Ammon News, World

Trump cancels Kim summit: ‘Pray our massive nuclear capabilities are never used’

[5/24/2018 9:15:53 AM]

AMMONNEWS - President Donald Trump is canceling the planned June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, citing the “tremendous anger and open hostility” in a recent statement from North Korea. Trump says in a letter to Kim released Thursday by the White House that based on the statement, he felt it was “inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.” The president says the North Koreans talk about their nuclear capabilities, “but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” *Agencies

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Lebanese parliament re-elects Nabih Berri as speaker

[5/23/2018 8:33:19 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Shiite politician Nabih Berri, a close ally of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, was re-elected for a sixth term as speaker of Lebanon’s parliament in an uncontested vote on Wednesday. Another Hezbollah ally, Elie Ferzli, was elected deputy speaker, reflecting a shift in Lebanon’s political landscape in favour of the heavily armed Shi’ite group. Hezbollah, and groups and individuals that support its possession of arms, won at least 70 of parliament’s 128 seats in a May 6 election. The result was a reversal of Lebanon’s last general election in 2009, when anti-Hezbollah groups won a majority. Berri won the votes of 98 of 128 MPs. After being reappointed as speaker, a role he has held since 1992, he called for a new government to be formed as soon as possible. Saad al-Hariri, who headed the outgoing cabinet, is expected to be premier again and faces tough negotiations to form a coalition government including all the main parties. He will lead a caretaker government until the new cabinet is agreed. Berri, 80, heads the Amal Movement and has been allied with Hezbollah since the end of Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war. Hariri, an opponent of Hezbollah, had declared support for the re-election of Berri as speaker, a post reserved for Shi’ites in Lebanon’s sectarian power sharing system. Ferzli, like Berri and Hezbollah, has close ties to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. Hariri had declared his opposition to Ferzli’s candidacy. The deputy speaker position, reserved for a Greek Orthodox Christian, has been held by a Hezbollah opponent since 2005, the year Syrian troops were forced to withdraw from Lebanon after the assassination of Rafik al-Hariri, Saad’s father. *Reuters

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FM, UN envoy discuss Mideast peace

[5/23/2018 8:30:42 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi said the immediate international investigation into the massacre committed by Israeli occupation forces against civilians in Gaza Strip last week is a necessity as the Palestinians should enjoy their right to justice and the international community should protect civilians and enforce international law on Israel. During a meeting with UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov on Wednesday, Safadi warned against the political deadlock and the lack of effective international action to end the occupation and meet the right of the Palestinian people to freedom and the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. The foreign minister and the UN official also reviewed the peace process and means to reach a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The two officials highlighted the need for concerted international efforts to push the peace process forward, achieve the two-state solution and take practical measures to end the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza and ensure the delivery of aid to the coastal enclave. They also affirmed the importance of achieving Palestinian national reconciliation. Safadi said that Jordan will continue providing support to Gaza Strip, noting that the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza will increase its services to Gazans in implementation of the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah II. Mladenov stressed the importance of the services provided by the Jordanian field hospital to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians in the coastal enclave. He also briefed Safadi on the UN's efforts to address challenges facing Gaza and resume political negotiations to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution.

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‘No alternative’ to Iran nuclear deal, EU foreign policy chief tells US

