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Archive for May 29th, 2012

Hamas accepts election monitors in Gaza Strip

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JERUSALEM // A substantial obstacle to repairing relations between Hamas andFatah appears to have been cleared with the arrival of Palestinian election officials to the Gaza Strip.

  • The Palestinian central elections commission chairman, Hanna Nasser, left, and the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniya, meet in Gaza City on Monday to prepare the way for long-overdue elections, a major step toward repairing a five-year rift between the two territories. Hatem Moussa / AP Photo

The Islamist group on Monday lifted a long-standing ban on the Central Elections Commission (Cec) operating in Gaza, granting its officials permission to begin preparing the territory’s 1.7 million residents for general elections.

The decision allows the rival Palestinian factions to breathe life into the ailing reconciliation pact they signed more than a year ago in Cairo.

“Hamas has agreed to let the Cec start working throughout Gaza,” Hanna Nasser, Cec’s chairman, said on Monday during a news conference in Gaza with Hamas’s prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh.

The success of these efforts partly hinges on whether election officials can update Gaza’s voter registry, which has not been done since Hamas violently took control of the territory in 2007. Cec officials say such an update could be done in six weeks.

Its success also depends on the formation of an interim government that was to have started Monday when both side met in Cairo. Representatives from both sides did indeed begin deliberations on Monday, Reuters reported, although it did not provide details.

The news agency also quoted an unnamed source saying that Fatah’s chairman and Palestinian Authority (PA) president, Mahmoud Abbas, would meet with Khaled Meshaal, Hamas’s leader, next week “to finalise the formation of the government and hopefully announce it”.

Under an accord reached on May 20, the factions agreed to choose a caretaker cabinet of politically unaffiliated technocrats to administer affairs in Gaza, controlled by Hamas, and the Fatah-administered West Bank.

Presidential and parliamentary elections would be held in six months.

It is still unclear what responsibilities such a caretaker government would have. It’s also questionable whether Hamas and Fatah can reconcile their markedly different political orientations under this interim arrangement.

Fatah, backed by the United States and Europe, has recognised Israel and has engaged in peace negotiations with it for two decades. Hamas refuses to recognise Israel. The US, along with Europe, classifies the Islamist group as a terrorist organisation because of its history of attacking Israelis.

Israeli opposition to the reconciliation pact has been substantial, although Israel did not have any immediate reaction to Monday’s announcement. This and a combination of bickering and political jockeying between the two factions are blamed for their reconciliation’s lacklustre implementation.

The May 20 agreement seems to take a middle ground in terms of making the reconciliation accord more palatable to critics by making Mr Abbas prime minister of the interim government. He would also retain his presidential and factional duties. He is seen as a moderate who can woo western support.

Hardline leaders in Hamas objected to the idea of Mr Abbas wearing two hats when the idea was broached during a February meeting in Doha between the Palestinian president and Hamas’s leader, Mr Meshaal.

But analysts say Mr Meshaal has shored up his power within the group with the political and financial backing of Qatar and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Although he announced he would not stand for re-election, Mr Meshaal is widely believed to have been asked to serve another term as Hamas’s leader.

(www.thenational.ae / 29.05.2012)

Written by altahrir

May 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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US State Dept may have created 5 million Palestinian refugees

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US State Dept may have created  5 million Palestinian refugees

The US government considers the descendants of Palestinian refugees to be refugees, a State Department official told The Cable, and another top State Department official wrote in a letter to Congress that there are now 5 million Palestinian refugees.

The two new policy statements come in the midst of a fight over whether the US will start separating, at least on paper, Palestinians who fled what is now Israel in 1948 and 1967 from their descendants.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved unanimously an amendment to the fiscal 2013 State Department and foreign operations appropriations bill that requires the State Department to report on how many of the 5 million Palestinians currently receiving assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) are actually people who were physically displaced from their homes in Israel or the occupied territories, and how many are merely descendants of original refugees.

