Jordan's PM visits Dubai for Expo 2020 – Arab News
DUBAI: Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh, along with a delegation of ministers, landed in Dubai to visit the Expo 2020 site for two days, state news agency Petra reported on Thursday.
Khasawneh is expected to deliver a speech on Friday to discuss the Kingdom’s measures in uplifting investment environments and improving the competitiveness of Jordan’s economy.
His delegation includes the Minister of State for Prime Minister Affairs, Ibrahim Jazi, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Yousef Shamali, Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, Ahmad Hanandeh, and Minister of Investment Khairy Amr.
Expo 2020 Dubai was originally scheduled for the year 2020 but was postponed to 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
VIENNA: The head of the UN nuclear watchdog said Friday it was “astonishing” that he has had no contact with the new Iranian government over several important outstanding issues since it took office.
Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), had been hoping to visit Iran before the next meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors starts on November 22 but made clear on Friday that he was disappointed that no invitation had yet been forthcoming.
Grossi’s latest comments come as diplomats prepare for international talks in Vienna to restart later this month on the restoration of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
In parallel with those efforts, the IAEA has been trying to resolve several other issues with Iran, including restrictions on some of its inspections activities imposed earlier this year.
Grossi visited Tehran in September where he clinched a deal over access to surveillance equipment at Iran’s nuclear facilities but had hoped to return soon afterwards to have further discussions with the government of ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi, who took office in August.
“I have not had any contact with this government… that has been there for more than five months,” Grossi told reporters, adding that the only exceptions had been “technical conversations” with Iran’s new atomic energy chief Mohamed Eslami.
“This is astonishing and I am saying it openly because I’m saying it to them,” Grossi said.
“There’s a long list of things we need to discuss,” he said.
Days after Grossi’s September visit to Tehran, the IAEA complained that contrary to the agreement struck there it had been denied “indispensable” access to a centrifuge component manufacturing workshop where it needed to service equipment.
Another long-standing issue between the IAEA and Iran relates to questions the agency has about the previous presence of nuclear material at undeclared sites in the country.
The agency has said in numerous reports that Iran’s explanations about the material have not been satisfactory.
Discussions on those issues at the Board of Governors meeting could lead to a resolution critical of Iran.
On November 29, just a week after the start of that meeting, diplomats are due to convene for the talks on the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA).
Those talks have been suspended since June.
The JCPOA began disintegrating in 2018, when the United States unilaterally pulled out under President Donald Trump and began imposing crippling sanctions on Iran, including a unilateral ban on its oil exports.
In response, Iran began in 2019 disregarding strict curbs on its nuclear activities under the JCPOA.
Trump’s successor Joe Biden says he hopes to return to the agreement but progress toward reviving the deal has been slow.
CAIRO: The commander of the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, was sworn in on Friday as deputy head of the new Sovereign Council, Sudan TV reported.
He retains the position he held in the old council, which was dissolved by the military after seizing power.
Meanwhile, the United States and other Western powers expressed grave concern on Friday at the appointment of a new Sudanese ruling council by Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, saying it complicated efforts to restore a transition to democracy.
Al-Burhan was sworn in on Thursday as head of the new Sovereign Council, which replaces the power-sharing body he dissolved last month in a takeover that derailed Sudan’s transition to civilian rule.
ANKARA: Turkey banned Syrian, Yemeni and Iraqi citizens from flights to Minsk on Friday, potentially closing off one of the routes used by migrants that the EU says have been flown in by Belarus to create a deliberate humanitarian crisis on its frontier.
Thousands of migrants, mainly from the Middle East, are sheltering in freezing conditions in the woods on the frontiers between Belarus and the EU states Poland and Lithuania, which are refusing to let them cross. Some have already died and there are fears for the safety of the rest as bitter winter conditions settle in.
The European Union accuses Belarus of creating the crisis as part of a “hybrid attack” on the bloc – distributing Belarusian visas in the Middle East, flying in the migrants and encouraging them to try to cross the border illegally. Brussels may impose new sanctions on Belarus and airlines it blames for ferrying the migrants, as soon as Monday.
