RAMALLAH: The Palestinian government rejected Thursday a US-led conference on Middle East peace and security due to take place next week in Warsaw, branding it an “American conspiracy.”
The joint US-Polish conference, which was first announced last month by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, will be held on 13th & 14th February and host ministers from across the globe. The Palestinians were not invited to the meeting amid a breakdown of relations with the United States, though the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be discussed.
Among those expected to attend are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as US President Donald Trump senior advisors Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, as well as Pompeo. In a statement Thursday the Palestinian foreign ministry labeled the meeting “an American conspiracy intended to get the participants to adopt the US views on issues of the region, particularly the Palestine question”.
It said the Palestinian government would ignore all conclusions made by the conference. The Palestinians have refused to talk to the Trump administration since the US leader recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017. They see the eastern part of the disputed city as the capital of their future state and have said Washington’s pro-Israel bias meant the US could no longer be the main mediator installed Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. The Trump administration has delayed multiple times the launch of a proposed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, though officials still say they still intend to present one.
The Palestinian foreign ministry also criticized Trump for hailed the US embassy move in his State of the Union address Tuesday. “The malicious intentions of this administration were reiterated by US President Donald Trump in his State of the Union speech to Congress in which he stressed continuing with the policy of absolute bias toward Israel,” said the statement carried on official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
Registered workers’ applications for Hajj!
ISLAMABAD: The Workers Welfare Fund (WWF), Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development, has asked the registered workers of capital based factories/establishments to submit their applications for inclusion in Hajj draw by 28th February.
According to a WWF official, ten registered industrial workers from Islamabad would be chosen through balloting, whose hajj expenses would be borne by the Fund.
The minimum age of the applicants should be 40 years and must not be over 60 years. They should fulfill the criteria of a worker as defined by IRA-2017, and be registered with Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) or Employees Social Security Institutions (ESSI). They are required to submit an affidavit stating that they had not performed Hajj at least in last five year (from 2014-18).
The applying worker must submit a certificate from his respective institution that the institution is situated and registered within the limits of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). In the case of women worker, all expenditure and another arrangement of her accompanying Mehram will be paid by herself.
WWF would pay the expenses as per the announced Hajj Policy 2019, complete applications should be sent to Assistant Director (Welfare) WWF, Building No 2, Street no 39, Mauve Area, G-10/4, Islamabad.
In case a selected worker is failed to go to perform Haj, he/she will not be entitled to receive the money. His berth will be allotted to next waiting candidate to avail the free hajj facility. The decision of WWF will be final and cannot be challenged in any case.
Delayed: MBS to visit Pakistan on 17-18 Feb.
ISLAMABAD: According to the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Saudi Crown Prince MBS, who was scheduled to land here tomorrow (16th February) for a two-day visit, will now be visiting on 17-18 February.
This will be his first state visit to Pakistan since becoming the heir to the throne in 2017.
Air Space closure during Saudi Prince visit!
ISLAMABAD: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, at the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, will visit Pakistan on 16-17 Feb before traveling onwards to India, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is scheduled to call on President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his trip. He will be accompanied by a high-powered delegation including other members of the royal family, key ministers, and leading businessmen who will be meeting their counterparts to discuss bilateral cooperation in their respective fields. During his stay, a number of agreements and MoUs related to diverse sectors, including investment, finance, power, renewable energy, internal security, media, culture and sports worth over $10 billion will be signed.
As part of security measures, there will be over 1,000 check points set up in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and law enforcement officials will be posted along the twin cities’ main routes, from which heavy traffic will be barred for two days. The metro bus service will remain restricted to Rawalpindi, the sources said. Additionally, shoot-on-sight orders have been issued for drones and other remote-controlled aviation toys, the sources added. Saudi security and intelligence officials are expected to be present across the capital for the two days that the crown prince is visiting. The Islamabad Expressway will be shut for the VVIP movement, while the route from Koral Chowk to Faisal Avenue 15 u-turn will be shut down at various times.
Murree Road ─ from the Faizabad Interchange to Serena Chowk will remain closed, while Shahrah-i-Dastoor will be shut down from Radio Pakistan to Serena Hotel. Traffic from Peshawar, Kahuta and Murree will be diverted to an alternative route, the sources said. Sources in the capital administration suggested that those going to offices or schools leave their homes earlier than usual in order to avoid facing inconvenience.