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INTERNATIONAL ISSUES - IRAQ

UAE to extend visit visas of Iraqis free of charge

Posted on 03/04/2003

The UAE will extend visit visas free of charge for Iraqis which have expired, the Interior Ministry announced yesterday. The extension will be given to any type of visa, including transit visa, a source at the ministry said. He added that the special consideration is being given to those Iraqis who are also transferring their work visa. He said there are very few illegal Iraqi workers in the UAE. Earlier, Brigadier Hadher bin Khalaf Al Muhairi, Director of the Abu Dhabi Naturalisation and ...  >>MORE

RCA helps stranded Iraqi fishermen return home

Posted on 02/04/2003

The Red Crescent Authority's branch here yesterday provided nine Iraqi fishermen with air tickets for Syria and later to Iraq by road, after they got lost at sea and ended up in the UAE. Captain Hamzah Daeer, captain of the ship, said the group went fishing on February 26 from Basra, southern Iraq. The ship belongs to a company with a licence to fish in international waters. They sell the catch to passing ships. Capt Daeer said a week later, the ship developed engine trouble. The crew ...  >>MORE

Cabinet meeting calls for end to suffering of Iraqi people

Posted on 02/04/2003

The UAE Cabinet yesterday held here its weekly meeting presided over by Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Cabinet listened to the report of the Foreign Minister, Rashid Abdullah on latest developments in the region. The Cabinet underlined the UAE's support for efforts, which calls for an immediate end to the war in Iraq and resort to international legitimacy for ending the sufferings of brotherly Iraqi people. It expressed deep regret for the death of innocent ...  >>MORE

Journalists call for end to war against Iraq

Posted on 01/04/2003

The Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) issued an open letter yesterday addressed to the United Nations and other international organisations, condemning what they described as 'an unprecedented and unwarranted aggressive war' on Iraq by the United States, United Kingdom and their allies, and urging them to intervene and work for a ceasefire for the sake of hundreds of innocent Iraqi civilians who are either dying, suffering injuries or being rendered homeless. The federation said that the ...  >>MORE

26 RCA centres to collect aid for Iraqis

Posted on 01/04/2003

The UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) has launched a campaign in the Eastern Region to collect humanitarian aid for the Iraqis by setting up 26 dedicated centres. The Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Aqwaf has also been cooperating with the Al Ain branch of the RCA, a major contributor to the authority's countrywide drive. The RCA branch has set up 16 collection centres in Al Ain city area and 10 in the rural areas, including Sweihan, Zakher, Al Hyer, Mazyed, Al Wagan and Al Masoudi. ...  >>MORE

UN urged to help end war on Iraq

Posted on 31/03/2003

Qassim Sultan, Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, has warned against dangerous consequences of the US-led war against Iraq. Sultan in a statement yesterday noted that the real danger lies in the loss of innocent human lives, especially children, women and old people who have committed no crimes and who should get their fair share of shelter, medical treatment, work, education and care in every way, according to a report in "Khaleej Times.” It is also ...  >>MORE

Dubai unaffected by war in Iraq, says DTCM official

Posted on 31/03/2003

The war in Iraq might have adversely affected the region but Dubai, which remains a major international centre for tourism and business, is the least affected with hotels reporting 50-60 per cent occupancy, said Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Manager (Missions), Hamad Mohammed bin Mejren, in an interview with Khaleej Times. The Missions section, which is part of DTCM's Operations and Marketing Division, is involved in organising a number of inward visits from key ...  >>MORE

Illegal Iraqis can stay in country until war ends

Posted on 31/03/2003

Iraqi nationals, residing illegally in the UAE, will be given time beyond the amnesty deadline of April 30 to leave the country, according to Brigadier Hadher Khalaf Al Muhairy, Director General of the Naturalisation and Residency Directorate of the Interior Ministry. "Due to the Iraq war, the ministry has decided that Iraqi nationals living in violation of the country's immigration laws will not be required to leave the country by the general amnesty deadline if the war continues beyond April ...  >>MORE

RCS relief aid crosses into Iraq

Posted on 30/03/2003

Amman - Three trucks carrying 70 tonnes of foodstuff and relief aid crossed a checkpoint on Jordan-Iraq border yesterday for distribution among the people in war-stricken Iraq. The truckloads are the first batch of humanitarian aid the UAE Red Crescent Society (RCS) has vowed to extend to the Iraqi people in a bid to alleviate their ordeal. As the trucks crossed the border into Iraq a RCS delegation, headed by Dr. Saleh Al Taie, had returned by road from Baghdad last night after spending four ...  >>MORE

Dubai e-Government launches 'e-Contribution' drive to raise funds for Iraqis

Posted on 30/03/2003

Dubai e-Government and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Foundation yesterday announced the launch of e-Contribution, a new initiative to raise funds electronically for the Iraqi people through the Dubai e-Government portal http://www.dubai.ae as part of the "Our People in Iraq' campaign. Addressing a press conference, Ibrahim Bu Melha, Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees for Mohammed bin Rashid Al ...  >>MORE

