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THE EARLY PHOENIX – June 13, 2023

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TOP HEADLINES:

GULF REGION AND YEMEN 

  1. $10 Billion in Agreements Signed During the First Day of the Arab-China Conference in Riyadh (Al Ahram). More than 30 deals were signed covering technology, renewables, agriculture, real estate, minerals, supply chains, tourism, and healthcare…The two-day conference, which kicked off in Riyadh on Sunday, aims to support and promote economic cooperation to advance the common interest of both Arab nations and China… The conference has attracted some 3,500 business leaders, innovators, and policymakers from China, the Arab world, and beyond. Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, and billionaire Egyptian businessman Samih Sawiris were among them.
  2. Saudi Arabia Seeks to Benefit From China’s Renewable Energy Capabilities (Anadolu Agency). Saudi Arabia said Sunday it seeks to benefit from China’s advanced capabilities in renewable energy…“Saudi Arabia does not compete with China in the energy sector,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told the 10th Arab-China Business Conference, held in Riyadh’s capital.
  3. Iran Rejects GCC Concerning the Occupied Emirati Islands (Al Khaleej Online). On Monday, Iran rejected a Gulf statement dealing with the Emirati islands occupied by Tehran and the Iranian nuclear file…Commenting on a statement issued by the 156th meeting of foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which was held on Sunday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh…Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanani said, “The three islands, the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa, are an integral and eternal part of the land of Iran.”
  4. Yemeni Central Bank Governor Reveals the Bank’s Foreign Reserves Are Depleted (Mareb Press). The Governor of the Central Bank of Yemen, Ahmed Ghaleb Al-Muqabi, denied that the reserves of the Central Bank of Yemen had run out of foreign currency in foreign banks… In an interview with Yemen TV channel, the governor of the Central Bank confirmed that the public treasury lost 700 billion riyals from taxes and customs during the truce, in addition to one billion dollars from oil exports in Shabwa, Marib, and Hadramout.

IRAN

  1. Iran Not Seeking Interim Deal With US, Negotiates For Prisoner Swap (Iran International). Iran has rejected speculation about an interim deal with the US, saying indirect talks via Oman took place to kickstart negotiations to revive the original 2015 accord…During his weekly press conference on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said: “We confirm no such thing as negotiations for an interim agreement or new arrangements to replace the nuclear deal”…His remarks came only a day after Iran’s ruler Ali Khamenei said reaching a deal would be acceptable if the country’s nuclear infrastructure remains intact.
  2. Pahlavi Says There Are No Legal Obstacles for the EU to Sanction IRGC (Iran International). Iran’s exiled prince Reza Pahlavi, citing a group of French-Iranian lawyers, says there are no legal obstacles for the EU to sanction the Revolutionary Guard…In a tweet on Sunday, Reza Pahlavi urged the European authorities to reconsider their current position and proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist group, based on a report the lawyers have presented to his office and heads of governments.

ISRAEL AND PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

  1. Israeli Army Gives the Green Light to Fire at Any Suspicious Egyptian Soldier Following Border Shooting (New Arab). The Israeli army has issued new, stricter instructions to its members serving at the border with Egypt to fire at any suspicious Egyptian soldier following this month’s deadly shooting, which left three Israeli troops killed.
  2. Israel Informs Biden Administration It Will Build 4000 New Housing Units in West Bank Settlements (Al Jazeera). Axios quoted Israeli and American officials as saying that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed President Joe Biden’s administration that it intends to announce later this month the construction and planning of thousands of new housing units in Settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Authority is calling for international pressure to prevent the division of the West Bank into two separate areas.
  3. New Israeli Army Intelligence Unit Prepares for Possible War with Iran (Al Jazeera). The goal of this unit is to prepare for a possible conflict between Israel and Iran. Its establishment is considered a significant step in the strategic planning of the Israeli army, as the unique nature of such a conflict requires a different approach compared to previous military operations, according to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

