Morocco’s will to foster cooperation with Qatar underlined in Doha

Doha  –  There is a genuine will by the Moroccan government and private sector to foster their cooperation with Qatar, said on Wednesday Saleh Al Sharqi, member of secretariat of the federation of GCC’s chambers and deputy managing director of Qatar’s trade and industry chamber.Al Sharqi, who was quoted by several local media outlets, said that he noticed, during recent meetings in Morocco, a real will by the Moroccan government and private sector to reinforce cooperation and partnership for the benefit of the two parties.He announced that the Moroccan-Qatari Business Council will convene next November in Casablanca, on the sidelines of the 4th Morocco-GCC Investment Forum. He added that Qatar’s trade and industry chamber will present during the event documents on sectors that might be the object of cooperation with Morocco as agriculture, energy, renewable energy and the financial sector. read more

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Annan urges early agreement on new human rights council

After a year of significant commitments, this year must be a year of visible results, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today, calling on the “Group of 77” developing countries and China to pay particular attention to forging an early agreement on the new Human Rights Council.“I call on you to redouble your efforts for an early agreement on the new Human Rights Council mandated at the World Summit,” he said as the chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China passed from Jamaica to South Africa.He said the decline in the credibility of the existing Commission on Human Rights was casting a shadow over the entire UN and urged the 132 developing country members of the G77 to act quickly to ensure a seamless transition between the Commission and the Council during the Commission’s final session this March.“With your initiative, we can ensure that human rights are restored to the prominence accorded to them in the Charter,” he said.A stronger renewed United Nations, while important for all Member States, remains most important to the people of the developing world, he added.General Assembly President Jan Eliasson said according to Jamaican Foreign Minister K. D. Knight’s words during last year’s handover from Qatar, “we see that the development agenda, resource flows and disaster management were three of Jamaica’s stated priorities. I believe that the whole of the General Assembly will look back on Jamaica’s Chairmanship of the G77 and China as one in which important and very real progress was made.”A key feature of the work this year would be the need to build bridges, he said, since so many of the issues of development and poverty reduction, communicable diseases, peacebuilding, human rights, the environment, organized crime, terrorism are areas in which the whole world has a common interest.“All Member States, be they North or South, large, medium or small, need effective international cooperation and good multilateralism. We have to prove that ‘together’ is better and more effective than ‘alone’,” Mr. Eliasson said. read more

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US and Iranian presidents speak by phone in first direct contact since

first_imgUS PRESIDENT BARACK Obama and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani spoke by phone today — the first direct contact between leaders of their two nations since the Islamic revolution of 1979.The call, which came after the two leaders failed to meet at the UN General Assembly in New York, provided dramatic evidence of an unprecedented opening in relations between the Islamic Republic and a foe it has reviled as the “Great Satan.”“Just now, I spoke on the phone with President Rouhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Obama said in a televised statement.“The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear programme,” Obama said.“We’re mindful of all the challenges ahead. The very fact that this was the first communication between an American and Iranian president since 1979 underscores the deep mistrust between our countries, but it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history. I do believe that there is a basis for a resolution.”Obama said he told Rouhani that he believed a “resolution” was possible to the dispute over Iran’s uranium enrichment programme, which the West believes is a covert effort to produce nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.Washington and Israel have both warned of the possibility of military action if diplomacy fails to assuage their concerns over the nuclear program.TwitterThe Iranian presidency confirmed the telephone call between Obama and Rouhani.“The two insisted on political will for quick resolution to the nuclear issue, as well as paving the ground for resolving other issues and cooperation in regional issues,” the presidency said on its website.A Twitter account run by Rouhani’s office also gave details of the call.“In phone convo, President Rouhani and President @BarackObama expressed their mutual political will to rapidly solve the nuclear issue,” one tweet said.President Rouhani listens to a question as security personnel wait in the wings during a discussion at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan yesterday (AP Photo/John Minchillo)Another tweet paraphrasing Rouhani read: “I express my gratitude for your hospitality and your phone call. Have a good day Mr President”.Obama meanwhile even apologised for the traffic in New York, according to a Rouhani tweet, in a startling sign of the new tone in relations between the two longtime enemies.The call took place after pathbreaking bilateral talks yesterday between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the UN — on the sidelines of wider discussions on the nuclear programme between Iran and major world powers.Rouhani earlier continued his charm offensive in New York, a trip which set the next high level talks on the nuclear program next month.He said in a press conference that Iran would present a plan at the talks in Geneva to resolve concerns over its nuclear programme and vowed never to deviate from promises to the West.“Iran will prepare that plan and will present it in Geneva. We hope it will serve as an even more effective step to settle the nuclear issue,” Rouhani said.Rouhani said he hoped to resolve the nuclear row in a “short period of time,” a day after his foreign minister said that major powers had set a goal of a deal within one year.The soft-spoken cleric swept to power in June, succeeding the firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on promises to ease tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme, which has triggered a crippling US-led campaign of sanctions on Iran.© AFP, 2013Read: Government closure possible in US as politicians deadlocked over budget >Read: Bill Gates admits CTRL-ALT-DELETE was a mistake >last_img read more

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