Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)
An especially dangerous threat to liberty occurs when members of the press collude with government agencies instead of monitoring and exposing the abuses of those agencies. Unfortunately, collusion is an all-too-common pattern in press coverage of the national security state’s activities. The American people then receive official propaganda disguised as honest reporting and analysis.
"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries. What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."
Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002
Joe Biden & Truth - 2009
US Vice President Joe Biden said that the new administration would seek the
unvarnished truth from its spies, whether or not their information supported
the goals of the government.
The Vice President's address was greeted with loud cheers by the several hundred CIA employees who gathered for the swearing in ceremony in the foyer of the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Standing before the wall of 89 stars representing the CIA staff who have died in the line of duty, Mr Biden said:
"We expect you to provide independent analysis, not to engage in group think. We
expect you to tell us the facts as you know them wherever they may lead, not
what you think we want to hear." (Tim Shipman. 20-2-2009)
"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign
ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid
to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation
that is afraid of its people …
The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men. …
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind." John F.Kennedy
“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
"The post-September 11 era in the US has heralded in a new age of ideology whose discourse and world views have served not only to accommodate such extremist views as those held by Sharon, but also to provide him with a platform and an influence that were unthinkable only a year ago.
Thus while the American President is busy devising a new Manichean universe of absolute good and absolute evil, pronouncing policy on the basis of a simplistic polarization of the world, and unilaterally defining the terms while categorizing state and non-state actors accordingly, Sharon’s Israel has maneuvered itself into a position of even greater power on the world stage provided explicitly by the US."
"The globalists wants to make the world unipolar in order to move towards a globalist non-polarity, where the elites will become fully international and their residence will be dispersed throughout the entire space of the planet.
Accordingly, for the salvation of people, peoples, and societies, the Great Awakening must begin with multipolarity.
This is not just the salvation of the West itself, and not even the salvation of everyone else from the West, but the salvation of humanity, both Western and non-Western, from the totalitarian dictatorship of the liberal capitalist elites.
And this cannot be done by the people of the West or the people of the East alone. Here it is necessary to act together. The Great Awakening necessitates an internationalization of the peoples’ struggle against the internationalization of the elites. Multipolarity becomes the most important reference point and the key to the strategy of the Great Awakening.
"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...." "For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."
About political holism
Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.
Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance. At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)
Desmond Tutu & Ubuntu
"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
"We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World.
When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity." (Ubuntu info)
Egypt inaugurated a new naval base close to the Libyan border on July 3, something that can be described as a show of force by Cairo and a demonstration of its commitment to its war-torn neighbor. Inaugurating the naval base on July 3 was not by mistake. July 3 commemorates when in 2013 the then head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, responded to the demands made by protesters in Tahrir Square during the June 30 Demonstration to topple the Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohamed Morsi.
There is little doubt that Egypt was sending a clear message to Turkey, who was not only a strong backer of Morsi, but is also the main backer of the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood organization.
During the inauguration of the new naval base in the eastern Mediterranean, Sisi, who has been president since the removal of Morsi from power, inspected the Egyptian armada and naval base.
The ceremony was attended by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and by the chairman of Libya’s Presidential Council Mohamed al-Menfi, both of whom are staunchly opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey’s backing of the organization.
Egyptian authorities intend to reaffirm their central place in the region, essentially a show of force in face of Turkey’s attempts to dominate Libya.
Since the start of the Libyan crisis in 2011 when NATO-backed jihadist forces toppled long time ruler Muammar Gaddafi, Cairo has always been concerned about stability on its border. Sisi has never hidden his support for Libya’s Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in his struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadist organizations.
After Haftar’s failure to capture the capital of Tripoli because of Turkey’s intervention, which was then followed by a Muslim Brotherhood counteroffensive, Sisi announced the city of Sirte as a "red line" on June 20, 2020. This caused immense anger in Ankara, but ultimately Turkey discontinued their offensive to capture Sirte, the gateway to most of Libya’s oil.
Despite the improvement of the situation with the end of hostilities and the establishment of a ceasefire in October 2020, the new Egyptian military base seeks to discourage Turkish-backed Libyan militias and Syrian mercenaries from resuming battles against the Haftar-led Libyan National Army, which is based in eastern Libya and closely aligned with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
Apart from the military aspect of opening a naval base close to Libya, Egypt is also positioning itself as a leading player in the reconstruction of its neighbor.