TURKIYE

  1. Turkish President Arrives in Azerbaijan After Reelection (Anadolu Agency). Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday arrived in Azerbaijan after he visited the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as part of his first foreign tour after his May 28 reelection…Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday will welcome Erdogan with an official ceremony in the capital Baku.
  2. Erdogan Calls On Green Cypriot Side to Recognize Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Daily Sabah). The only way to solve the Cyprus issue is to establish peace in the Aegean Sea and on the island, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, as he called on the Greek Cypriot side to change its maximalist and uncompromising approach and recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
  3. US Sends Military Supplies to Syrian City Occupied by Terrorist PKK (Daily Sabah). The U.S. Army sent a convoy of about 40 vehicles from Iraq to Syria in another sign of support for the terrorist group PKK terrorist group’s Syrian offshoot YPG. The convoy arrived in Hassakeh, a city controlled by the terrorists, on Sunday, the same day the terrorist group fired rockets toward Türkiye on the Turkish-Syrian border, targeting a police station.
  4. Swedish FM Hopeful New Counter-Terrorism Law Will Boost Cooperation with Türkiye (Daily Sabah). Sweden’s Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said he hopes the new counter-terrorism law will facilitate cooperation with Türkiye and other NATO members…Sweden has been under a high terrorism threat since 2010. Addressing it requires intense national and international efforts, Billstrom told a joint news conference with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau in Warsaw on Monday.

EGYPT & NORTH AFRICA

  1. UN Concerned Over Libya’s Arrests of Migrants and Asylum Seekers (New Arab). The United Nations mission in Libya said on Monday it was concerned by the arbitrary arrest of migrants and asylum seekers in the country, accompanied by a disturbing rise in hate speech and racist discourse…The mission said Libyan authorities had detained thousands of men, women, and children from the streets and their homes following raids on alleged traffickers’ camps and warehouses.
  2. Ahly Soccer Club Claims 11th African Champions League Title (Al Ahram). The Cairo giants, who won the first leg 2-1 in Cairo a week earlier, clinched the African Champions League title after claiming a 3-2 win on aggregate… Ahly holds the record for the most Champions League titles in Africa with 11 wins, while Wydad has won three times. 
  3. European Leaders Meet Tunisian President Saeed and Pledge 100 Million Euros to Combat Immigration (Al Jazeera). Tunisian President Kais Saied met on Sunday with three leaders of the European Union to discuss several files, most notably the fight against irregular migration, where it was announced that 100 million euros (about 107 million dollars) would be allocated to Tunisia to contain the flow of migrants towards Europe. Saeed held talks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

SYRIA 

  1. Canada and The Netherlands Ask International Court of Justice to Start Proceedings Against Syrian Regime for Violating Torture Convention (International Court of Justice). On 8 June 2023, Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands filed a joint application instituting proceedings against the Syrian Arab Republic before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, concerning alleged violations of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the “Convention against Torture”). 

IRAQ 

  1. Iraq to Sign Trade and Financial Agreements with Egypt (Iraqi News). On Monday, the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that Iraq and Egypt would sign memoranda of understanding in trade and financial fields… The report explained that the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, accompanied by a high-level government delegation, started an official visit to Egypt on Monday, where he will hold meetings and discussions with senior Egyptian officials.

LEBANON

  1. Hizballah Warns Israel:  ‘If You Make A Mistake, We’ll Enter Galilee’ (Tasnim Agency). Chief of Lebanese Hezbollah’s Executive Council Sayyid Hashim Safiuddin has made critical remarks about the regional situation and the struggle between the resistance and the Zionist regime in an interview with Tasnim…Safiuddin pointed to a recent exercise that Hizballah’s Radwan Special Unit carried out on the anniversary of the resistance’s victory, noting that Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah has warned repeatedly that “if Israel makes any miscalculation, our missiles will hit Tel Aviv and the Radwan Unit will enter Galilee.”

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