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UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed dies aged 73

DUBAI: World leaders have offered their condolences after the UAE announced the death of its President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Friday.  US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Sheikh Khalifa, saying he “was a true partner and friend of the United States.” He continued: “We will honor his memory by continuing to strengthen…

DUBAI: World leaders have offered their condolences after the UAE announced the death of its President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Friday.  US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Sheikh Khalifa, saying he “was a true partner and friend of the United States.” He continued: “We will honor his memory by continuing to strengthen the longstanding ties between the governments and people of the United States and the United Arab Emirates.”  Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed said the UAE lost “righteous son and leader” after death of Sheikh Khalifa.  “Khalifa bin Zayed, my brother, my mentor and my teacher, may God have mercy on you with his vast mercy and allow you into his paradise,” he wrote.  إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون .. فقدت الإمارات ابنها البار وقائد “مرحلة التمكين” وأمين رحلتها المباركة.. مواقفه وإنجازاته وحكمته وعطاؤه ومبادراته في كل زاوية من زوايا الوطن.. خليفة بن زايد، أخي وعضيدي ومعلمي ، رحمك الله بواسع رحمته وأدخلك في رضوانه وجنانه. — محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) May 13, 2022 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, offered his deepest condolences on Twitter, bidding farewell to the country’s leader.  بقلوب يعتصرها الحزن .. وبنفوس مؤمنة بقضاء الله وقدره .. ننعى راعي مسيرتنا .. ورئيس دولتنا الشيخ خليفة بن زايد آل نهيان لشعب الإمارات وللشعوب العربية والإسلامية وللعالم .. اللهم إنه حط رحاله عندك .. فأكرم وفادته.. ووسع مدخله .. وإجعل مثواه الفردوس الأعلى من الجنة .. آمين pic.twitter.com/j1bbuHnC1h — HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) May 13, 2022 “The UAE and the world have lost a wise leader loyal to his people and his nation who devoted his life since the establishment of the union to serve the Emirates,” wrote Anwar Gargash, diplomatic advisor to the UAE President, on Twitter. فقدت الإمارات والعالم قائداً حكيماً وفياً لشعبه وأمته نذر حياته منذ تأسيس الاتحاد لخدمة الإمارات وإعلاء شأنها، نسأل الله أن يتغمد الشيخ خليفة بن زايد آل نهيان بواسع رحمته ورضوانه وعزاؤنا في قيادتنا الرشيدة لمواصلة مسيرة الخير والتنمية والازدهار. pic.twitter.com/9WhAQ6cL0I — د. أنور قرقاش (@AnwarGargash) May 13, 2022 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi wrote on Twitter that he “mourns one of the most precious men and one of the greatest leaders, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”  El-Sisi continued to say that the UAE leader was known for his giving nature, offering abundantly to his nation and people.  أنعى بخالص الحزن والأسى رجلًا من أغلى الرجال، وقائدًا من أعظم القادة، الشيخ خليفة بن زايد آل نهيان، رئيس دولة الإمارات، الذي وافته المنية بعد رحلة طويلة من العطاء، قدم فيها الكثير لبلاده وأمته، حتى صارت الإمارات نموذجًا للتطور والحداثة في منطقتنا والعالم. ١/٢ — Abdelfattah Elsisi (@AlsisiOfficial) May 13, 2022 The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, said, “with the departure of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, we lost a Gulf and Arab leader and pioneer.”  Meanwhile, the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Arab Parliament Speaker Adel Al-Asoomi, the Arab League, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, and Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan also sent their condolences as the UAE mourned the death of President Sheikh Khalifa. Commenting on the tragic loss was the US Embassy in the UAE which released in a statement that Sheikh Khalifa was a true friend of the United States.

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US calls for more crossing points for delivery of aid to Syria

More Iran sanctions needed to squeeze Hezbollah, says US Congressman Darrell Issa DAVOS, Switzerland: The Biden administration ought to apply further sanctions on Iran as a means of curtailing the influence of its Hezbollah proxy in Lebanon, says Darrell Issa, a US congressman who is part of the American delegation at the World Economic Forum. …