Belarus denies that it manufactured the crisis, but has also said it cannot help resolve it unless Europe lifts earlier sanctions, which the EU imposed to punish President Alexander Lukashenko for a violent crackdown on mass street protests against his rule in 2020.
Lukashenko, a close ally of Russia, threatened this week to cut off Russian gas supplies to Europe through pipelines across Belarusian territory. On Friday, the Kremlin appeared to distance itself from that threat, saying it was not consulted in advance of Lukashenko’s remarks and that it would fulfil its gas delivery contracts.
European officials have repeatedly said their best hope of resolving the crisis at the frontier is to stop would-be migrants in the Middle East from boarding flights for Belarus in the first place.
Turkey has denied playing a direct role by allowing its territory to be used to ferry in migrants. But Minsk airport’s website listed six flights arriving from Istanbul on Friday, the most from any city outside the former Soviet Union.
Turkey’s Civil Aviation General Directorate (SHGM) said on Friday it would ban the sale of tickets on flight to Belarus to citizens from Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The Belarusian state-owned airline Belavia said it would comply with the request.
“In relation to the illegal border crossing problem between the European Union and Belarus, it has been decided for citizens from Iraq, Syria and Yemen wanting to travel to Belarus from our country’s airports not to be sold tickets and not to be allowed on planes,” the SHGM said on Twitter.
European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas welcomed the Turkish move.
EU foreign ministers may approve more Belarus sanctions on Monday that could include individuals and companies, according to one diplomat.
The bloc’s executive commission said airlines that bring migrants would be on the list, and two diplomats said the main airport in Belarus was also being considered.
Polish authorities stopped two groups of migrants from crossing the border from Belarus late on Thursday, private broadcaster TVN24 quoted local police as saying, marking a relatively quieter day in a week of tense confrontations.
The Polish Border Guard said on Friday on Twitter there had been 223 attempts to illegally cross the border on Thursday.
Two incidents in the evening involved larger groups – one near Kuznica Bialostocka where the Belarusian army tried to push some 35 people, mostly women and children, to the Polish side, and another including a group of around 100 migrants near Polowce, the local police said.
The Polish border guard said the number of migrants alongside the two countries’ border had risen to around 3,000-4,000.
Presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will meet on Monday in Vilnius to discuss the crisis and be joined by video link by Poland’s president Andrzej Duda, the Lithuanian president’s office said on Friday.
Meanwhile, Iraq said on Friday it was drawing up lists of those among the hundreds of Iraqis blocked on the border between Belarus and Poland who wish to be repatriated voluntarily.
“We are ready to organise more than one trip to provide an urgent response to anyone wanting to come home voluntarily,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Sahaf said.
Iraq has sent diplomats from Moscow and Warsaw to the border to “check on (the migrants’) safety and communicate with the relevant authorities,” Sahaf said.
The Belarusian diplomatic missions in Baghdad and in the Kurdistan regional capital Arbil, which had been providing Iraqis with tourist visas, were “temporarily closed” last week, he added.
Iraqi Airways indefinitely suspended its service between Baghdad and Minsk in August, airline spokesman Hussein Jalil said.
“But we have received authorisation to operate one-way flights between Minsk and Baghdad for Iraqis blocked” in Belarus, he added.
In recent weeks, would-be migrants have been forced to fly through third countries, usually Turkey, to reach Belarus.
DUBAI: Jordan launched this week a plan to protect the country from any infectious diseases that might spread from its border crossing, state news agency Petra reported.
Minister of Health Firas Hawari’s initial plan will focus on Jordan’s border crossings in Mudawara, King Hussein Bridge, and Passenger Terminal – Aqaba Port.
The plan will introduce specialized equipment and train staff, Hawari said, adding that the “development of a comprehensive plan for crossings’ emergency response will be made in consultation and coordination with the relevant authorities.”
Preparing plans for the various crossings is aimed at creating “clear” guidelines, he noted, which will explain the roles of different sectors in responding to public health emergencies.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.