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Boat with 8 Syrians capsizes off Lebanese coast; 5 missing

KHARTOUM: The spokesman for Sudan’s military council said on Monday that the structure of transitional bodies had been agreed with opposition groups and their make-up would be addressed in further talks a day later.”We discussed the structure of the transitional authority and agreed on it completely, and we also agreed on the system of governance…

Boat with 8 Syrians capsizes off Lebanese coast; 5 missing

KHARTOUM: The spokesman for Sudan’s military council said on Monday that the structure of transitional bodies had been agreed with opposition groups and their make-up would be addressed in further talks a day later.”We discussed the structure of the transitional authority and agreed on it completely, and we also agreed on the system of governance in the transitional period,” said Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi, the spokesman for the Transitional Military Council (TMC).

Sudanese protesters resumed negotiations with the army earlier on Monday while calling for renewed demonstrations to press the generals to hand over power to a civilian government.

Meanwhile, Sudan charged ousted president Omar Al-Bashir and others with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters, the public prosecutor said in a statement on Monday.Earlier this month, the public prosecutor ordered Bashir to be interrogated on charges of money laundering and financing terrorism.There has been no comment from Bashir since his ousting and arrest on April 11.The military removed President Omar Al-Bashir from power in April after four months of mass protests, but the demonstrators have remained in the streets, demanding the dismantling of his regime. In recent weeks they have threatened a general strike and civil disobedience.Lt. Gen. Shams Al-Deen Al-Kabashi, a spokesman for the military council, said Monday’s meeting between army rulers and protest leaders, the first in over a week, was held “in a more optimistic atmosphere.”The protesters are represented by the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, a coalition of opposition groups led by the Sudanese Professionals Association , which has spearheaded the protests since December.The protesters said late Sunday that they hope to secure commitments to a swift transfer of power in the three-day talks.The military agreed last month to recognize the FDFC as the uprising’s only legitimate representative in a victory for the protesters. But the generals have called for other political parties — with the exception of Al-Bashir’s National Congress Party — to be included in the transition.The opposition has vowed to continue protests, centered on a sit-in outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum. It has called for a series of nationwide protests, including another march to the main sit-in, for the coming week.The two sides remain divided over what role the military, which is dominated by Al-Bashir appointees, should have in the transition period until elections can be held. The military wants to play a leading role in a transition lasting up to two years, while the protesters have demanded an immediate transition to a civilian-led authority.The protesters fear the army will cling to power or select one of its own to succeed Al-Bashir. They also fear that Islamists and other factions close to the deposed leader, who is now jailed in Khartoum, will be granted a role in the transition.

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Middle East News

Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

DUBAI: Bahrain said Tuesday a peace conference it is co-hosting next month with the US is aimed at helping the Palestinians, who have criticized the kingdom for failing to consult them about the event.The conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources,” said Foreign…

Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

DUBAI: Bahrain said Tuesday a peace conference it is co-hosting next month with the US is aimed at helping the Palestinians, who have criticized the kingdom for failing to consult them about the event.The conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources,” said Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa.The kingdom “remains supportive of the brotherly Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate rights on their land as well as establishing an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Bahrain’s top diplomat said in a statement.The White House announced Sunday it would co-host the June 25-26 conference with Bahrain focusing on economic aspects of the long-delayed US peace plan, with the declared aim of achieving Palestinian prosperity.“We were not consulted by any party on the announced meeting to take place in Manama, Bahrain,” Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement.“We have not mandated any party to negotiate on our behalf.”The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since President Donald Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.They consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their future state and have shown little interest in the US peace plan, which they fear will be heavily biased in favor of Israel.Dubbed “Peace for Prosperity,” the conference is expected to bring together leaders from several governments, civil society and the business sector.Trump’s office said the conference was a “pivotal opportunity… to share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”The Palestinians see this as offering financial rewards in exchange for accepting ongoing Israeli occupation.“Attempts at promoting an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected,” Erekat said.

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UN envoy warns of ‘long and bloody war’ in Libya

DUBAI: Bahrain said Tuesday a peace conference it is co-hosting next month with the US is aimed at helping the Palestinians, who have criticized the kingdom for failing to consult them about the event.The conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources,” said Foreign…

UN envoy warns of ‘long and bloody war’ in Libya

DUBAI: Bahrain said Tuesday a peace conference it is co-hosting next month with the US is aimed at helping the Palestinians, who have criticized the kingdom for failing to consult them about the event.The conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources,” said Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa.The kingdom “remains supportive of the brotherly Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate rights on their land as well as establishing an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Bahrain’s top diplomat said in a statement.The White House announced Sunday it would co-host the June 25-26 conference with Bahrain focusing on economic aspects of the long-delayed US peace plan, with the declared aim of achieving Palestinian prosperity.“We were not consulted by any party on the announced meeting to take place in Manama, Bahrain,” Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement.“We have not mandated any party to negotiate on our behalf.”The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since President Donald Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.They consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their future state and have shown little interest in the US peace plan, which they fear will be heavily biased in favor of Israel.Dubbed “Peace for Prosperity,” the conference is expected to bring together leaders from several governments, civil society and the business sector.Trump’s office said the conference was a “pivotal opportunity… to share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”The Palestinians see this as offering financial rewards in exchange for accepting ongoing Israeli occupation.“Attempts at promoting an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected,” Erekat said.

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Lebanese budget protesters clash with security in Beirut

BEIRUT: Security forces opened water cannons on Lebanese anti-austerity protesters in the country’s capital on Monday, as the government continued to hold marathon meetings to discuss severe budget cuts.Lebanon faces a looming fiscal crisis as the economy struggles with soaring debt, rising unemployment and slow growth. The government’s tightened budget and key reforms aim to…

Lebanese budget protesters clash with security in Beirut

BEIRUT: Security forces opened water cannons on Lebanese anti-austerity protesters in the country’s capital on Monday, as the government continued to hold marathon meetings to discuss severe budget cuts.Lebanon faces a looming fiscal crisis as the economy struggles with soaring debt, rising unemployment and slow growth. The government’s tightened budget and key reforms aim to unlock billions of dollars in pledged foreign assistance. But planned cuts have unleashed a wave of public discontent, amid leaks that austerity could target public wages, services and social benefits.

A retired Lebanese soldier chants slogans while holding an army flag, during a protest in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday. (AP)

Over one hundred protesters gathered Monday outside the Government House in downtown Beirut shouting “Thieves, thieves!” as the Cabinet met for its 16th session and struggles to reach agreement.Protesters pushed back against police lines and set fire to tires outside the building. At least two policemen and one civilian were wounded in the scuffles.Among those demonstrating Monday were public and private school teachers and retired officers.The government, headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, has sought to calm nerves while also describing the upcoming budget as the most austere in Lebanon’s history.Hariri said he hopes the government will be able to send the budget to parliament later this week.Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said the cabinet made “important progress” in discussions Sunday.

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