and threatening its security and stability.

The two sides stressed the importance of coordination between all active international parties to contain the current crisis through all possible means and solutions, as well as to address all provocative actions that aim to destabilise the region and threaten its peoples.

ALSO READ: Arab League Chief in Moscow for Gaza Talks

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Arab League Welcomes AU’s G20 Membership

Assoumani felt this would also give a boost to India-Comoros relations…reports Asian Lite News

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Sunday welcomed the admission of the African Union (AU) as a permanent member to the Group of 20 (G20).

Aboul Gheit hailed the decision as a positive step that would benefit both sides and contribute to strengthening African countries’ role in global economic development.

Arab League Secretary-General stressed that this step will enhance Africa’s ability to contribute to solving pivotal global issues such as climate change, energy security, food security, and other issues.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who hosted this year’s G20, met Comoros President and African Union chief Azali Assoumani on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

Assoumani thanked Modi for his initiative and efforts in making the African Union a permanent member of the G20. He shared his particular pleasure that this had occured during India’s G20 presidency, considering India’s role and links with Africa, official sources said.

Assoumani felt this would also give a boost to India-Comoros relations.

He also congratulated the Prime Minister for the success of India’s G20 presidency. Modi congratulated the African Union on joining the G20 and highlighted India’s efforts to articulate the Voice of Global South and recalled the Voice of Global South Summit convened by India in January 2023.

Both leaders also had an opportunity to discuss their bilateral partnership. They expressed satisfaction at the numerous initiatives underway, and discussed opportunities for cooperation in areas like maritime security, capacity building and development partnership.

Earlier on Sunday, Assoumani, addressing a press conference after the summit, said: “To my great satisfaction, admission of African Union was approved during the G20 summit. Prime Minister Modi and other members endorsed the accession of the African Union to this major economic decision-making body. As we all know that India is the 5th superpower in the world so there is enough room for India in Africa. We also know that India is so powerful that it went to space. So we just need to coordinate. India is a superpower in terms of inhabitance, and now India is ahead of China.”

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Arab League, Sudan discuss regional tensions

Agar also called for coordinated efforts in the region and internationally to enable an end to the tensions and to preserve the integrity…reports Asian Lite News

Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit and Deputy Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Malik Agar discussed the humanitarian crisis in Sudan and the international and regional initiatives to resolve the ongoing armed conflict in the country.

During a meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo, Agar briefed Aboul-Gheit on the developments in Sudan, including the field situation and the challenges facing the Sudanese Armed Forces in restoring security and control in the capital Khartoum, the AL said on Monday in a statement.

Agar also called for coordinated efforts in the region and internationally to enable an end to the tensions and to preserve the integrity, stability and unity of Sudan, Xinhua news agency reported.

For his part, Aboul-Gheit stressed the commitment of the AL to work for the stability of Sudan and its territorial integrity, preserving the capabilities of the Sudanese people and protecting its institutions, as well as its readiness to provide all forms of support to achieve security and stability in the African country.

He also asserted the need for international action and initiatives to work for the benefit of Sudan and its people, in cooperation and coordination with the government of Sudan.

The AL Secretary-General called for serious work to achieve more harmony among these initiatives, adding that the AL would present ideas in this regard to various parties.

He highlighted the importance of working to reach arrangements that allow dealing with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in areas witnessing armed clashes through the ceasefire that is agreed upon during the Jeddah meetings.

Agar’s visit came amid a 72-hour truce between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, which started Sunday morning, and relatively restored calm in the country. The two forces’ deadly clash has claimed hundreds of civilian lives and displaced millions more across the country since it broke out on April 15.

ALSO READ: US, UN condemn rights violations in Sudan

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Arab League Summit wraps up in Jeddah

The 32nd Arab League Summit kicked off in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Friday with the participation of Arab leaders to discuss regional and global issues…reports Asian Lite News

The 32nd Arab League Summit concluded in the Saudi city of Jeddah by adopting the Jeddah Declaration, which calls for Arab unity to solve regional issues, state media reported.

The declaration welcomed Syria’s readmission to the Arab League (AL), vowing to intensify pan-Arab efforts to help Syria tackle its crisis, Al Arabiya TV reported on Friday.

It underlined the Arab Peace Initiative to solve the Palestinian issues, urged for the de-escalation of tensions in Sudan, called for the election of a new Lebanese President and the required reforms to lift Lebanon out of its crisis, and supported initiatives to promote security and stability in Yemen, Xinhua news agency reported.

The declaration rejected foreign interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries and “categorically reject all support for the formation of armed groups and militias outside the scope of state institutions”.

At a press conference to brief on the summit, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud was quoted by Al Arabiya TV as saying that the Jeddah Declaration will reinforce joint Arab work.

