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Palestinians Strongly Condemn and reject Israel-UAE deal, call for Arab League meeting

Palestinians Strongly Condemn and reject Israel-UAE deal, call for Arab League meeting

Palestinians strongly condemn the trilateral agreement earlier settled between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) spokesperson said in a statement.

Official Palestinian news agency says Palestinians are recalling their ambassador from the UAE over the deal.

Earlier in the day, the three countries announced in their joint statement that a deal under the name "The Abraham Accord" has been brokered by the United States. The deal envisages Israel and the United Arab Emirates establishing diplomatic ties, and Tel Aviv dropping its plans to extend its sovereignty over West Bank.

"The Palestinian leadership announces its strong rejection and condemnation of the trilateral agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE, mediated by the United States," the statement said.

It also outlined that the PNA "views this step as an attempt to undermine the Arab peace initiative and the Arab League decision", naming it "an aggression against the Palestinian people".

PNA called for an emergency session of Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, demanding the trilateral agreement to be rejected.

The statement of PNA spokesman also emphasized that neither the UAE nor any other party has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, stressing that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the only legal representative of the Palestinians.

According to a separate statement made by Foreign Affairs Minister of the PNA, Riyad Al-Maliki, the Palestinian ambassador to the UAE has been recalled after the joint statement from the three countries on their agreement.
Palestinians strongly condemn the trilateral agreement earlier settled between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) spokesperson said in a statement.

Official Palestinian news agency says Palestinians are recalling their ambassador from the UAE over the deal.

Earlier in the day, the three countries announced in their joint statement that a deal under the name "The Abraham Accord" has been brokered by the United States. The deal envisages Israel and the United Arab Emirates establishing diplomatic ties, and Tel Aviv dropping its plans to extend its sovereignty over West Bank.

"The Palestinian leadership announces its strong rejection and condemnation of the trilateral agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE, mediated by the United States," the statement said.

It also outlined that the PNA "views this step as an attempt to undermine the Arab peace initiative and the Arab League decision", naming it "an aggression against the Palestinian people".

PNA called for an emergency session of Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, demanding the trilateral agreement to be rejected.

The statement of PNA spokesman also emphasized that neither the UAE nor any other party has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, stressing that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the only legal representative of the Palestinians.

According to a separate statement made by Foreign Affairs Minister of the PNA, Riyad Al-Maliki, the Palestinian ambassador to the UAE has been recalled after the joint statement from the three countries on their agreement.

France deploys warship, fighter jets to Mediterranean amid growing tensions with Turkey

France deploys warship, fighter jets to Mediterranean amid growing tensions with Turkey

Greece got the "first response" from Turkey in the ongoing Mediterranean Row, Erdogan Says


France announced Thursday that it will deploy two warplanes, and reinforce its presence in the eastern Mediterranean with one of its warships.

The French Ministry of Defense said that France will send two Rafale fighter jets and the naval frigate Lafayette to the eastern Mediterranean as part of plans to increase its military presence in the region, amid indications of tension with Turkey, the Reuters News Agency reported.

Earlier in the week, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Turkey to stop drilling for oil and gas in disputed waters in that region, which led to an escalation of tensions with Greece.

Macron had rejected Turkey’s “dangerous and unilateral” steps, expressing his grave concern about the tensions caused by the “unilateral” Turkish decision to drill in the eastern Mediterranean region.

A statement by the French presidency stated that Paris decided to temporarily reinforce its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean, in order to respect international law.

Macron called for the opening of a “peaceful dialogue” between Turkey, its neighboring countries and NATO partners.


Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Greece got the "first response" from Turkey in the ongoing Mediterranean crisis, hinting at the recent incident between Russian and Greek frigates.

"We said that if you attack Oruc Reis, the consequences would be great. And today, they received the first response", Erdogan said, speaking in Ankara.