The amendment, as passed, was watered down by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) from a version proposed by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) that would have required more in-depth reporting on how many UNRWA aid recipients are now living in the West Bank, Gaza, and other countries such as Jordan. An even earlier version of the bill would have made it US policy that Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza, and those who are citizens of countries like Jordan are not, in fact, “refugees.”  The State Department objected strongly to the Kirk amendment, claiming that any US determination of the number or status of refugees was unhelpful and destabilizing and that refugee determinations are a final-status issue that must be negotiated between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

“This proposed amendment would be viewed around the world as the United States acting to prejudge and determine the outcome of this sensitive issue,” Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides wrote Thursday in a letter to Leahy. “United States policy has been consistent for decades, in both Republican and Democratic administrations – final status issues can and must only be resolved between Israelis and Palestinians in direct negotiations. The Department of State cannot support legislation which would force the United States to make a public judgment on the number and status of Palestinian refugees.”

“This action would damage confidence between the parties at a particularly fragile time, undercut our ability to act as a mediator and peace facilitator, and generate very strong negative reaction from the Palestinians and our allies in the region, particularly Jordan,” Nides wrote.

But later down in the letter, Nides states, “UNRWA provides essential services for approximately five million refugees, including education for over 485,000 school children, primary health care in 138 clinics, and social services for the most Vulnerable, particularly in Lebanon and Gaza.” (Emphasis added.)

To experts and congressional officials following the issue, that declaration was remarkable because it was the first time the State Department had placed a number – 5 million – on the number of Palestinian refugees.

“The Nides letter could be considered a change in US policy with consideration to refugees because it states clearly that 5 million people served by UNRWA are refugees,” one senior GOP Senate aide told The Cable. “For the Obama administration to stake out a position emphatically endorsing the rights of 5 million Palestinian refugees is by itself prejudging the outcome of final- status issues.”

Steve Rosen, a long time senior AIPAC official who now is the Washington director of the Middle East Forum, said that by calling all 5 million UNRWA aid recipients “refugees,” the State Department is saying that all the Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and the nearly 2 million who are citizens of Jordan have some claim to the “right of return” to Israel, even though Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all stated clearly that a two-state solution would mean that the bulk of the 5 million Palestinian “refugees” would end up living in the West Bank or Gaza, not Israel.

President Barack Obama said in June 2011, “A lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people.” In January, 2008, while a presidential candidate, Obama said, “The right of return [to Israel] is something that is not an option in a literal sense.”

At the heart of the issue is what constitutes a “refugee.” The entire thrust of the Kirk amendment was to challenge UNRWA’s definition, which includes the descendants of refugees – children, grandchildren, and so on. That has resulted in the number of Palestinian “refugees” skyrocketing from 750,000 in 1950 to the 5 million figure has been quoted by Nides.

An analysis by the academic journal Refugee Survey Quarterly projected that if that definition remains intact, there will be 11 million Palestinian refugees by 2040 and 20 million by 2060.

In a new statement given to The Cable, a State Department spokesman said that the US government does, in fact, agree with UNRWA that descendants of refugees are also refugees.

“Both the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) generally recognise descendants of refugees as refugees,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told The Cable. “For purposes of their operations, the US govt supports this guiding principle. This approach is not unique to the Palestinian context.”

Ventrell pointed out that the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees also recognises descendants of refugees as refugees in several cases, including but not limited to the Burmese refugee population in Thailand, the Bhutanese refugee population in Nepal, the Afghan population in Pakistan, and the Somali population seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.  UNHCR by default only considers the minor children of refugees to have refugee status but often makes exceptions to include latter generations. Regardless, the State Department’s new statement could have wide-ranging implications.  “How many generations does it go?” asked Rosen. “I’m Jewish, and as a grandchild of several refugees, could I make a claim on all these countries? Where does it end? Someday all life on Earth will be a Palestinian refugee.”

The Cable asked the State Department whether descendants of refugees get refugee status for endless generations and whether Nides’s mention of the 5 million Palestinian refugees was an intentional shift in US policy, but we haven’t gotten a response.  The State Department statements also appear to conflict with the United States Law on Derivative Refugee Status, which allows spouses and children of refugees to apply for derivative status as refugees, but specifically declares that grandchildren are ineligible for derivative refugee status. In other words, US law doesn’t permit descendants of refugees to get refugee status inside the United States.

Some regional experts see Kirk’s amendment as a ploy to cut some of the $250 million in US funding for UNRWA and bolster Israel’s position by negating rights of Palestinians that would otherwise be determined in negotiations.

Leila Hilal, co-director of the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation, told The Cable that to honestly determine which Palestinians remain refugees, one would have to wade into a long, complicated legal and factual analysis about which Palestinians in the region have adequate national protection that would end their refugee status.