The Minister affirmed that the Palestinian cause remains the Arab’s pivotal cause, expressed hope that Syria’s return to the Arab fold would contribute to ending the Syrian crisis, and called on the Sudanese warring parties to resort to dialogue to put an end to the current armed clashes.

AL Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit highlighted the success of the Jeddah summit in achieving its goal, expressing hope that the summit would be a beginning for the Arab countries to grasp their fate in their own hands.

The 32nd Arab League Summit kicked off in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Friday with the participation of Arab leaders to discuss regional and global issues that are crucial to the region’s stability.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attended the summit for the first time since his country was suspended from the Arab League after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

In the summit, Algerian Prime Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane handed over the rotating presidency of the Arab League to Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

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Arab League chief lauds UAE’s global openness

Amin Salam, the Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade, stated that the UAE has established itself as a global leader in luring investors from all over the world…reports Asian Lite News

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, said that the UAE’s openness to the world has ensured its economic progress over the past two decades.

Speaking to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) during the Annual Investment Meeting in Abu Dhabi, the AL Chief said that the meeting is a platform for connecting Arab business leaders and investors to explore investment prospects available in the Arab region.

The event’s sessions addressed the challenges that impede the growth of investments in Arab countries, he said, affirming the importance of promoting cooperation to benefit from major investment opportunities in the region.

Aboul Gheit said that political, economic and monetary stability are essential for attracting FDI inflows, noting that a conducive legal ecosystem and good governance are necessary to safeguard invested capital, help achieve intended objectives and accelerate FDIs.

Despite having considerable potential, Arab countries have received very low direct investments over the past 20 years due to regional crises that began in 2011 and reduced capital value, he added.

Meanwhile, Amin Salam, the Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade, stated that the UAE has established itself as a global leader in luring investors from all over the world, as well as in achieving strong economic growth rates that have encouraged all Arab countries to follow suit.

In statements on the sidelines of the Annual Investment Meeting in Abu Dhabi, the Lebanese minister said that Lebanon is significantly reliant on its long-standing commercial and economic ties with the UAE, which will surely contribute to the Lebanese economy’s critical economic and trade balance.

He emphasised that new legislation that will be of an economic and reform nature and serve as significant incentives for foreign investors to come to Lebanon are currently being finalised.

ALSO READ: Arab League condemns Israeli strikes

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Arab League condemns Israeli strikes

The Arab League accused the Israeli government of resorting to a policy that would “eliminate any opportunity to achieve peace and ignite chaos and violence in the region.”…reports Asian Lite News

The Arab League (AL) on Tuesday condemned Israel for committing a “heinous crime” as its airstrikes killed at least 15 in Gaza.

“The dangerous escalation comes within the open war waged by the Israeli right-wing government against the Palestinian people, their properties and sanctities,” MENA quoted Saeed Abu Ali, AL assistant secretary-general for Palestine and occupied Arab territories affairs, as saying.

The AL official accused the Israeli government of resorting to a policy that would “eliminate any opportunity to achieve peace and ignite chaos and violence in the region,” vowing to hold it fully responsible for an escalation of violence.

Earlier Tuesday, Israeli fighter jets and unmanned drones carried out simultaneous and surprise attacks at buildings housing senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) military leaders in Gaza.

The Gaza-based health ministry said 15 Palestinians were killed and more than 20 were injured in the airstrikes, including ten civilian women and children.

The ministry said in a press statement that among those killed included four children and five women, while seven of the 22 injured were in serious condition.

The PIJ confirmed in a statement that three of its commanders, namely Jihad Ghannam, Khalil Al-Bahtini and Tareq Izzeldeen, were killed in the strikes. The faction vowed a response.

In a fresh airstrike in the afternoon, the Israeli military said they killed two PIJ militants preparing a rocket attack against Israel.


Israel braces for retaliation

Israel was on high alert on Tuesday as it prepared for retaliatory rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip after a series of Israeli airstrikes killed militants and civilians in the coastal Palestinian enclave.

Israel’s state-owned Kan TV news reported that over 2,000 Israelis have been evacuated from communities near the enclave, as a precaution against possible rocket attacks launched by Gazan militants at nightfall.

Residents in southern Israel were being relocated to hotels in central regions of the country. In the city of Sderot, preparations have been made by the municipality to temporarily relocate approximately 4,500 elderly or sick residents.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told local council heads near Gaza that they “must be prepared for every scenario.” He added that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and security forces “are prepared to defend every front,” according to a statement released on his behalf.

Arab nations condemn Israel

Jordan condemned Israel’s escalation of tension in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In a statement, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Sinan Al-Majali underlined the need for the international community to act immediately and effectively to stop the Israeli attacks and protect the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and all other occupied Palestinian territories.