FNC backs government stance on Iraq

Posted on 29/03/2003

The Federal National Council (FNC) has voiced its support to the efforts exerted by the UAE to resolve the Iraqi crisis peacefully and avert consequences of a conflict in the region. In a statement issued here today, the legislative body said, "The FNC has been following with grave concern the current situation in Iraq, including its possible socio-economic and political ramifications on the region and the world at large. It also takes this opportunity to express its full support for the ...  >>MORE

Zayed ideas are aimed at maintaining security in the region: GCC Chief

Posted on 29/03/2003

The vision of H.H President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his views on the current situation in the region are all but aimed at maintaining the security and stability of the region and safeguarding the interests of its people, GCC Secretary General, Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Attiya has said. In an interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM, shortly after meeting Sheikh Zayed, Al Attiya said: " I listened to the views of President Sheikh Zayed. His ideas have always been a source ...  >>MORE

10,000 in Iraq solidarity march

Posted on 29/03/2003

More than 10,000 people yesterday took out a peaceful march in Dubai to show solidarity with the Iraqis. The emotionally charged march began near the Abu Bakr Al Siddique mosque at 7pm and wound its way to the clock tower via Muraqqabat Street and back. No untoward incident was reported and no arrests were made. Maj. General Abdul Aziz Mohammed Al Bannai, Director of the General Department for Emergency and Establishments Security of Dubai Police, who was present on the occasion along with ...  >>MORE

UAE continues to be safe place - U.S. diplomat

Posted on 29/03/2003

The UAE remains a very safe and secure place, said Richard G. Olson, U.S. Consul-General, while a prominent Australian businessman censured his government for issuing an advisory against travelling to this region. "It is particularly safe for businesses," Olson said, speaking to Gulf News. He explained the U.S. administration had issued a general advisory against travelling to this region, which is why non-essential diplomatic staff had been moved to other locations, but reiterated the UAE is ...  >>MORE

RCS organises fund-raising for Iraqi people

Posted on 29/03/2003

The Red Crescent Society, RCS, today organised a fund-raising campaign for the assistance of the Iraqi people. The proceeds of the campaign organised, in co-operation with the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Awqaf at Mosques after the Friday prayers, will improve the Society's humanitarian services aimed at helping Iraqi people, particularly securing basic needs for children and the elderly. The RCS runs a number of charity projects in Iraq and provides foodstuff and medications to ...  >>MORE

12-hour telethon raises funds

Posted on 26/03/2003

A telethon was held yesterday as part of the open day to raise money for the Iraqi victims of war by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation. The 12-hour telethon, held under the slogan 'Our Kin in Iraq', was hosted by Dubai Television and Radio. It started at 2pm and ended late at night. Some Dh5.33 million had been collected by midnight. The campaign was held under the instructions of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and ...  >>MORE

Arab media refutes war coverage bias

Posted on 26/03/2003

The Arab media yesterday slammed the Western media, refuting the charge that the regional media was manipulating public opinion. More than 50 journalists gathered at the Dubai Press Club (DPC) yesterday for an open discussion and criticised the Western media for blaming some Arabic satellite channels for being biased. They denied that war coverage from some regionally-based Arabic media organisations is subjective and one-sided. The journalists urged their Arabic colleagues to take a unanimous ...  >>MORE

RCS crosses into Iraq to arrange relief

Posted on 26/03/2003

Members of the UAE Red Crescent Society (RCS) crossed the border the Jordanian with Iraq yesterday to provide medical assistance to the Iraqis and arrange an air bridge for transport and food assistance. The visit comes in the wake of a fund-raising campaign recently launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and RCS Chairman, to extend a helping hand to the Iraqi people in their ordeal. The current visit is the fourth by a RCS delegation to the Iraqi ...  >>MORE

Sheikha Fatima voices concern over the humanitarian situation in Iraq

Posted on 26/03/2003

H.H Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the President's wife and Chairwoman of the UAE General Women's Union, yesterday expressed concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Iraq. "I have followed the current events in Iraq with deep concern. My heart goes out to millions of Iraqi civilians, particularly women and children who are the most vulnerable to this impending disaster,” said Sheikha Fatima in remarks here today. Sheikha Fatima, who is also the honorary Chairwoman of the UAE Red ...  >>MORE

Banks operating normally in GCC

Posted on 26/03/2003

The UAE assured the public yesterday the war in Iraq had no impact on the domestic banking system, while banks in other GCC states said dealing remained normal except for small collective withdrawals of deposits in Kuwait by expatriates. The Central Bank's Board of Directors met yesterday and discussed the banking situation in the UAE following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq last Thursday. "The meeting covered the banking and financial developments in the country...bank deposits are stable and ...  >>MORE