The Turkish-Greek tensions escalated this week after Turkey's Oruc Reis research vessel began exploration drilling in Greek-claimed waters in the Mediterranean on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Greek Armyvoice.gr news portal reported, citing sources, that Greek naval frigate Limnos and Turkish frigate Kemalreis (F-247) "touched" each other in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The incident happened in close proximity to Oruc Reis. The area is heavily patrolled by both Turkish and Greek vessels.

Tensions between two NATO allies increased again earlier in August, after Greece and Egypt signed a maritime deal on an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the eastern Mediterranean. Ankara then slammed the agreement as "null and void," saying that Athens and Cairo share no sea border, and claimed that the area of the EEZ was in fact located on Turkey’s continental shelf. The Greece-Egypt deal prompted Turkey to resume seismic research in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greece got the "first response" from Turkey in the ongoing Mediterranean Row, Erdogan Says


France announced Thursday that it will deploy two warplanes, and reinforce its presence in the eastern Mediterranean with one of its warships.

The French Ministry of Defense said that France will send two Rafale fighter jets and the naval frigate Lafayette to the eastern Mediterranean as part of plans to increase its military presence in the region, amid indications of tension with Turkey, the Reuters News Agency reported.

Earlier in the week, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Turkey to stop drilling for oil and gas in disputed waters in that region, which led to an escalation of tensions with Greece.

Macron had rejected Turkey’s “dangerous and unilateral” steps, expressing his grave concern about the tensions caused by the “unilateral” Turkish decision to drill in the eastern Mediterranean region.

A statement by the French presidency stated that Paris decided to temporarily reinforce its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean, in order to respect international law.

Macron called for the opening of a “peaceful dialogue” between Turkey, its neighboring countries and NATO partners.


Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Greece got the "first response" from Turkey in the ongoing Mediterranean crisis, hinting at the recent incident between Russian and Greek frigates.

"We said that if you attack Oruc Reis, the consequences would be great. And today, they received the first response", Erdogan said, speaking in Ankara.

The Turkish-Greek tensions escalated this week after Turkey's Oruc Reis research vessel began exploration drilling in Greek-claimed waters in the Mediterranean on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Greek Armyvoice.gr news portal reported, citing sources, that Greek naval frigate Limnos and Turkish frigate Kemalreis (F-247) "touched" each other in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The incident happened in close proximity to Oruc Reis. The area is heavily patrolled by both Turkish and Greek vessels.

Tensions between two NATO allies increased again earlier in August, after Greece and Egypt signed a maritime deal on an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the eastern Mediterranean. Ankara then slammed the agreement as "null and void," saying that Athens and Cairo share no sea border, and claimed that the area of the EEZ was in fact located on Turkey’s continental shelf. The Greece-Egypt deal prompted Turkey to resume seismic research in the eastern Mediterranean.

WHO Urges Countries To Invest On Shared Vaccine Search

WHO Urges Countries To Invest On Shared Vaccine Search

The WHO on Thursday urged countries to invest billions of dollars in searching for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments — calling it a snip compared to the vast economic cost of the coronavirus crisis.

The World Health Organization insisted it was a smarter bet than the trillions of dollars being thrown at handling the consequences of the global pandemic.

The UN agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pleaded for investment into the WHO-led ACT-Accelerator programme, which aims to share global research and development, manufacturing and procurement in a bid to beat COVID-19.

Citing the International Monetary Fund’s predictions of the pandemic wiping out $12 trillion over two years, he urged countries to spend on shared solutions.

“It’s the best economic stimulus the world can invest in,” Tedros told a virtual press conference.

Funding the ACT-Accelerator, with $31.3 billion needed immediately, “will cost a tiny fraction in comparison to the alternative, where economies retract further and require continued fiscal stimulus packages”.

He said spreading the risk and sharing the reward is a better bet than the option some countries have taken, of going it alone in backing one of the dozens of vaccines in development.

“Picking individual winners is an expensive, risky gamble,” he said,

“The development of vaccines is long, complex, risky and expensive The vast majority of vaccines in early development fail.”

