Tag Archives: Jordan

Press Briefing by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 7/29/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

See below for a correction to a typo in the transcript (marked with an asterisk).

1:00 P.M. EDT

MR. EARNEST: Good afternoon, everybody. I apologize for the delay in getting started. Mr. Carney —

Q We’re accustomed —

MR. EARNEST: I’m sorry?

Q We’re accustomed to it.

MR. EARNEST: Okay, good. I want to keep you in the rhythm here.

Mr. Carney is taking his son to camp today, so I’ll be minding the store. So, Julie, I’ll ring you up first.

Q Thank you. A couple questions on the Mideast peace talks that are starting in Washington tonight. We know that the President apparently is going to be meeting with Secretary Kerry later today to discuss those talks, but does he have any plans to meet with the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators while they’re in town?

MR. EARNEST: Julie, I don’t have any details about the President’s schedule over the next couple of days to read out to you. There’s no current plan for that, but I wouldn’t preclude anything from getting added in the future.

As you know, the Middle East peace process is something that — or at least these conversations that are ongoing, or that are slated for this evening, was part of a process that was kicked off by the President’s trip to the Middle East earlier this year. Many of you traveled there for that visit. And the President had the opportunity to visit with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Abbas, and King Hussein of Jordan, where they had some conversations about how it’s in the best interest of both the Israeli and Palestinian people to engage in final status negotiations.

Since that time, Secretary Kerry has been traveling frequently to the region. I think every couple of weeks it seems like he’s taking a trip out there to talk to the parties and to talk to others in the region who have an important stake in this conflict being resolved.

So we’re certainly encouraged that the two parties are coming to Washington and beginning their conversations this evening, but we’re also cognizant of the hard work that remains over the next nine months. There are some very serious issues that have to be resolved, and it’s not going to be easy. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, and we’ll take that first step tonight.

Q Now that this first round of talks is underway, how does the President see his direct role? Is this something where he’s going to still continue to sort of seed the frontrunner status for the U.S. to Secretary Kerry and maybe only get involved if these talks continue and get to a real final status moment?

MR. EARNEST: Well, I’ll say a couple things about that. The first is this is a process that got kick-started with the President’s trip …read more

Source: White House Press Office

PA Minister: Peace Deal Temporary Arrangement Before Destroying Israel

By George Whitten

israel-map-flag-protest

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (Worthy News)– In the latest attempt to liberate Palestine by any means necessary, PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash suggested that any peace deal with Israel would only be temporary, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

During Ramadan services broadcast on Palestinian television, Habbash said PA officials were working on a means to an end comparable to the Prophet's Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, a 10-year-long truce negotiated by Mohammad with the Quraish Tribe. But only two years later, Mohammad broke it by a surprise attack that conquered an unsuspecting Mecca.

Habbash described Mohammed’s deceit as a model to be followed today, but according to Palestinian Media Watch, the Hudaybiyyah treaty has already served as the template for PLO negotiations with Israel.

“Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, there have been senior PA officials who have presented the peace process with Israel as a deceptive tactic … which will weaken Israel through territorial compromise that will eventually lead to Israel's destruction.”

In 1994, Yasir Arafat compared the Olso Accords to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah: “This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our Prophet Mohammad and Quraish …”

Seven years later, Faisal Husseini, PA Rep for Jerusalem Affairs, said the Oslo agreement, like any other agreement, was just a temporary step towards something bigger.

“We distinguish the strategic, long-term goals from the political staged goals, which we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure …,” he said. “'From the river to the sea,' Palestine in its entirety is an Arab land, the land of the Arab nation.”

However, from the Jordan to the Med also stands the nation of Israel, the ancestral homeland of the Jews whose God other peoples disregard at their own peril.

…read more

Source: Worthy News

Stallone Back as Rocky for Spinoff Creed

rocky-apollo-1280

The Italian Stallion will return! Sylvester Stallone will reportedly reprise his iconic role as Rocky Balboa in an MGM spinoff set to focus on the grandson of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s opponent-turned-best friend.

Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler will helm the film, titled Creed, with his leading man from that film, Chronicle’s Michael B. Jordan, set to play the title role. Coogler will also script Creed with Aaron Covington. Coogler intends this to be his next film so expect things to move along quickly on this project’s development.

Continue reading…

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Movies

‘Secret Obama plan’ forfeits Temple Mount to Palestinians

By Dave Robbins

The Obama administration has quietly presented a plan in which the Palestinian Authority and Jordan will receive sovereignty over the Temple Mount while Israel will retain the land below the Western Wall, according to a senior PA negotiator speaking to WND. Read More: ‘Secret Obama plan’ forfeits Temple Mount to Palestinians.

