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Maat issues an analytical paper, entitled:
"Arab NATO ... Balancing of Peace Opportunities Enhancement, and Counter-Terrorism in the Region"

Afrasianet - The Policies Analysis Unit in the Association of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights published an analytical paper entitled "Arab NATO: Balancing of Peace Opportunities Enhancement, and Counter-Terrorism in the Region". In an attempt to highlight one of the international issues, which tops the concerns of the world’s decision makers and which also have had a widely publicized impact in the press and the global media; The idea of establishing an Arab alliance of security and military, as similar to "NATO” entitled, “Strategic Alliance of the Middle East". Especially, that the United States of America was one who took the initiative and invited to establish this Alliance.

While, the paper attempts to clarify the objectives and importance of this alliance for both, American administration and the Arab countries, and the feasibility of implementing it, as well as clarifying the security and military risks that threaten the Arab countries, along with to what extent the Gulf crisis could be an obstacle in the way of implementing it. Furthermore, the paper highlighted the possibility of the Alliance’s contribution to supporting peace and reducing human rights violations against Arab citizens. Along with the possibility of this Alliance to actively participate in the eradication of terrorism and the obliteration of its sources. In addition to setting prospects and motives to resolve the Palestinian issue, and pressure israel to stop its violations against the Palestinians without its inclusion to this Alliance, in a way that would results in resenting the Alliance at the Arab popular level, and gives israel more legitimacy to continue its violations against the Palestinians.

Hence more, the idea of establishing the Alliance occurred in the most intense time of the Gulf crisis and the boycott of Qatar by some Arab countries, due to its interference in the internal affairs of the Arab countries, along with the pointed accusations towards it of supporting terrorism. Which raise questions about whether the current crises could impede the idea of establishing the Alliance, or this idea could push the region towards prospects for peace, and demolishing the crisis.

To view the paper, click here :

23th of October 2018








Afrasianet - We all look forward to an African future that is compatible with the struggles of its peoples for independence and freedom.

Maat discusses the human rights situation in Africa within the Human Rights Council.

Maat along with the International Alliance for Peace and Development held a side event entitled "Human Rights in Africa and the role of the Commission on Human and Peoples" on the sidelines of the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council. Where the side event main discussion was about the quest of African countries since gaining independence to try to create a general framework parallel to human rights system. The side event also discussed the most important human rights violations on the African continent.

Ayman Okeil illustrated in his speech that the establishment of the African Commission did not contribute effectively to the elimination of violations of human rights and peoples from the African political scene. Focusing mainly on the issue of refugees and migrants, as there are more than 18 million African refugees registered with the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees. The issue of human trafficking is also one of the most anxious human rights concerns. As the continent continues to suffer from illegal immigration, exploitation of individuals, and trading them as workers with a very little pay. He also addressed the situation of African women in his speech and the marginalization she suffers in most African countries. He also mentioned that one of the biggest challenges facing the African continent is the financial corruption that is widespread in Africa.

Okeil also reviewed the challenges which face the Commission on Human Rights during the course of  performing its role, the most important of which is funding, cooperation of States and the presence of effective mechanisms to implement the decisions of the Commission.

Moreover, Dr. Mohamed Ismail demonstrated another perspective of human rights during his talk, which is the human right to live in a clean environment. He highlighted the grave violations against the African people as a result of the pollution and the environmental dangers in which they are living. He called upon the regimes of the major industrial countries which represent the main cause of that crisis, and all countries worldwide to take legislative measures consistent with all international treaties and conventions related to the right to a clean environment. In accordance with the various climate agreements, in order to address the effects of the environment pollution, especially those that occur in the border areas, which provoke conflicts and wars and lead to high rates of illegal migration, which expose migrants and locals to grave dangers.

Maat made a plenty of recommendations at the end of its side event, the most prominent of which is to amend the status of NGOs in the Commission on Human Rights and Peoples to allow them to play an effective role in achieving and promoting human rights, not just spectators and observer. Through finding a mechanism to comment on the periodic reports of States.