Cairo hopes to send more than three million Egyptian workers to help the country recover from a decade of bloody conflict.
It is an initiative that has been discussed since last June. Having closed its embassy in Tripoli in 2014, Cairo has been stepping up bilateral meetings for several months, with a view of resuming trade and stabilizing the borders between the two countries.
Rejecting Political Islam, Egypt has made the fight against the Muslim Brotherhood its main security objective.
Sisi does not hesitate to militarize Egyptian society in order to harden his policy against the Muslim Brotherhood and it appears that most liberals, nationalists and socialists in Egypt are content in seeing Sisi stamp out extremism.
On Wednesday, Libyan Parliament Speaker Ageela Saleh said that the memorandum between the previous Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez Al-Sarraj and Turkey is null and void.
In an interview with Greek newspaper Kathimerini, Saleh stressed the need for Turkish and other foreign troops to withdraw from Libya.
He called for Greek entrepreneurs to invest in the country, noting that the new government will adhere to all its obligations to foreign investors.
Saleh pointed out that the Second Berlin Conference did not bring forward a new solution to the crisis, “we expected more powerful and clear decisions. We do not accept the presence of any foreign military powers or bases in Libya, and neither do the Libyan people,” he said.
The Speaker explained that the GNA “was not elected by the Libyan people and never received a vote of confidence from the Parliament. It was an illegal, unconstitutional government, forced upon us by the international community without the consideration of the citizens.”
Syria News - Lavrentiev: "There must be an end
to the use of collective punishment methods" SANA, 8 July، 2021
At the conclusion of the Final Statement of 16th International Meeting in Astana Format , Russia and Iran reiterated the need to continue combating terrorism in Syria until eliminating it completely, lifting the coercive measures imposed on the country and supporting efforts to reach a political solution to the crisis in it.
“Guarantor states of Astana process (Russia, Iran and Turkey) had always focused during the meetings on the need to preserve Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, reach a political settlement to the crisis in the country, and continue the fight against terror organizations until their total elimination, “ said head of the Russian delegation to the meeting Alexander Lavrentiev at the press conference in the in the Kazakh capital, Nur Sultan on Thursday.
Alexander Lavrentiev indicated that the current meeting discussed the humanitarian situation in Syria, as the participants stressed on need to lift the coercive economic measures imposed on the country.
“Of course, there must be an end to the use of collective punishment methods against the Syrian people, which we consider defective,” he said.
He reiterated Russia’s refusal to extend the so-called “cross-border aid delivery mechanism’ in Syria,” and not to prolong its work because it has exceeded its usefulness, noting that all humanitarian aid must reach the Syrian state to support the reconstruction process and the international community should contribute to the delivery of this aid.
Lavrentiev stressed that “the presence of terrorists cannot be justified, as they must be eliminated fully. This is a clear position , not only of Russia, but of all the guarantor countries, which affirmed at the same time that looting Syria’s resources is rejected because these resources belong to the Syrian people...”
For his part, Ali Asghar Khaji, head of the Iranian delegation, said in a similar press conference, “In the final statement of the meeting, we stressed on the need to lift the sanctions which exacerbate the Syrians’ suffering and lead to further losses. We also stressed on the continuation of the fight against terrorism.”
Afghan leaders participating in Tehran meeting in a statement on Thursday underlined the need for ending war and conflicts to resolve the crisis in the country...
The statement issued in 6 paragraphs was confirmed by the officials of the Afghan government and the Taliban political leaders who attended the second day of intra-Afghan talks in Tehran on Thursday.
"Stating that war is not the solution to the Afghanistan crisis, both sides agree that the continuation of the civil war is dangerous and it would hurt Afghanistan's situation. All efforts must be directed towards a political and peaceful solution," the statement said.
"The conversations took place in a cordial atmosphere and all issues were discussed in detail and explicitly," the third paragraph of the statement said.
"Some critical issues such as permanent peace, the agreed Islamic system, and how to achieve it, will be discussed and concluded during the next meeting, which will be held as soon as possible," it underlined.
