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DFA: Filipino seafarers unharmed after attack in Gulf of Oman

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed that all Filipino seafarers of two tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman on June 13 are “unharmed and in good condition.”

According to the DFA, Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Hjayceelyn Quintana has already met with the 11 seafarers of the MT Front Altair and the 21 Filipino seafarers of the MT Kokuka Courageous in two separate meetings through the kind assistance of UAE authorities to check on their condition and offer the needed assistance.

“The seafarers are appreciative of the concern extended to them by the Philippine government and all those involved in their rescue. The manning agencies are now looking after the crews’ well being and are dealing with their repatriation,” the DFA said in its bulletin.

Japan’s Kokuka Courageous, carrying a large shipment of methanol and Norwegian-owned oil tanker MT Front Altair, were attacked in the Gulf of Oman about 18 meters apart, according to reports.

Both tankers were heading for Asia.

MT Front Altair has safely landed in Dubai on Saturday (June 15) while MT Kokuka Courageous has also docked at the designated anchorage at Sharjah, according to the vessel’s ship management based in Singapore.

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Iran ready to talk to U.S. if sanctions lifted

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaking at televised address | Courtesy: Reuters footage

Iran is ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifts sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal it quit last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Sunday (July 14).

“When a big power that is a bully, well then we have to stand up to it. It must stop being a bully. We have always believed in talks. Always, right this hour, right this moment, if they stop the oppression, if they stop the belligerence, if they lift sanctions, return to the table, return to to logic; we are ready,” said Rouhani.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration says it is open to negotiations with Iran on a more far-reaching agreement on nuclear and security issues.

But Iran has made any talks conditional on first being able to export as much oil as it did before the United States withdrew from the nuclear pact with world powers in May 2018.

Confrontations between Washington and Tehran have escalated, culminating in a plan for U.S. air strikes on Iran last month that Trump called off at the last minute. (REUTERS)

(Production: Vin Shahrestani)

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Netanyahu calls on Europe to back Trump’s sanctions on Iran

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commenting on Iran at the Christians United for Israel Conference in Washington via satellite link from Jerusalem | Courtesy: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday (July 8) again called on Europe to impose punitive sanctions on Tehran after Iran said it is fully prepared to enrich uranium at any level and with any amount, in further defiance of U.S. efforts to squeeze it with sanctions.

Speaking at the Christians United for Israel summit in Washington, Netanyahu said Europe needed to respond by joining President Donald Trump in imposing sanctions.

“We should stand up to Iran’s aggression now, and Europe should back the sanctions instituted by President Trump. We certainly do,” Netanyahu said in remarks broadcast live at the summit via satellite link from Jerusalem.

Senior Iranian officials said Tehran, which has denied seeking nuclear arms, would keep reducing its commitments every 60 days unless signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal moved to protect it from U.S. sanctions.

If any one of the three European parties to the accord believe Iran has violated the agreement, they can trigger a dispute resolution process that could, within as few as 65 days, end at the U.N. Security Council with a reimposition of U.N. sanctions on Tehran. (REUTERS)

(Production: Katharine Jackson)

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DFA advises Filipinos in Tunisia to remain vigilant after blasts

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Saturday, June 29th, 2019

Image by @natanaelginting from freepik

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has advised Filipinos in Tunisia to remain vigilant after reports of two explosions on Thursday (June 27).

According to initial reports, one explosion involved a suicide bomber near the French Embassy and the Headquarters of the Anti-Terrorist Police. The second blast reportedly came from a car bomb.

The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli call on Filipinos to avoid the affected areas for their safety.

“The Embassy requests all Filipino nationals in Tunis to remain vigilant, avoid these areas and take the necessary precautions,” their statement reads.

Filipnos who need assistance can contact the Interim Legation and the Philippine Consulate in Tunis may be reached at +216 50 926 251.—AAC

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