Also, Maat recommended the end of foreign interference in African affairs and to address governments that sponsor and fund terrorist organizations in more than one country in Africa and threaten stability and security, particularly in the Red Sea and Horn of Africa.








•    Jordan and Syria held their first technical talks on opening a major border crossing

•    Damascus, which took back the crossing from the opposition, hopes to reopen the Nassib route

Afrasianet - Amman - Jordan and Syria held their first technical talks on opening a major border crossing in southern Syria that was recaptured from the opposition last July, a Jordanian official source said on Thursday.

Damascus, which took back the crossing from the opposition, hopes to reopen the Nassib route vital to its hopes of reviving Syria’s shattered economy and rebuilding in territory under its control.

Amman also hopes the opening of the border crossing will reactivate billions of dollars of annual transit trade between Europe and Gulf markets across Syria.

The source told Reuters a technical committee from the two countries held their first meeting on the border crossing on Wednesday to begin discussions on the practical arrangements from customs to security needed to reopen the crossing.

“The meetings will continue to put a complete view of all the arrangements linked to reopening the crossings in the coming period,” the source said.

Another Jordanian official said the crossing could open by the end of this year.

The closure of the crossing has also weighted on Lebanese exporters who used it to export hundreds of millions of dollars of produce and goods to lucrative Gulf markets.

Jordan’s private sector are also pinning hopes of a revival in bilateral trade in a major neighboring market where Jordanian business have long standing ties.

The Syrian government has recovered control of most of the country with help from its allies Russia and Iran.

With Russian air power, government forces have this year defeated the armed opposition in the last remaining enclaves near the cities of Homs and Damascus, and swept through the rebel-held southwest.

September 13, 2018







Afrasianet - By Ramzy Baroud - Israel wants to change the rules of the game entirely. With unconditional support from the Trump Administration, Tel Aviv sees a golden opportunity to redefine what has, for decades, constituted the legal and political foundation for the so-called ‘Palestinian-Israeli conflict.’

While US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy has, thus far, been erratic and unpredictable, his administration’s ‘vision’ in Israel and Palestine is systematic and unswerving. This consistency seems to be part of a larger vision aimed at liberating the ‘conflict’ from the confines of international law and even the old US-sponsored ‘peace process.’

Indeed, the new strategy has, so far, targeted the status of East Jerusalem as an Occupied Palestinian city, and the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. It aims to create a new reality in which Israel achieves its strategic goals while the rights of Palestinians are limited to mere humanitarian issues.

Unsurprisingly, Israel and the US are using the division between Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, to their advantage. Fatah dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah while Hamas controls besieged Gaza.

A carrot and a stick scenario are being applied in earnest. While, for years, Fatah received numerous financial and political perks from Washington, Hamas subsisted in isolation under a permanent siege and protracted state of war. It seems that the Trump Administration – under the auspices of Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner – are turning the tables.

The reason that the PA is no longer the ‘moderate’ Palestinian leadership it used to be in Washington’s ever self-serving agenda is that Mahmoud Abbas has decided to boycott Washington in response to the latter’s recognition of all of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. True, Abbas’ subservience has been successfully tested in the past but, under the new administration, the US demands complete ‘respect’, thus total obedience.

Hamas, which is locked in Gaza between closed borders from every direction, has been engaging Israel indirectly through Egyptian and Qatari mediation. That engagement has, so far, resulted in a short-term truce, while a long-term ceasefire is still being discussed.

The latest development on that front was the visit by Kushner, accompanied with Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, to Qatar on August 22. There, Gaza was the main topic on the agenda.

So, why is Gaza, which has been isolated (even by the PA itself) suddenly the new gate through which the top US, Israeli and regional officials are using to reactivate Middle East diplomacy?

