Milaperetz

G7 nations ratcheted up economic pressure against Moscow on Monday with progress in talks on capping Russian oil prices and new sanctions hobbling Russia’s defense industry.

A senior US official told reporters that negotiations on how to cap the amount of money the Russians can get for their key oil exports were advancing.

US President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders “will seek authority to use revenues collected by any new tariffs on Russian goods to help Ukraine and to ensure that Russia pays for the cost of its war,” the senior US official told reporters.

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A video went viral last week appearing to show the victim, identified as student Nayera Ashraf, being stabbed by a young man outside her university.

The crime has triggered widespread anger both in Egypt and beyond, having been followed a few days later by a similar incident in which Jordanian student Iman Irshaid was shot dead on a university campus.

Social media users immediately drew comparisons between the two murders, decrying cases of femicide in the Arab world.

On social media, many Jordanian and Egyptian users called for the perpetrator to be sentenced to death, while others said men must “learn to take no for an answer.”

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Turkish obstructionism against Swedish and Finnish NATO membership, its limited offensive in Iraq, and its prospective offensive in Syria have grabbed international attention. But more significant is Turkey’s growing diplomatic tension with Greece, an ever-festering lesion that threatens to burst.

Turkey’s resistance to Swedish and Finnish NATO memberships is a ploy to extract concessions from Washington: If the Biden administration reinstates Turkey in the F-35 program and approves F-16 sales, Erdogan likely will relent.

Buying Turkish acquiescence is no way to ensure a long-term strategic partnership, however. Indeed, Erdogan is laying the groundwork for another Greco-Turkish confrontation.

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Aid groups scrambled on Thursday to reach victims of a powerful earthquake that rocked eastern Afghanistan, killing more than 1,000 people in an area blighted by poor infrastructure, as the country faces dire economic and hunger crises.

Humanitarian agencies are converging on the area, but it might be days before aid reaches affected regions, which are among the most remote in the country.

Teams deployed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have yet to arrive, according to Anita Dullard, ICRC’s Asia Pacific spokesperson. Shelley Thakral, spokesperson for the UN World Food Program (WFP) in Kabul, said efforts to get aid to the affected areas are being slowed by the condition of the roads.

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The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has bolstered its work with a UN health agency to help cut the number of deaths among girls and pregnant women in Yemen.

The initiative was expected to benefit around 350,000 people directly and indirectly, the KSrelief statement added.

The UNFPA, with the Saudi aid agency’s support, has been operating the service since the beginning of 2020, funding maternity and health centers to help provide safe childbirth environments.

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Lebanon on Tuesday signed an agreement with Egypt and Syria to import 720 million cubic meters of Egyptian natural gas annually through Syrian territory amid shortages of electricity supplies in Lebanon, which is suffering under a severe energy crisis and chronic outages.

The agreement still needs to be signed off on by the World Bank, which is supposed to finance the process. Also, U.S. assurances are needed that the countries involved will not be targeted by American sanctions imposed on Syria, Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayad said.

Egypt had agreed to supply Lebanon with natural gas to its power plants through Jordan and Syria. Syrian and Lebanese experts have finished renovation work on the pipeline, which has been ready for months.

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The London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper also reported recently a comment by Egyptian MP Hazem El-Gendy which revealed that half of Egypt’s doctors — 110,000 out of more than 212,000 — had fled the country during the same period.

“During the recent period, especially the last three years, Egypt has witnessed an unprecedented migration wave of medical personnel, which has triggered successive warnings, fears of the effects of this migration on the Egyptian health system and the level of services provided to patients,” he explained.

These are alarming statistics in a country where there are just 8.6 doctors for every 10,000 Egyptians. The global average is 23 doctors for every 10,000 people.

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Lebanon and Israel, officially at a state of war, are holding indirect talks in an effort to settle a border dispute with potentially billions of dollars at stake.

At its heart is the gas-rich Karish field located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, which Israel has plans to start exploiting.

“Lebanon, more than Israel today, needs this deal,” said Lebanese energy expert Laury Haytayan, adding that a deal would also provide security for Israel allowing it to explore and drill without the “constant danger of potential escalation” with Lebanon.

More at https://edition.cnn.com/2022/06/17/middleeast/israel-lebanon-maritime-dispute-mime-intl/index.html

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Human Rights Watch in April released a report with Amnesty International documenting an ethnic cleansing campaign against Tigrayans by officials and security forces from the neighboring Amhara region.

In a May 26 letter to the EU and member states, Human Rights Watch called for clear human rights benchmarks to underpin relations with the Ethiopian government. These include ending mass arbitrary detentions and allowing independent monitors’ access to detainees, the restoration of basic services, and unhindered and safe humanitarian access throughout conflict-affected areas.

Federal authorities have for years conducted mass arrests and prolonged arbitrary detentions in Oromia, and have more recently detained thousands in Amhara.

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More than 100 men who worked at the British embassy in Afghanistan remain in the country, with some telling the BBC they have been beaten and tortured.

The men worked for the global security company, GardaWorld, and many had been in post for more than a decade.

Several shared photos…

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Milaperetz

Milaperetz

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