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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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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.

Background

Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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