Daily Archives: March 9, 2011
March 9, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) —- Greek officials say Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi’s plane has crossed Greece en route to Egypt, as the bloody anti-government revolution in the country continues, as reported by Iranian Television PRESS TV on Wednesday.
This comes as the revolutionary forces in crisis-hit Libya, the Libyan National Council, have given Gaddafi 72 hours to quit and leave the North African country as he remains defiant and orders his forces to escalate their attacks on the civilians.
The ultimatum report comes as Libyan forces loyal to Gaddafi, using tanks, rockets and warplanes, are stepping up a campaign to root out revolutionaries while most of the eastern cities have fallen in control of oppositions.
On Wednesday morning, beleaguered Gaddafi said that he will not quit, describing members of the opposition National Libyan Council as traitors.
He blamed the revolution against his rule on foreigners, saying foreign elements brainwashed Libyan youngsters to turn against their country.
The embattled ruler further pointed out that anti-regime protesters belong to al-Qaeda and have come from abroad.
In crisis-hit Libya, protesters are demanding the ouster of the long-term despot, Gaddafi.
Reports by human rights groups say that over 6,000 people have been killed so far during the regime’s harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters. (*)
British Foreign Secretary : Middle East Peace Process "must not become a casualty of uncertainty in the region"
March 9, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) —- British Foreign Secretary William Hague discussed the Middle East Peace Process when he met Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in London on 8 March.
Speaking after the meeting Mr. William Hague said:
“It is a huge pleasure to welcome President Abbas to London and to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We have had important discussions about the peace process, our bilateral relations and the situation in the region, which the President will continue with the Prime Minister later this afternoon.
It is a moment of unprecedented change, as we know, in the Middle East, one which combines the immense potential for greater democracy and human development with the risk of instability and violence. It calls for extraordinary efforts by the international community; for radically different thinking about the region; and for bold leadership from governments within it.
And there’s has been a long held view that change in the Middle East would be slow and incremental.
There is an equally long held view that the Middle East Peace Process can limp just along indefinitely.
Both these assumptions have been shattered by the recent convulsions in the region, which have shown that change can happen overnight, that there are vast populations of young people demanding their rights and a say in their government, and that we cannot predict for certain the shape of the Middle East in the years to come.
And the British Government’s message today is that the Peace Process must not become a casualty of uncertainty in the region.
It is too important to be allowed to fail or falter.
Instead, efforts must be redoubled to move the Peace Process forward.
The British government believes that the parties must recommit themselves to negotiations as soon as possible, to do so on the basis of clear principles with international support, and to strive for a breakthrough this year.
There are two reasons for this.
The first is that the risk of conflict is significantly heightened in the absence of a meaningful peace process. We have seen this many times before. The dangerous undercurrents in the region, including the existence of armed groups wedded to violence and young people vulnerable to radicalisation are just some of the forces that could spill out into the vacuum left when there is no credible prospect of negotiated peace on offer.
Second, time is working against the interests of all those who want peace, above all the parties themselves. The changing situation on the ground, in particular the encroachment of settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the isolation of Gaza and the entrenchment of Palestinian divisions all make a settlement harder to achieve. We should not pretend that this can continue indefinitely without at some stage making a two-state solution impossible. A two state solution is the only lasting hope for sustainable peace and security in the region, but it is possible to foresee that it will have an eventual expiry date if it is not seized now.
I do not underestimate the uncertainty and what it means for those who live with it on their doorstep, above all in Israel which has suffered attack in the past and lived with insecurity for decades.
But we are convinced that there is an inescapable need for both parties to commit to negotiations based on clear principles, and for the United States and the Quartet to set out the parameters for a future settlement.
In our view such a statement should include 1967 borders with equivalent land swaps, appropriate security arrangements for Israelis and Palestinians, a just, fair and agreed solution for refugees and Jerusalem as the capital of both states, so that urgent negotiations can lead to a framework agreement should aim to achieve a framework agreement by September this year as called for by the United States. And I pay tribute to the leadership of President Obama and the tireless efforts of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Envoy Senator Mitchell.
The UK, France and Germany committed themselves to such a statement at the UN on 18th February. We will work in the coming months to seek wider international support for this approach, which I discussed in some detail with President Abbas today.
We also discussed the significant progress that Prime Minister Fayyad and the Palestinian authority have made under the leadership of President Abbas’s to build the foundations of a viable Palestinian state in line with their road map commitments.
So I was pleased to confirm to the President that the UK will join many other nations in upgrading the status of the Palestinian Delegation to London to the level of a Mission. We welcome this positive step in our relations, along with the President’s long standing commitment to a two state solution.
I also welcomed the recent call for Palestinian elections, and I condemn Hamas’s rejection of these. Hamas should not be allowed to stifle the democratic expression of Palestinian opinion.
