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New Era Newspaper Tuesday February 13, 2018


18 WORLD Tuesday, February 13 2018 | NEW ERA Palestinian leader seeks Russia’s backing over Jerusalem MOSCOW Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas visited Russia yesterday in a bid to secure Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support following Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Palestinian leader was set to visit Moscow two weeks after a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Abbas has refused any contact with US President Donald Trump’s administration since Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital at the end of last year. Abbas is due to speak at the United Nations Security Council on February 20. Palestinians see the US decision, which broke years of international diplomacy, as a denial of their claim to East Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual Palestinian state. Israel took control of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War, annexed it and later declared it the indivisible capital of Israel. The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has accused Abbas of lacking the courage needed to forge a peace deal with Israel. Abbas in turn has rejected any mediation by Washington in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has promised his people to work towards full recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations. Alexander Shumilin, a Middle East scholar at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies, called Abbas’s visit “an attempt to cosy up to Russia, a consistent ally, and to stop Netanyahu leading Moscow astray during an improvement in Russia-Israeli ties”. Netanyahu visited Russia on January 29 and along with Putin attended a memorial ceremony at the Jewish museum in Moscow for the victims of Nazi camps. He took the opportunity to accuse Iran of wanting to “destroy” the Jewish state. In turn, the Russian president likened antisemitism to Russophobia and said Russia and Israel were “cooperating closely”, particularly against “attempts to falsify history”. Unrest… A Palestinian man kicks a burning tyre during clashes with Israeli forces on February 2 in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Photo: Nampa/AFP For Shumilin, yesterday’s visit “is a necessary political gesture for Abbas but can do little in the practical sense”. expecting a breakthrough from this visit,” he added. In 2016, Russia offered to host one-on-one talks without preconditions between Abbas and Netanyahu but these never materialised. In January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov estimated that chances of resuming direct talks between the two sides in the current situation were “close to zero”. Lavrov also said “we understand the emotions” Palestinians feel towards Trump. “We keep hearing in recent months that the US is about to publish some ‘major deal’ that... will satisfy everyone,” he said. But he added that Russia “has not seen or heard of such a document or even any statement”. With relations between Washington and Moscow at a record low for the post-Cold War era, Abbas may be expecting that “Russia-US relations will get even worse and then Russia could do something to spite the US,” Shumilin said. On November 29, 2012, the United Nations designated Palestine as a non-member observer state after a vote by the General Assembly. That enabled the Palestinians to join international organisations and the International Criminal Court, though they did not become a full UN member state. Palestinian statehood is recognised by more than 130 countries. Monday, 12 February 2018 Centre Tal Street 07:00-16:00 United House Centre 08:30-16:00 Swakopmund Town (Ferdinand Stich Str 4) 13:00-18:00 Tuesday, 13 February 2018 Centre Tal Street 07:00-16:00 United House Centre 08:30-16:00 NIMT (Keetmanshoop) 09:00-16:00 Okahandja (Town Hall) 11:00-17:30 Walvis Bay Town (Behind Welwitschia Medi-park) 13:00-18:00 Wednesday, 14 February 2018 Centre Tal Street 07:00-16:00 United House Centre 08:30-16:00 Keetmanshoop Town (NG Church Hall) 11:00-18:00 Ramos Realtors Namibia (Swakopmund) 10:00-15:00 Thursday, 15 February 2018 Centre Tal Street 07:00-18:00 United House Centre 08:30-16:00 Regional Health Training Centre (Keetmanshoop) 09:00-15:00 Pick ‘n Pay (Walvis Bay) 10:00-15:00 Friday, 16 February 2018 Centre Tal Street 07:00-16:00 United House Centre 08:30-16:00 Sponsored by: Power outage … Ambulances are seen at the entrance of an electric substation after an explosion Photo: Nampa/AFP Power station blast plunges Puerto Rico into darkness SAN JUAN Most of San Juan and a strip of northern Puerto Rico municipalities were plunged into darkness Sunday night after an explosion after two hurricanes destroyed the island’s electricity network. The state electric power authority (AEE) said the blast was caused by a broken-down switch in Rio Piedras, resulting in France FM visits Iraq to discuss reconstruction BAGHDAD France’s Foreign Minister Jean- Yves Le Drian visited Iraq a blackout in central San Juan and Palo Seco in the north. “We have personnel working to restore the system as soon as possible,” the AEE said. San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, said on Twitter that emergency services and local neighbourhood of Monacillos, but no injuries were reported. Meanwhile, the Puerto Rican capital’s airport said it was yesterday to discuss the war-torn country’s reconstruction with Iraqi officials after Baghdad declared victory against the Islamic State jihadist group. “I have come to tell you of France’s support and to accompany you. We will always be there. We were there to participate in the coalition. We will also be there in the reconstruction phase,” Le Drian said. maintaining its schedule using emergency generators. The blackout comes as nearly 500,000 of AEE’s 1.6 million customers remain without power since Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the US territory in September 2017. AEE engineer Jorge Bracero on Sunday warned on Twitter that the outage was “serious,” and advised those affected that power would not be restored until yesterday. France took part in the US-led military coalition against IS after the jihadist group took over large swathes of Iraq and neighbouring Syria in 2014. Baghdad is looking to drum up funds at a reconstruction conference in neighbouring Kuwait from yesterday to tomorrow after announcing the defeat of IS nationwide at the end of last year. -Nampa/AFP

Tuesday, February 13 2018 | NEW ERA 19 NEW ERA Khoekhoegowab The Namibian Nampa

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