Arab states rap “negative” Qatari reply to demands but announce no new sanctions
admin • July 6, 2017 • 4038
Four Arab states refrained on Wednesday from slapping further sanctions on Qatar but voiced disappointment at its “negative” response to their demands and said their boycott of the tiny gulf nation would continue.
“Except if Qatar chooses to change this path, [from the path of] destruction to construction, we will remain in separation from Qatar,” United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahayan said.
Qatar earlier in the day accused Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt of “clear aggression” and said the accusations cited when they severed ties a month ago “were clearly designed to create anti-Qatar sentiment in the west.”
The four Arab nations accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and allying with regional foe Iran – which Doha denies – and their foreign ministers met in Cairo on Wednesday after a deadline they gave Qatar to meet 13 demands expired.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said, “The ministers have agreed to follow up on the situation and hold the next meeting in Al Manama.”
They had been expected to consider further sanctions at the gathering, but announced no new measures. — UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday (September 3) confirmed that the remains of the two Filipinos killed in the Abu Dhabi gas explosion will only be released once investigation is finished.
Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana said the UAE authorities want the probe to be completed first before they allow the repatriation of the bodies.
“Dahil ito ay isang aksidente, kailangan muna na matapos ang imbestigasyon at iyan ang aming nililinaw sa mga pamilya at humihingi po kami ng pang-unawa,” Quintana said during the Laging Handa virtual briefing Thursday.
(Because this is an accident, the investigation needs to be completed first. This is what we have clarified to the families and we ask for their understanding.)
The embassy official said they have reached out to the families of the victims to explain the process assuring them that the UAE authorities have committed to expediting the investigation.
“Mismong sila ay nakikipagusap sa pamilya at kami ang nagiging tulay. Kapag natapos iyon ay saka naman natin uupuan kung ano ang next steps para sa mga pamilya na naiwan,” she added.
([The UAE authorities] themselves are communicating with the families and we connect them with each other. Once [the investigation] is done, we will discuss what to do next to assist the bereaved families.]
The United Arab Emirates launched its first mission to Mars on Monday (July 20) as it strives to develop its scientific and technological capabilities and reduce its reliance on oil.
The Hope Probe blasted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center at 1:58 a.m. UAE time/6:58 a.m. Japanese time Monday (2158 GMT Sunday) for a seven-month journey to the red planet, where it will orbit and send back data about the atmosphere.
The first Arab mission to Mars was initially due to launch on July 14, but has been delayed twice due to bad weather.
Just over an hour after launch, the probe deployed solar panels to power its systems and established radio communication with the mission on earth.
There are currently eight active missions exploring Mars; some orbit the planet and some have landed on its surface. China and the United States each plan to send another this year.
The Emirates Mars Mission has cost $200 million, according to Minister for Advanced Sciences Sarah Amiri. It aims to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere for the first time, studying daily and seasonal changes.
The UAE first announced plans for the mission in 2014 and launched a National Space Programme in 2017 to develop local expertise. Its population of 9.4 million, most of whom are foreign workers, lacks the scientific and industrial base of the big spacefaring nations.
It has an ambitious plan for a Mars settlement by 2117. Hazza al-Mansouri became the first Emirati in space last September when he flew to the International Space Station.
To develop and build the Hope Probe, Emiratis and Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) worked with U.S. educational institutions.
The MBRSC space centre in Dubai will oversee the spacecraft during its 494 million km (307 million mile) journey at an average speed of 121,000 km per hour. (Reuters)
A major fire broke out after a leak of oil from the Shuqair-Mostorod pipeline next to a busy highway in a Cairo suburb on Tuesday (July 14) and 17 people were injured, authorities said.
The pipeline runs along a motorway on the outskirts of the capital and a spark caused by passing cars ignited crude that was leaking from the pipe, the petroleum ministry said.
The pipeline’s valves were immediately closed in the area of the blaze and the flames were brought under control, it added in a statement.
A witness at the scene said about two dozen cars were torched, apparently abandoned by motorists. A video posted online showed two residents pulling an injured person away from the highway while thick plumes of smoked billowed skyward.
There was no immediate word from authorities on why the pipeline had leaked. The state prosecutor has dispatched a team to investigate, a statement said.
The crude pipeline runs from the Red Sea oil port of Shuqair to the refinery complex of Mostorod in Greater Cairo. (Reuters)
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