Miliband on Middle East peace: 'There needs to be a plan, not a process'



British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Wednesday that talking to Hamas was "the right thing to do" but Egypt and other parties were best placed to do it. "In an interview with Reuters in Cairo, where Hamas and the rival Fatah group prepared on Wednesday for a national dialogue on a new Palestinian government, Miliband said Egypt was acting on behalf of the whole world in its dealings with Hamas." He said: "Egypt has been nominated ... to speak to Hamas on behalf of the Arab League but actually on behalf of the whole world. Others speak to Hamas. That's the right thing to do and I think we should let the Egyptians take this forward." Reporting for The National, Omar Karmi said: "Fatah and Hamas leaders may be preparing for what appears to be serious reconciliation efforts in Cairo, but the two estranged Palestinian factions have a lot of ground to cover to establish any semblance of mutual trust. "There are five main issues that will be discussed in the reconciliation talks, including the shape of a unity government, security sector reform, the political agenda vis-à-vis Israel, reform of the PLO and setting a date for elections. "On all of these, there are large differences between the two movements, but perhaps the greatest obstacle is convincing the rank and file in both organisations that unity is possible with the other." The Financial Times noted: "In a sign that Fatah and Hamas are taking this latest reconciliation effort seriously, the groups despatched some of their most senior leaders to Egypt, including Ahmed Qurei, a former Fatah prime minister, and Mahmoud Zahar, a former Hamas interior minister. "Ending the damaging split between the two groups and reuniting the Palestinian territories under one government would remove one of the biggest obstacles to greater stability in the region. "Western diplomats say it will be almost impossible to rebuild the war-ravaged Gaza Strip as long as Hamas remains the sole authority in the territory. This reflects Israel's insistence that it will not open its border crossings into Gaza to let in cement and other building materials while Hamas controls the strip. "Healing the intra-Palestinian rift is widely seen as a crucial factor for restarting peace talks with Israel. Analysts argue that the most recent negotiations between the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority and Israel failed not least because the PA was in control of only one half of a future Palestinian state." The National reported: "Hamas needs international recognition more than ever, if for no other reason than to stave off a potential repeat of Israel's offensive. Such recognition, at least in the short term, can only come about through unity with Fatah. "Thus Hamas spokespeople have in recent weeks been careful to refer to Mr Abbas as president, even after having previously threatened to withdraw their recognition of his presidency. "Moreover, while the immediate priority for Hamas remains a ceasefire agreement with Israel, national unity is firmly established as the main priority in the medium term." Writing in The Times, 14 former foreign ministers and peace negotiators said the three-year policy under which Hamas has been ostracized by the international community had backfired and needed to be changed. "If every crisis is also an opportunity, it is now time to rethink the strategy for achieving peace in the Middle East. The latest and bloodiest conflict between Israel and Hamas has demonstrated that the policy of isolating Hamas cannot bring about stability. As former peace negotiators, we believe it is of vital importance to abandon the failed policy of isolation and to involve Hamas in the political process. "An Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement without Hamas will not be possible. As the Israeli general and statesman Moshe Dayan said: 'If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.' There can be no meaningful peace process that involves negotiating with the representative of one part of the Palestinians while simultaneously trying to destroy the other. "Whether we like it or not, Hamas will not go away. Since its victory in democratic elections in 2006, Hamas has sustained its support in Palestinian society despite attempts to destroy it through economic blockades, political boycotts and military incursions. This approach is not working; a new strategy must be found. Yes, Hamas must recognise Israel as part of a permanent solution, but it is a diplomatic process and not ostracisation that will lead them there. The Quartet conditions imposed on Hamas set an unworkable threshold from which to commence negotiations. The most important first step is for Hamas to halt all violence as a precondition for their inclusion in the process. Ending their isolation will in turn help in reconciling the Palestinian national movement, a vital condition for meaningful negotiations with Israel."

"Pakistan was plunged into fresh turmoil yesterday after the opposition leader Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from office, provoking a political crisis even as the country struggles to challenge Islamist extremism," The Guardian reported. "The supreme court ruling against Sharif promises an all-out confrontation between his party and the government in Islamabad, which he blamed for the verdict, and threatens to paralyse governance just as Islamabad is coming under pressure from the west to act against militants. "Angry demonstrations broke out across Punjab province, which had been ruled by Sharif's party, with tyres set ablaze and posters of President Asif Zardari torn down and burned. The stock market fell by 5 per cent as investors panicked at the political instability that will now follow." Dawn said: "Pakistan can ill afford the political uncertainty. The economy is only afloat thanks to an International Monetary Fund loan, militants threaten the security of the nuclear-armed state, the war on terrorism in unpopular, and anti-American sentiment is rife. "A showdown between Zardari and two-time prime minister Sharif has been brewing since they forced former army chief Pervez Musharraf to quit as president last August. "The court's decisions take place a week ahead of elections for the upper house and the Senate. " 'The political impact of this decision will be extremely negative and if not handled properly this can undermine prospects of democracy in Pakistan,' Hasan Askari Rizvi, political analyst based in Lahore, said. " 'This virtually amounts to excluding one of the major political parties from the political process.' " An editorial in The News said: "One year after democracy was ushered in and stood before a wondering public, its battered body has been wheeled into the hospital, bleeding from any number of wounds. We are back in the territory we were in, in the early nineties, and with many of the same figures on stage. It seems that we have a fatal tendency to repeat, and then repeat ad infinitum, the mistakes that have forever bedevilled us. The hope that was there a year ago has faded; tyres are burning and roads are clogged with protesters, some peaceful but others not, and the potential for significant civil disruption is lurking close by. Salmaan Taseer has been installed as Punjab chief executive and the deadly dance of Pakistani politics waltzes towards a clouded horizon. RIP, democracy. It was good while it lasted."