“The rights of return and property restitution do not depend on refugee status,” she said. “Ultimately, however, this congressional move is a political stunt intended to preempt final-status outcomes – and a rather cheap one at that.”

UPDATE: A State Department official confirms that yes, the descendants of refugees are still refugees for numerous generations until they return home or are resettled in a third country. The official also argued that Nides’ reference to UNRWA serving 5 million “refugees” was also accurate.

“The number of people on UNRWA’s rolls isn’t and shouldn’t be a secret,” the official said. “The Kirk amendment, based on commentary surrounding it, is meant to set a stage for the US to intervene now with the determination that 2nd and 3rd generation descendants have no claims and in fact aren’t even Palestinians.  Our interest is to avoid that. We are not predetermining numbers that the parties themselves must ultimately agree on. Nor can UNWRA.”

(www.nation.com.pk / 29.05.2012)

Written by altahrir

May 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process

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COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

3166th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting Brussels, 14 May 2012

The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1. “The EU reaffirms its commitment to a two-state solution and its conviction that the ongoing changes across the Arab world make the need for progress on the Middle East peace process all the more urgent. Heeding the aspirations of the people in the region, including those of Palestinians for statehood and those of Israelis for security is a crucial element for lasting peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

2. Ending the conflict is a fundamental interest of the EU as well as of the parties themselves and the wider region, and it can be achieved through a comprehensive peace agreement, based on the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the Madrid principles including land for peace, the Roadmap, the agreements previously reached by the parties and the Arab Peace Initiative. The EU recalls the applicability of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilians.

3. The EU welcomes the exchange of letters between the parties initiated on 17 April, following the Quartet efforts facilitated by King Abdullah of Jordan and Foreign Minister Judeh and encourages the parties to continue on this path. The EU welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement that the new Israeli government will try to advance the peace process. It stands ready to support the resumption of substantive negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians with a view to achieving a two-state solution. The EU strongly urges both sides to build on the current contacts, including the Joint Statement of 12 May, to resume direct negotiations on the basis of the Quartet statement of 23 September 2011. The EU fully supports the Quartet statement of 11 April and calls on the parties to pursue actions conducive  to an environment of confidence necessary to ensure meaningful negotiations, to refrain from actions that undermine the credibility of the process and to prevent incitement.

4. The EU and its Member States reiterate their fundamental commitment to the security of  Israel, including with regard to vital threats in the region. The EU is appalled by recurring rocket attacks from Gaza and condemns in the strongest terms violence deliberately targeting civilians. The EU reiterates its call on all partners in the region for the effective prevention of arms smuggling into Gaza.

5. The viability of a two-state-solution must be maintained. The EU expresses deep concern about developments on the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible:
- the marked acceleration of settlement construction following the end of the 2010 moratorium, the recent decision of the government of Israel regarding the status of some settlements outposts as well as the proposal to relocate settlers from Migron within the occupied Palestinian territory, while all outposts erected since March 2001 should be
dismantled, according to the Roadmap.
- in East-Jerusalem the ongoing evictions and house demolitions, changes to the residency status of Palestinians, the expansion of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa, and the prevention of peaceful Palestinian cultural, economic, social or political activities.
- the worsening living conditions of the Palestinian population in Area C and serious limitations for the PA to promote the economic development of Palestinian communities in Area C, as well as plans of forced transfer of the Bedouin communities, in particular from the wider E1 area.
- the risk of jeopardising the major achievements of the Palestinian Authority in statebuilding if the current financial difficulties are not addressed by a common effort of the PA, Israel and donors.

