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August 31, 2016 / 27 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘summit’

Report: Putin to Host Netanyahu Abbas Summit in Moscow

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Advanced talks have been conducted recently in preparation for a summit conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Abbas in Moscow this fall, according to the daily Yediot Aharonot. The paper reported on Monday that both PA and Israeli officials have confirmed that the summit is scheduled to take place in October or shortly thereafter, under the auspices of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Abbas has personally expressed his willingness, in principle, to partake in a Moscow summit. However, according to Yediot, the PA Chairman still insists that Israel first commit to freezing settlement construction and carry out the fourth phase of terrorist prisoners release which was halted when Secretary of State Kerry’s peace initiative collapsed in 2015. Abbas also insists on setting a specific date for the end of negotiations and for reaching a final agreement.

Political sources in Jerusalem have told Yediot that when Netanyahu and Putin spoke on the phone last week, the summit plan was part of their discussion. But they stress that the summit idea at this point is “mere speculation, it’s too soon.” Still, the same sources say Netanyahu is willing to meet with Abbas directly any time.

On Wednesday, August 17, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, discussed prospects for advancing PA-Israel peace talks with Abbas in Amman, and delivered a personal message from Putin to Abbas. Since then, Bogdanov has met twice with the head of the PA mission in Moscow Faed Mustafa and with Israeli ambassador Zvi Hefetz. One of Bogdanov’s meetings with Hefetz was on August 24, the day of the Putin-Netanyahu phone conversation.

JNi.Media

PA Senior: Israel Refusing Meeting Ahead of Possible Cairo Summit

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

A senior official at the Palestinian Authority told Israel Radio Sunday that Israel has refused an offer for a preparatory meeting with the PA side ahead of a possible summit meeting in Cairo between Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

According to the official, the Cairo meeting is intended to prepare for the international peace conference which is being planned in Paris by the end of the year, possibly with representatives from both France and the US. Apparently, various sources have advised Netanyahu to send an envoy to meet with a PA representative to prepare the Cairo meeting, but Netanyahu refused.

“Netanyahu does not want negotiations for a permanent settlement, and as long as he is at the helm there will not be a Palestinian State,” the PA senior said.

The same official also told Israel Radio that the PA does not demand that Israel freeze settlement construction as a prerequisite to the Paris conference, but rather the freeze should coincide with the start of negotiations. He threatened that “should Netanyahu not arrive at the Paris conference, we expect France and the other participating states to recognize the Palestinian State, open Palestinian embassies in their own capitals and boycott the settlements.”

Regarding Defense Minister Liberman’s plan to bypass Abbas in developing communication channels with key people in the PA society, the senior official said Liberman has yet to learn the lesson of the Village Associations that were set up by the late Ariel Sharon as a bulwark against the PLO in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which eventually became the Hamas movement.

“[Liberman] is treating the Palestinians as if they were animals: if they follow the rules they’ll get food, if not — a kick in the behind. The Village Associations failed then and will fail today. No one will work with Liberman, people here are not traitors,” the official said, adding, “Israel can’t run the same experiment, change nothing and expect different results.”

JNi.Media

Putin to Arab League Summit: ‘Status Quo on Palestine Unacceptable’

Monday, July 25th, 2016

In a message of greeting to the heads of state of the Arab League assembling in Nouakchott, Mauritania on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow considers the existing status quo on Palestine unacceptable and called for re-launching the negotiation process, TASS reported.

“We also intend to continue to provide all possible assistance in resolving the Palestinian problem acting through both the bilateral channels and within various multilateral formats,” Putin said, adding, “We believe the existing status quo is unacceptable and favor creating the conditions for the speedy re-launching of the negotiation process that will be aimed at creating an independent, viable and integral Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem peacefully coexisting with its neighbors.”

The annual Arab League summit’s agenda includes combating terrorism and the ongoing civil wars in Libya and Syria. Political analyst Youssef Cherif told Daily News Egypt that the Arab League is having one of its weakest meetings ever, since so many of its member nations are facing internal turmoil. The Moroccan delegation is boycotting the summit, saying the reason for its withdrawal is that “in an absence of decisions and concrete initiatives, this summit will be a mere gathering for speeches that imply fake unity among Arab countries.”

Only nine Arab heads of state are attending the summit—13 heads of states said they will not be able to come. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will not be at the summit and Egypt will be represented by Prime Minister Sherif Ismai.

