Ammon News, Main News

FM, EU commissioner discuss ties, regional developments

[10/22/2018 3:54:47 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi and Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, on Monday stressed keenness to enhance cooperation between Jordan and the European Union (EU). Safadi and the EU Commissioner discussed means of enhancing economic, investment and development cooperation, and also talked about regional developments, foremost of which are efforts to break the deadlock in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process and support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The two sides also discussed efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis and solve the Syrian refugees' issue, noting the burdens borne by Jordan due to hosting 1.3 million Syrian refugees. Safadi valued the EU's continued support for UNRWA, pointing to the EU's key role in co-sponsoring the conference organized by the Kingdom on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to mobilize financial and political support for the Agency. The Foreign Minister stressed that UNRWA is linked to the refugees issue, which is a final status issue that should be resolved in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and within the framework of a comprehensive solution to the conflict that guarantees all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, especially their right to freedom and statehood. Safadi and Hahn agreed on the importance of providing the necessary international support to meet the needs of Syrian refugees. Safadi said that Jordan is doing all it can to meet their needs and encourage their voluntary return to their country. The two sides also agreed to continue coordination to strengthen the Jordanian-European partnership.

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Israel says Hezbollah set up Lebanon post under NGO guise

[10/22/2018 3:48:58 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The Israeli army Monday accused the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of setting up a new observation point in south Lebanon near the border under the guise of an environmental NGO. A senior military officer charged that the position, near the Shiite village of Aadaysit and the Israeli kibbutz of Misgav Am, was a violation of UN Resolution 1701 prohibiting Hezbollah military activity in the area. The observation post joins five other exposed last year by Israel, the officer said, all allegedly under the cover of “Green Without Borders”. “This NGO isn’t concerned with planting trees, it’s a front” for Hezbollah to monitor the Israeli army and civilians nearby, the officer told reporters in a briefing. Israel has relayed its concerns to UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, and asked them to visit the positions, but according to the officer, “they haven’t done so”. The position contains “military equipment and infrastructure, binoculars, high end cameras”, the officer said. “This is a breach of 1701.” A month-long war in 2006 between Israel and the Hezbollah movement killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers. Resolution 1701 was adopted to end the war, calling for full respect of the “Blue Line”, the UN-demarcated frontier between Lebanon and the Jewish state. Israel has vowed to prevent what it says are efforts by its arch foe, Iran, to transfer advanced arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon. *AFP

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Jordan to switch to wintertime Friday

[10/22/2018 3:46:34 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Jordan will switch to wintertime on Friday, October 26, according to a Cabinet decision. Clocks are to be set back by 60 minutes at midnight Thursday, making Jordan two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Under the Cabinet decision taken in 2013, Jordan switches to wintertime on the last Friday of October every year.

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Queen Rania Meets with Al-Aman Fund New Scholarship Recipients

[10/22/2018 3:45:00 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah met with new recipients of the Al-Aman Fund for the Future of Orphans’ educational scholarships program during an orientation session held on Monday at the Bisharat Golf Club in Amman. Welcomed by Al-Aman Fund’s Director, Ibrahim Al Ahmad, and Bisharat Golf Club Director, Julia Bisharat, Queen Rania addressed the 146 scholarship recipients for the current academic year. An initiative of the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF), Al-Aman Fund for the Future of Orphans aims to provide young orphans with opportunities to obtain higher education or university degrees, attend community college, or receive vocational training. Her Majesty expressed pride in the students and excitement for what the next chapter has in store for them. "I consider myself among my own children, so I will speak to you just as I have spoken to Al Hussein, Iman, and Salma when they graduated high school and started college," she said. Queen Rania explained to the beneficiaries that their choices and actions are what define them as they embark on this new journey, conveying a desire for them to form friendships that will positively influence them and add value to their lives. Her Majesty reminded students that while the staff at Al-Aman Fund will continue to support and guide them towards opportunities, it is on the students themselves to be responsible for their future. She also highlighted the importance of having self-confidence because it "impedes us from digressing and giving up our ambitions to follow temptations." She hoped that the beneficiaries will remain proud of the Al-Aman Fund family for all its efforts in supporting them and seeking out opportunities for them. "All of you constitute one single family, and I hope this urges you to care for each other," she said. On behalf of the fund, Al Ahmad also addressed the students saying: "today marks the beginning of a new journey; one must be optimistic and positive. This is your first step towards a fruitful future and we are here to help and support you, not only with your studies, but also with the challenge of transitioning into real life through our Guidance and Counseling Program. We are with you every step of the way and are here for you whenever you need our support." Al Ahmad also underlined the abundance of opportunities that the Fund offers to help students develop their character. At the orientation, Her Majesty joined students in a training workshop titled "Six Thinking Hats," run by a member of Al-Aman’s board of trustees, Laith Al Qasem. Among a variety of activities, the workshop introduced students to creative thinking processes. Her Majesty also participated in another workshop titled "Bridge Building." Al-Aman Fund covers tuition fees, pocket money, and living expenses for orphans who have graduated from orphanages across Jordan. It also helps them secure employment opportunities upon graduating. To this day, the fund has served more than 3,600 orphans, about 2,400 of whom have earned university degrees. Al-Aman is currently funding the education of 800 students.