6. Concerning these developments, the EU reiterates its positions and determination to contribute to maintaining the viability of the two-state-solution in accordance with international law and its positions, including the conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in December 2009, December 2010 and May 2011:
- Settlements remain illegal under international law, irrespective of recent decisions by the government of Israel. The EU reiterates that it will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. The EU and its Member States reaffirm their commitment to fully and effectively
implement existing EU legislation and the bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products. The Council underlines the importance of the work being carried out together with the Commission in this regard.
- The EU reiterates that a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states. Until then, the EU calls for an equitable provision of resources and investment to the city’s population. The EU calls for the reopening of Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem in accordance with the Roadmap.
- Social and economic developments in Area C are of critical importance for the viability of a future Palestinian state, as Area C is its main land reserve. The EU calls upon Israel to meet its obligations regarding the living conditions of the Palestinian population in Area C, including by accelerated approval of Palestinian master plans, halting forced transfer of
population and demolition of Palestinian housing and infrastructure, simplifying administrative procedures to obtain building permits, ensuring access to water and addressing humanitarian needs. The EU calls upon Israel to work together with the PA to allow more access and control of the PA over Area C. The EU will continue to provide financial assistance for Palestinian development in Area C and expects such investment to be protected for future use. The EU will engage with the Government of Israel to work out improved mechanisms for the implementation of the donor funded projects for the benefit of the Palestinian population in Area C.
- The EU is the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority. It notes that the majority of the Palestinian Authority’s budget is met by its own customs and tax revenues and therefore it urges for swift implementation of improvements, currently discussed between the parties, to the mechanism by which these are collected and transferred, which should be transparent and predictable. The European Union underlines that these transfers by Israel are an obligation under the Paris Protocol. The EU calls on the PA to continue pursuing reforms. The EU calls on other donors, especially donors in the region, to increase their financial support to the Palestinian Authority.

7. The EU expresses deep concern regarding settler extremism and incitement by settlers in the West Bank. The EU condemns continuous settler violence and deliberate provocations against Palestinian civilians. It calls on the government of Israel to bring the perpetrators to justice and to comply with its obligations under international law.

8. The EU remains committed to the Palestinian state building process, including through CSDP missions and within the Quartet, aiming at a Palestinian state based on the rule of law and respect of human rights. The EU is concerned about recent reports of arrests of journalists and underlines the importance of freedom of expression, including via traditional and new media. In this regard, it welcomes President Abbas’ instructions to lift the ban on several websites, as
indicated in the official Palestinian communiqué. Recalling the Palestinian institutions’ responsibility under the Roadmap to end incitement, the EU expresses concern for recent incidents of incitement in Palestinian media and elsewhere.

9. The European Union has consistently called for intra-Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas, in line with the principles set out in his speech of 4 May 2011, as an important element for the unity of a future Palestinian state and for reaching a two-state solution. In this regard, it recalls its Council Conclusion in May 2011. The EU looks forward to the holding of elections as an important contribution to Palestinian state-building.

10. Fully recognising Israel’s legitimate security needs, the EU continues to call for the immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from the Gaza Strip, the situation of which is unsustainable as long as it remains politically separated from the West Bank. Despite limited progress, the EU urges the government of Israel to take further meaningful and far-reaching steps allowing for the reconstruction and economic recovery of the Gaza Strip, including by allowing trade with the West Bank and Israel.”

(www.consilium.europa.eu / 29.05.2012)

 

Written by altahrir

May 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Posted in Politics

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Ambassadeur Syrië niet meer welkom

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AMSTERDAM – Nederland verklaart de Syrische ambassadeur tot ongewenst persoon.

Dat laat het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken weten.

“Met een land met zo’n president aan het hoofd valt niet langer samen te werken. Daarom heb ik besloten de ambassadeur tot ongewenst persoon te verklaren. In deze situatie valt niet verder met het land samen te werken”, zegt minister Uri Rosenthal.

Ambassadeur Mohammad Ayman Jamil Soussan resideert in Brussel. Hij vertegenwoordigt zijn land in België en Nederland.

“Nederland verklaart de Syrische ambassadeur persona non grata, ongewenst persoon”, aldus het ministerie. De maatregel betekent dat minister Rosenthal en het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken de ambassadeur niet meer zullen ontvangen.

Overleg

Het besluit is in overleg met EU-partners genomen. De ambassadeur wordt vanavond officieel geïnformeerd. De Syrische ambassadeur wordt het land niet uitgezet, omdat hij vanuit België zijn land vertegenwoordigt.

Eerder vandaag eiste het CDA het vertrek van de Syrische ambassadeur uit de Benelux. Kamerlid Henk Jan Ormel wilde minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Uri Rosenthal dinsdagmiddag al verzoeken de ambassadeur uit te wijzen. Dat liet de CDA’er weten aan NU.nl.