Al-Majali said that Israeli raids on the holy sites in Jerusalem and occupied Palestinian cities could lead to further violence that will affect all.

Jordan will continues its communication with relevant parties to immediately stop this dangerous escalation, so as to restore calm and prevent violence, he added.

The UAE condemned the Israeli operation that targeted areas in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the death and injury of numerous people.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) called on Israeli authorities to halt escalation and avoid exacerbating tension and instability in the region.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday strongly condemned the Israeli airstrikes.

In a statement posted on the ministry’s website, Nasser Kanaani highlighted the necessity of an “immediate, effective, deterrent and coordinated” action by Muslim states to stop Israel’s “crimes,” after the Israeli attacks on Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militants in the Gaza Strip that killed at least 13 people, including women, children and three senior PIJ military leaders, and injured at least 20 others.

Kanaani said the Israeli offensive was aimed at diverting the public opinion away from Israel’s “very shaky and critical” domestic situation.

The spokesman added that the silence and inaction of Western countries and relevant international organizations in the face of Israel’s recent escalation of tensions with the Palestinian people had greatly emboldened Israelis to continue their “crimes.”

ALSO READ: UAE sends 3 aid planes to assist Sudanese people

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Syria returns to Arab League

The Arab foreign ministers have agreed on the necessity to intensify efforts “to help Syria out of its crisis”, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Arab foreign ministers decided in an Arab League (AL) extraordinary meeting held in Cairo on Sunday to restore Syria’s membership in the league after 12 years of suspension, said a final statement after the meeting.

The AL council meeting at the ministerial level decided to resume “the participation of delegations of the government of Syria in the meetings of the AL council and all its organizations and bodies as of May 7, 2023,” read the statement issued by the pan-Arab organization.

The Arab foreign ministers also agreed on the necessity to intensify efforts “to help Syria out of its crisis.”

Assad dials MBZ

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan received a phone call yesterday evening from President Bashar al-Assad of the Arab Republic of Syria.

During the call, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to develop them further.

President al-Assad expressed Syria’s appreciation for the UAE’s role in strengthening relations and enhancing cooperation between Arab nations, for the benefit of those countries and their people.

‘A step in the right direction’

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Sunday said the Arab League (AL)’s decision to restore Syria’s membership in the league is a step in the right direction to a unified Arab stance.

“This decision was delayed for years, but it is a step in the right direction towards a return to Arab righteousness,” Berri said in a statement released by the National News Agency.

He added: “With the return of Syria to the Arabs and the return of the Arabs to Syria, there is a glimmer of hope for a new resurrection of joint Arab action.”

Meanwhile, caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said “Lebanon was among the first to call for Syria’s return to the Arab League, and it was against suspending its membership.”

Arab foreign ministers decided in an AL extraordinary meeting held in Cairo on Sunday to restore Syria’s membership in the league after 12 years of suspension.

‘Qatar’s stance unchanged’

Qatar said its position regarding normalising ties with Syria remains unchanged, Qatar’s foreign ministry said on Sunday.

In a statement carried by the QNA, Majed bin Mohammad Al Ansari, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that Qatar always seeks to support achieving Arab consensus and will not be an obstacle to that.

Yet he said the official position of Qatar on normalization with “the Syrian regime” is a decision linked primarily to progress in the political solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Syrian people.

Qatar will “work with the Arab brothers in achieving the aspirations of the Syrian people … and for this consensus to be a motive for the Syrian regime to address the roots of the crisis,” he said.

Al Ansari also reaffirmed Qatar’s support for all regional and international efforts to find a comprehensive and just solution to the crisis that respects Syria’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Qatar has recently ruled out all chances of joining the regional reconciliation wave with Syria.

AL ministerial panel for Sudan

The Arab League Council issued a resolution to form an Arab ministerial contact group to communicate with the Sudanese parties and influential countries, aiming to reach a settlement of the crisis in Sudan.

The resolution, made during the Council’s emergency meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo, is meant to intensify Arab efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current conflict in Sudan between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that erupted in mid-April.

Under the resolution, the contact group would include representatives from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Arab League, according to an Arab League statement.

The contact group will hold communication with the Sudanese parties, influential countries regionally and internationally as well as relevant international organizations, according to the statement.

The committee aims to reach a complete and sustainable ceasefire in Sudan and address the causes of the crisis.

It will further coordinate with international relief organizations to provide urgent humanitarian and medical support to citizens and displaced persons inside Sudan.

The group will also work to help those taking refuge in neighboring countries.

The Council also stressed the need to fully respect Sudan’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and not to interfere in its internal affairs to avoid fueling conflict and threatening regional peace and security.

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