Nevertheless, President Putin urged the Arab League states to fight against terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and other tense areas. “Russia is ready to strengthen in every possible way its interaction with the Arab League in ensuring regional security, first and foremost, in the struggle against the threat of international terrorism,” Putin said in his address to the summit.

JNi.Media

Saudi Arabia Snubs US Summit on Iran

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman has screamed its irritation with President Barack Obama’s eagerness to cooperate with Iran on its nuclear program by snubbing a U.S. summit and sending his crown prince instead.

The monarchy explained in its sudden announcement that King Salman won’t attend the planned meeting at Camp David because he is too busy with the crisis in Yemen.

The official version is the king cannot attend “due to the timing of the summit, the scheduled humanitarian cease-fire in Yemen and the opening of the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid.”

Two days earlier, the White House played up the expected meeting between President Barack Obama and King Salman as a venue “to build on their close consultations.”

Close consultations?

Since King Salman ascended to the throne in January after the death of King Abdullah, there have been drastic shifts in Riyadh’s attitude in public. It has been more open about its opposition to how President Obama and the rest of the P5+1 is making a deal with Iran on its nuclear development as an end in itself instead of a means to putting an end to the threat of a nuclear Iran.

It also is scared stiff of Iran’s open desire to take over the entire Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and Israel are on the same page. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went to Washington to preach his gospel against trusting Iran, and President Obama refused to meet him since the speech was two weeks before the general elections in Israel.

Obama was looking forward to meeting King Salman as another opportunity to show how he can continue on a one-way street with Iran while bringing along a passenger who is going the other way.

King Salman, like Prime Minister Netanyahu, is not playing Obama’s political posturing.

There are some analysts who are insisting that the king’s absence from the summit is not a “snub” Obama and that the crisis in Yemen is more urgent.

But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with King Salman on Thursday and said, “I’ll see you next week.” Kerry also was with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Juber when the cease-fire in Yemen was announced.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia sent signals that it was not certain King Salman would arrive, and the kingdom confirmed the king’s absence on Saturday.

The Obama is spinning that it is business as usual with Saudi Arabia and the relationship is as strong as it has been in quite some time, just like it always assures Netanyahu of Washington’s “unbreakable bond” with Israel while it walks with Iran towards a nuclear weapon.

The Washington Post quoted a State Dept. source as saying:

They did not mean it as a snub. They were not trying to send a message.”

The newspaper also quoted Johns Hopkins International Studies lecturer Jean-Francois Seznec as saying, “I do not think this is a snub. I think on the other hand that it is a proof that the Saudis want substantive talks.”

Okay. It’s not a snub. In diplomatic language, it is “a message we aren’t happy with Obama.”

In other words, a snub. Or if not that, a spit in the face.

Or as was said by Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “The king’s decision suggests that, despite all of this, he thinks he has better things to do with his time.”

In other words, a snub to get the message across to President Obama that Prime Minister Netanyahu is not alone.

So who’s coming to the party at Camp David besides the crown prince of Saudi Arabia?

There are five other Gulf States besides Saudi Arabia, and only two of them are sending a king. Two Gulf monarchs are not in good health. The third is from Kuwait, but its king, like King Salman, is sending his crown prince.

Salman’s absence could be seen as a snub to Obama’s administration, said Jon Alterman,

In one of the understatements of the year, Bloomberg News quoted Mustafa Alani, an analyst at the Gulf Research Center in Geneva, as saying that “after six years of empty promises, hesitation, and indecisiveness” by Obama, the Gulf States have a “very deep lack of trust” in his administration.

Hosni Mubarak learned what it means to have friends like President Obama, who panted after the Muslim Brotherhood before turning his back on the political party that he finally realized is a terrorist organization.

Netanyahu knows exactly how mixed-up Obama is when he equates Israeli security interests with America’s.

Saudi Arabia knows how much Washington can be trusted to stand by a decision to bomb Syria because of its use of chemical weapons.

Yes. Obama stepped back by stating that the Assad regime gave up its chemical weapons, which does not exactly explain evidence that surfaced last week of a chemical weapons attack on rebel strongholds.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Iran’s Tet Offensive?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

On January 30, 1968, in the midst of the Vietnam War, tens of thousands of Viet Cong guerrillas and North Vietnamese soldiers launched a coordinated attack on 100 cities across South Vietnam against the forces of the United States, South Vietnam and their allies.