pwoodward@thenational.ae

The biog

Name: Samar Frost

Born: Abu Dhabi

Hobbies: Singing, music and socialising with friends

Favourite singer: Adele

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
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  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000
Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Results:

Men's wheelchair 800m T34: 1. Walid Ktila (TUN) 1.44.79; 2. Mohammed Al Hammadi (UAE) 1.45.88; 3. Isaac Towers (GBR) 1.46.46.

Meatless Days
Sara Suleri, with an introduction by Kamila Shamsie
​​​​​​​Penguin 

TEST SQUADS

Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mehedi Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed.

Australia: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson and Jackson Bird.

Profile box

Company name: baraka
Started: July 2020
Founders: Feras Jalbout and Kunal Taneja
Based: Dubai and Bahrain
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $150,000
Current staff: 12
Stage: Pre-seed capital raising of $1 million
Investors: Class 5 Global, FJ Labs, IMO Ventures, The Community Fund, VentureSouq, Fox Ventures, Dr Abdulla Elyas (private investment)

Short-term let permits explained

Homeowners and tenants are allowed to list their properties for rental by registering through the Dubai Tourism website to obtain a permit.

Tenants also require a letter of no objection from their landlord before being allowed to list the property.

There is a cost of Dh1,590 before starting the process, with an additional licence fee of Dh300 per bedroom being rented in your home for the duration of the rental, which ranges from three months to a year.

Anyone hoping to list a property for rental must also provide a copy of their title deeds and Ejari, as well as their Emirates ID.

UAE rugby season

FIXTURES

West Asia Premiership

Dubai Hurricanes v Dubai Knights Eagles

Dubai Tigers v Bahrain

Jebel Ali Dragons v Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Division 1

Dubai Sharks v Dubai Hurricanes II

Al Ain Amblers v Dubai Knights Eagles II

Dubai Tigers II v Abu Dhabi Saracens

Jebel Ali Dragons II v Abu Dhabi Harlequins II

Sharjah Wanderers v Dubai Exiles II

 

LAST SEASON

West Asia Premiership

Winners – Bahrain

Runners-up – Dubai Exiles

UAE Premiership

Winners – Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Runners-up – Jebel Ali Dragons

Dubai Rugby Sevens

Winners – Dubai Hurricanes

Runners-up – Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Conference

Winners – Dubai Tigers

Runners-up – Al Ain Amblers

The biog

Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Favourite music: Classical

Hobbies: Reading and writing

 

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

SPEC SHEET: APPLE M3 MACBOOK AIR (13")

Processor: Apple M3, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

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I/O: Thunderbolt 3/USB-4 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

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Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

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Price: From Dh4,599

The specs: 2018 Renault Megane

Price, base / as tested Dh52,900 / Dh59,200

Engine 1.6L in-line four-cylinder

Transmission Continuously variable transmission

Power 115hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque 156Nm @ 4,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined 6.6L / 100km

MATCH INFO

What: 2006 World Cup quarter-final
When: July 1
Where: Gelsenkirchen Stadium, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Result:
England 0 Portugal 0
(Portugal win 3-1 on penalties)

Scores in brief:

Day 1

New Zealand (1st innings) 153 all out (66.3 overs) - Williamson 63, Nicholls 28, Yasir 3-54, Haris 2-11, Abbas 2-13, Hasan 2-38

Pakistan (1st innings) 59-2 (23 overs)

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6
Power: 456hp at 5,000rpm
Torque: 691Nm at 3,500rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 14.6L/100km
Price: from Dh349,545
On sale: now

The Specs

Lamborghini LM002
Engine: 5.2-litre V12
Power: 450hp at 6,800rpm
Torque: 500Nm at 4,500rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual
0-100kph: 9 seconds (approx)
Top speed: 210kph (approx)
Years built: 1986-93
Total vehicles built: 328
Value today: $300,000+

Result

2.15pm: Maiden Dh75,000 1,950m; Winner: Majestic Thunder, Tadhg O’Shea (jockey), Satish Seemar (trainer).

2.45pm: Handicap Dh80,000 1,800m; Winner: Tailor’s Row, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer.

3.15pm: Handicap Dh85,000 1,600m; Winner: Native Appeal, Adam McLean, Doug Watson.

3.45pm: Handicap Dh115,000 1,950m; Winner: Conclusion, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi.

4.15pm: Handicap Dh100,000 1,400m; Winner: Pilgrim’s Treasure, Tadhg O’Shea, Satish Seemar.

4.45pm: Maiden Dh75,000 1,400m; Winner: Sanad Libya, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

5.15pm: Handicap Dh90,000 1,000m; Winner: Midlander, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar


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