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Head of Houthi delegation to Asharq al-Awsad: Peace is our first choice



Head of Houthi delegation to Asharq al-Awsad: Peace is our first choice

The head of the Houthi delegation, Muhammad Abdul Salam, expressed hope that the first path to peace would end in Riyadh discussions on all humanitarian, military and political files, making concrete progress towards achieving peace. and stability in Yemen, neighboring countries and the region.

He confirmed in statements to Asharq Al-Awsat that the delegation’s visit to the Saudi capital Riyadh comes on the back of previous discussions with Saudi delegations in Muscat and Sana’a. He added, “The visit comes in the context of previous discussions with the Saudi delegation in Muscat and Sana’a in previous periods and now in Riyadh.”

Abdul Salam continued, “We hope that these negotiations will result in concrete progress in all humanitarian, military and political files, in addressing the consequences of the war, and in achieving peace and stability in Yemen, its neighbors and the neighboring countries. region.”

A Houthi delegation arrived in Riyadh on Thursday evening, along with an Omani delegation, as part of efforts to end the war and bring peace to Yemen after nearly nine years of war.

Asked if he was optimistic about the results of these talks, Abdel Salam replied, “We are always optimistic about the good, and peace is a basic demand for us and our first desire that we work on.”

For its part, the Yemeni government has welcomed Saudi-Omani efforts, and UN and international efforts aimed at pushing the Houthi militias to seriously address calls for peace and alleviate the humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people.

In a statement on Friday, the government continued to insist on an open approach to all initiatives aimed at bringing about a just and comprehensive peace, according to three conditions, to end the coup, the restructuring. Government Institutions, and Security, Stability and Development in Yemen.

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On Thursday evening, Saudi Arabia announced that it had invited a delegation from Sanaa to visit. This is to complement meetings and discussions based on the Saudi initiative announced in March 2021.

The call comes as a continuation of efforts by Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman to reach a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen, a sustainable political solution acceptable to all Yemeni parties, and a series of meetings and discussions. In the period from April 8 to 13, a Saudi delegation led by the Kingdom’s ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al Jaber, is in Sana’a with the participation of the Sultanate of Oman.

Ambassador Al Jaber earlier visited Sana’a aimed at consolidating the cease-fire and ceasefire, supporting the prisoner exchange process and discussing ways of dialogue between the Yemeni elements to achieve a comprehensive and stable political solution in Yemen.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia, the government and the people, have stood by the Yemeni brothers in decades of dark political and economic situations and crises, stressing the continuation of the brotherhood’s efforts since 2011 to achieve the aspirations of the Yemeni people. Security, stability and economic prosperity.

For his part, US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan on Friday welcomed the visit of the Houthi group’s first official delegation to Saudi Arabia. In a statement to the White House, Sullivan said, “We commend the leadership of Saudi Arabia for this ongoing effort, and we thank the Sultanate of Oman for its important role,” noting that the arrival of the Houthi delegation was imminent. A continuous 18-month truce, which began after a United Nations-brokered ceasefire, will come into effect for the first time on April 2, 2022.

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The Arab World News Agency quoted a White House statement calling on Washington to “consolidate and extend the ceasefire that has brought some peace to the people of Yemen and finally bring an end to this war”.

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Only since the beginning of this year… has the UN been concerned about migrants trying to cross the “death trap”.



Only since the beginning of this year… has the UN been concerned about migrants trying to cross the “death trap”.

More than 2,500 migrants have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe since the start of 2023, an official from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced on Thursday.

“As of September 24, more than 2,500 people are dead or missing,” said Rubin Menegtivela, director of the UNHCR office in New York, during a Security Council meeting dedicated to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. That represents a nearly 50 percent increase compared to “1,680” people during the same period in 2022.

“Without public opinion, lives are being lost on the ground,” he asserted.

He pointed out that “the journey to West or East Africa and the Horn of Africa and Libya and the starting points on the coast is one of the most dangerous journeys in the world.”

He added, “Refugees and migrants traveling overland from sub-Saharan Africa face the risk of death and serious human rights violations at every step.”

According to statistics announced by Ruffin Minisdiola, between the beginning of the year and September 24, 2023, a total of 186,000 migrants arrived in Southern Europe (Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta), including 130,000 for Italy, “an increase of 83 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

In terms of countries of departure, between the beginning of the year and August 2023, more than 102,000 migrants tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Tunisia, and 45,000 from Libya.

Of this number, 31,000 were rescued at sea or intercepted and disembarked in Tunisia, and 10,600 are in Libya.

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Referring to the recent influx of large numbers of migrants to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the official stressed that “Italy cannot respond alone to the needs” of these migrants.

UN refugee agency to “establish a regional mechanism for the evacuation and redistribution” of migrants arriving by sea. Menaktivela reiterated the High Commissioner’s call, which raises disagreements among EU member states.

For his part, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia, who requested the meeting, denounced the EU for its role in the “death trap” in the Mediterranean.

The ambassador said: “We have the impression that the European Union is waging an undeclared war against migrants because they have no other, safe route.”