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King, EU Commissioner discuss ties, Mideast

[10/22/2018 3:37:52 PM]

AMMONNEWS - His Majesty King Abdullah II on Monday welcomed Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, to discuss the strategic partnership between Jordan and the European Union(EU), and current developments in the region. During a meeting at the Al Husseiniya Palace, the King and the EU official discussed prospects of further bilateral cooperation, and opportunities to benefit from the simplified Rules of Origin agreement to increase Jordan's exports to European markets. His Majesty praised the support the EU gives to the Kingdom in various sectors. The discussions also tackled developments in the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis, with the King highlighting the importance of stepping up efforts to reach a lasting peace according to the two-state solution, which leads to setting up an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Commenting on financial challenges facing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), His Majesty said further efforts are needed to support the agency to enable it to provide relief, education and health services. He hailed the EU role in advancing the peace process and supporting the refugee agency. The King and the EU official also stressed the need to reach political solutions to the crises in the Middle East, particularly in Syria and to ensure the safety of its land and the unity of its people. They also reviewed the burden the Syrian refugee crisis had placed on resource-poor Jordan and its economy, and the importance of creating the necessary conditions for the voluntary return of refugees to their country. Hahn said that the EU considers Jordan a major partner, expressing the bloc's keenness to continue to support the Kingdom in implementing development and economic plans, and also commended it for hosting a large number of Syrian refugees. The meeting was attended by the King's advisor, the director of His Majesty's Office, the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, and the EU's ambassador to Jordan.

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Russia: US being ‘malicious’, electronic gadgets sent to Syria’s Hmeimim

[9/25/2018 3:45:47 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Despite American condemnation and the Israeli state of alert with the Russian Defense Ministry announcement on Monday that it will supply the Syrian regime with S-300 defense missiles, it seems that Russia is determined to proceed with its project. According to Russian newspaper Izvestiya, the first group of electronic warfare devices was delivered on Monday on an El-76 plane, to Syria’s Hmeimim military base. This is despite the warning that it will disrupt the functioning of radars and communications systems on aircraft trying to approach the Syrian shores. The Interfax news agency said that the work of these groups will aim to disrupt the work of radars and communications systems and control aircraft that will attack Syrian territory. The means of electronic warfare would disrupt the work of satellite navigation systems. This development, comes after a Russian reconnaissance plane was shot down on September, 17, off Lattakia, killing 15Russian servicemen on board. The Russian Defense Ministry blamed the Israeli air force for that incident and described Israeli conduct as “deliberate.” On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin that supplying advanced weapon systems to “irresponsible players” would increase dangers in the region, Netanyahu’s office said. Full story Russia foreign ministry: US is being ‘Malicious’ At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that the arguments of Russia’s partners, who previously demanded that Syria should not get the S-300 missile defense system, are no longer convincing, stressing that any country has the right to provide technical military support to its partners. The ministry stressed that the supply the S-300 missile defense system to Syria will not lead to escalation in Syria, but to stability, noting that this system is defensive, and the United States is being “malicious” when it says that Russia’s export of the missiles threaten the US security. The Russian Foreign Ministry explained that the S-300, which will be received by Syria will be able to cover the Syrian airspace, where it requires doing so. *Al Arabiya

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Gov’t amends fuel prices

[5/31/2018 5:34:35 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The government pricing committee on Thursday set the price of unleaded 90-octane gasoline at JD0.860 per litre for June instead of JD0.815, while unleaded 95-octane gasoline will be sold at JD0.1100 per litre instead of JD0.1050. Kerosene and solar were priced at JD0.645 per litre instead of JD 0.615, according to the committee. The committee noted that the price of gas cylinder will remain unchanged at JD7 despite their actual increase to JD8.60 internationally. The fuel pricing committee meets monthly to adjust fuel prices to correspond with a formula applied since February 2008 according to a Cabinet decision.

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