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Iran shuts main crossing with Iraq’s Kurdish region

October 15, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Iran on Sunday shut a main border crossing with northern Iraq’s Kurdish region amid tension over last month’s illegitimate independence referendum. “Iranian authorities have closed the crossing near al-Sulaimaniyah province,” Ali Tawfiq, director of the terminal, told reporters. He said no reason has been cited for the Iranian move. “The closure has halted the movement of goods and people into and from the Kurdish region,” Tawfiq added. Iran has three main crossings with the Kurdish region; Haji Omaran (in Erbil Province), Parwezkhan, and Bashmaq. On 25 September, Iraqis in areas held by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) — and in several areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil — voted on whether or not to declare independence from Iraq. According to […]

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Syrian refugees return to areas liberated from Daesh

October 14, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Syrian refugees in Turkey have started to return to areas liberated from Daesh in the north of their country, Anadolu news agency reported on Friday. The areas were liberated as part of the Euphrates Shield Operation carried out by the Free Syrian Army with Turkish army support. The operation ended in March this year. According to Anadolu, around 100 Syrian refugees, including women and children, left the refugee camps in Turkey to go back home. The refugees were transported by minibuses owned by the Disaster and Emergency Department run by the office of the Turkish Prime Minister. Syrian refugee Farouq K told Anadolu that he has spent five years in the refugee camps and decided to go back to the […]

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IMF calls on Algeria to diversify income sources

October 14, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on Friday for Algeria to diversify its income sources, fearing it would be affected by the decline in oil prices, Ennaharonline.com has reported. According to the IMF, the stability of the prices of basic commodities enables parties to review their capital arrangements and continue financial reforms. The Fund expressed its concerns about the dangers resulting from the decline in oil prices in the mid-term, predicting that this might create financial crises for the countries dependent on oil exports. Meanwhile, the Group of 24 held its 98th meeting in Washington and discussed the impact of development on the global economy. The “G24” was established in 1971 to coordinate the positions of emerging markets and developing […]

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Egypt arrests well-known singer in restaurant

October 14, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Egyptian security services arrested a well-known singer on Friday morning while he was eating in a Cairo restaurant, local websites have reported. Rami Sabry was picked up following the issue of an arrest warrant. Although Sabry’s family did not comment on his arrest, according to Al-Arab he was taken away after trying to avoid military conscription. Masrawi news website said that the singer was handed over to the military for him to start his compulsory service in the armed forces.

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Siege pushed us to reinforce economic and political powers, says Qatar minister

October 14, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Qatar’s Finance Minister said on Friday that his country was not affected by the siege imposed by the neighbouring countries. Ali Sharif Al-Emadi noted that his country has adapted to the new conditions, achieved short and long-term gains and reinforced its economic and political powers. Writing in Newsweek, Al-Emadi said that if the embargo was intended to bring Qatar to its knees, it has had precisely the opposite effect. “Having sensed the danger, we have seized the opportunity and bolstered ourselves politically and economically.” He pointed out that Qatar has pursued a strategy of global economic diversification for many years, investing wisely and for the long-term. “As a result, Qatar has established strong trade relationships with nations all over the […]

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The agreement will collapse if US quits nuclear deal, says Speaker of Iranian Parliament

October 14, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

If the United States pulls out of the nuclear deal with Iran, the agreement will collapse and this may lead the world into chaos, the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament said on Friday, Russia’s Tass news agency has reported. “Certainly, that is a possibility,” replied Ali Larijani when asked about the issue. “They seem to have put certain things into motion, which in the long run will cause a lack of order in the international arena.” He made his comments after a meeting with the Speaker of the Lower House of the Russian Parliament, Vladimir Volodin, in St Petersburg. According to the Interfax news agency, Reuters reported Larijani saying that Iran hopes Russia will play a role in resolving the […]

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EU offers support to reunite Gaza Strip and West Bank

October 14, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said on Friday that the EU is ready to help the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to reunite under “one single and legitimate Palestinian Authority.” Mogherini made her comment after the main Palestinian factions – Fatah and Hamas – announced an agreement ending the 11-year-old political division. “The agreement signed by Fatah and Hamas in Cairo on 12 October can become an important step towards a full return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza, and for making genuine progress on intra-Palestinian reconciliation,” explained the EU official, noting that the union “will closely study” details of the agreement. “We welcome the continuing engagement of Egypt, and we expect all Palestinian factions to move forward […]

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WHO says attack on Syria vaccine store leaves children at risk

October 14, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

World Health Organisation said on Friday it had received reports of an attack on medical facilities in eastern Syria that had destroyed a store containing more than 130,000 vaccine doses against measles and polio. If confirmed, the WHO said, the attack would put thousands of children at risk of these serious infectious, viral diseases. Both can spread rapidly in areas of conflict. “We unequivocally condemn these actions. Vaccines are not a legitimate target of war,” the WHO’s representative in Syria, Elizabeth Hoff, said in a statement issued late on Friday. The WHO said the reports it received were of an attack on a vaccine cold room at health facilities in al-Mayadin, near Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria. The WHO did […]

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