Though the operation was a military disaster for the communist forces, which suffered massive casualties, it had a devastating political effect on the American-led side. Coming as it did after years of rosy Johnson administration reports of military successes and predictions of imminent victory, the broad scope of the offensive stunned Congress and most Americans and negatively impacted support for the war effort.

There is a discomfiting parallel between the Tet Offensive and Iran’s successful manipulation of the current summit meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. Iran seems to be in the process of demonstrating that the Obama administration’s plan to force it to put a lid on its nuclear ambitions through isolation and economic sanctions is in shambles. This despite Mr. Obama’s Johnson-like claims of success.

The obvious question, though, is why Iran would want this when the consequence could well be a decision by the U.S. to turn to military action against Iranian nuclear facilities?

The nonaligned movement is a vestige of the Cold War and derives its name from the desire of developing countries to play the West against the East and enjoy a role on the international scene. Today it has 120 members and 17 observers and is of little import as a group in global affairs. However, this week it is holding its 16th summit conference. Iran has the three-year rotating chairmanship and the summit is being held in Tehran. And the Iranians are maximizing their advantage with some unfortunate assistance.

Despite the UN-endorsed sanctions directed at Iran and the continuing call by Iran’s leaders – in a flagrant violation of international law – for the destruction of Israel, a UN member-state, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is attending the summit despite urgent importuning from the U.S. and Israel. And so are most NAM members. Of the 120 countries, 80 are participating at the level of minister or higher and 50 have sent their heads of state.

Iranian Defense Minister Brig.-Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said Sunday that the summit “demonstrates the Islamic Iran’s thriving power [despite] all the propaganda launched [by the West] about Iran’s isolation on the international scene.”

An Israeli government official quoted by the Jerusalem Post lamented that the summit gives the Iranian regime a chance to “showcase that it is not isolated, to say there is no diplomatic pressure, and to give the regime a chance to show its own people it has friends and allies.”

To be sure, even before the summit issue arose there were signs the Obama sanctions approach wasn’t working. Seeking ever-increasing sanctions against Iran rather than going for a knockout measure seems eerily reminiscent of Lyndon Johnson’s failed policy of gradually increasing the pain on the enemy in Vietnam. And the political process of securing additional sanctions has been tortuous, given the lack of support of major powers like Russia and China, and now seems to have totally collapsed.

Nor have the sanctions that are in place been strictly enforced: Iran’s 20 major oil trading partners have received exemptions from the sanctions regime. And of course by all reports Iran’s march toward nuclear capacity has continued unabated.

One would have thought Iran would try to stay out of U.S. crosshairs even if it were not prepared to give up its nuclear dream. Yet it continues to threaten Israel with obliteration and proclaims to the world that the U.S. alternative to military action is a joke. It would seem the Iranian leadership feels President Obama has no intention of following through on a military option and that it can pursue nuclear weaponry without fear.

Bombing another country is obviously a tough call. But if our president has indeed reconciled himself to a nuclear Iran, it is one more thing to keep in mind come November.

Editorial Board

The Joy of the Soul – Remembering 13 Year Old Shlomo Nativ HY”D

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Three years ago on the 8th of Nisan, 5769, an Arab terrorist with an axe ran into the center of our community of Bat Ayin and killed a 13 year old boy named Shlomo Nativ.   Every year at this time before the anniversary of this terrible event, our community comes together to remember and honor Shlomo and his family and to connect with one another.  This year a new film has been produced by Shlomo’s family in collaboration with filmmaker Yosef Muskal.  (The full one hour film can be viewed in the JewishPress.com video section – Editors)

I’ve written before about the higher level of life force that pervades this land.  For the most part, this higher level of life force manifests in ways that are clearly and outwardly life affirming – the natural beauty, the clean air, the spiritual richness, etc.   Today, we faced an ugly and uncomfortable side to that higher level of life energy, one that brought us face to face with an incomprehensible paradox.

The attitude of the community is that Shlomo was not a victim.   Rather he was a holy Korban (sacrifice), whose death brought us closer to Hashem (G-d), drawing a greater light and life force into the world.