Finally given that today is also the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, I would like to pay tribute to the many Israeli and Palestinian women who have borne decades of conflict with great dignity and fortitude, and of whom many have worked courageously for peace. It is in the families and young people of every society that hope, optimism and energy for change reside.
With their future hopes in mind, we call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to seize the moment for a historic peace agreement to match the historic changes in the region, and to provide the lasting peace and security that both peoples deserve. The UK is ready to do all it can to support this endeavour, to make the case for peace and to put forward ideas and proposals to help overcome the obstacles, but above all to support the parties as they take the bold steps that are undoubtedly needed.” (*)
Source : FCO
TRIPOLI, Libya, March 9, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / AP) – Moammar Gaddafi says Libyans will fight if a no-fly zone is imposed by Western nations, saying that would show their real intention is to seize the country’s oil, as reported by AP on Wednesday.
Gaddafi made his remarks during an interview aired Wednesday by Turkey’s state-run TRT Turk television. The interview was conducted on Tuesday night.
He was responding to U.S. and British plans for a response to Libya, including imposing a no-fly zone to prevent Gaddafi’s warplanes from striking rebels.
Gaddafi claimed such a move would lead Libyans to understand the foreigners’ aims to seize oil and take their freedoms away. He says if that happens “Libyans will take up arms and fight.” (*)
LIBYA, March 9, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) —- Libyan embattled ruler Muammar Gaddafi says he won’t quit, describing members of the opposition National Libyan Council as traitors while the government forces continue their attacks on the civilians.
As reported by Iranian Television PRESS TV on Wednesday, beleaguered Gaddafi made the remarks on Tuesday as he addressed people from the Zintan tribe. He blamed the revolution against his rule on foreigners, saying foreign elements brainwashed Libyan youngsters to turn against their country, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The embattled ruler further pointed out that anti-regime protesters belong to al-Qaeda and have come from abroad.
“These elements are completely hopeless, there is no way with them. It’s a small group from Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Palestine who entered cities, they entered Zintan, Zawiyah and Benghazi,” he said.
“They also gave them weapons and machine guns and the kids were happy with them and that is how things became this bad,” he added.
Earlier in the day, he made a visit to a Tripoli hotel packed with journalists. He was expected to brief the reporters but the long-time ruler left the hotel without holding a speech.
Meanwhile, pro-Gaddafi forces escalated aerial attacks on Zawiyah, just 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of the Libyan capital Tripoli on Tuesday and tanks surrounding the city shelled homes from the outskirts, killing unarmed civilians.
City residents say that hospitals cannot manage the influx of injured people and reporters’ lack of access to the area and the fact that the Internet has been blocked have made it difficult to estimate the death toll.
Zawiyah has been in the hands of the opposition since the early days of the revolution. The city is of great significance to Gaddafi since it is the closest to his stronghold in Tripoli.
Elsewhere, government troops have surrounded the southern town of Zintan, but revolutionary forces are still in control.
Airstrikes were launched in the eastern port of Ras Lanuf on Tuesday and jets also struck two hotels in Benghazi, where reporters were staying.
The liberated east of the country is now settling down and moving forward, despite fierce battles between revolutionary and pro-regime forces in some cities.
And the Libyan National Council, recently established by opposition forces and headed by former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, has delivered an ultimatum to Gaddafi and his associates, saying they will not prosecute the dictator for his crimes if he leaves the country within 72 hours.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have agreed on a full range of options on Libya, including a no-fly zone.
A UN resolution on the issue is being drafted and will be discussed by NATO defense ministers on Thursday. (*)
JAPAN, Mar 9, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / REUTERS ) – A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 hit off the coast of northeastern Japan on Wednesday, the Japanese Meteorological Agency said.
As reported by Reuters on Wednesday, a tsunami warning of up to 50 cm was issued for northeastern Japan, public broadcaster NHK reported. Buildings shook in Tokyo but no damage was immediately reported.
The focus of the tremor was 10 km (6 miles) below the surface of the earth, off the coast of Aomori prefecture, NHK said.
Tohoku Electric Power said its Onagawa nuclear plant was operating normally after the quake. Tokyo Electric Power also said there was no impact on its power plants in the region.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. The country accounts for about 20 percent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater. (*)
JAPAN, Mar 9, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan decided Tuesday to promote State Foreign Secretary Takeaki Matsumoto to foreign minister following Seiji Maehara’s resignation over a money scandal, sources close to the premier said.
As reported by Kyodo News on Wednesday, Matsumoto accepted Kan’s offer of the post Tuesday night, according to the sources. An attestation ceremony for the new minister is scheduled to take place Wednesday afternoon at the Imperial Palace.
Kan told reporters earlier in the evening that he would be ”not taking that long” in selecting Maehara’s successor. (*)