The post ‘Secret Obama plan’ forfeits Temple Mount to Palestinians appeared first on Endtime Ministries | End Of The Age | Irvin Baxter.

…read more

Source: Endtime Ministries

Erakat, a veteran voice of the Palestinians

Long-time Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat was announced on Friday as the man to open dialogue with his Israeli counterpart at meetings in Washington after three years of stalled peace negotiations.

Both Erakat and Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will meet US Secretary of State John Kerry for initial talks, the top US diplomat said at the end of four days of intense diplomacy as he consulted Palestinian and Israeli leaders from his base in Amman.

The 55-year-old Erakat, an academic whose perfect command of English is often spiced with humour, was part of every team to negotiate with Israel since 1991, with the notable exception of those who secretly hammered out the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Erakat rose to prominence as a media personality at the 1991 international peace conference in Madrid at which he wore the black-and-white chequered Palestinian headscarf.

Born in Jerusalem, he has been a key figure in the Palestinian political landscape, an indispensable briefer for foreign envoys and a suave tactician who can register indignation when necessary.

A member of the Palestinian parliament since 1996, Erakat was close to Yasser Arafat, historic leader of the Palestinian national movement, even though he did not follow Arafat into exile in Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia before his return to Gaza in 1994.

In 2009, Erakat was elected to the central committee of the Fatah wing of Mahmud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and to the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

He was an architect of the negotiations on a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the failed Camp David summit in July 2000 to the talks launched in Washington in September 2010 which were interrupted after less than a month in a row over Israel’s continued settlement building.

Appointed in 2003 to head the PLO negotiating team, Erakat briefly resigned from the post in 2011 because of “responsibility for the theft of documents from his office,” papers which he said had been “adulterated”.

He was referring to more than 1,600 documents on the talks with Israel between 1999 and 2010, released in January 2011 by Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera and dubbed “The Palestine Papers”.

Palestinian officials worked to limit the damage caused by their publication, which showed Palestinian negotiators prepared to offer significant concessions without securing Israeli guarantees on key issues such as east Jerusalem and the fate of refugees.

Although the documents did not cause major turmoil in Palestinian public opinion, Erakat’s position was weakened at the time by announcements the alleged perpetrators of the leaks worked for the PLO negotiation team he headed.

He had said an investigation into the leaks pointed towards three nationals of US, British and French extraction being responsible.

A former journalist with the independent daily Al-Quds in east Jerusalem, Erakat holds a BA and an MA in Political Science from the University of San Francisco.

He also has a doctorate in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford in England, and he taught at An-Najah University in the West Bank town of Nablus from 1979 to 1991.

Erakat has written a dozen books and lives in the …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Agreement on basis to resume Mideast peace talks: Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Friday that an agreement has been reached between the Israelis and Palestinians for the basis to resume Middle East peace talks.

“I’m pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” Kerry told reporters in Amman, Jordan.

“This is a significant and welcome step forward. The agreement is still in the process of being finalised so we are absolutely not going to talk about any of the elements now.”

The top US diplomat also said that Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat and his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni would meet him in Washington “to begin initial talks within the next week or so”.

The announcement came at the end of four days of intense diplomacy by the secretary of state as he consulted Israeli and Palestinian leaders from his base in the Jordanian capital.

Talks between the Israelis and Palestinians have been frozen for three years, after Israel refused to agree to a new suspension of settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.

In his brief comments to the press, Kerry praised the courage of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“No one believes the long-standing differences between the parties will be resolved overnight or just wiped away. We know that the challenges require some very tough choices in the days ahead,” he said.

“Today, however, I am hopeful. I am hopeful because of the courageous leadership by President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu. Both of them have chosen to make difficult choices here and both of them were instrumental.”

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Syrian refugees plead with U.S. secretary of state in Jordan

By avandagriff

A group of uprooted Syrians grew angry when they sat down with John Kerry on Thursday. Read More: Syrian refugees plead with U.S. secretary of state in Jordan – CNN.com.

The post Syrian refugees plead with U.S. secretary of state in Jordan appeared first on Endtime Ministries | End Of The Age | Irvin Baxter.

…read more

Source: Endtime Ministries

Fla. teen faces aiding terrorists charges

A Jacksonville, Fla., teen is facing federal charges after authorities say he traveled to the Middle East to train with terrorists.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa announced Thursday that a grand jury has indicted 19-year-old Shelton Thomas Bell on charges of conspiring and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. He faces up to 15 years for each of the two charges.

