Arab, US top diplomats in Israel as Mideast dynamic shifts
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool) (Jacquelyn Martin)SDE BOKER, Israel — (AP) — Israel on Monday hosted the foreign ministers of four Arab nations and the United States in a bid to strengthen its position in a rapidly shifting Middle East. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the group was “making history” as he announced the gathering would become an annual event. Although Iran has since raced ahead with its nuclear program, Israel and Gulf Arab countries are deeply concerned about restoring the original deal. Underscoring regional anxieties, Israel’s government hastily arranged the meeting of top diplomats from Arab countries that have normalized relations with Israel. Lapid took the Arab ministers to visit Ben-Gurion's grave, a remarkable step given the sensitivities with the Palestinians over Israel's establishment.wftv.com
Israeli foreign minister heads to UAE for first state visit
Israel’s new foreign minister took off on Tuesday for a state visit to the United Arab Emirates, the first high-level trip by an Israeli official since the two countries signed an agreement to normalize relations last year. According to the Israeli foreign ministry, Yair Lapid will be inaugurating Israel’s Embassy in Abu Dhabi, meeting with senior Emirati officials — including Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan — and attending a trade expo where Israeli companies are exhibiting technology.news.yahoo.com
Rivals seeking to gain as Biden mulls approach to Syrian war
The Biden administration is mulling over Americas role in Syrias ongoing conflict as the U.S. tries to break away from Middle East wars. AdDealing with Syria's war will test the Biden administration's determination to focus on Asia and not the Middle East. Hence Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's Middle East tour this month. “If this is the security future of the Middle East, we’re all in trouble,” Jeffrey warns. It was the Syrian war that sparked that debate, when President Barack Obama first considered military strikes there, said Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
UAE top diplomat acknowledges visa restrictions on Pakistan
FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 file photo, a thick blanket of early morning fog partially shrouds the skyscrapers of the Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers districts of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He did not elaborate on the visa suspension, which has blindsided expats seeking entry to the federation of seven sheikhdoms, where foreigners outnumber locals nearly nine to one. The reported visa restrictions targeting countries such as Lebanon, Kenya, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen came just as tourists began arriving in the Persian Gulf country on Israeli passports following the normalization agreement. The Emirati and Israeli governments are hammering out a mutual visa waiver agreement to grant Israeli tourists visas on arrival. But young, single men from the countries are denied entry, fueling speculation that the ban may be tied to security or visa overstay concerns.
Top Israeli, UAE diplomats meet in Berlin for talks
The three foreign minister meet for talks in the German capital. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said it was a “great honor that the Israeli and Emirati foreign ministers have chosen Berlin as the location for their historic first meeting" since the two countries agreed to normalize relations in a U.S.-brokered deal. “The most important currency in diplomacy is trust, and I am personally grateful to both of my colleagues for placing this trust in Germany,” Maas said in a statement. Maas said “courage and trust” are what is needed in the Middle East peace process. “I hope that Berlin can offer a good framework to discuss further steps on this path.”
The Latest: Mali notable in its absence from UN meeting
As late as last week, the United Nations still listed the deposed president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, as an upcoming speaker. But the final countries addressed the U.N. gathering on Tuesday afternoon with no word from Mali. Before this latest coup, extremists were moving south into more densely populated areas, adding to the frustrations that fed massive protests in the weeks ahead of the coup. He delivered a prerecorded address Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly’s annual meeting of global leaders, being held virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emirati foreign minister also warned against what he said were “the expansionist ambitions of some countries in the region."
Family tells AP: Iran abducted California man while in Dubai
DUBAI A California-based member of an Iranian militant opposition group in exile was abducted by Iran while staying in Dubai, his family said Tuesday. His family, however, insists Sharmahd only served as a spokesman for the group and had nothing to do with any attacks in Iran. Telephone location data showed his mobile phone that day at the Premier Inn Dubai International Airport Hotel, where he had been staying. On July 30, tracking data showed the mobile phone traveled to the Omani port city of Sohar, where the signal stopped. Iran is suspected of kidnapping and later killing British-Iranian national Abbas Yazdi in Dubai in 2013, though Tehran has denied involvement.
AP Interview: US envoy calls for Iran arms embargo renewal
The U.N. arms embargo so far has stopped Iran from purchasing fighter jets, tanks, warships and other weaponry, but has failed to halt its smuggling of weapons into war zones. Iran's mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hook's remarks. The United Nations banned Iran from buying major foreign weapon systems in 2010 amid tensions over its nuclear program. North Korea, which now has nuclear weapons, is the only country to ever withdraw from the treaty. I dont think anyone believes that Irans behavior merits loosening restrictions on their ability to move weapons, Hook said.