CAIRO: Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea said her country’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has so far attracted over half a million visitors since its opening in early October, making it among the most visited pavilions.
She added that the pavilion takes visitors on a journey through time from the Pharaonic civilization of the past to the achievements of the present and the vision of the future.
It includes reproductions of King Tutankhamun’s treasures, three royal coffins and a statue of Maat, the goddess associated with truth, justice, balance and righteousness in ancient Egypt.
Ashraf Hamdy, head of the Egyptian Commercial Office in Dubai, said the pavilion received high-profile visitors in December, including the king of Sweden and Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, deputy prime minister and interior minister of the UAE.
This month, the pavilion held symposiums on sustainable energy, innovation and entrepreneurship, the Arabic language, the Suez Canal, tourism, higher education and smart cities.
ROME: The Tunisian government and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation have announced they are cooperating on two projects to enhance food security and resilience to climate change through a National Action Plan for the agricultural sector in Tunisia.
The agreements were signed in Tunis by the Agriculture, Water Resources, and Fisheries Minister Mahmoud Elias Hamza, and Philippe Ankers, a representative in Tunisia for the Rome-based UN agency.
The projects are part of a four-year cooperation framework running until 2025, the FAO said in a statement.
The first project will be supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), in which the FAO will be the main partner. It will look at food security and resilience to climate change, aiming to set up a National Action Plan for the agricultural sector with different adaptation options related to water, land, crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry.
“The plan will focus on adapting actions and clarifying the roles and contributions of stakeholders, including private sector partners,” the FAO said.
“We expect that in the end it will allow for increased knowledge on climate change adaptation for informed decision making; supporting the resilience of the agricultural sector through climate-smart investments and public-private partnerships; implementing social protection plans for better adaptation in the most vulnerable rural communities and innovation through new digital technologies,” it said.
The second project is called “SocPro4Fish” and is supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.
It complements some activities previously carried out by FAO in partnership with the Tunisian government to generate factual data on social protection in the fisheries and wider aquaculture sector in Tunisia.
It will focus on improving access to social protection, and aims to strengthen Tunisian institutional capacities to improve the quality of social benefits for fishermen and workers in the fisheries and aquaculture, two economic key sectors in Tunisia’s economy.
BEIRUT: An explosion rocked the outskirts of a town in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley on Tuesday which two sources familiar with the matter said was caused by Hezbollah detonating old munitions.
A Lebanese Army spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
The explosion took place on the outskirts of the town of Al-Nabi Sheet near the mountainous Syrian border, Al Jadeed TV reported.
Videos shared online showed a column of smoke rising above a mountainous area.
CAIRO/KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah approved on Tuesday the formation of a new cabinet with the appointment of Abdul Wahab Al-Rasheed as minister of finance and the reappointment of oil minister Mohammad al-Fares, state media reported.
CAIRO: The head of the Arab League has criticized Israel’s announcement to expand its settlements in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the secretary-general of the pan-Arab organisation, said the Israeli plans to expand its settlements were a “flagrant violation” of international law, which recognises the Golan Heights as Syrian territory that fell under Israeli occupation in the 1967 war.
Aboul Gheit also said that the fact that some countries would recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian plateau did not change the “reality” that it is an occupied territory.
He highlighted that Syria’s territorial integrity is not subject to compromise irrespective of the current developments in Syria and its status in the Arab League.
Israel’s cabinet approved a blueprint on Sunday to build some 7,300 additional housing units on the strategic plateau in a move that could tighten its hold on the territory.
Syria on Monday also condemned Israeli plans in the Golan Heights as a “dangerous and unprecedented escalation,” Syrian state media reported.
“Syria strongly condemns the dangerous and unprecedented escalation by the Israeli occupation authorities” in the Golan, the state-run SANA news agency said, adding Damascus would seek to use all legally available means to retake the territory.
Speaking to Syrian TV station Al-Ekhbariya, foreign minister Faisal Mekdad called Israel’s actions against Syria “criminal” and said they violated the 1981 UN Resolution 497 declaring Israel’s effective annexation of the Golan as “null and void.”
Israel has mounted frequent attacks against what it describes as Iranian targets in Syria, where Tehran-backed forces including Lebanon’s Hezbollah have deployed over the last decade to support President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s war.
Israel annexed the 1,200-square-kilometer Golan Heights in 1981, an action not recognised by the international community.
* With Reuters
NASIRIYAH: A rocket and gunfire targeted the premises of a Chinese oil services company in southern Iraq at dawn on Tuesday, without causing any casualties or damage, officials said.
Six people have been arrested as part of the investigation into the attack, said a security official in the restive, poverty-stricken province of Dhi Qar.
“The headquarters of the Chinese company ZPEC, which operates in the Al-Gharraf field north of Nasiriyah, was targeted with a rocket and live ammunition,” said Karim Al-Jandil, spokesman for the state oil company in Dhi Qar.
Another security official said the rocket failed to explode and that the only damage to the site was bullet holes on a nearby trailer.
The Chinese company is in charge of drilling wells in the Al-Gharraf oil field.
The attack was motivated by “blackmail” to put pressure on the company and secure jobs for locals, an official of the state oil company alleged.
The province of Dhi Qar, including its capital Nasiriyah, has been hit by bloody protests against corruption and unemployment since the second half of 2019.
Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and oil accounts for more than 90 percent of its revenues.
In November, the country exported more than 98 million barrels of crude that brought in more than $7.6 billion, the oil ministry says.