[5/22/2018 7:47:35 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The EU’s foreign policy chief warned Monday there was “no alternative” to the Iran nuclear deal, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed unprecedented sanctions against Tehran following Washington’s withdrawal from the pact. Pompeo -- a longtime Iran hawk and fierce opponent of the 2015 agreement -- earlier outlined an aggressive series of “painful” measures designed to hurt Tehran, in his first key address since moving to the State Department from the CIA in April. “Secretary Pompeo’s speech has not demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA (nuclear deal) has made or will make the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation or how it puts us in a better position to influence Iran’s conduct in areas outside the scope of JCPOA,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said. In a statement, she stressed “there is no alternative” to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is officially known. US President Donald Trump sparked an international outcry earlier this month when he announced his country would pull out of the landmark accord struck in July 2015 between Tehran and major world powers. His move came despite the fact that the UN’s nuclear watchdog, in charge of monitoring Iran’s compliance with the deal, has confirmed that Tehran has so far abided by the terms. Trump wants Brussels and others to support his hardline strategy and push for a fresh agreement. “Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East,” Pompeo said, outlining 12 tough conditions from Washington for any “new deal” with Tehran. But Mogherini called on the US to keep its commitments as part of the agreement signed under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama. “The JCPOA is the result of more than a decade of complex and delicate negotiations, based on dual track approach and therefore the best possible outcome, striking the right balance,” Mogherini said. “This deal belongs to the international community, having been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. The international community expects all sides to keep the commitments they made more than two years ago.” She reiterated that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had confirmed already 10 times that Iran has implemented “all its nuclear related commitments” under the agreement. The re-establishment of the US punitive measures will likely force European companies to choose between investing in Iran or trading with the United States. The EU has been trying to persuade Iran to stay in the 2015 agreement, even without Washington’s participation. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, attending the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Buenos Aires, said he was not surprised by Pompeo’s critique of the Iran deal, before adding: “We do not see at this time a better alternative.” “We believe that without this agreement, we would take the risk that Iran resumes its nuclear program,” he said. Maas said he will travel to Washington to talk with Pompeo this week. *AFP

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pictured in hospital

[5/21/2018 6:21:27 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Photos on Monday showed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in hospital walking unaided, reading a newspaper and seemed like he was in good health. Abbas, hospitalized three times in the last week, will remain in hospital at least one more night, a senior Palestinian official said on Monday, though little information was given about the veteran leader's condition. The hospital visits by Abbas, 82, have raised inevitable questions about his health and the future of the Palestinian leadership. Abbas underwent minor ear surgery last Tuesday but went back into al-Istishari Hospital in Ramallah briefly overnight on Saturday/Sunday. He was then rushed back later that day, for what doctors described only as “medical tests”. One Palestinian official in Ramallah said on Sunday there had been complications following the ear surgery and that Abbas was running a fever. The same day a source at al-Istishari hospital said his condition was unrelated to the ear operation and that he had being given antibiotics to treat an inflammation in the chest. The official Palestinian news agency Wafa put out a report on Monday afternoon giving no details of Abbas' health. It said only that Abbas had received a phone call from the secretary of the Arab League who "checked on the president's health and wished him good health and strength." *Agencies

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Paraguay opens its Israel embassy in Jerusalem, second country to follow US lead

[5/21/2018 12:40:42 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Paraguay opened its Israel embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, the second country to follow the United States in making the politically sensitive move from Tel Aviv. Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin attended the inauguration ceremony. The United States relocated its embassy to Jerusalem a week ago, drawing Palestinian anger, and was followed by Guatemala on Wednesday. Cartes and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the inauguration of the new embassy in a Jerusalem office park. The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to forging a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who with broad international backing want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, as their capital. Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it annexed after the 1967 conflict, as its capital. "This is a historic day that strengthens ties between Paraguay and Israel," Cartes said at the ceremony. "A great day for Israel. A great day for Paraguay. A great day for our friendship," Netanyahu responded. "You have not only the support of our government but the profound gratitude of the people of Israel." Hanan Ashrawi, an official of the Palestine Liberation Organization, denounced Paraguay's move. "By adopting such a provocative and irresponsible measure that is in direct contravention of international law and consensus, Paraguay has conspired with Israel, the United States and Guatemala to entrench the military occupation and to seal the fate of occupied Jerusalem," Ashrawi said in a statement. In December, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing decades of US policy and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies. Most world powers do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city and says its final status should be set in peace negotiations. *Reuters

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Mobile crane collapses in Mecca, driver sustains minor injuries

[5/20/2018 1:12:36 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Officials from Mecca confirmed to local media that a mobile crane collapsed on Sunday in an area that was designated for construction works and not for worshippers. A tweet from Al Ekhbariya television channel quoting Mecca officials said no injuries of worshippers were reported except for the driver of the crane who sustained minor injuries. Photos of the mobile crane showed it had collapsed in a designated area under construction and not a public one. *Al Arabiya

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