In navolging van Nederland heeft ook België Mohammad Ayman Jamil Soussan, de ambassadeur van Syrië dinsdag tot persona non grata (ongewenst persoon) verklaard. Dat meldde de Belgische minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Didier Reynders.

Zolang de EU geen gelijkaardige maatregel neemt, kan de ambassadeur echter in België blijven. Hij vertegenwoordigt zijn land namelijk ook bij de Europese instellingen.

Houla

Het verzoek was een reactie op het uitwijzen van Syrische diplomaten door verschillende Westerse landen. Onder meer de Verenigde Staten, Frankrijk, Duitsland en Groot-Brittanië sturen ambassadeurs naar huis vanwege het bloedbad onder burgers in de Syrische stad Houla, zo’n 160 kilometer van de hoofdstad Damascus.

De Syrische regering ontkent verantwoordelijk te zijn. Westerse landen vermoeden dat militairen of bendes en eenheden van geheime diensten die trouw zijn aan president Assad de moordpartijen pleegden. Meer dan 100 mensen werden gedood.

Reactie

De Verenigde Naties maakten dinsdag bekend dat volgens ooggetuigen de meeste van de zeker 108 dodelijke slachtoffers geëxecuteerd zijn. Ze werden van dichtbij neergeschoten, vaak in hun eigen huis. Onder de doden zijn 49 kinderen en 34 vrouwen.

Rosenthal pleitte zaterdag al voor een krachtige reactie van de internationale gemeenschap op het bloedbad. In maart sloot Nederland zijn ambassade in Damascus.

De Syrische oppositie krijgt financiële en technische steun van de Nederlandse regering. Het gaat onder meer om laptops en communicatieapparatuur.

(Moslim Vandaag / 29.05.2012)

Written by altahrir

May 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Posted in Revolution Syria

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Medics: Palestinian hurt by Israeli fire in Gaza

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Medics blamed Israel for the incident.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was moderately injured Tuesday evening by Israeli fire east of Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip, medical officials said.

The man, 29, who was not otherwise identified, suffered an injury to his right leg, said Gaza medical official Adham Abu Salmiya.

An Israeli military spokesman said the army had no record of such an incident.

Earlier, witnesses said Israeli forces entered the southern Gaza Strip and razed land.

Bulldozers entered 200 meters into the enclave in the al-Qarara area and turned over land, locals told Ma’an. The Israeli army makes frequent incursions to the area.

A military spokesman did not return calls about that incident.

(www.maannews.net / 29.05.2012)

Written by altahrir

May 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Posted in Terrorism

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Signs of Tunisia recovery; Europe weighs: IMF

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Women buy beans at a market in Tunisia, January 25, 2011. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tunisia’s economy is showing signs of revival after popular protests last year pushed it into recession but the crisis in the euro zone, its most important export market, presents risks, a senior IMF official said on Friday.

The International Monetary Fund has just completed its first review of Tunisia’s economy since the “Arab Spring” popular revolution in January 2011 toppled veteran leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali after almost 23 years in power.

In an interview, the IMF’s mission chief to Tunisia, Joel Toujas-Bernate, said the European debt crisis “is a big cloud” for Tunisia.

“We are seeing signs of improvements now – tourism is rebounding, foreign investment is also coming back but the big uncertainty is the situation in Europe, which is the main trading partner and source of investment,” he said.

With constitutional changes in the works and prospects of a general election early next year, Tunisia’s political transition was “proceeding well,” Toujas-Bernate said.

A moderate Islamist party won elections held soon after the revolution and now leads a coalition government. The party’s leaders have sought to reassure investors and tourists but successive protests and strikes organized by left-wing secular opponents have undermined efforts to restart the economy, which shrank 1.8 percent in 2011.

The IMF is forecasting the economy will grow somewhere between 2 to 3 percent this year, Toujas-Bernate said, emphasizing that the outlook depended on the extent of the slowdown in the euro zone, which is Tunisia’s main source of investment and trade. Preliminary estimates Tunisia released this week show the economy grew 5 percent in the first quarter from a year ago.

“It isn’t completely clear yet but we expect a rebound and macroeconomic policy will have to play an important role to support this recovery, especially budgetary policy,” he said. “There is a clear potential for higher growth over the medium term based on the fundamental strengths of the Tunisian economy.”

Toujas-Bernate said the IMF supported efforts by the government to lift spending this year to help offset slower demand in the euro zone.