"Both sides strongly condemn the attacks on homes, offices, mosques, hospitals as well as the destruction of public institutions that result in the death of Afghans, and demand that the perpetrators be punished," it concluded.
The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was chaired by Yunus Qanuni, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, and the Taliban delegation was headed by Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the deputy head of the Taliban’s political office in this round of talks.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Afghan “people and political leaders…must take tough decisions.”
Zarif welcomed the departure of United States troops – a process begun with President Donald Trump’s agreement with the Taliban in February 2020. Discussion was the best solution to the conflict between the government and the Taliban, Zarif said.
Given its concern over the Sunni Taliban’s anti-Shia militancy, Tehran cooperated with the American intervention in Afghanistan after the 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington but later demanded the departure of US troops.
Iran has been playing a growing role in Afghan affairs with the reduction in US forces during the Trump administration and concerned at the instabilities of Afghanistan’s ethnic and political conflicts.
But there is a difference of approach between those, including some reformists, who have mainly expressed concern over the Taliban’s growing strength, particularly about targeting Shiite Hazaras, and those, including hardliners, who argue the Taliban has moderated and that Tehran needs to learn to live with them. "The Taliban today is different from the Taliban that beheaded people,” Kayhan newspaper, the principlist flagship, wrote June 27.
The Taliban on Monday reiterated its demand that Turkey’s military forces leave Afghanistan along with NATO and US forces departing the country this summer.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said Turkish forces would be considered an occupying force and the group would “act against” them if they do not withdraw with the rest of NATO’s troops, which are set to leave the country by the end of August.
“Turkey has been in Afghanistan for the past 20 years with NATO, and if it wants to remain now, without any doubt, we regard it as an occupier and will act against it,” Mujahid told Arab News.
“We have lots of commonalities with Turkey … and they are Muslim. But if they intervene and keep its troops, then it will bear the responsibility,” he said.
The Taliban’s statement comes as US and Turkish officials are actively discussing Ankara’s proposal to leave some 500 troops at Kabul’s international airport to secure foreign diplomatic missions after the remaining NATO forces leave.
“We are still in discussions with the Turks on what security at the airport is going to look like,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Monday.
Local reports in Syria last week suggested Turkish intelligence is seeking to hire Syrian mercenaries under the cover of private security firms and deploy them to Afghanistan. Turkey has deployed Syrian opposition fighters to conflicts in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh in recent years — moves sharply criticized by UN, European and US officials.
Russia is concerned over the growing intensity of hostilities in Afghanistan but does not believe the Taliban will try to seize power in the country, said the Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov.
"In recent days, the intensity of hostilities has been increasing, especially in the northern provinces of the country, against the background of the almost completed withdrawal of US and NATO troops. This situation cannot but worry us. At the same time, we believe that there is no danger of a violent seizure of power by the Taliban movement today," Kabulov said.
"The purpose of the Taliban is to strengthen their position before the start of peace negotiations. The Taliban are aware of the negative consequences of the forceful scenario of coming to power and are not interested in its implementation. They declare their intention to achieve reconciliation through negotiations, including in contacts with us," he said.
Kabulov was skeptical about the idea of the temporary deployment of US troops in the Central Asian states. He said the process of withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan should not turn into the relocation of US military infrastructure to neighboring countries.
"Twenty years of the US and NATO campaign in Afghanistan have proven that the presence of American military bases does not contribute to strengthening stability and security in the region. As far as we know, other regional states maintain a similar position," he noted.
The situation in Afghanistan is evolving very dynamically, and Moscow as an active player can host intra-Afghan events aimed at pushing the peace talks, Kabulov added.
"We do not rule out holding meetings in Moscow in the foreseeable future, including within the framework of the expanded ‘troika’ (comprising Russia, the US, China, and Pakistan) as well as the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan," he said.
Asked about the potential scenario of a Turkish military mission guarding the international airport in Kabul, the diplomat said that "such an agreement was reached between Ankara and Washington without taking into account the opinion of the Kabul (government)."
"The presence of a Turkish military contingent after the end of the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan contradicts the provisions of the US-Taliban agreement concluded on Feb. 29, 2020, in Doha.