Ironically, the suffocation of Gaza is particularly intense these days. The entire Gaza Strip is sinking deeper in its burgeoning humanitarian crisis, with August being one of the most grueling months.

A series of US financial aid cuts have targeted the very socio-economic infrastructure that allowed Gaza to carry on, despite extreme poverty and the ongoing economic blockade.

On August 31, Foreign Policy magazine reported that the US administration is in the process of denying the UN Palestinian refugees agency, UNRWA – which has already suffered massive US cuts since January – of all funds. Now the organization’s future is in grave peril.

The worrying news came only one week after another announcement, in which the US decided to cut nearly all aid allocated to Palestinians this year – $200 million, mostly funds spent on development projects in the West Bank and humanitarian aid to Gaza.

So why would the US manufacture a significant humanitarian crisis in Gaza – which suits the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu well – while, simultaneously, engaging in discussions regarding the urgent need to end Gaza’s humanitarian woes?

The answer lies in the need for the US to manipulate aid to Palestinians to exact political concessions for Israel’s sake.

Months before rounds of Egyptian-sponsored indirect talks began between Israel and Hamas, there has been an unmistakable shift in Israeli and US attitudes regarding the future of Gaza:

On January 31, Israel presented to a high-level conference in Brussels ‘humanitarian assistance plans’ for Gaza at a proposed cost of $1 billion. The plan focuses mostly on water distillation, electricity, gas infrastructure and upgrading the joint industrial zone at the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel. In essence, the Israeli plan is now the core discussion about the proposed long-term ceasefire.

The meeting was attended by Greenblatt, along with Kushner who is entrusted with implementing Trump’s unclear vision, inappropriately termed ‘the deal of the century.’

Two months later, Kushner hosted top officials from 19 countries to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

There is a common thread between all of these activities.

Since the US decided to defy international law and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last December, it has been in search of a new strategy that will circumvent the PA in Ramallah.

PA President, Abbas, whose political apparatus is mostly reliant on ‘security coordination’ with Israel, US political validation and financial handouts, has little with which to bargain.

Hamas has relatively greater political capital – as it has operated with less dependency on the Israeli-US-western camp. But years of relentless siege, interrupted by massive, deadly Israeli wars, have propelled Gaza into a permanent humanitarian crisis.

While a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian groups in Gaza went into effect on August 15, a long-term ceasefire is still being negotiated. According to the Israeli daily ‘Haaretz’, citing Israeli officials, the truce would include a comprehensive ceasefire, opening all border crossings, expansion of the permitted fishing area off the Gaza coast, and the overhauling of Gaza’s destroyed economic infrastructure – among other stipulations.

Concurrently, Palestinian officials in Ramallah are fuming. ‘Chief negotiator,’ Saeb Erekat, accused Hamas of trying to “destroy the Palestinian national project,” by negotiating a separate agreement with Israel. The irony is that the Fatah-dominated Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and PA have done just that for over 25 years.

However, delinking the future of Gaza from the fate of all Palestinians can, indeed, lead to dangerous consequences.

Regardless of whether a permanent truce is achieved between Israel and the Hamas-led Gaza factions, the sad truth is that, whatever grand illusion is harbored by Washington and Tel Aviv at the moment, is almost entirely based on exploiting Palestinian divisions, for which the Palestinian leadership is to be wholly blamed.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His forthcoming book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’ (Pluto Press, London). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. His website is

September 5, 2018









Delegates expected to discuss reopening of vital border crossing with Syrian officials

Afrasianet - Amman - By Raed Omari - A private sector delegation headed to Damascus on Tuesday to discuss prospects of cooperation with their Syrian counterparts.

A well-informed source, who requested anonymity, said that the delegation comprised around 80 businessmen who were due to discuss with their Syrian counterparts the establishment of joint economic ventures and the resumption of trade exchange when the border crossings between the two countries reopen.