Tedros said multiple vaccine candidates, of different types, were needed in order to identify the best one.

– Access to the winner –

Russia on Tuesday declared itself the first country to approve a vaccine, even though final stage testing involving more than 2,000 people was only due to start on Wednesday.

Bruce Aylward, who heads up the ACT-Accelerator, said the WHO was still awaiting more details from Moscow.

“We’re currently in conversation with Russia to get additional information, understand the status of that product, the trials that have been undertaken, and then what the next steps might be,” he said.

The WHO says 168 candidate vaccines are being worked on around the world, of which 28 have progressed to being tested on humans.

Nine of those 28 — not including the Russian vaccine — are in the ACT-Accelerator programme.

WHO access to medicines chief Mariangela Simao said that with so many vaccine candidates being worked on, backing just one or two could not be the best bet.

“We don’t know which one will be the front-runner, which one will actually prove to be safe and effective,” she said.

“We are encouraging countries to join a global facility, because you will have access to more candidates, and you have a better chance to have concrete access… to procure one of the successful candidates.”

The European Union said earlier Thursday that it has reserved up to 400 million doses of a potential new coronavirus vaccine being developed by US giant Johnson & Johnson.

On July 31, the European Commission said it had reserved 300 million doses of another potential vaccine being developed by French firm Sanofi.

– Eye of the storm? –

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 750,000 people and infected more than 20.6 million worldwide since it first emerged in China in December, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources.

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan warned that only a small proportion of the global population had actually been exposed to the virus.

“This virus has a long way to burn, if we allow it,” he said.

“The vast majority of people remain susceptible to this infection.

“We may be in the eye of the storm and we don’t know it.”

Meanwhile, Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, said there were examples from some countries suggesting that an individual may have been reinfected the virus, but “its still not confirmed”.

She said experts would need to look for false positive or negative cases, immune response after infection, and sequencing.

AFP
The WHO on Thursday urged countries to invest billions of dollars in searching for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments — calling it a snip compared to the vast economic cost of the coronavirus crisis.

The World Health Organization insisted it was a smarter bet than the trillions of dollars being thrown at handling the consequences of the global pandemic.

The UN agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pleaded for investment into the WHO-led ACT-Accelerator programme, which aims to share global research and development, manufacturing and procurement in a bid to beat COVID-19.

Citing the International Monetary Fund’s predictions of the pandemic wiping out $12 trillion over two years, he urged countries to spend on shared solutions.

“It’s the best economic stimulus the world can invest in,” Tedros told a virtual press conference.

Funding the ACT-Accelerator, with $31.3 billion needed immediately, “will cost a tiny fraction in comparison to the alternative, where economies retract further and require continued fiscal stimulus packages”.

He said spreading the risk and sharing the reward is a better bet than the option some countries have taken, of going it alone in backing one of the dozens of vaccines in development.

“Picking individual winners is an expensive, risky gamble,” he said,

“The development of vaccines is long, complex, risky and expensive The vast majority of vaccines in early development fail.”

Tedros said multiple vaccine candidates, of different types, were needed in order to identify the best one.

– Access to the winner –

Russia on Tuesday declared itself the first country to approve a vaccine, even though final stage testing involving more than 2,000 people was only due to start on Wednesday.

Bruce Aylward, who heads up the ACT-Accelerator, said the WHO was still awaiting more details from Moscow.

“We’re currently in conversation with Russia to get additional information, understand the status of that product, the trials that have been undertaken, and then what the next steps might be,” he said.

The WHO says 168 candidate vaccines are being worked on around the world, of which 28 have progressed to being tested on humans.

Nine of those 28 — not including the Russian vaccine — are in the ACT-Accelerator programme.

WHO access to medicines chief Mariangela Simao said that with so many vaccine candidates being worked on, backing just one or two could not be the best bet.

“We don’t know which one will be the front-runner, which one will actually prove to be safe and effective,” she said.