"Moreover, the Taliban were unequivocally negative about any foreign military presence after the end of the American military campaign in the IRA [Islamic Republic of Afghanistan]. During the recent consultations in Moscow [held on July 8], the Taliban envoys once again condemned Ankara's decision and called it a mistake," Kabulov said.
This means that Turkey will have to somehow settle the issue of involving its military in the protection of the Kabul airport with the Afghan authorities and the Taliban, he said.
As for Russia's opinion, Kabulov said: "We believe that maintaining the mission of the Turkish military in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US and NATO troops will hinder the early settlement of the situation in the IRA and the launch of the national reconciliation process."
It is a “tragedy” that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been “corrupted” in a way that it is being used as a "puppet" by the West to exert pressure on Syria rather than being an international and technical monitoring organization, the former British ambassador to Syria tells Press TV.
Peter Ford, who is also an expert on West Asian affairs, made the comments from Manchester during Press TV’s Spotlight program, which was aired on Friday night.
He said that he was completely in agreement with what the Syrian government has recently reiterated that the global chemical watchdog is no longer a technical organization but a political tool in the hands of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to exert pressure on Damascus:
“Sadly I have to agree one hundred percent with that take on the OPCW. It is a tragedy that a very important international monitoring body should be corrupted in this way by being politicized by Western powers. The OPCW should be playing an impartial role and should be seen to be extremely impartial. But for the last few years, decision after decision, it is shown that it is a puppet of the Western powers,” Ford said.
He added that the UK and the US, in particular, were responsible as they have staffed the OPCW with officials from their own administrations.
These officials do not respect the impartiality of the watchdog but rather “carry out the wishes of their masters in Washington and London. This is basically why the OPCW is well underway to be completely discredited,” Ford further said.
The OPCW, in line with the Western powers, accuses Damascus of using chemical weapons, including an alleged attack in Hama in 2017. Damascus has repeatedly rejected such accusations, describing them as false flag operations.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ford said that the Western powers and the so-called rebels obviously benefit from such accusations and false flag operations.
“The Western powers needed to justify their illegal bombing of Syria. That’s why they can never admit, that it was carried out on the basis of falsehood.
That’s why they continue to sustain this lie. They have to justify their continuing of war on Syria which mainly takes the form of economic warfare, in the shape of sanctions and withholding reconstruction,” he added.
Neutrality -- defined as the legal status arising from the abstention of a state from all participation in a war between other states, the maintenance of an attitude of impartiality toward the belligerents, and the recognition by the belligerents of this abstention and impartiality -- is critically important for the United Nations to gain and maintain the confidence and cooperation of all in order to operate independently and effectively, especially in situations that are politically charged.
As Article 2 of the UN Charter obligates member states to settle their international disputes by peaceful means and to refrain from the threat, or the use of force in their relations, the General Assembly reaffirmed those obligations in its resolution 71/275.
Former President George W. Bush on Wednesday offered fresh criticism of the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan, as the U.S.-backed government in Kabul appears increasingly imperiled and Taliban fighters continue to make rapid gains across the country.
Asked whether the drawdown was a mistake, Bush told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in an interview: “I think it is, yeah. Because I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad and sad.”
The remarks from the former president come as even senior Biden administration officials have acknowledged what Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby described as a “deteriorating security situation” in Afghanistan, where the Taliban claims to have overtaken 85 percent of the country’s territory.
The Islamic fundamentalist group has taken over nearly 10 percent of Afghanistan in the last week alone, according to The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and it now controls 195 of the country’s 407 districts — while contesting another 129.
After initially pledging a total withdrawal of U.S. troops by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Joe Biden announced last Thursday that the military mission in Afghanistan would conclude on Aug. 31.
In a speech from the White House, Biden denied that a Taliban takeover was inevitable, saying: “The likelihood that there’s going to be a Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”
Prior to announcing the U.S. withdrawal in April, Biden said he had consulted with both former President Barack Obama and Bush. Obama said Biden had made “the right decision,” and former President Donald Trump also heralded the pullout of U.S. forces as “a wonderful and positive thing to do.”
