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Okail: Modern slavery is one of the continent’s worst challenges. The international convention on slavery should be activated.


Basha: It is a must to urge the countries to ratify the Forced Labor Protocol.


Afrasianet - On the anniversary of the International Day for the Abolition of slavery, the African Affairs Department of Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human rights, appeals to the international community to exert more efforts to combat all forms of modern slavery. The department further calls for raising awareness on the issues related to human trafficking, forced labor and sexual exploitation, especially since the largest proportion of those who are exploited, are emerging from the African continent.


In this regard, Maat foundation denounces the increasing rates of African victims more than 9 million persons; representing 23% of the 40 million people in the world. Furthermore, Maat expresses its concern over spreading the phenomenon of slavery outrageously in Eretria, Burundi, and Central Africa.


Ayman Okail, the president of Maat, declared that non- inclusion of modern slavery in the legal framework of the African countries, is the reason for persistence and proliferation of slavery in the Continent. Okail emphasized on the importance of executing the article 6 of the “international covenant on slavery” concerning the incorporation of penal legislation into its laws. He also stressed the need to apply articles 2, 5 and 8 of the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and institutions and Practices similar to Slavery.


Abdelrahman Basha, the researcher in the African Affairs department, said that the international day for the abolition of slavery is a very good opportunity to raise the public awareness on dangers of discrimination which based on slavery and all forms of exploitation. He also stressed on the essential confrontation of the widespread of forced labor and urged those countries that have not yet ratified to join "the Forced Labor Protocol".


Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human rights pays a special attention to African countries. As a member of the General Assembly of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, and the Coordinator of the North Africa Region of the Group of Major NGOs in Africa of the United Nations High-level Political Forum.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afrasianet - Following is the full English translation of the His Majesty King Abdullah’s Speech from the Throne during the inauguration of the fourth ordinary session of the 18th Parliament on Sunday:


“In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,


Prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad,


Honourable Senators,
Honourable Representatives,


Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you,


In the name of God, and with His blessings, we inaugurate the fourth ordinary session of the 18th Parliament. It is an ordinary session taking place in extraordinary times, which require transparency and courage, and hard work and achievement in equal measure.


I speak to you today from the very podium where I vowed, 20 years ago, to preserve the Constitution and to remain loyal to the nation. Al Hussein, may his soul rest in peace, pledged me for this nation, and I have only ever been its loyal servant.


Honourable senators,
Honourable representatives,


I salute every Jordanian man and woman who have contributed to the nation’s progress and development, each from their post. I especially salute my brothers and sisters in arms, who carry the badge we all hold dear, at the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and security agencies, active and retired. To them, we express our full appreciation and pride.


Honourable senators,
Honourable representatives,


Jordan has moved steadily forward, maintaining its steadfast positions. We have made reform and the consolidation of the democratisation process a consistent approach. Our national positions on the Palestinian cause are steadfast, supporting our Palestinian brethren to establish their independent state on the June 4, 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital. There will be no compromise on safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, despite increasing dangers and threats.


I hereby call on Muslims and Christians to step up the protection of these holy sites, and support us in safeguarding them and ensuring the preservation of their legal status. Today, I also announce the expiration of the Peace Treaty annexes on Al Ghamr and Baqura and the imposition of our full sovereignty over every inch of those lands.


Honourable senators,
Honourable representatives,


I am not here today to list achievements, nor to extend platitudes, when I see the concern in the eyes of my fellow Jordanians. I see it in the eyes of a father who wants to put bread on the table, the unemployed young man worried about his future, and military and civilian pensioners.


In response to many questions, I say, I know and feel with every one of my dear, fellow Jordanians. Every one of you has a family to provide for, and I am responsible for an entire nation.


We are all aware that the crises surrounding us have cast a shadow over Jordan in various aspects of life, especially the economy. We have paid a heavy price because of our historical positions. We have undertaken bold reforms, even in the most difficult of circumstances, and have demonstrated to the world, time and again, that Jordan, whatever the challenges, does not know the impossible.


Jordanians, as always, have stood firm safeguarding their homeland and its achievements, for Jordanians do not back down in the face of adversity; they endure and persevere, having inherited the spirit of resolve and dedication, generation after generation.


Honourable senators,
Honourable representatives,


I know that today, many are asking where we are headed. To them I say Jordan is moving steadily forward. The most difficult reforms are behind us, and the promising future lies ahead. We are marching confidently towards that future to realise the aspirations of the people of this nation.


Last month, the government presented an economic programme, to be implemented in phases and along four pillars, aimed at reviewing salaries and wages, stimulating the economy and incentivising investments, improving the quality of services provided to citizens, and administrative reform and public finance.


