Middle East & North Africa

Mnuchin says trade deal with China to boost global economy

DOHA (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday a “phase one” trade deal between the United States and China was “very good” for global economic growth, and added that the second phase could come in several steps.

The United States and China cooled their trade war on Friday, announcing a “phase one” agreement that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for what U.S. officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods.

Turkey slams EU for Libya maritime pact remarks

15 Dec 2019; MEMO: Turkey criticised a European Council decision rejecting last month’s Turkish-Libyan maritime pact, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The European Union has no authority to decide maritime jurisdiction and the EU is not an international court, they cannot give a verdict on the legality of the Libyan agreement,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Algeria: Massive detention campaign against anti-elections protesters

15 Dec 2019; MEMO: Algerian security forces have carried out a massive detention campaign on Friday, against protesters rejecting the presidential elections. Protesters chanted slogans against the new president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, a former loyalist of ousted leader, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Turkish lawmakers to ratify Libya military cooperation deal

15 Dec 2019; MEMO: A recent agreement between Turkey and Libya on military cooperation came to the Turkish parliament to be ratified on Saturday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Seeking to “provide a ground for relations and develop cooperation” between Turkey and Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), the agreement  includes increased cooperation in the exchange of personnel, materials, equipment, consultancy and experience between the two sides.

Aramco shares inch up in early Sunday trade

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) shares were up 1% at 37.2 riyals ($9.89) in early trade on Sunday.

The state-owned oil company listed 1.5% of its shares at 32 riyals on Riyadh’s Tadawul exchange .TASI on Dec 11 in the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO).

Initially valued at $1.7 trillion, the shares have since hit $2 trillion, a value long sought by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The IPO is the centerpiece of the Saudi leader’s plans for diversifying the economy away from its dependence on oil.

India: Iran says it's defused 2nd cyberattack in less than a week

Tehran, Dec 15 (AP/PTI) Iran's telecommunications minister announced on Sunday that the country has defused a second cyberattack in less than a week, this time aimed at spying on government intelligence."

Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said in a short Twitter post that the alleged attack was identified and defused by a cybersecurity shield, and that the spying servers were identified and the hackers were also tracked." He did not elaborate.

Third World Youth Forum opens in Egypt

SHARM EL SHEIKH, Dec 15 (NNN-MENA) – Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, inaugurated on Saturday, the third edition of Egypt’s annual World Youth Forum (WYF), at the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh, with several topics to be thoroughly discussed, during the four-day international event.

“From the blessed lands of Sinai, I announce the inauguration of the third edition of the World Youth Forum,” said the Egyptian president.

He expressed hope that the forum would be a platform for peace and love, and constructive dialogue for a better future.

Kuwait Launches Beach Cleaning Campaign

KUWAIT, Dec 15 (NNN-XINHUA) – Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), launched on Saturday, a campaign to clean the country’s beach.

Themed “We Lead the Change,” the campaign called on people, to clean the shore of Al-Sabah Medical Area, in Kuwait City, where dozens of volunteers, including those with disabilities, participated in collecting trash, plastics and steel scraps left on the shore.

Turkey Urges More EU Funding For Syrian Refugees

ISTANBUL, Dec 15 (NNN-ANADOLU) – Turkey called on the European Union, to increase funding for Syrian refugees being sheltered on Turkish land.

“As long as the migration crisis is there, we have to continue to cooperate, and we have to work together,” said Faruk Kaymakci, deputy minister of foreign affairs and director for EU affairs.

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