At first, Bush’s response to Biden’s order was more muted, keeping with the former president’s tendency to avoid public criticism of his successors. But a week after the White House’s withdrawal announcement, Bush revealed in an interview that his “first reaction” to the news was fear for the Afghan women and girls who “are going to have real trouble with the Taliban.”
“A lot of gains have been made,” Bush told NBC’s “Today” show at the time. “And so I’m deeply concerned about the plight of women and girls in that country.”
Saudi Arabia has officially allowed businesses to remain open during the five daily Muslim prayers, a highly sensitive reform in a kingdom which is trying to shake off its austere image.
Since becoming de facto leader in 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has introduced sweeping economic and social changes designed to reduce the kingdom's dependence on oil and reset the role of religion.
"Stores and other commercial and economic activities will remain open throughout the working day and especially during (prayer) hours," the Federation of Saudi Chambers said in a statement late Friday.
Officially, the decision is part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and aims to avoid "gatherings and long queues in front of closed stores during prayer hours". However, it comes after a 2019 decree that said businesses could stay open 24 hours a day for an unspecified fee.
The new rules remove restrictions which members of the advisory Shura Council had said cost the Saudi economy tens of billions of riyals a year.
While the government's reforms have attracted little public criticism amid an accompanying crackdown on dissent, the issue remains highly sensitive in the kingdom where until a few years ago, religious police elicited fear by enforcing such rules.
The guardians of public morality, once notorious for chasing men and women out of malls to pray and berating anyone seen mingling with the opposite sex, are now largely out of sight. As clerical power wanes, preachers are endorsing government decisions they once vehemently opposed -- including allowing women to drive and the reopening of cinemas.
Guests of ceremony of president al-Assad’s taking oath arrive in people’s palace
President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday took the constitutional oath before Speaker and members of the people’s Assembly in the presence of political, party, media, religious figures and families of the martyrs and the injured.
Following the taking-oath ceremony, President al-Assad delivered a speech saying that through your awareness and national belonging, you have proven that peoples’ determination in defending their rights won’t weaken whatsoever the colonists have prepared. They have sought to make it a chaos that burns our homeland, but, through your national unity, you have shot the coup de grace at the projects that targeted the homeland.
President al-Assad affirmed that stability of society is the top of postulates and anything that affects its security and safety is absolutely rejected as any society that does not consolidate or respect values cannot be a stable or prosperous society.
President al-Assad added that the people who have carried on a fierce war and regained most of their lands are certainly able to build their economy during the most difficult circumstances and with the same will and determination..
The President added that the war of keeping the exchange price has proven that the capabilities are there, but they are in need to be seen and know how to use them... The biggest obstacle currently is the frozen Syrian deposits in the Lebanese banks, which are estimated at tens of billions, and the continuous pressure on the Syrian pound and attempts to drop its purchasing value over the years successively.
“Reducing obstacles is necessary, but it does not compensate for the increase in production, which is the basis for improving the economy and the living situation..."
President al-Assad said that the upcoming stage is to continue and expand the fight against corruption, which has not stopped one day, and there will not be any suspension to this process or leniency with any person involved, because it is a big gap and ending it is an economic, social and patriotism necessity,” President al-Assad affirmed that the blockade is the biggest chance for development by depending on our own abilities...
ALAMEIN, Egypt - China and the Arab League (AL) on Sunday hailed the bilateral ties featuring mutual support and cooperation, pledging to strengthen the China-Arab strategic partnership.
AL Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit held a meeting with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on a visit to Egypt, to exchange in-depth views on the China-Arab ties as well as regional and international issues, said a joint statement issued after the meeting...
The statement highlighted the historic bond and strong friendly ties between China and the Arab states, while hailing the remarkable achievements made since the establishment of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in 2004 and the forum's role in boosting the China-Arab ties.
Bashar al-Assad: "Dialogue with the Chinese government" (SANA 2019)
The two sides stressed the necessity for a long-term cooperation with higher level and quality between China and Arab states, particularly in the fields of trade, investment, industry, transportation, energy, agriculture, tourism, culture, education, science, health, media, sports and so on. The importance of the China-Arab Data Security Cooperation Initiative was also mentioned. The statement lauded the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping for offering ample opportunities for the mutually beneficial cooperation, adding that bilateral cooperation and consultation should be enhanced to realize mutual benefits, sustainable development and better livelihood.