The government has launched the programme’s first package, and will announce other detailed packages, including a review of regulations and legislation related to taxes and customs, in order to facilitate business and reduce the burden on citizens.


Therefore, I hereby direct the government to work vigorously and efficiently to take further bold measures to advance the national economy. But today, no government can proceed on the path of reform and achievement without a supportive legislative power, an impartial judiciary, an active private sector, and citizens confident in themselves and in the future of their country.


No venue is more appropriate than this one here to urge the three branches of government to carry out their duties. Today, you are all responsible, and tomorrow, you are all accountable. We all have no choice but to take action and achieve results.


Honourable senators,
Honourable representatives,


I do not address you today fearing for our nation. I speak to you out of my faith in our country and in you, and with a clear vision of the opportunities before us. Our youth are qualified; our sectors are promising; investors are keen; and the world believes in Jordan and its potential.


Let us arise to build a new reality in which growth can be doubled, creating thousands of opportunities for every aspiring Jordanian — for those who work and persevere, for those who have hope, for those with infinite ambitions, for those who make something out of nothing and do not expect results without putting in the effort. Our awakening has no place for those who surrender to pessimism and gloom.


Honourable Senators,
Honourable Representatives,


We derive our optimism and determination from our people. May God grant us all success and pave our way towards achievement and good deeds.


Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.”
 
 

 

 

 

 

 


Cairo, Oct. 12 (Petra) -- Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi said on Saturday renewed Jordan's rejection and condemnation of any aggression against Syria and any threat to its territorial integrity, security and sovereignty, reiterating the call on the "brothers in Turkey to immediately stop the attack on northern Syria."


Speaking at an extraordinary session of the Arab League Council at the foreign ministers level to discuss the "Turkish aggression against Syria", Safadi said: "The political track is the only way to resolve the Syrian crisis and all its repercussions, which should be adopted in addressing any of the repercussions of this catastrophic crisis that caused human suffering that should be lifted from the brotherly Syrian people, weakened our Arab world, threatened our interests, undermined our collective security and our ability to protect it."


Safadi added: "Our interests and our national security require that we make a political solution to the crisis acceptable to the Syrians and in a manner that preserves the unity and cohesion of Syria and restores its security and stability as a priority that we must take practical steps to achieve immediately."


Safadi stressed that the consensus on the formation of the constitutional committee is "an important step on the road to reaching this solution which we as Arabs must contribute to the efforts to make it successful."


"The security of Syria and the security of its neighborhood and the region is the way to reach a political solution to the crisis that addresses all its repercussions and preserves Syria's unity, stability, sovereignty and the safety of its people," the foreign minister said.


"As we seek to achieve this necessary solution, which is imperative by our interests, we must all cooperate to provide a decent living for our brothers who were forced by war to leave their homes, until the conditions of their voluntary return to their homeland are made available," Safadi added.


"This is a responsibility that can no longer be accepted to be shouldered by host countries only without adequate support from all of us and the international community as a whole," he said.


Safadi thanked the Arab Republic of Egypt for convening this extraordinary meeting of the Arab League Council.


Safadi held talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Iraqi Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammed Ali Al-Hakim, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir and UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash.

//Petra//
12/10/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 


AMMAN - afrasianet- Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Saturday called on the 120 member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to “go the extra mile” to end the Israeli occupation, also urging the adoption of new approaches that put Syrians' public interest ahead of conflicting agendas.


Addressing the 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Baku, Azerbaijan, Safadi, deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, said that collective action stemming from respect for international law ensures international security and stability, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.


Safadi also exhorted participating delegates to adopt a “comprehensive approach” to combat terrorism, which does not belong to any civilisation or religion, while highlighting the Kingdom’s efforts in this arena.


Jordan is a founding member of the NAM, the principles of which were inspired by the 1955 Bandung Conference, as the Kingdom was among the 29 participating countries that laid down the general principles of the movement, he noted.


 Among these principles is the rejection of colonialism, he said, pointing out that the Israeli colonial practices are still ongoing.


Safadi stressed the international community’s need to step up efforts to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution, which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative, reaffirming that this is the sole path to peace.


Touching on the displacement of Syrians, Safadi urged the intensification of efforts towards a resolution to the Syrian crisis, one that is accepted by Syria’s people, maintains the country’s unity, restores its security and sets the stage for the voluntary return of refugees.


On the sidelines of the Baku-hosted forum, Safadi met his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov over bolstering bilateral ties and regional development, the statement added.


A trilateral ministerial meeting on Friday also took place between Safadi, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri and Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammad Hakim.


