Headlines from the region - 3/2/2010
Headlines from the region - 3/2/2010
Wednesday, February 3,2010 09:33
By Bikya Masr Staff

Tunisian Harrath goes back to his cell

The CEO of the UK-based Islam Channel was moved from the hospital to police cells in Pretoria, the Media Review Network said.

“He was there until this morning when the doctors discharged him and he was taken back to his holding cell at the Moot police station in Pretoria. That is where is being held currently,” said MRN chairman Iqbal Jassat.

Muhammed Ali Harrath, 47, was arrested on arrival in South Africa on Sunday when his passport was scanned and showed a red flag notice.

Libya, Russia agree to billion dollar arms deal

Libya has struck a deal to buy Russian arms worth almost two billion dollars, Russian news agencies quoted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as saying Saturday.

“Yesterday (Friday), a contract worth 1.3 billion euros (1.8 billion dollars) was signed. It does not only involve firearms”, Putin was quoted as saying by Ria Novosti and Interfax.

Putin was speaking following a meeting with the head of the Izhmash factory, which manufactures Kalashnikov rifles.

UN to name Eritrean diplomat as Sudan envoy

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday said he will name Haile Menkerios, a former Eritrean diplomat as his special envoy to Sudan making him the third head of the UN Mission in Sudan.

“I have the intention to appoint Haile Menkerios as head of UNMIS as of the end of February with a view to facilitate the political process,” disclosed Ban Ki Moon during remarks delivered at special meeting on Sudan at the sidelines of the AU summit in Addis Ababa.

Menkerios, is currently the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

Lebanon accuses Israel of abduction

The Lebanese army announced Sunday that Israeli soldiers have abducted a Lebanese citizen in southern Lebanon near its border with Israel, Xinhua reported.

“An Israeli patrol abducted at 13:45 (11:45 GMT) the Lebanese citizen Rabih Mohammad Zahra in the vicinity of Boustra Farm near Kfarshouba,” said the army in a statement.

It added that “the Lebanese army and the UN peacekeepers (UNIFIL) are holding talks to release the citizen immediately.”

Syria week opens in Doha

The first “cultural week” of the year-long Doha Capital of Arab Culture 2010 festival started yesterday with Syria opening a visual arts exhibition at the Waqif Gallery at the Souq Waqif.

The exhibition will be followed by other forms of Syrian cultural events.

Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage HE Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kuwari and Syrian Minister of Culture Riad Agha and Ambassador Riad Osmat opened the exhibition, which will run until February 7.

The exposition includes a book, plastic art, Arabic calligraphy, photography, hand-made carpet and handicrafts exhibitions.

350 Jordanians behind bars

The Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) and families urged the government on Tuesday to take “serious” steps to secure the release of Jordanian prisoners abroad.

Families of Jordanian prisoners in Syria, Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the US appealed to the government to intensify its efforts to help secure the release of their beloved ones. According to the organization, there are 250 Jordanian prisoners in Syria, over 46 in Iraq, 27 in Israel, 14 in Saudi Arabia, six in Iran and five held by the US.

The government has responded by asserting that it is not neglecting the prisoners.