In a recent interview with the Russian international television network, RT, Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh said that the private sector delegation’s visit to Damascus was part of the preparations to reopen the border crossings between Jordan and Syria.

Underlining Amman’s keenness on its strategic relationship with Damascus, Tarawneh added that there is security coordination between Jordan and Syria regarding the reopening of border crossings.

In remarks to The Jordan Times earlier in August, an official source said that Jordan had not yet decided to reopen the Jaber border crossing with Syria.

During a meeting with industrialists last month, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said that after restoring security in Syria, the border crossings would be reopened.

In 2015, Jordan closed the Jaber border crossing with Syria for security reasons, while Ramtha, the other border crossing with the war-torn country, has been closed for more than five years.

On the return of the Syrian refugees, Tarawneh told RT that there has been “highly successful” coordination between Amman and Moscow. The speaker also said that the return of the Syrian refugees to their country “has to be safe, well-examined and voluntary”, stressing that Jordan would not force their return.

During a meeting in July with a high-profile Russian delegation, headed by Moscow Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that Jordan encourages the voluntary return of refugees to their country and supports efforts that seek to provide proper conditions for their return.

Safadi also underlined the need to ensure a safe political, social and economic environment that encourage refugees to go back to their towns and villages.

Sep 05,2018









Amman - Afrasianet - Representatives of the Jordanian and Syrian private sectors on Wednesday agreed to establish new economic and trade relations “based on partnership and mutual interests between the two sisterly countries”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

During a joint business meeting in Damascus, the two sides agreed on the need to “remove any obstacle in the way to economic cooperation between the two counties, to benefit from the Syria rebuilding process, reopen the border crossings and push forward a two-way export-import activity”.

In his remarks at the meeting, the head of the Jordanian delegation, Ghassan Khirfan, stressed the Jordanian private sector’s eagerness to cooperate with their Syrian counterpart to capitalise on the opportunities opened for the two sides, based on partnership and integration. He emphasised that Syria is a vital trade partner of Jordan and a crucial conduit of exports bound for European and regional destinations, while the Kingdom is as important to Syria.

President of Damascus Chamber of Commerce Mohammad Qallaa underlined the “old and deep ties between Jordan and Syria,” voicing hope that the coming stage holds good news for both sides.

The Jordanian delegation comprised around 80 businessmen representing various sectors.

In a recent interview with the Russian international television network, RT, Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh said that the private sector delegation’s visit to Damascus was part of the preparations to reopen the border crossings between Jordan and Syria.

The Jaber/Nassib crossing was closed in 2015 when it was captured by rebels, cutting off a major transit route for hundreds of trucks a day transporting goods.

Those trade routes had already been disrupted by Syria’s seven-year war, hurting regional economies.

By JT - Sep 06,2018







Afrasianet - There is never a dull moment when it comes to the rule of US President Donald Trump. Most recently, Trump surprised his country, and the world, by announcing a plan that aims to create a sixth branch of the US military to be called Space Force.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, quickly endorsed the idea and called it a futuristic necessity. Other US astronauts objected and called the idea insane and irresponsible.

US Vice President Mike Pence introduced the plan on behalf of his country and hailed it as something that would fill the gap in the existing US military establishment. Pence insisted that the plan is to ensure the US dominance in space, as if this is a worthy cause.

Yet, such an initiative can only escalate tensions between Washington and Moscow and even Beijing for starters and take the theatre of wars from the surface of planet Earth to space, and even outer space in due course.

It is as if the international community does not have enough reasons to wage wars among themselves, President Trump wants to add another dimension to warfare by militarising space, and in due course, outer space.

Although the idea is not supposed to come to fruition before 2020, it would be wise to nip it in the bud before it reaches the stage of no return. Space must remain free of conflicts, especially the military kind.

Instead of militarising space, the big powers should aim to keep it as an area for the promotion of peace and harmony among nations, and not a theatre for armed conflicts and military conquests.

