TUNISIA’S ENNAHDA CONDEMNS RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE

Tunisia’s Ennahda movement on March 3 condemned the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. The party described it as a “flagrant violation of international law and the right of people to self-determination within the framework of freedom, democracy and security.” The Islamic movement called for resolving any dispute through “dialogue and respect for the UN Charter.” It slammed what it described as a “fluctuation of the Tunisian official position in contravention of the traditions of our foreign policy.” Tunisia recently said that the majority vote at the UN General Assembly, calling for an “immediate withdrawal” from Ukraine was a “victory”. The UN recently adopted a resolution calling on Russia to withdraw its military forces from Ukraine immediately. A total of 141 countries voted in favour of the resolution; five – Russia, Syria, Eritrea, Belarus and North Korea – voted against, and 35 others abstained.

LEBANESE, ALGERIAN POLITICIANS CALL FOR SANCTIONS ON ISRAEL

The head of Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party on March 2 slammed the international community for not imposing sanctions on Israel. Walid Jumblatt referred to the recent sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine when he made his comments. “When will sanctions be imposed on Israel for occupying Palestine, as quickly as they were imposed on Russia?” asked Jumblatt on Twitter. He described international institutions and Western governments as a “lie”, and accused the International Criminal Court of being “useless”. The veteran politician insisted that Western governments are following a policy of “racial discrimination”. Meanwhile, the Head of the Algerian Movement of Society for Peace, Abdul Razzaq Muqri, said the West’s haste in imposing severe sanctions on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine, and the West’s refraining from imposing similar sanctions on Israel, which is committing crimes against the Palestinian people, are evidence of what he described as “the hypocrisy of the West and its followers in our Arab countries”.

TURKEY EVACUATES 11,500 CITIZENS FROM UKRAINE

Turkey has evacuated 11,496 citizens from Ukraine since Russia launched a war on its neighbour, the Turkish foreign minister said on March 5. A further 273 Turkish people left Ukraine on March 5, Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter. “Works for the safe evacuation of our citizens continue,” he added. More than 1.3 million people have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries, the latest data by the UN Refugee Agency showed. Russia’s war on Ukraine has led to international outrage, with the EU, US, UK, and others implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow. The West is also supplying Kyiv with weapons and humanitarian aid.

ERDOGAN TELLS PUTIN OF READINESS TO HELP SOLVE WAR

In a Sunday (March 6) phone call, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and what to do to solve the issue. Turkey is ready to help resolve the situation by “peaceful means” as soon as possible, Erdogan told Putin. “A cease-fire would not only resolve humanitarian concerns but also give an opportunity to find a political solution,” he stated. Turkey is in contact with the Ukrainian side and other countries, he said, adding that it “will continue efforts for comprehensive negotiations.” At least 351 civilians, including 22 children and 41 women, have been killed and 707 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched a war in the Eastern European country on Feb. 24, according to UN figures, with the real toll feared to be higher. The Russian attacks have been met by an outcry from the international community, with the EU, Britain, and US, among others, implementing a range of economic sanctions on Moscow.

TWO-THIRDS OF DISPLACED FAMILIES IN YEMEN HAVE NO INCOME: UNICEF

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on March 3 announced that about two-thirds of the displaced families in Yemen do not have any source of income. “The conflict in Yemen has caused many citizens to flee their homes towards displacement sites in search of safety,” said the UN body on its website. UNICEF noted that the displaced families not only live in poor conditions but also suffer from acute shortages of services to meet their basic needs. “Sixty-four per cent of internally displaced families have no sources of income. As a result, two out of three internally displaced families resort to negative coping mechanisms to survive,” explained UNICEF, citing an assessment by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). “These include skipping meals, pulling their children out of school or neglecting their health. They may end up begging on the street.” The Yemeni government appealed to the UN and other international organisations to provide relief for the displaced persons who are facing extremely difficult humanitarian conditions.

ALGERIA, ETHIOPIA, NIGERIA, SOUTH AFRICA FORM G4 NATIONS

Algeria, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa have announced the formation of Group of Four Nations (G4) aiming to deal with various issues confronting Africa. Leaders of the four nations, who met on the sidelines of the 6th EU-AU Summit at Brussels, used the opportunity to discuss crisis areas on the continent with a view to coming up with practical and effective solutions. Presidents of the four nations stressed the need to reinvigorate the G4 within the AU as a platform for bringing African countries closer, coordinating actions and reactions for the whole continent in a more proactive manner. They also discussed how they could better take decisions in the AU and how to implement them. They also agreed to convene a formal summit to chart a road map for Africa in the coming months. While the G4 nations maintain harmonious stances towards Palestine, immigration, others including Morocco and Egypt maintain diplomatic relations and full representation with the Israeli occupation.

KUWAIT LEAVES BAHRAIN CONF. DUE TO ISRAEL’S ATTENDANCE

A Kuwaiti academic delegation left a scientific conference held at the University of Bahrain on March 2 and 3 in protest against the attendance of an Israeli delegation, a report said on March 4. The Kuwaiti Youth League for Jerusalem posted on Twitter: “The delegation of Kuwaiti universities leaves a lecture delivered by an Israeli from Tel Aviv University held at Bahrain University.” It added: “All salute to the delegation… Normalisation has been and will continue to be tyranny.” Head of Kuwaiti Youth League for Jerusalem Mosaab Al-Motawaa stated: “The withdrawal of the Kuwaiti delegation reiterated the official Kuwaiti stance which is clear towards rejecting all forms of normalisation with the occupation.” Al-Motawaa added: “Such a stance became one of the weapons that hurt the Israeli occupation entity that causes harm to it.”

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