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Donald Trump expects Saudi Arabia to join UAE-Israel deal | Saudi Arabia News

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Saudi Arabia says it will not follow the United Arab Emirates in establishing diplomatic ties with Israel until it has signed an internationally-recognised peace accord with the Palestinians.

The UAE last week became the first Gulf state to normalise relations with Israel, in a US-brokered accord that raised the prospect of similar deals with other Arab states – including Saudi Arabia.

But after days of conspicuous silence and in the face of US pressure to announce a similar deal, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan ruled out the possibility until the Palestinian issue is resolved.

“Peace must be achieved with the Palestinians” on the basis of international agreements as a pre-condition for any normalisation of relations, Prince Faisal told reporters during a visit to Berlin on Wednesday.

“Once that is achieved all things are possible,” he added, in a comment that was consistent with Saudi Arabia’s previous stance on the issue.

US President Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia to join the agreement announced last week by Israel and the UAE to normalise diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship.

“I do,” Trump replied on Wednesday when asked at a White House news conference if he expected Saudi Arabia to join.

Under the accord, which Trump helped broker, Israel agreed to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank. The agreement also firms up opposition to regional power Iran, which the UAE, Israel and the US view as the main threat in the Middle East.

‘Detrimental’

Prince Faisal said the kingdom remained committed to peace with Israel on the basis of a 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas [John Macdougall/AFP]

He reiterated criticism of Israel’s “unilateral policies” of annexation and building settlements in the occupied West Bank as “illegitimate” and “detrimental” to a two-state solution. But he also voiced cautious optimism over last week’s deal.

“Any efforts that result in holding back the threat of annexation could be viewed as positive,” he said.

Saudi Arabia, which does not recognise Israel, drew up the 2002 initiative by which Arab nations offered to normalise ties with Israel in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in 1967.

F-35 fighters jets sale 

Earlier in the news conference, Trump called the UAE-Israel accord a good agreement and said: “Countries that you wouldn’t even believe that want to come into that deal.” He did not name any other countries besides Saudi Arabia.

Trump also said the UAE was interested in buying F-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin Corp, which Israel has used in combat.

“They have the money and they would like to order quite a few F-35s,” Trump said, adding the prospective sale was “under review”. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, citing a need to maintain Israeli military superiority in the region, said on Tuesday his country would oppose any US F-35 sales to the UAE. 

A sale, which could reduce Israel’s military advantage in the Middle East, would come after Israel and the UAE said last week they would normalise diplomatic ties.

Any F-35 sale could take years to negotiate and deliver, giving a new US presidential administration ample time to halt the deal. Any sale would also need congressional approval.

An industry source told the Reuters news agency the prospective fighter jet sale was arranged with the help of Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The US guarantees that Israel receives more advanced American weapons than Arab states, giving it what is labelled a “Qualitative Military Edge” over its neighbours.

‘Far-fetched’

Kushner has insisted it would be in Riyadh’s interest to also formally establish ties with Israel.

Further putting the kingdom in the spotlight, Netanyahu on Monday said Israel was working on opening a corridor over Saudi Arabia for flights to the UAE.

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest economy and home to Islam’s holiest sites, faces more sensitive political calculations than the UAE.

Not only would a formal recognition of Israel be seen by Palestinians and their supporters as a betrayal of their cause, it would also hurt the kingdom’s image as the leader of the Islamic world.

“The notion that Saudi Arabia will be next to normalise relations with Israel was far-fetched,” said Aziz Alghashian, a lecturer at Essex University specialising in the kingdom’s policy towards Israel.

“The biggest constraint for Saudi-Israeli normalisation is not the fear of a domestic and regional backlash. Rather, Saudi Arabia deems it necessary to not normalise relations outside the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative that called for resolving the Palestinian issue, if it still wants to be seen as the leader of the Muslim and Arab world,” said Alghashian.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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