There are already UN resolutions aiming to make space a military free zone but President Trump aims to change all that for the worse. Military experts in the US must spearhead a determined effort to abort Trump's plan to militarise space before it is too late.

If the US president is left free to introduce arms to space, other major powers can be expected to react swiftly and reciprocate the US plan. No wonder sane people across the world were quick to condemn an idea and called for an immediate international effort to abort it before it gets off the ground. Otherwise, this ominous idea could become the end of civilisation as we know it.

Aug 16,2018








Afrasianet - Under the slogan " it is time to change climate change" in cooperation with Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, the International Alliance for Peace and Development hold a side event entitled " the impact of climate change on Human rights" in the 39th session of Human Rights Council in Geneva. The side event discussed the future grave effects of the harmful practices that human practices against environment.

Miss Kitty Panourghia   from the Group of entrepreneurship and social economy in Greece, moderated the side event. As well, Mr. Hisham Essa the vice president of Dcarbon company for sustainable development, and the climate change expert, presented a comprehensive detailed presentation about the impacts of pollution and climate change on the human rights, and the future of the new generations.

Also, Mr. Ayman Okeil made a statement on the side event, he emphasized on the importance of UN interference to protect Human rights, and obligate states to fulfil their obligations according to international conventions.

The declaration of UN conference on Human environment issued in 1972 (Stockholm declaration) stated on "the essential right in freedom, equality, and suitable living conditions in an environment which provides a life with dignity and welfare". Thus, there is a wide consent on that the climate change has negative effects on the actual enjoyment of Human Rights; the right to life, the right to adequate food, the right to health, the right to adequate housing.

The expert Hisham Essa talked about the negative effects of climate change which the disadvantaged communities and individuals bear inappropriately, because of geography, poverty, gender, age, disability, cultural, or ethnic backgrounds, etc.    In particular, those individuals, and local societies, even it extends to the whole country, who live in low coastal lands, face the highest risks of climate change.

 The event revealed the biggest challenge that international community faces in environmental field, and climate change which is the decision  of the “president Donald Trump”  of the withdrawal of USA  from Paris Convention to combat climate change.

Experts find that this withdrawal will increase the difficulty of achieving goals that are defined by the convention, in order to reduce the rising temperature on earth “global warming”.

Finally, the International Alliance presented some recommendations. the most important is the continuity of pressuring   to conduct the Paris convention rapidly, and the protection of the vulnerable people to the climate change by the international society. As well as, trying to work on enjoying those people with their essential rights, particularly right to food,








  • "Arab NATO ... Balancing of Peace Opportunities Enhancement, and Counter-Terrorism in the Region"

  • Addressing countries that finance terrorist organizations in Africa

  • Jordanian Delegation May Attend Upcoming Damascus International Fair in Syria

  • Jordan delegation on official visit to Syria

  • Syria and Jordan begin talks on opening vital border crossing

  • What Lies Beneath: The US-Israeli Plot to ‘Save’ Gaza

  • 80 businessmen in Damascus to pave way for future cooperation

  • Jordanian, Syrian businessmen agree on ‘new economic ties’

  • Space must remain conflict-free

  • Climate change threats the right to life

Afrasianet - Gunmen fatally shot the mayor of Libya’s third-largest city, Misrata, late on Sunday, ambushing his car inside the city, security officials said.

The North African oil producer has been in chaos since the 2011 uprising that unseated Muammar Gaddafi, but Misrata, Libya’s biggest port, had been relative peaceful until now.

Gunmen chased the car of Mayor Mohamed Eshtewi after he left Misrata airport following his arrival on a plane from Turkey, a security official said, adding it was unclear who was behind it.

In October, a bomb exploded at the city’s court, killing about four people and wounding 40 others in an attack claimed by ISIS.

Misrata, almost 200 km east of Tripoli, is the gateway for food and other imports into Libya and the country’s only tax-free zone. It is one of the few places still frequented by foreign business people fearing poor security elsewhere.