More Iran sanctions needed to squeeze Hezbollah, says US Congressman Darrell Issa DAVOS, Switzerland: The Biden administration ought to apply further sanctions on Iran as a means of curtailing the influence of its Hezbollah proxy in Lebanon, says Darrell Issa, a US congressman who is part of the American delegation at the World Economic Forum.  Despite generating little of its own revenues, Hezbollah has long enjoyed free rein in Lebanon thanks to Iranian largess, Issa says. He believes targeting Iran with further sanctions would undermine the militia’s control over Lebanese affairs.  “As much as I want to sanction Hezbollah, the group doesn’t generate much of their own money,” Issa, a California Republican, told Arab News on the fringes of WEF in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.  “Their money is disproportionate because of Iranian influence. So, yes, while I do want more bank sanctions, those are ultimately irrelevant, unless we increase our sanctions on Iran.” Issa was among a group of US congressmen who traveled to Lebanon on a fact-finding mission in November last year, later reporting back to President Joe Biden and Congress to propose ways to help the Lebanese.  Iran has a policy of arming and funding proxy militias in neighboring countries to further its own geopolitical agenda, often to the detriment of the security and well-being of local populations.   Although Lebanon’s May 15 parliamentary election returned a poor result for Hezbollah and its allies, Issa says history shows the need to follow through on the results and not to simply return to business as usual. “If there’s a follow through, then there should be a new speaker and a new president free of unfair influence by Hezbollah,” Issa told Arab News.  “There should be a realignment of ministries, and more than anything else there should be a resolution to end corruption. “So far, the only thing we have are candidates who campaigned against corruption and who have achieved their goal of changing the majority, but they haven’t achieved the goal of ending corruption yet.” Hezbollah, the only militia that did not disarm after Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, lost its majority in the Lebanese parliament, with its bloc winning just 62 of the 128 seats on offer — three fewer than it needed.  The election of many anti-corruption independents has presented Lebanon with a rare opportunity to break free of the militia’s grip on public life and to carry out urgent reforms. Since 2019, Lebanon has been in the throes of its worst ever financial crisis, which has been further compounded by the economic strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nation’s political paralysis. For many Lebanese, the final straw was the Beirut port blast of Aug. 2020, which killed 218, injured 7,000, caused $15 billion in property damage, and left an estimated 300,000 people homeless. These concurrent crises have sent thousands of young Lebanese abroad in search of security and opportunity, including many of the country’s top medical professionals and educators. For Issa, preventing this brain-drain ought to be a high priority for any incoming government.  “Lebanon can turn around very quickly, but only if those people are still in the country,” Issa said. “And today, the US is trying to help, but there’s a lot of exodus from Lebanon, and that is going to hurt the recovery.”

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Salah staying at Liverpool ‘for sure’ next season

Saudi favorites to reach U-17 and U-20 Asian Cups in 2023 after draw in Kuala Lumpur Defending champions Saudi Arabia have been handed a favorable draw in their qualification group for the U-20 Asian Cup in 2023, and while the U-17 team look to have a more difficult path to their continental championships next year,…

salah-staying-at-liverpool-‘for-sure’-next-season

Saudi favorites to reach U-17 and U-20 Asian Cups in 2023 after draw in Kuala Lumpur Defending champions Saudi Arabia have been handed a favorable draw in their qualification group for the U-20 Asian Cup in 2023, and while the U-17 team look to have a more difficult path to their continental championships next year, they will also be confident about their prospects. The draw for qualification for both tournaments took place at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. In order to get a ticket to appear at the U-20 tournament, which will take place in Uzbekistan next year, Saudi Arabia will have to find some of the form that took them to the title back in 2018, when it was an U-19 competition. That was when the young Green Falcons defeated South Korea 2-1 in the final in Indonesia to be crowned continental champions. It is still their title to defend as the global pandemic ensured that the 2020 edition never took place, though Saudi Arabia had already booked a berth by winning their group in qualification back in November 2019.  Then they just managed to finish above Uzbekistan and have been grouped with the Central Asians once again in Group A, which will take place in September. This time, however, results against the White Wolves will not matter as they are already assured of a place in the tournament as host nation. That means that Saudi Arabia will just have to finish above China, Myanmar and the Maldives to guarantee a spot, though the five best-performing runners-up in the 10 groups will also go through. It would be a surprise if that did not happen and not least because all the games will be held in the eastern city of Dammam. Playing in front of their own fans in one of the country’s most passionate football cities will be a major advantage. China will be expected to provide the main test but with football going through a terrible time at the moment in the East Asian country, youth tournaments may not be the priority they once were. Chinese Super League clubs are going out of business, the country has given up hosting the 2022 Asian Games and the 2023 Asian Cup, and the future is very uncertain.  With the political situation in Myanmar, there has not been too much football played in recent months, and the young White Angels may be struggling for match fitness. Even when the Southeast Asians are at their best, a trip to Saudi Arabia is tough. And last but not least are the Maldives. The South Asians can be difficult opponents but should be no match for the defending champions, especially on their home patch.  The U-17 tournament, which has been rebranded from the past U-16 championships, will be held much closer to home, in neighboring Bahrain. Once again, the group, this time Group D, will be held in Dammam, and while it looks a little more challenging for the two-time champions, Saudi Arabia will again be strong favorites to progress with the format the same: the 10 group winners go through along with the five best runners-up to join the hosts Bahrain. The 2020 tournament did not go ahead thanks to the pandemic, but Saudi Arabia had booked their berth before it was called off by finishing above Oman, Pakistan and Syria in September 2019. The cancelation was a bitter pill to swallow for the boys from Riyadh, Jeddah and elsewhere as they had failed to qualify for the 2018 edition, losing out to Jordan. This group does not look quite so difficult as that. Interestingly, Myanmar and the Maldives are also opponents, and the same points apply to this age category as to the slightly older one. Neither will be expected to finish in the top two spots. India have ambitions in this regard and will relish the chance to test themselves against one of the continent’s big boys but maybe do not quite have the strength in depth to challenge in West Asia. Kuwait may be tricky. After suffering at the hands of Jordan in September 2017, the hosts will be wary of the Blues in October 2022. But given the opposition, home advantage and where Saudi Arabian football is currently at, both the U-17 and U-20 teams are strongly expected to make it to both Uzbekistan and Bahrain in 2023 and once there, will be expected to challenge for the big prize.

