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Monthly Archives: August 2015

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Members of Osama Bin Laden’s family were among the victims in the crash of a private jet in Britain, the Saudi embassy in London said Saturday in a message of condolences.

Four people died when the Saudi Arabia-registered plane ploughed into a car auction site and burst into flames in southern England on Friday.

Local police said the pilot and three passengers died when the Phenom 300 jet attempted to land at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire and that no one was injured on the ground.

The Saudi ambassador “offered his condolences to the sons of the late Mohammed bin Laden and their relations for the grave incident of the crash of the plane carrying members of the family at Blackbushe airport,” read a statement posted on the embassy’s official Twitter account.

It did not confirm the identities of those killed.

The embassy also said it would work with British authorities to investigate the incident and repatriate the bodies for burial in Saudi Arabia.

Osama Bin Laden’s father Mohammed was a construction industry magnate and his numerous descendants constitute a prominent family with wide-ranging business interests.

Mohammed Bin Laden himself died in a plane crash in Saudi Arabia in 1967.

His son Osama, the late supreme leader of the Al-Qaeda militant network, was shot dead by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011.

Footage of the aftermath of Friday’s crash showed plumes of black smoke rising into the sky and several cars on fire in the outdoor area of British Car Auctions, where vehicles were parked awaiting sale.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation said in a statement Friday that the plane was registered in the Gulf state, and that it would work with British investigators to determine the cause of the crash.

The BBC reported that the aircraft had taken off from Milan’s Malpensa airport in Italy.

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 Secretary of State John Kerry headed to the Middle East on Friday for security talks in Egypt and discussions in Qatar with Arab foreign ministers whose countries are wary of the nuclear deal struck with Iran.

He will not visit Israel, America’s foremost Mideast ally and the primary foreign opponent of the Iran agreement.

U.S. officials rejected suggestions that Kerry’s omission of Israel from the itinerary signaled that the Obama administration had given up trying to convince Israeli leaders of the merits of the Iran deal. They noted that Defense Secretary Ash Carter had visited the Jewish state in mid-July and that contacts with Israeli officials continue to be robust.

The last time Kerry spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on July 16, two days after the Iran deal was concluded.

Officials said the Iran-related portion of the trip was primarily designed to follow-up on a May meeting that President Barack Obama hosted for Arab leaders at Camp David at which the U.S. promised them enhanced security cooperation and expedited defense sales to guard against a potential Iranian threat. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Kerry’s trip publicly, said the talks in Qatar would take stock of progress made on those goals, particularly since the Iran deal was signed.

One U.S. official said Kerry would use the meeting with the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council to “try to respond to any remaining questions they might have, hopefully satisfy them and ensure that they are supporting our effort going forward.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq in a similar tour earlier this week to talk to his counterparts about the Iran deal.

Saudi Arabia is the largest and most influential member of the council and has been publicly supportive of the Iran deal, albeit with reservations. Just this week, the State Department authorized the sale to Saudi Arabia of $5.4 billion in Patriot missiles and related equipment along with $500 million in ammunition.

In addition to Iran, Kerry and the Arab ministers are expected to look closely at the situation in Syria and Iraq, which continue to be ravaged by conflict and the spread of the Islamic State extremist group, the officials said. Kerry has said he plans to meet separately in Doha with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss Syria, Iran and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Kerry’s first stop will be in Cairo, where he will participate Sunday in a strategic dialogue with Egyptian officials that has been on hiatus because of political unrest since 2009. Despite continuing human rights concerns, the Obama administration is increasing military assistance to Egypt as it confronts growing threats from extremists, particularly on the Sinai peninsula.

Sinai-based militants have launched increasingly sophisticated attacks in recent months that have killed dozens of Egyptian soldiers and police. The latest wave of violence began after the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi two years ago.

U.S. military assistance to Egypt had been on hold until earlier this year due to human rights and democracy concerns in the wake of the coup but was resumed after the administration decided to waive those provisions for national security reasons.

The U.S. announced this week it would be delivering eight F-16 warplanes to Egypt on Friday as part of an ongoing military support package to help the Egyptians combat terrorism. Four more F-16s are to be delivered this fall.

Some lawmakers and numerous advocacy groups are urging Kerry to raise human rights issues with Egyptian authorities, including the arrests of dissidents and journalists, mass trials and sentencings of Morsi supporters. The U.S. officials said those concerns would be raised at all of Kerry’s meetings in Cairo and noted that the State Department’s top diplomat for human rights and democracy would be accompanying him.

Broadening U.S.-Egyptian trade and economic ties will also be on the table during Kerry’s Egypt visit, which comes just days before the country inaugurates a second, parallel waterway to allow two-way traffic on the Suez Canal. Egyptian officials are hoping the opening will boost its flagging economy.

After leaving the Middle East, Kerry will travel to Southeast Asia, stopping in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam before returning to Washington.

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ذكرت مصادر لـ”سكاي نيوز عربية”، السبت، أن الطائرات التركية نفذت غارات على متمردي حزب العمال الكردستاني في جبال قنديل، ما أدى إلى مقتل 8 قرويين وإصابة 12 آخرين في قرية زار كلي ضمن محافظة السليمانية في إقليم كردستان العراق.

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LAHAINA, Hawaii (Reuters) – Pacific Rim trade ministers failed to clinch a deal on Friday to free up trade between a dozen nations after a dispute flared up over auto trade between Japan and North America, New Zealand dug in over dairy trade and no agreement was reached on monopoly periods for next-generation drugs.

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LAHAINA, Hawaii (Reuters) – Talks on a Pacific Rim free-trade pact are unlikely to end in a final deal, sources involved in the negotiations said on Friday, with a dispute between Japan and North America over autos, New Zealand digging in over trade in dairy products and no agreement on monopoly periods for next-generation drugs.

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