Archive for September, 2010
Tue, 24 Aug 2010
Tehran – Iran on Tuesday said that the forthcoming Middle East peace talks between Israel and Palestine would be futile.
“As long as the main root of the problem is not solved, no peace talks will have any tangible results and be futile,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a press briefing in Tehran.
The upcoming negotiations are to be the first direct peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians in nearly two years.
The last round of direct negotiations was suspended in late 2008, as Israel entered the election campaign which ultimately brought Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power.
“There can be no real settlement as long as Palestinians are forced out of their country and live as refugees while invaders from other countries live in their homeland,” the Iranian spokesman said.
Iran does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty and says the only pragmatic option would be a referendum for all Palestinians, including the millions of refugees, to determine their future fate.
Source: Earth Times.
Mon, 06 Sep 2010
Amman – Jordanian King Abdullah II and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday stressed the need for Israel to pull out from all Arab territories it occupied in the 1967 war, if peace with the Palestinians is to be achieved.
Abdullah made a whirlwind visit to Damascus to brief the Syrian leader on the outcome of his talks in Washington last week with United States President Barack Obama, Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a royal court statement said.
The monarch had attended the six-way meeting on the eve of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians being relaunched Thursday.
Abdullah and al-Assad “emphasised that resolving the Palestinian- Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state vision requires the regaining of all Arab rights in accordance with … the Arab peace initiative,” the statement said.
The Arab peace initiative offered Israel recognition by all Arab states if it pulled out from all Arab territories it occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, including East Jerusalem.
Turkish-brokered peace talks between Syria and Israel had faltered in 2008, reportedly after Damascus insisted on the restoration of the entire Golan Heights, one of the Arab territories the Jewish state captured in the 1967 war.
Abdullah and al-Assad also agreed to continue “coordination and consultation” on all bilateral and regional issues and discussed means of boosting pan-Arab action “to cope with common challenges”.
Source: Earth Times.
Wed, 25 Aug 2010
Kabul/Madrid – An Afghan police driver shot dead two Spanish police trainers and an interpreter before being killed by NATO security forces inside a base in north-western Afghanistan, Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said Wednesday.
Rubalcaba described the killing as a premeditated terrorist attack. He said he was unable to confirm reports that the Taliban were behind it.
The driver fired at the police officers with an assault rifle when they were instructing their Afghan colleagues in the capital of Badghis province, Qala-I-Naw.
Rubalcaba identified the killer as the driver of one of the slain police officers. The interpreter who was also killed was identified as a Spaniard of Iranian origin.
The killer was gunned down by Spanish police officers who witnessed the shooting.
Deputy Governor Haji Abdul Qami Sabir confirmed that two Spanish soldiers were killed when an Afghan policeman opened fire on the troops.
The Spanish victims were members of the paramilitary police force Civil Guard. Their names were given as captain Jose Maria Galera Cordoba and second lieutenant Abraham Leoncio Bravo Picayo. Both were 33 years old, according to Spanish government sources.
NATO confirmed the incident later on Wednesday, saying that an Afghan policeman, two international service members and a civilian had been killed.
The incident sparked angry reactions from hundreds of demonstrators who attempted to storm the Spanish-manned NATO camp, witness reports said.
The residents protested at the Provincial Reconstruction Team’s base after allegations that foreign troops had shot and killed an Afghan policeman, Mohammed Rahim told the German Press Agency dpa.
“Firing is continuing in the city, everyone is escaping, and thousands of people are trying to attack the Spanish PRT base,” he said.
Spanish government sources initially denied that the demonstrators tried to storm the base, but Rubalcaba said the Afghan army had repelled such an attempt.
The protestors wanted the body of the slain Afghan police officer, Spanish government sources said, explaining that an Afghan judge had entered the base in order to authorize the handover of the remains.
Spain has about 1,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of ISAF. Ninety-two Spaniards who were sent to Afghanistan have been killed, including 62 who died in a plane crash in Turkey in 2003.
Source: Earth Times.
Sun, 29 Aug 2010
Madrid – A group of Spanish demonstrators were arrested in the West Saharan city of El-Aiun in an unauthorized protest demonstration, Spain’s state broadcaster RNE reported Sunday.
The report said that Moroccan security forces moved in to break up the demonstration which was staged to protest against human rights violations in Morocco.
El-Aiun is the capital of the West Sahara, the former Spanish colony which Morocco annexed after Spain’s pullout in 1975.
The RNE report said 11 Spaniards were arrested, while three others fled to a hotel. Later, the 14 demonstrators, members of a West Sahara initiative based on the Canary Islands, were being detained in a Spanish cultural centre in El-Aiun.
The group members charged that they were brutally mistreated by the Moroccan police.
A Spanish diplomat was en route to the West Sahara to gain their release and arrange for their return to Spain, the report said.
The incident threatened to add further to Spanish-Moroccan tensions after the recent dispute over border controls in Spain’s exclave of Melilla. Morocco accused Spanish border guards of mistreating African travelers.
Source: Earth Times.