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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Arabian Peninsula / Persian Gulf update 6/18/2017...Saudi launches fresh airstrikes on Yemen

Saudi coastguard kills Iranian fisherman

Saudi launches fresh airstrikes on Yemen

European Parliament: Military Solution Useless in Yemen

European parliament expressed its concern about the humanitarian situation in Yemen, emphasizing that military solution doesn’t work for the conflict in the war-hit country. According to statement released by the parliament, ”The crisis in Yemen can be solved only through negotiation lead by Yemenis withthe participation of the other components", Al Zawaya reported. The statement by European parliament confirmed supporting the UN Secretary General and its envoy to Yemen as well the European Union to encourage the re-negotiation of warring parties to the ongoing war in Yemen. The parliament has called all the conflict parts to response in a constructive method and without any conditions . They also asked the parties to focus on the war against terrorism and terror groups like “ISIL”, backed by Saudi Arabia, or Al-Qaeda” at Arabian Peninsula. "Those terrorist groups have got advantages of the unstable current situation," the statement said, affirming that all terrorist crimes must not be justified whatever the reasons are. It concluded by calling for the regional powers to improve their relation and work to end fighting in Yemen.

Isolating Qatar and the Implications for Hamas and the People of Gaza

Arab Analyst: S. Arabia May Give Up Demands from Doha after US Affection for Qatar

Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, referred to Qatar's contract to purchase $20bln of military equipment from the US, and wrote that Saudi Arabia may give up its demands from Doha after the development. "Given the fact that the US has changed its position against Qatar, there is a possibility that Saudi Arabia and its allies withdraw from some of their demands," Atwan wrote on Sunday. He also pointed to the UAE envoy to Saudi Arabia's remarks that Washington will be informed of demands of Riyadh and its allies from Qatar, and said this shows that the US wants to play a mediatory role and take Kuwait's position. Saudi Arabia has set ten conditions to agree on a reconciliation with Qatar, including cutting off diplomatic ties with Iran and expelling all members of Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood, media outlets reported. The conditions were reportedly revealed during a meeting between Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Sheikh Sheikh Sabah Ahmad al-Sabah of Kuwait. The ten conditions stipulate the following:

1- Cutting off diplomatic ties with Iran immediately

2- Stopping the broadcast of Al Jazeera channel

3- Halting any interference in the internal affairs of Egypt or the (Persian) Gulf states

4- Offering an official apology to the (Persian) Gulf states for the offenses committed by Al-Jazeera channel

5- Expelling all the members of Hamas group

6- Freezing the bank accounts of Hamas leaders

7- A commitment from Doha to refrain from practicing any political role that contradicts with the unified policies of the (Persian) Gulf States

8- A commitment from Doha to the charter signed in 2014 (which included stopping the interference in the affairs of other countries and deporting legally wanted residents in Qatar)

9- Expelling Muslim Brotherhood members and all anti-(Persian) Gulf elements

10- Stopping the support of terrorist organizations

There has not been any official statement from Saudi Arabia or Kuwait concerning the above conditions. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties and all land sea and air contacts with Qatar earlier this month, accusing the Persian Gulf country of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs.

Qatar also in a statement expressed regret over the attempt by four Arab countries to cut relations with Doha, and said, "Their measure is unjustifiable and based on groundless allegations."

Qatari Gov't Receives Iranian President's Message

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari conveyed a verbal message by President Hassan Rouhani to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Jaberi Ansari conveyed the message during a meeting with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani in a short visit to Doha on Saturday. "The Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs (Jaberi Ansari) made a short trip to Doha to continue previous consultations and discussed and exchanged views with the Qatari officials on bilateral issues and certain developments in the region," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi confirmed on Sunday. He added that Jaberi Ansari also conveyed the Iranian officials' message of friendship to the Qatari officials. Qassemi underlined that Iran has always helped the Muslim world's unity as well as peace, stability and security in the region. No other detail has been revealed by the two countries' officials about the contents of President Rouhani's message to the Qatari Emir. Iran dispatched tons of fresh fish, fruits and vegetables to Qatar after the Arab country was sanctioned by its other neighbors in the Persian Gulf. Deputy Head of Veterinary Department of Bushehr province for Health Affairs Mohammad Mehdi Simrouni said that health certificate for two consignments of fresh edible fish weighing three tons has been issued to permit their exports to Qatar. Following recent developments in the Persian Gulf region and imposing sanctions by a number of Arab countries against Qatar and demand of Doha for importing food products from Iran, three tons of fresh fish was exported via Bulkheir port, he said.

Also, Iran announced that it has sent a ship with 180 tons of fruits and vegetables to the Persian Gulf emirate – the first such shipment after Doha was caught in a diplomatic row with its Arab neighbors. Media reports said the shipment was made on Tuesday from the country’s Southern port of Bandar Lengeh in Hormozgan Province. Officials had already said it would take a maximum 12 hours for a ship to reach Qatar from Iran’s Southern ports. “The cargo was sent in ten 40-feet refrigerated containers,” the domestic media quoted Mahmoud Saberi, the navigation director of Bandar Lengeh. “Bandar Lengeh is fully prepared to send all the products that Qatar requires by ships,” he added.

Also, Iran's national flag carrier, Iran Air, announced last week that it has carried four consignments of foodstuff to Qatar after the Arab country was boycotted by its other neighbors. "After Qatar was sanctioned by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, Iran Air has transferred foodstuff and vegetables to Qatar on four flights so far," Head of Iran Air's Public Relations Office Shahrokh Noushabadi told FNA. He underlined Iran Air's preparedness to transfer more foodstuff and vegetable to Qatar upon the Arab country's demand. Iran has rallied to Qatar’s aid, offering the Persian Gulf state the use of three of its ports to import supplies as its Arab neighbors seek to isolate the emirate.

Qatar’s foreign minister said Doha would be able to import all the goods it needed. He described the de facto blockade imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as “collective punishment”. “We have been isolated because we are successful and progressive. We are a platform for peace not terrorism,” Sheikh Mohammed told reporters. Riyadh and its allies earlier this month announced their move to isolate Qatar, accusing the Persian Gulf state of supporting terrorist groups and being too close to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival. Turkey also threw its weight behind Doha, fast-tracking plans to deploy extra Turkish troops to Qatar, potentially putting Ankara on a collision course with Riyadh.

Qatar, which hosts the US’s main military base in the Middle East, admits that it supports Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, the Palestinian faction. But it denies it backs terrorism. The small nation imports virtually all its goods, but Sheikh Mohammed said that only 16 per cent of food supplies come into Qatar via the countries that have imposed the de facto blockade. “It’s replaceable and has been replaced in one day,” he said. “They [Qataris] can survive at the same standard forever,” he said. But he decried the humanitarian cost of Qatar’s neighbors’ actions, which has meant that Saudis, Emiratis and Bahrainis have to leave Qatar in two weeks. Qataris also have the same amount of time to leave those nations.
Mass Bahrain terror trial sees 26 lose their citizenship

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