Afrasianet - A rocket was launched from the northern Gaza Strip early Sunday morning, according to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

The rocket “exploded mid-air,” according to the IDF announcement posted on Twitter.

No one was injured in the alleged attack, the Israeli military said, without immediately providing any further details.

The alleged projectile was reportedly headed to the Ahskelon coastal region in southern Israel, the Times of Israel reported.

No rocket alert signal was activated as the explosion happened “relatively early” in its flight, Israeli media reported citing officials.

The incident comes amid escalating tensions in the region, with Israel beefing up its military presence in the West Bank.

At least three Israelis were killed and one other injured in a stabbing attack by a 20-year-old Palestinian in the West Bank settlement of Halamish Friday night.

Israel upped its security alert level and dispatched thousands of additional troops to the area following the deadly knife assault, local media reported citing an IDF official.

Late Friday, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas, announced that the PA was freezing all contacts with Israel over the Jerusalem holy site dispute and the violence over the past days.

Clashes have been raging for several days following Tel Aviv’s decision to install metal detectors at the Temple Mount (referred to by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif ) in the Old City in Jerusalem. The site is sacred to both Jews and Muslims, with Abbas having called for the removal of unilaterally installed barriers for people to be able to “pray with dignity.”










Afrasianet - The convoy of the Minister of Education of the National Unity Government, Osman Abdel Jalil, was subjected to heavy gunfire at "Gate 17" at the southern entrance to the city of Sabha on Monday while he was on his way to the city of Marzak.

The Ministry of Education said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page that "the group forced the minister's convoy to stop using arms and assaulted the minister and his companions with his hands, but the security team managed to remove the minister and the undersecretary from the danger zone, while the gunmen detained the rest of the team and forced them With the force of arms to stay in the place of detention for approximately one hour ".

The ministry, which did not specify the identity of the gunmen and did not publish pictures of the site of the attack, said that "the group was detained after the intervention of tribes Altabu who responded firmly to the militants and were able to secure the convoy of the minister and accompany him the rest of the trip."

The city of Sabha and the adjacent areas of southern Libya are characterized by a security breach resulting in repeated incidents of theft, assault and murder. They are controlled by armed groups, most of which are active in smuggling, especially smuggling of illegal immigrants and fuel.











Afrasianet - Riyadh - Saudi Arabia and its allies from the Gulf Arab states said on Monday that the deadline for the Qatari government to respond to its 13 demands, which ended Sunday night, was extended 48 hours at the request of Kuwait's emir, who is mediating the crisis.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt said in a joint statement issued by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that "in response to a request by Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to extend the special deadline for the government of Qatar for 48 hours since the end of the 10-day deadline, The four states' response will be sent after examining the Qatari government's response and evaluating its response to the full list of demands. "

The four countries said in a statement that they agreed to extend the deadline "because of the Qatari government's assertion that it will send its official response to the list of claims addressed to it on Monday."

The extension came after Qatar implicitly rejected the demands of its neighbors to restore ties with it just hours before the 10-day deadline set for it to respond to its 13 demands.

Earlier this morning, the Emir of Kuwait will receive Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani, who will deliver a written message from Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The letter contains the response earlier prepared by Qatar on the list of collective claims submitted by Kuwait late last month.










Afrasianet - Eight people were wounded Monday morning in a shooting outside the Mercy Mosque in the southern French city of Avignon.

Two masked men, carrying a pistol and a gun, approached the mosque in a car before opening fire on worshipers as they left the building at about 10:30 am local time (2130 GMT).

According to the local media, four people were injured outside the mosque, in addition to four people from a family, including a seven-year-old girl, with shrapnel inside their house, about 50 meters from the site of the attack.

Two of the wounded were taken to the hospital, and the Public Prosecutor's Office suggested that the incident was the result of a dispute between the youths and not a terrorist act.

France is in a state of security alert after an attack on police in April and other bloody attacks in the months before.










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