The three ministers discussed means of implementing the outcomes of the trilateral summit between His Majesty King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Iraqi President Barham Saleh in New York last month.


In preparation for the upcoming Baghdad-hosted high-level trilateral summit, the three ministers will meet in Amman early next month, the Jordan news Agency, Petra, reported.


During the meeting, talks went over the latest regional developments, touching on the Palestinian cause, as well as the crises in Syria, Yemen and Libya, with Shukri briefing his counterparts on the latest developments in the Sadd Al-Nahda (Renaissance Dam) negotiations.


Safadi and Hakim expressed their countries’ support to Egypt in its efforts to preserve its water rights, in accordance with resolutions of international legitimacy.


Oct 26,2019
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Afrasianet - The UAE has sent a large delegation to the Assad regime-sponsored Damascus International Fair several months after reopening its embassy in Syria, despite US warnings of sanctions


Assad regime media said on Wednesday that the United Arab Emirates had sent a commercial delegation to take part in the Damascus International Fair, the New Arab’s affiliate Syria TV has reported.


The United States reiterated a warning that sanctions could affect participants in the Assad regime sponsored trade fair.


The Syrian Al-Watan newspaper, which is close to the regime, quoted an unnamed source in the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade as saying that a “large delegation” of Emirati businessmen had arrived in Damascus to take part in the fair.


The newspaper said that the delegation met with the regime’s Economy Minister, Samer al-Khalil, and, “discussed means of strengthening economic cooperation and commercial exchange between the two countries.”


On Monday, Russia’s Sputnik news agency said the Emirati delegation was made up of a number of “bright” names from the finance and business fields from six of the seven emirates. They included heads of property development companies, two general managers, and members of the chambers of commerce in Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain.


The American embassy in Syria posted on Twitter that those taking part could face sanctions.


“We have received reports that some regional businessmen or chambers of commerce plan to participate in the Damascus international trade fair. We reiterate our warning that anyone doing business with the Assad regime or its associates is exposing themselves to the possibility of US sanctions”, it said.


Twenty-three countries officially took part in the Damascus International Fair including Russia, China, India, North Korea, Sudan, and Bulgaria.


Another twenty-five including the UAE, Malaysia, and Spain took part through agents or private companies.


The regime of President Bashar al-Assad has been ostracized by the international community for its brutal suppression of peaceful protests in 2011 and its killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians in the ongoing Syrian conflict.


The United States and the EU have imposed trade sanctions on the regime.


However, in December 2018, the UAE and Bahrain reopened their embassies in Damascus following a seven-year break in relations.


The Damascus International Fair has been held every year since 1954, except in the five years between 2012 and 2016 (inclusive) due to the Syrian conflict. It is the oldest trade fair in the Middle East.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Afrasianet - Ankara continues to violate a United Nations arms embargo on Libya as the internationally recognised government in Tripoli on Sunday received another shipment of Turkish armed drones, local sources familiar with the matter told Ahval.


New shipment arrived at Mitiga, the only functioning airport in Tripoli, on Sunday morning via an Ukranian cargo plane, sources said.


Libya is split between the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli headed by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj, and the Tobruk government, led by General Khalifa Haftar, the de facto ruler of eastern Libya and head of the Libyan National Army (LNA). Haftar in April launched a military assault to seize the Libyan capital.


Last week, Eastern Libyan forces destroyed the main control room for drones at Mitiga airbase in the capital, Reuters said. Thus, the GNA needed a new urgent shipment of armed drones, local sources told Ahval.


Since the start of the assault in Tripoli, the LNA, which has air superiority, has several times said its jets brought down Turkish drones in Tripoli.


The new shipment came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday met Serraj in Istanbul and reiterated his support for the UN-backed government.


Erdoğan on Saturday discussed the ongoing conflict in Libya with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a phone call, the state news agency Anadolu said without giving further details on the nature of the conversation.


Forces loyal to Haftar have repeatedly accused Turkey of supporting militias, chaos and "terrorist groups" in Libya and ferrying arms to the war-torn country. The LNA has threatened to target Turkish government assets and blocked flights from Turkey last week after GNA forces recaptured an important area near Tripoli.


Libya has been under an arms embargo since the 2011 uprising which led to the ousting and killing of former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.


The embargo has been, however, regularly violated by different groups in Libya, according to the United Nations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


AMMAN - Afrasianet - Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and a US delegation on Monday discussed the efforts made to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis.


During the meeting with the US Congress panel known as the "Syria Study Group" (SSG), chaired by Michael Seng, Safadi stressed that finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis and easing the suffering of the Syrian people is an international and regional necessity, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.