“Tunisia started with a fairly comfortable public debt position so they have some room” to increase spending, he said, adding that the fiscal stimulus would widen the 2012 deficit to 7 percent of gross domestic product.

“After this year, as the recovery takes hold, we see the need for gradual (budget) consolidation over the medium term,” he said. “We will see an increase and spike (in public debt) for a few years but the authorities will be able to put public debt back on the downward trend once the economy rebounds.”

Toujas-Bernate said Tunisia had not requested IMF financing but the global lender stands ready to help if needed.

“For this year they have identified all of the external financing they need so they haven’t called on us for financing but we are ready to respond to any request by the authorities, especially if there is some deterioration in Europe,” he added.

He said inflationary pressures since the beginning of the year, driven by a rise in the price of food and clothing, had forced the central bank to act to tighten monetary policy.

Increased demand from neighboring Libya for food and clothing has pushed up prices in Tunisia and in some cases caused supply shortages, he said.

Inflation has recently risen to 4.5 percent and “is something to watch,” said Toujas-Bernate.

He said the authorities were aware that the financial sector needed to be strengthened and modernized to improve banks’ ability to assess credit risk, which would go a long way in enhancing access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises.

He said Tunisia’s banking sector was not directly affected by the crisis in Europe. “We don’t see much risk of financial contagion, it’s more a risk for exports,” to the European Union, he added.

(af.reuters.com / 29.05.2012)

Written by altahrir

May 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Posted in Revolution Tunisia

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Amnesty uit forse kritiek op Nederland

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Nederland schendt mensenrechten van onder meer vreemdelingen … Amnesty maakt zich ook zorgen om plannen voor boerkaverbod

Om de vier jaar worden alle landen van de Verenigde Naties door Amnesty International beoordeeld op de mensenrechtensituatie in het land. 31 mei bespreekt de VN-Mensenrechtenraad de situatie in Nederland. In het rapport dat daarop vooruit loopt uit Amnesty forse kritieken op Nederland. Zo maakt Amnesty zich onder meer zorgen om het hoge aantal mensen in de vreemdelingendetentie en het aangekondigde wettelijke boerkaverbod.

Eduard Nazarski, directeur van Amnesty International meent dat Nederland terecht kritisch is op veel landen, ‘van Iran tot China en van Nigeria tot Colombia’. Desalniettemin kan in Nederland een aantal zaken beter geregeld worden. “Bovendien is Nederland geloofwaardiger en effectiever in het buitenland als het eigen huis op orde is. Een geloofwaardig mensenrechtenbeleid in binnen en buitenland gaan immers hand in hand”, aldus Nazarski.

Amnesty schrijft zich zorgen te maken over:

- Het hoge aantal mensen in vreemdelingendetentie, onvoldoende aandacht voor alternatieven en voor het strafrechtelijk karakter van de detentie;
- Strafbaarstelling van illegaal verblijf;
- Tekortkomingen in de aanpak van discriminatie, waaronder het gebrek aan maatregelen tegen het risico op discriminatie door wetshandhavers, ook wel etnisch profileren genoemd;
- Het vrijblijvende karakter van mensenrechteneducatie op scholen;
- Het aangekondigde wettelijke verbod op het dragen van een gezichtssluier in de publieke ruimte(boerkaverbod);
- Het uitblijven van ratificatie van het optioneel protocol bij het VN-Verdrag voor Economische, Sociale en Culturele Rechten;
- De onjuiste implementatie van het optioneel protocol bij het VN-Verdrag tegen Marteling; geen extern maatschappelijk onafhankelijk toezicht op alle plaatsen waar mensen tegen hun wil zijn opgesloten;
- Het ontbreken van een strategie voor Mensenrechten in Nederland. Het ontbreekt aan een raamwerkstrategie met afspraken over mensenrechten tussen ministeries en gemeenten; het ontbreken van afspraken over implementatie van mensenrechtenverdragen en aanbevelingen van comite’s die toezien op de naleving van verdragen; het ontbreken van  afspraken over de dialoog met maatschappelijke organisaties; een gebrek aan het vergroten van de kennis over mensenrechten in Nederland.

Lees hier het volledige rapport.

(www.joop.nl /29.05.2012)

Written by altahrir

May 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Posted in Politics

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