Archive for September 29th, 2011

Libyan children to receive treatment in Jordan

2011-05-31

AMMONNEWS – The first group of Libyan children who have been injured during the current unrest sweeping the north African nation will arrive in Jordan next week to receive treatment at Jordanian hospitals.

According to Executive Director of the Jordan Private Hospitals Association PHA, Abdullah Hindawi, a total of 100 Libyan children will receive free treatment and medical care at a number of private hospitals in the Kingdom.

He said the children will arrive in four batches and will be flown by the Royal Jordanian Air Force in cooperation with the Royal Medical Services.

Hindawi added that the injured children were selected by a special Libyan medical committee in coordination with the PHA.

Source: Ammon News.
Link: http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleNO=12150.

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Eitan Appointed Envoy to Libya’s Rebel Council

2011-06-01

AMMONNEWS – Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Wednesday appointed Fawaz Eitan to be the Jordanian commissioned envoy in Benghazi.

Eitan will serve as Jordan’s first diplomat to Libya’s rebel-led National Transitional Council.

Al Eitan will leave Jordan the next few days, official souces said.

The Foreign Ministry’s decision comes a week after Amman recognized the National Transitional Council as the “legitimate representative of the Libyan people.”

Source: Ammon News.
Link: http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleNO=12165.

Govt Stabilizes Fuel Prices, Endorses Teachers’ Association Draft Law

2011-05-31

AMMONNEWS – The cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft law to establish a teachers’ professional association, and decided to stabilize fuel prices for next month.

In its session headed by Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit on Tuesday, the cabinet endorsed the teachers’ professional association draft law in preparation to refer it to the Lower House of Parliament for endorsement during its extraordinary session expected to be held next month.

Also on Tuesday, the Oil Derivatives Pricing Committee in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources decided to stabilize 90 and 95 Octane gas prices, in addition to steady prices of Kerosene and residential propane gas for the time period between June 1st, 2011 until June 28, 2011.

Source: Ammon News.
Link: http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleNO=12156.

Jordan pledges support for Libya rebel council

AMMAN May 24 (Reuters) – Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Joudeh said on Tuesday the kingdom recognized Libya’s rebel council as a legitimate representative of Libya’s people and planned to open an office in the rebel-held city of Benghazi.

Joudeh said Amman considered the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council (TNC) had organized a credible interim council that was committed to democracy.

“We consider it a legitimate representative of the Libyan people … It adopts stances that reflect the demands of the Libyan people and their hopes to move to a new stage,” Joudeh was quoted as saying by Petra state news agency.

U.S. ally Jordan last month said it sent fighter aircraft to provide logistical support for the no-fly zone over Libya and to protect aid flights from the kingdom.

It also took measures to freeze financial assets held by Muammar Gaddafi’s government.

Rebels are fighting to topple Gaddafi after his 41 years in power. NATO forces are bombing his forces but the conflict has been deadlocked for weeks.

The United States bolstered the credentials of the rebel National Transitional Council as a potential government-in-waiting on Tuesday when a senior U.S. envoy invited it to set up a representative office in Washington. (Reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Source: Reuters.
Link: http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE74N1MX20110524.

Lebanon security hit by political vacuum, Syria crisis

By Dominic Evans
Wed Jun 1, 2011

(Reuters) – Months of political paralysis and a crisis in neighboring Syria have harmed Lebanon’s security, a senior U.N. official said on Wednesday, days after a bomb attack wounded six U.N. peacekeepers.

Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams said the attack, which followed the kidnapping of seven Estonians and a deadly incident last month on the Israeli border, was part of an “eroding and deteriorating” security situation.

Lebanon has been without a proper functioning government since January when the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its political allies brought down the government of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who has Western and Saudi support.

Efforts to form a government have made little progress and the 10-week unrest in Syria has escalated tensions. Damascus ended a prolonged military presence in 2005, but remains a powerful player in a country still defined by the political and religious faultlines which fueled its 1975-1990 civil war.

“We see signs of the security situation deteriorating in general, and disturbingly that the institutions of the state are not responding in the way that they should,” Williams told Reuters at his U.N. office in the hills above Beirut.

He said the main concern was a political vacuum caused by the lack of government. Although Lebanese are accustomed to protracted wrangling over new cabinets, the current impasse was unusually fraught and likely to drag on for months, he said.

“The risk is greater now. One, because of the absence of a government. Two, because of the crisis in Syria. And three, because there is some fragility now along the Blue Line (U.N.-mapped frontier with Israel).”

The Israeli army fired on a demonstration at the Lebanese border village of Maroun al-Ras two weeks ago, killing 11 Palestinians marking the “catastrophe” 63 years ago of the founding of Israel, security sources said.

Similar protests may take place on Sunday’s anniversary of the 1967 war when Israel seized the Golan Heights and West Bank.

FRAYING AUTHORITY

Seven Estonians are still missing after being seized in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley after crossing the border from Syria in March, in a kidnapping which Williams and EU envoy Angelina Eichorst described as a dark reminder of Lebanon’s civil war.

In another sign of fraying authority, rival security forces came close to confrontation last week in a standoff at a state-owned telecoms firm when caretaker Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahhas was denied access to the building.

“It is another indication of the deterioration in the security situation and the inability of state institutions to manage,” Williams said.

The political standoff and security fears also threaten Lebanon’s economy, with growth projections trimmed, tourism revenues expected to fall, and no progress on Lebanon’s plans to explore for oil and gas in the Mediterranean.

“I frankly find it distressing and troubling that the country is losing opportunities now. It’s obvious that the economic situation is deteriorating,” Williams said.

Friday’s bombing of the Italian peacekeepers, one of whom remains “in a very grave condition,” was the first such attack in three years on UNIFIL.

“We don’t see the attack in isolation,” Williams said. “Although it is the first on UNIFIL in a very long time we see the attack in the present security context.”

Expressing concern and surprise at Saturday’s announcement that Italy — which has the largest UNIFIL troop contingent — will cut its peacekeeping force to 1,100 from 1,780, Williams said he would travel to Rome next week for talks.

UNIFIL was expanded to about 12,000 troops and naval personnel under a U.N. Security Council resolution which halted the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war in south Lebanon.

It operates alongside 15,000 Lebanese army troops who are deployed to keep the peace and prevent weapons transfers in an area which is a stronghold of Hezbollah guerrillas.

Despite a deadly border clash last August, Williams said the cessation of hostilities since 2006 had held “remarkably well.”

“What’s been achieved is stability on the Blue Line and in southern Lebanon for the first time in decades. In a way that is why I am most worried now.”

Source: Reuters.
Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/01/us-lebanon-un-idUSTRE7505O420110601.

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