Federal prosecutors say Bell had planned to travel to the Arabian Peninsula and join Ansar Al-Sharia, which is an alias for al-Qaida there The group has taken responsibility for multiple attacks on Yemeni forces, including a suicide bombing during a parade in May 2012.

Authorities say Bell and a juvenile traveled to Jordan and made contact with someone who could help their travel to Yemen to participate in violent jihad.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News

Syrian refugee camp becoming 'home from home'

From the air, lines of trailers and tents stretch across the Jordanian desert. Welcome to Camp Zaatari, home to thousands of Syrian refugees and fast turning into a small city.

The camp was opened just a year ago as Jordan faced the nightmarish task of caring for and sheltering an exodus of people from Syria, traumatised by long months of war, and fleeing for their lives.

Now it houses around 115,000 dispossessed, who are resiliently determined to get back on their feet, even as the sound of artillery fire from just across the border echoes around the camp at night.

Tents are mostly being replaced by container homes made of plastic and aluminium. Each costs about $2,500 and the camp holds 16,500 of them, with hopes that soon there will be 30,000.

“Home sweet home,” camp manager Kilian Kleinschmidt of the UN refugee agency told US Secretary of State John Kerry during a visit on Thursday with no hint of irony.

He highlighted the stark fact that, with no end to the 28-month-old conflict in sight, camp residents are increasingly resigning themselves to a protracted stay and are trying to pick up the pieces of their disrupted lives.

Many come from the border province of Daraa, cradle of the March 2011 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule that escalated into armed rebellion,

“People of Daraa are traders. They have it in their blood,” said Kleinschmidt, an aid worker who is a veteran of world hotspots from Bosnia to Rwanda to Somalia.

“It’s incredible what they will trade, they’ll trade anything,” he told journalists.

Front courtyards are being cemented to keep out the mud, some families are even putting up little fountains outside their doors — “a symbol of home,” said Kleinschmidt.

The ever resourceful refugees are even tapping into the camp’s electricity network, leaving Kleinschmidt with a monthly bill approaching $500,000.

Most of the stolen power goes to run some 3,000 shops and 580 restaurants and food stalls which now dot the few asphalted roads — earning them the nickname the “Champs Elysee”, after Paris’s most famous street.

Here refugees can sip tea, buy shoes, or haggle for an air conditioning unit for their home, many of which now bristle with satellite dishes. And 10 taxis charge high prices to ferry people around.

Some of the money is carried out with the refugees. More comes from remittances from relatives working in Gulf or the West.

Others, including the children, scavenge for work. Smuggling is a problem, and every possession is for sale. Even the container homes are rented out or sold or used in schemes not sanctioned by the UN refugee agency.

There are three hospitals, a couple of schools, a main food distribution point and others just for bread, handing out some 5,000 loaves a day. There are also five football pitches and playgrounds with slides and swings.

“It’s important to keep some 60,000 children busy,” said Kleinschmidt, lamenting however that out of 30,000 of school age, just 5,000 have resumed their lessons.

Twelve to 15 babies are born into this no-man’s land every day, and …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Palestinian leaders discussing Kerry proposal

The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank is discussing U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest efforts to relaunch peace talks with Israel.

Kerry has not publicized his plan to restart the talks, but a decision by the Arab League to support his proposals has raised speculation that the Palestinians will agree.

An announcement was expected later Thursday.

Kerry has been shuttling for months in search of a formula to allow resumption of talks after a nearly five-year break. Kerry, who is in neighboring Jordan, had a lengthy meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week.

Abbas was briefing top officials from the Palestine Liberation Organization Thursday on the latest proposals, the PLO said.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Palestinian leaders discuss Kerry's proposal to relaunch peace talks with Israel

The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank is discussing U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest efforts to relaunch peace talks with Israel.

Kerry has not publicized his plan to restart the talks, but a decision by the Arab League to support his proposals has raised speculation that the Palestinians will agree.

An announcement was expected later Thursday.

Kerry has been shuttling for months in search of a formula to allow resumption of talks after a nearly five-year break. Kerry, who is in neighboring Jordan, had a lengthy meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week.

Abbas was briefing top officials from the Palestine Liberation Organization Thursday on the latest proposals, the PLO said.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Israel 'readying peace gestures' to Palestinians

The Israeli military is preparing to lift some restrictions on Palestinian movement in advance of possible renewed peace talks, army radio said on Thursday.