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Boehly’s Chelsea takeover puts US tycoon in spotlight

Saudi favorites to reach U-17 and U-20 Asian Cups in 2023 after draw in Kuala Lumpur Defending champions Saudi Arabia have been handed a favorable draw in their qualification group for the U-20 Asian Cup in 2023, and while the U-17 team look to have a more difficult path to their continental championships next year,…

Saudi favorites to reach U-17 and U-20 Asian Cups in 2023 after draw in Kuala Lumpur Defending champions Saudi Arabia have been handed a favorable draw in their qualification group for the U-20 Asian Cup in 2023, and while the U-17 team look to have a more difficult path to their continental championships next year, they will also be confident about their prospects. The draw for qualification for both tournaments took place at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. In order to get a ticket to appear at the U-20 tournament, which will take place in Uzbekistan next year, Saudi Arabia will have to find some of the form that took them to the title back in 2018, when it was an U-19 competition. That was when the young Green Falcons defeated South Korea 2-1 in the final in Indonesia to be crowned continental champions. It is still their title to defend as the global pandemic ensured that the 2020 edition never took place, though Saudi Arabia had already booked a berth by winning their group in qualification back in November 2019.  Then they just managed to finish above Uzbekistan and have been grouped with the Central Asians once again in Group A, which will take place in September. This time, however, results against the White Wolves will not matter as they are already assured of a place in the tournament as host nation. That means that Saudi Arabia will just have to finish above China, Myanmar and the Maldives to guarantee a spot, though the five best-performing runners-up in the 10 groups will also go through. It would be a surprise if that did not happen and not least because all the games will be held in the eastern city of Dammam. Playing in front of their own fans in one of the country’s most passionate football cities will be a major advantage. China will be expected to provide the main test but with football going through a terrible time at the moment in the East Asian country, youth tournaments may not be the priority they once were. Chinese Super League clubs are going out of business, the country has given up hosting the 2022 Asian Games and the 2023 Asian Cup, and the future is very uncertain.  With the political situation in Myanmar, there has not been too much football played in recent months, and the young White Angels may be struggling for match fitness. Even when the Southeast Asians are at their best, a trip to Saudi Arabia is tough. And last but not least are the Maldives. The South Asians can be difficult opponents but should be no match for the defending champions, especially on their home patch.  The U-17 tournament, which has been rebranded from the past U-16 championships, will be held much closer to home, in neighboring Bahrain. Once again, the group, this time Group D, will be held in Dammam, and while it looks a little more challenging for the two-time champions, Saudi Arabia will again be strong favorites to progress with the format the same: the 10 group winners go through along with the five best runners-up to join the hosts Bahrain. The 2020 tournament did not go ahead thanks to the pandemic, but Saudi Arabia had booked their berth before it was called off by finishing above Oman, Pakistan and Syria in September 2019. The cancelation was a bitter pill to swallow for the boys from Riyadh, Jeddah and elsewhere as they had failed to qualify for the 2018 edition, losing out to Jordan. This group does not look quite so difficult as that. Interestingly, Myanmar and the Maldives are also opponents, and the same points apply to this age category as to the slightly older one. Neither will be expected to finish in the top two spots. India have ambitions in this regard and will relish the chance to test themselves against one of the continent’s big boys but maybe do not quite have the strength in depth to challenge in West Asia. Kuwait may be tricky. After suffering at the hands of Jordan in September 2017, the hosts will be wary of the Blues in October 2022. But given the opposition, home advantage and where Saudi Arabian football is currently at, both the U-17 and U-20 teams are strongly expected to make it to both Uzbekistan and Bahrain in 2023 and once there, will be expected to challenge for the big prize.

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