China welcomes continued participation of the AL general secretariat in the China-Arab Forum on Reform and Development.
And the two sides agreed to build a China-Arab community with a shared future, so as to make more contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, according to the statement.
The two sides agreed to make preparations for the first China-Arab summit slated for 2022 in Saudi Arabia, expecting it to uplift the China-Arab strategic partnership to a new level to serve the common interests of both sides. Voicing support for multilateralism instead of unilateralism, the two sides called for safeguarding the overall interests of the developing countries and their common rights to develop.
They also called for maintaining an international system with the United Nations at its core, and an international order based on the international law, in order to jointly build fair, just and win-win international relations of mutual respect.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog called boycotts of Israel over human rights concerns "a new kind of terrorism" amid an uproar over Ben & Jerry’s decision to cease ice cream sales in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank. "The boycott against Israel is a new type of terrorism - economic terrorism," Herzog said during remarks at a memorial event for former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir.
"[This is] terrorism that seeks to harm Israeli citizens and the Israeli economy." "The BDS campaign does not pursue peace and seeks to undermine the very existence of the State of Israel. It is aiming its arrows at the Israeli economy," he continued.
Flashback Yitzhak Shamir: All of the land of Israel is ours.
The settlement of the Land of Israel is the essence of Zionism. Without settlement, we will not fulfill Zionism. It's that simple.
If history remembers me at all, in any way, I hope it will be as a man who loved the Land of Israel and watched over it in every way he could, all his life.
Menachem Begin: Israel will not transfer Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza District to any foreign sovereign authority, [because] of the historic right of our nation to this land, [and] the needs of our national security, which demand a capability to defend our State and the lives of our citizens." The western part of the Land of Israel is entirely under our control and it shall not be partitioned anymore.
The Palestinian Authority's foreign ministry released a statement addressing Herzog's comments, saying "the occupation is terrorism itself. It is the worst kind of terrorism".
Meanwhile, Ben & Jerry's has also come in for criticism from pro-Palestinian activists, who have accused the ice cream company of not going far enough. Ben & Jerry’s decision to cut off sales to Israeli settlements will not take effect until the end of 2022 when its contract with the current Israeli manufacturer and distributor expires.
Yitzhak Shamir (born Yitzhak Yezernitsky; October 22, 1915 – June 30, 2012) was an Israeli politician and the seventh Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms, 1983–1984 and 1986–1992. Before the establishment of the State of Israel, Shamir was a leader of the Zionist militant group Lehi. After the establishment of the Israeli state he served in the Mossad between 1955 and 1965 and as a Knesset Member. Lehi ("Fighters for the Freedom of Israel"), often known pejoratively as the Stern Gang, was a Zionist paramilitary and terrorist organization founded by Avraham ("Yair") Stern in Mandatory Palestine. Its avowed aim was to evict the British authorities from Palestine by use of violence, allowing unrestricted immigration of Jews and the formation of a Jewish state, a "new totalitarian Hebrew republic". The group referred to its members as terrorists and admitted to having carried out terrorist attacks. (Wikipedia info)
During a meeting on Sunday evening, Tunisia’s President Kais Saied and the country’s security and military leaders, decided to dismiss Tunisian Prime Minister Hicham Mechichi, suspend the country’s Parliament, and waive the immunity of all its members.
These decisions came in the wake of widespread protests across Tunisia against the PM and Ennahda, the Islamist ruling party affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, over the nation’s economic and social turmoil.
These events brought back memories of the Arab Spring, which began a decade ago in Tunisia, following the mass protest against the previous regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
The uprisings, which demanded an end to corruption and economic stagnation, managed to overthrow four Arab regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.
This sudden change opened the door to widespread security turmoil, the proliferation of arms, illegal border movements, and bolstered terrorism in the region. These revolutions did not eliminate corruption, rather the economic and living conditions worsened in several states. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organisation took advantage of these events, and rode the crest of the revolutionary wave, and quickly secured power in Cairo, Tunis, and Tripoli.
In July 2014, millions of Egyptians took to the streets; calling for the overthrow of the Brotherhood government. The country’s security agencies, especially the army and police, responded quickly to these demands.