“The European Union only cares about the migration issue when it comes to Ukrainians,” Nebenzia added, expressing her regret that other migrants do not enjoy “the same level of solidarity”.

As for French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere, referring to Russian contributions to UNHCR’s budget, he said, “Russia is not, as always, when it comes to responding decisively to humanitarian crises.”

He added, “Wagner’s presence in the Sahel region contributes to the instability of the region, which fuels terrorism and leads to the migration of residents.”

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US punishes former Sudanese foreign minister



US punishes former Sudanese foreign minister

On Thursday, the United States imposed sanctions on former Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti, one of which was based in Russia, and accused him of exacerbating instability in Sudan, where fighting has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of civilians. ..

The move is the latest round of sanctions imposed by Washington since fighting broke out in Sudan in mid-April between the military and Rapid Support Forces..

Brian Nelson, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement that “the action will be held accountable for those who undermined efforts to find a peaceful and democratic solution in Sudan.”

He added: “We will continue to target those who work to perpetuate this conflict for personal gain.”

The Treasury Department said it targeted Karti, who was foreign minister under former President Omar al-Bashir, noting that Karti became head of the Sudanese Islamic Movement after al-Bashir was ousted in 2019..

Karti has been a prominent figure among the veterans and loyalists of Bashir’s regime since the Sudanese army seized power in 2021 and overthrew the civilian area..

The Treasury Department added: “(Karthi) and other Sudanese militants are actively obstructing efforts to reach a ceasefire to end the current war.”

Also sanctioned was Sudan-based GSK Advance, which the Treasury Department said was used as a procurement vehicle for Rapid Support Forces..

The company is said to be coordinating with Russia-based military supply company Avia Trade, which has been targeted by sanctions, to arrange for the purchase of spare parts and supplies for drones previously purchased by Rapid Support Forces. Training work..

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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a separate statement that Washington moved this week to impose visa restrictions on people it considers part of efforts to undermine the democratic transition in Sudan..

The new sanctions come after actions taken against the deputy commander of the Rapid Support Forces this month and sanctions imposed by the US in June on companies accused of fueling the conflict..

The measure freezes the assets of targeted individuals in the U.S., generally prevents Americans from doing business with them, and also exposes those who engage in certain transactions with them to economic sanctions..

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70 percent.. comments on the Kremlin’s huge increase in defense spending



70 percent.. comments on the Kremlin’s huge increase in defense spending

The Kremlin said on Thursday that a massive increase in defense spending planned for next year was “absolutely necessary” after a Russian Finance Ministry document released on Thursday said Moscow would increase its defense budget by about 70 percent by 2024. to pour more resources into its war on Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Since we are in a state of hybrid warfare, continuing a special military operation, it is clear that such an escalation is necessary and very necessary,” referring to Moscow’s extensive invasion of Ukraine. , “I refer to the hybrid war launched against us.” “.

Defense spending is expected to increase by more than 68 percent year-on-year to reach 10.8 trillion rubles ($111.15 billion), which is 6 percent of GDP and more than allocated spending. Social policy.

Agence France-Presse calculated that by 2024, defense spending is expected to be three times higher than spending on education, environmental protection and health care.

“The focus of economic policy is shifting from an anti-crisis agenda to promoting national development goals,” the finance ministry said in the document.

The increase in defense spending comes as the central bank warned that economic growth will slow in the second half of 2023, with inflation rising above the bank’s target of 4 percent.

It is a newspaperLe MondeAccording to the working sessions on the budget of the Russian Federation next year, Moscow is working to strengthen its financial resources, as the French previously indicated that next year’s Russian defense budget will reach 107 billion euros (over 112 billion dollars). or 6 percent. in gross domestic product.

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The newspaper described the nearly 70 percent increase as “astounding.”

“War of priority.” 36 Trillion Ruble Budget Exposes Putin’s Plans

Russia plans to increase government spending by more than 25 percent in the next fiscal year over the current year, amid expectations that the Kremlin will raise more money to support an invasion of Ukraine by Kremlin forces, according to a report in the British newspaper “Financial Times.”

The newspaper confirmed that defense spending in the war budget for 2023 was 63 billion euros ($66 billion), or 3.9 percent of Russia’s GDP, while military spending was the same in 2021, based on figures from the Bloomberg agency. 2.7 percent of GDP.

It is a newspaperFinancial TimesA British newspaper reported last week that Russia plans to increase government spending by more than 25 percent in the next fiscal year over the current year.

The 36.6 trillion ruble ($383 billion) budget presented by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin lists “strengthening the country’s defense capabilities” as a top priority, as well as supporting the “unification of new territories” illegally annexed last time from Ukraine. year.

The plans also highlight “social support for the most vulnerable groups,” a sign that the Kremlin wants to boost spending on pensions and social security ahead of presidential elections next March.

According to experts, Vladimir Putin, who has ruled Russia for 24 years as president or prime minister, is trying to win these elections to extend his rule until at least 2030.

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