“It appears that in the next few days the future of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be determined,” its reporter for the Palestinian territories reported.

“In the light of security assessments, two roads in the territories are expected shortly to be opened to Palestinian traffic; one north of Ramallah and one close to Beit Haggai,” he added, referring to a settlement near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The radio quoted the military spokesman’s office as saying that the plans were a gesture for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and not linked to peace efforts.

The office did not immediately reply to an AFP request for comment.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was to meet senior members of his Palestine Liberation Organisation in the West Bank city of Ramallah later on Thursday to brief them on his meetings in Jordan with US Secretary of State John Kerry, a Palestinian official said.

Kerry said Wednesday that his intense diplomacy in six visits to the Middle East was bearing fruit, narrowing gaps between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinians have said that they will not renew peace talks, stalled for almost three years, until Israel agrees to accept as a baseline the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, when it occupied the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

They say Israel needs to freeze all settlement construction in the occupied lands, including in east Jerusalem, which it annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

Israel rejects such “preconditions”.

Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom told the radio that easing some restrictions on Palestinians’ daily lives did not constitute bowing to preconditions.

“I think that in the framework of opening negotiations, if we carry out what is known as confidence-building measures which do not endanger security, such things have always been possible as part of a larger context,” he said.

“If it is the judgement of security officials that such a thing does not damage security, then of course we have the possibility to do that.”

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Blatter pushes for 2022 World Cup in winter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter will push for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be moved to the winter after getting a personal taste of the Middle East’s blast furnace climate.

There has been widespread concern over the health dangers posed by staging the tournament in the Gulf in June and July where temperatures rocket to 50 degrees (122 degrees Fahrenheit).

Blatter insisted on Wednesday that he will push to have the World Cup moved despite the effects it could have on domestic leagues when the FIFA Executive Committee meets in October.

“The Executive Committee will certainly follow me,” Blatter was quoted by AFP subsidiary, SID, as telling a two-day sports conference in Austria.

Blatter said that a recent visit to Jordan and the Palestinian Territories had brought home the dangers of the intense heat.

He expressed his fears despite the Qataris’ ambitious plans to build air-conditioned arenas.

“It is clear that you cannot play in this heat in the summer and we have to consider the players,” he said.

“It is certainly possible to cool a stadium, but not an entire country. That’s why we need to have courage in the Executive Committee and to create awareness among the leagues that we need to change something.”

Qatar plans to spend around ??65 billion ($101 billion, 76 billion euros) on infrastructure projects, including building new high-tech stadiums, which the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said would likely cost $4-5 billion.

Average temperatures in Qatar are markedly cooler in December, with highs of 24C and lows of 15C.

In June this year, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino added his weight to calls for the 2022 World Cup to be staged later in the year.

“I fully share the view that you have to play in the best period for football; that is not June or July in Qatar. This is an issue that FIFA has to sort out,” he said.

“The sooner they do it, the better. The decision for 2022 was taken in 2010, so in 12 years you can organise yourself.”

Qatar has already said it was ready to host the World Cup in summer or in winter.

“Various figures from the world of football have raised preferences for hosting in the winter,” the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said in a statement earlier this year.

“We are ready to host the World Cup in summer or winter. Our planning isn’t affected either way.”

The committee said it planned to provide air-conditioning in stadiums, training area and public zones, and would do so with renewable energy.

“We will forge ahead with implementing and developing this technology. Our commitment to this is grounded in the legacy it will offer for Qatar and countries with similar climates.”

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Israel set to approve another 1,000 W.Bank homes: NGO

Israeli authorities are expected on Wednesday to give the green light for the construction of 1,071 new homes in six West Bank settlements, watchdog Peace Now said in a statement on Tuesday.

The news came as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Jordan at the start of a sixth round of intense diplomacy to revive stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, with Israel’s settlement building a key sticky point.

It also came as the European Union was due to publish on Friday guidelines barring member states from funding projects in Jewish settlements.

Peace Now said that a government committee was expected to grant initial approval for plans to build 339 homes at Galgal and Almog settlements in the Jordan valley, Kfar Adumim northeast of Jerusalem and at Kochav Yaacov and Shilo near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Another 732 units were to be given a more advanced level of approval, one stage before the start of construction, at the West Bank’s biggest settlement, Modiin Ilit, a community of 58,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews west of Ramallah, it said.

“These approvals are part of an unprecedented wave of advancing settlement plans,” Peace Now said. “This is yet another message by Israel to the US and the Palestinians that this government is not ready for peace.”

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News