I was struck today by how deeply paradoxical this attitude is from a people with such profound respect for life.   Almost every one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah is pushed aside in order to preserve life.  Taking a life, whether that of another or one’s own, is considered among the worst betrayals of our relationship with G-d.   On a gut level, the cruel and horrific taking of a young boy’s life seems anything but life affirming.    Yet there is some peculiarly Jewish spiritual instinct that is aroused by such events, that takes us over, and that stubbornly insists on viewing events like Shlomo’s murder as life-affirming for all of us.

For me that was the main lesson of the day that I absorbed from my fellow Bat Ayin residents.  Many people related stories of personal salvation and strength that they attributed to Shlomo’s elevation.  The stories unfolded from the moment of his passing down to the present, 3 years later.

It’s a beautiful time of year in these hills.  Every living green thing, from the biggest trees to the smallest grasses, is flowering and in the midst of a wondrous celebration of life.  The seasonal transition of this landscape from the intensely brown and barren Fall to the wildly green and colorful Spring is incredibly dramatic.

For me this year, the great drama of Spring in these hills is intimately bound up with the lesson of Shlomo’s life and elevation.  It’s as if the natural world takes us to a summit of appreciation for life in all its green and flowering glory.   Shlomo’s yahrzeit gives me an appreciation for life beyond what nature has the power to easily reveal, a level of life that transcends its embodied state, life beyond the distinction of life and death.  It’s a level beyond intellect that we can’t possibly understand and explain but somehow can experience through events like Shlomo’s elevation.

Sometimes I feel like I’m very much a part of this community (having moved here two years ago), and sometimes, feeling a small taste of what this community has been through, I stand apart from it in awe and admiration for a level of strength and dignity that’s way beyond me.  That distance is closed when I contemplate a personal element that binds me to Shlomo Nativ, the day of his yarzheit is also the day that another Shlomo, me, came into the world exactly 52 years ago.  I stand on the hills of his boyhood with my two young sons growing in the fresh air of the ancient Judean hills.  May we raise families and grow a community that is an honor to his special soul.

Shlomo Vile

Ahmadinejad, Tajiki, Afghan, Pakistani, Presidents, Meet, Pledge Cooperation – Next ‘Quartet’ Summit in Kabul

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The Mehr news agency reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, and Tajiki President Emomali Rahmon “called for more cooperation” during their summit in the Tajiki capital of Dushanbe on Sunday.

The next summit between Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan be held in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Daily Times reports that Ahmadinejad said the celebrations of Nauroz showed that life only improved after a hard winter, when friends joined forces. “Nauroz represents a battle between the forces of light against those of darkness, the fight against injustice,” Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony hosted by President Rahmon and attended by 15,000 spectators. “Nauroz is traditionally viewed as a new day without poverty, aggression, instability, crime, discrimination, occupation and the abasement of human dignity,” Ahmadinejad said. “All people have the right to live their life in dignity.”

Ahmadinejad is using his visit to the Tajik capital “to ratchet up rhetoric in the face of renewed international pressure over his country’s contested nuclear drive,” writes the Daily Times.

“Only the friends and neighbours of Afghanistan can in practice and realistically help this nation,” Ahmadinejad said in a statement released by his office on Saturday. “The occupiers who came to this nation from miles away are not here to aid the government and the people of Afghanistan but are here to loot the resources and mines of Afghanistan.”

Both Zardari and Karzai gave more restrained speeches that made no reference to the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan or to the United States.

Tajikistan is a small land-locked country that borders Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, China, and Afghanistan and is home to some of the highest mountains in the world. It is the poorest of the former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

Tajikistan

Tajikistan

Politically, Tajikistan is a nominally constitutional, democratic, and secular republic, dominated by President Emomali Rahmon who has been in power since 1992.

According to the State Department, Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), al-Qaida, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement remain active in Tajikistan, and have carried out terrorist attacks involving suicide bombers.

The four presidents, meeting to celebrate the ancient Persian New Year, or Noruz, urged the expansion of relations between regional countries “to resolve problems facing the region.”

The declaration comes against the background of the increasing economic sanctions against Iran, including the announcement by the Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, a clearing system used by the world’s major banks, that it is obeying the European Union’s ban on Iranian financial firms, including some 40 Iranian banks.

Mehr reports that during the summit Ahmadinejad suggested that “the enemies of the region are experiencing many problems and have reached an impasse.” He called for closer cooperation between the four countries.

Jacob Edelist

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/middle-east/ahmadinejad-tajiki-afghan-pakistani-presidents-meet-pledge-cooperation-next-quartet-summit-in-kabul/2012/03/26/

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