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UN monitors Houthi withdrawal from Yemen’s Hodeidah

Four commercial vessels targeted by ‘sabotage’ near UAE waters: Foreign ministry DUBAI: Four commercial vessels were targeted by “acts of sabotage” near the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday morning, the UAE foreign ministry said in a statement amid rising tensions between neighboring Iran and the US. The statement added the vessels, that were targeted near…

UN monitors Houthi withdrawal from Yemen’s Hodeidah

Four commercial vessels targeted by ‘sabotage’ near UAE waters: Foreign ministry

DUBAI: Four commercial vessels were targeted by “acts of sabotage” near the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday morning, the UAE foreign ministry said in a statement amid rising tensions between neighboring Iran and the US.

The statement added the vessels, that were targeted near Fujairah and at a distance of 115 kilometers from Iran,  were “civilian trading vessels of various nationalities”, and that the UAE was investigating the incident with local and international bodies. 

Rumors about ships inside the port being sabotaged were unfounded, the ministry added.

The port of Fujairah continues to operate as normal and there were no victims of the sabotage incident.

The ministry added that targeting merchant ships and threatening the lives of crew members is a “dangerous development,” and that the government considers the acts of sabotage to be a threat to the safety and security of the UAE. 

The country called on the international community to prevent any party from compromising maritime safety and security.  

The ministry statement was tweeted by the official news agency WAM.

Bahrain condemned the acts of sabotage, saying it was a “criminal act” that threatened maritime traffic in the region. The kingdom said it stood with the UAE.

Earlier on Sunday, the UAE emirate of Fujairah denied media reports that claimed a series of explosions had rocked its port on Sunday. 

Claims from a number of news outlets, which were then shared on social media, said there had been explosions on Sunday morning and that fires had broken out on some of the docked oil tankers in the port.

Fujairah government’s media office tweeted a statement on Sunday denying there had been any explosions and that operations were continuing as normal.

It also called on media organizations to be “accurate” in their reporting and to only publish information once it was “confirmed by official sources.”

The harbor master of Fujairah port, who had been on shift at the time, also confirmed that there was no truth to the reports.

 

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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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