“We are encouraging countries to join a global facility, because you will have access to more candidates, and you have a better chance to have concrete access… to procure one of the successful candidates.”

The European Union said earlier Thursday that it has reserved up to 400 million doses of a potential new coronavirus vaccine being developed by US giant Johnson & Johnson.

On July 31, the European Commission said it had reserved 300 million doses of another potential vaccine being developed by French firm Sanofi.

– Eye of the storm? –

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 750,000 people and infected more than 20.6 million worldwide since it first emerged in China in December, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources.

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan warned that only a small proportion of the global population had actually been exposed to the virus.

“This virus has a long way to burn, if we allow it,” he said.

“The vast majority of people remain susceptible to this infection.

“We may be in the eye of the storm and we don’t know it.”

Meanwhile, Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, said there were examples from some countries suggesting that an individual may have been reinfected the virus, but “its still not confirmed”.

She said experts would need to look for false positive or negative cases, immune response after infection, and sequencing.

AFP

Germany summons Belarus ambassador over disputed vote, according to government source

Germany summons Belarus ambassador over disputed vote, according to government source

Profile Picture
AFP: Germany, which holds the rotating EU presidency, on Thursday summoned the Belarusian ambassador to urgent talks over President Alexander Lukashenko's disputed re-election.

"Today the Belarusian ambassador was invited to the Federal Foreign Office for an urgent discussion in view of current developments," a government source told AFP. The move comes ahead of a meeting on Friday of EU foreign ministers to discuss possible sanctions on Belarus.

Lukashenko's opponents accuse him of rigging Sunday's election to defeat his main rival, popular opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who has left the ex-Soviet country for neighbouring Lithuania.

During four nights of unrest since the vote, police have used stun grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannon and, in at least one case, live fire to disperse the crowds.

At least two people have died and hundreds have been wounded in the violence while nearly 7,000 have been arrested.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had said earlier Thursday that the latest developments, including the "brutal" repression of peaceful demonstrators, were "unacceptable" in 21st century Europe.

"That's why we have to raise the pressure on those in power there," Maas said at a Berlin press conference alongside his Norwegian counterpart.

"We will certainly have to talk about the question of sanctions, an issue that is being intensely discussed at the moment. I hope we will find a common solution at tomorrow's meeting," he said.

Cautious optimism in the recent past that Belarus was headed in the right direction has proved unfounded, he said.

The election and the events that followed "have destroyed these hopes", he said, and with that, "any prerequisites for easing sanctions against Belarus".
Profile Picture
AFP: Germany, which holds the rotating EU presidency, on Thursday summoned the Belarusian ambassador to urgent talks over President Alexander Lukashenko's disputed re-election.

"Today the Belarusian ambassador was invited to the Federal Foreign Office for an urgent discussion in view of current developments," a government source told AFP. The move comes ahead of a meeting on Friday of EU foreign ministers to discuss possible sanctions on Belarus.

Lukashenko's opponents accuse him of rigging Sunday's election to defeat his main rival, popular opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who has left the ex-Soviet country for neighbouring Lithuania.

During four nights of unrest since the vote, police have used stun grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannon and, in at least one case, live fire to disperse the crowds.

At least two people have died and hundreds have been wounded in the violence while nearly 7,000 have been arrested.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had said earlier Thursday that the latest developments, including the "brutal" repression of peaceful demonstrators, were "unacceptable" in 21st century Europe.

"That's why we have to raise the pressure on those in power there," Maas said at a Berlin press conference alongside his Norwegian counterpart.

"We will certainly have to talk about the question of sanctions, an issue that is being intensely discussed at the moment. I hope we will find a common solution at tomorrow's meeting," he said.

Cautious optimism in the recent past that Belarus was headed in the right direction has proved unfounded, he said.

The election and the events that followed "have destroyed these hopes", he said, and with that, "any prerequisites for easing sanctions against Belarus".

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