The same scenario has happened again in Tunisia, with the Tunisian people rising up against the policies and practices of Ennahda, its MP’s, and government ministers.
President Saied announced that he would assume control of the executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister. This is the biggest challenge yet to a 2014 democratic constitution that split powers between the President, Prime Minister, and Parliament. The events in Tunisia are a decisive blow to the MB, leaving Libya its final stronghold in the region.
All the while in Libya, there is widespread popular criticism against the Muslim Brotherhood due to its continued alliance with militias, foreign forces, and mercenaries, as well as its involvement in many cases of corruption, theft, and terrorism.
Observers believe that these developments will have a significant negative impact on the MB’s Justice and Construction Party in Libya, and affect the organisation across the region.
Tensions between Islamists and anti-Islamists have been on the rise in the Arab Spring countries in recent months. On Wednesday, Tunisian opposition figure Chokri Belaid, a critic of the Islamist-led government, was assasinated by unknown assailants sparking fears of a repeat in Egypt.
The new constitution paves the way for a Shariah-based theocratic state with no checks and balances — and immune from future change or amendment. The obsession with religion has so derailed the work of the Constitutional Assembly that the nature of government is not even well established in the draft text. The separation of mosque and state, as a way to ensure the freedom of religion, is an urgent imperative if this so-called Arab Spring is not to dry up...
Syria strongly condemned on Wednesday the Turkish regime’s interference in Tunisia’s domestic affairs, stressing that the Turkish policy can only support the extremist Brotherhood approach which seeks to destroy countries, fragment their national unity, and impose its abnormal agendas and policies on other countries and peoples.
“While the Syrian Arab Republic affirms its respect for the sovereignty and independence of states and non-interference in their affairs, it has followed the blatant Turkish interference in the affairs of Tunisia, and it strongly condemns these acts,” An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement to SANA.
The source added that while Syria stresses the right of peoples to self-determination, it underlines its full respect for the measures recently taken by Tunisia within the framework of the constitution and it is certain that the legitimate state in Tunisia and the Tunisian people are able to go ahead towards a future decided by the Tunisians themselves...
As Islamic State insurgents threaten the Turkish border from Syria, Turkey is struggling to staunch the flow of foreign jihadists to the militant group, having not so long ago allowed free access to those who would join its neighbor's civil war.
Thousands of foreign fighters from countries including Turkey, Britain, parts of Europe and the United States are believed to have joined the Islamist militants in their self-proclaimed caliphate, carved out of eastern Syria and western Iraq, according to diplomats and Turkish officials.... "If Turkey had not opened its border with Syria ... to Islamic State (IS), if so many fighters had not crossed the border into Syria with their guns and equipment, and if this group had not used Turkey as a base, IS could not have amassed its current strength in Syria," wrote columnist Kadri Gursel on Al-Monitor, a news website focused on the Middle East.
Ninety members of the Knesset from across the political spectrum, led by Yesh Atid MK Merav Ben-Ari, sent a letter on Wednesday to the CEO of Unilever protesting the recent decision by its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s to cease selling its products in West Bank settlements.
“This decision to boycott towns and cities in Israel as well as the company’s attempt to force this boycott practice immediately on the Israeli manufacturer is an immoral and regrettable decision that harms all residents of Judea and Samaria...,” stated the letter addressed to Unilever CEO Alan Jope, referring to the West Bank by its biblical names. Members of nearly every Knesset faction, with the exception of the [Israel Arab] Joint List and Ra’am, signed their names to the letter.
One member of the dovish Meretz party, Yair Golan, signed the letter, but then requested that his name be removed. Golan later tweeted: “I signed MK Merav Ben-Ari’s letter on the topic of Ben & Jerry’s, but after I signed I understood that the letter does not represent my position.” Golan said he objected to the description of West Bank settlements as “towns and cities in Israel,” and asked to have his signature removed from the letter.
The letter called the decision by the ice cream company “shameful,” and concluded: “We urge you to rethink this decision and to amend this injustice (sic) act.”
Yesh Atid & Palestine: "Striving for peace according to an outline of
"two states for two peoples", while maintaining the Israeli settlement blocs..."
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