The minister underscored the importance of intensifying the international community’s efforts to arrive at a political solution to the Syrian crisis that would preserve the unity and cohesion of Syria, is accepted by the Syrians and provides appropriate circumstances for the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.


Reiterating that refugee support is an international responsibility, Safadi acquainted the visiting delegation with the pressure the Kingdom is facing due to hosting some 1.3 million Syrian refugees, reaffirming the need of the international community’s support to help address some of the challenges arising from the refugee influx.


Jordan, on behalf of the international community, is currently fulfilling its responsibility towards refugees as well as withstanding extraordinary pressures, which requires extraordinary international support to shore up the Kingdom’s efforts to confront the economic challenges stemming from the refugee crisis, the top diplomat added.


The only solution to the Rukban camp, near Jordan’s north-eastern border with Syria, lies in the return of its residents to their hometowns, he reaffirmed, noting that the camp is Syria’s responsibility rather than Jordan’s, as aid delivery via Damascus is now possible.


Talks also went over the importance of international cooperation and coordination to counter terrorism, which still poses a security and ideological threat that requires intensified international efforts to be fully eradicated.


The minister commended the Jordanian-US partnership and the advanced bilateral ties between the two countries, according to the statement, while the US delegation tasked with developing a comprehensive strategy on Syria, hailed the Kingdom’s humanitarian role towards Syrian refugees and its role in promoting regional stability.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A girl plays outside at the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan, which is home to about 35,000 people.

 

 

 

 

Ottawa promised to bring 10 members of Syria’s White Helmets to Canada. One year later, they languish in a Jordanian camp


Afrasianet - Last summer, Canada helped members of the famed rescue group escape from Syria and was supposed to welcome them to this country last fall. So why are they still in the Middle East and kept in near isolation?


Ten members of Syria’s famed White Helmets rescue group – who were supposed to have been resettled to Canada last fall – are being kept, along with their families, in semi-isolation in a special high-security zone of Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp while they await the outcome of a delicate diplomatic effort to find a country willing to take them in.


The reason for their limbo remains a closely guarded secret. Neither the Canadian nor Jordanian government answered questions from The Globe and Mail about the specific reasons the families were flagged as security risks by Canadian officials who visited Azraq last year.


A spokeswoman for the Jordan office of the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, said the focus is now on trying to find another country willing to accept them, an effort hindered by Canada’s assessment of the families.


A member of the White Helmets told The Globe that the families themselves did not know why they were still in Jordan. A reporter was not allowed to visit the part of the Azraq camp where the 10 families, 48 people in all, are being held.


Azraq, a vast field of tin shacks surrounded by metal fencing, is frequently compared to an open-air prison, with the camp’s 35,000 residents needing a permit to leave the camp, even briefly. The White Helmets families are being kept in what’s known as Village 2, the second-most secure part of Azraq. It’s an area off-limits to foreign reporters, one separated from other parts of the camp by several hundred metres of barren desert.


“We can never go out” of Village 2, said a White Helmets member who communicated with The Globe via text. He was granted anonymity so he wouldn’t face repercussions from Jordanian authorities. “We must respect the laws and regulations of Jordan while we are in their hospitality,” he said.


The White Helmets – who became famous by rescuing victims of air strikes carried out by the Syrian regime and its Russian allies – are considered among the few heroes of the Syrian civil war. They have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and were the subjects of an Oscar-winning documentary.


Because they film their rescue operations and post the videos online, they have played a crucial role in raising public awareness about the brutality of the war and the tactics – including the use of chemical weapons and barrel bombs – deployed by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.


The Syrian and Russian governments, meanwhile, claim the group is both a tool of Western intelligence and closely aligned with some of the armed groups fighting to oust Mr. al-Assad.


The government of Jordan granted The Globe permission to visit Azraq, but the authorization letter specifically stated that Village 2 – along with the even higher-security Village 5 – was out of bounds. The Globe was accompanied throughout the visit by a Jordanian security official who refused to answer questions about Village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Maat: Outmoded practices should be stopped.

  • Most difficult reforms behind us, promising future lies ahead — King

  • Jordan renews rejection of any attack on Syria

  • FM urges NAM members to ‘go the extra mile’ for Palestinians, Syrians

  • Syrian territorial integrity, unity of people vital for Kingdom — Senate president

  • UAE sends large delegation to Syria trade fair despite US warning

  • Turkey continues sending arms to Libya, violating arms embargo - local sources

  • Safadi, US delegation review efforts towards Syria political solution

  • Ottawa promised to bring 10 members of Syria’s White Helmets to Canada

  • Caracas accuses Washington of "economic terrorism" and calls on the United Nations to protect it

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