Mohammed bin Rashid Foundation to send aid to Iraqi victims

Posted on 25/03/2003

A humanitarian campaign to relieve the Iraqi people is to be launched today on the directives of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Defence Minister. The campaign, to be launched under the theme 'Our people in Iraq", is to raise funds through telephone, fax and the internet, according to Ibrahim Bu Melhah, Deputy Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Foundation. " The Foundation is currently making arrangements to send ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi TV winning war of the news networks

Posted on 24/03/2003

If it was Al Jazeera which stole the limelight during the Afghan crises, it is Abu Dhabi Television (ADTV) which is emerging as the frontliner in feeding 'crucial' footage on the Iraq war to international networks. ADTV has stepped up it's news coverage to 24 hours from last week. It claims that more than 120 broadcasting networks and media organisations including APTN, AFP, Reuters, CNN and others are subscribing or 'picking up' their exclusive live footage of the war. Ali Al Ahmed, ...  >>MORE

RCS prepares for massive relief operation in Iraq

Posted on 24/03/2003

The UAE Red Crescent Society said yesterday that it was preparing for a massive relief operation in Iraq, following a request from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society. The charity organisation said it was now preparing large quantities of humanitarian items, including medical and relief supplies, to be delivered to the needy in Iraq, said Sanaa Darwish Al Qitbi, Secretary General of (RCS). Al Qitbi added that a RCS delegation which is already in Baghdad has purchased some of these items from the ...  >>MORE

Emirates to carry Kuwait Airways passengers

Posted on 24/03/2003

Emirates has entered into an agreement with Kuwait Airways that allows all Kuwait Airways passengers to travel on Emirates flights without the need for their tickets to be endorsed. This follows Kuwait Airways' suspension of its worldwide operations with the exception of services to Dubai and Cairo. According to the agreement, a Kuwait Airways ticket-holder travelling from Singapore-Kuwait-Beirut can now travel without endorsement on Emirates Singapore-Dubai-Beirut. The Endorsement Waiver ...  >>MORE

Life in UAE normal, nothing to worry about: Mohammed

Posted on 23/03/2003

Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Defence Minister, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in Dubai yesterday at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, heads of the consular missions in Dubai and discussed with them current political and military situation in the region. Sheikh Mohammed assured them about the stable situation in the UAE including economic, political and social stability. He said that the situation in the UAE was normal and there was nothing to worry about. He urged all, citizens and ...  >>MORE

Dubai Airport continues normal operations

Posted on 23/03/2003

Dubai International Airport continues to operate normally and will remain open to all airlines round the clock, according to a statement issued by the Department of Civil Aviation. Its contingency plans include 24-hour operations, providing round the clock information on safe routing for airlines, aircraft parking positions for up to 100 hundred aircraft and additional operations manpower as and when required. "We regret the onset of the conflict. However, we are very far away from it and are ...  >>MORE

RCS to deliver emergency relief assistance to Iraq

Posted on 23/03/2003

The UAE Red crescent Society, RCS, is to send emergency relief assistance in support of the humanitarian issue of the Iraqi people. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, has ordered that a campaign on emergency relief assistance for the Iraqi people be launched immediately to enhance the existing RCS humanitarian programme towards the Iraqi people in an effort to help alleviate their sufferings in their current ...  >>MORE

No UAE soldiers wounded in landmine explosion: Kuwaiti official

Posted on 22/03/2003

Kuwait - The Kuwaiti Ministry of Defence yesterday dismissed reports alleging that a number of army personnel of the UAE contingent in Dir Al Jazeera (Peninsula Shield) were wounded in a landmine explosion. "There had been no explosion of any vehicle carrying members of the UAE contingent. These reports are totally baseless” , the Kuwaiti News Agency quoted Colonel Yusuf Al Mullah , the official spokesman of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defence as saying. Colonel Al Mullah was responding to some ...  >>MORE

Business as usual at Dubai Airport

Posted on 22/03/2003

Dubai International Airport yesterday continued to report normal movement of aircraft and passengers as witnessed by the non-cancellation of flights to Middle Eastern and other destinations. Alternative routes, however, were taken by some airlines to ensure safety and security of its passengers. "This means that travel time would have increased by an hour or so, depending on the air routes taken by the airlines. Otherwise, everything is operating smoothly from the Dubai Airport," a Department ...  >>MORE

UAE troops to maintain stability

Posted on 21/03/2003

The objective of sending UAE troops to Kuwait within the framework of Dir-Al Jazeera (the Peninsula Shield) to protect and safeguard Kuwait's security and stability is in line with President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's directives. He has a strong belief in close relationship between the GCC countries, as well as the necessity to support any GCC member country facing any threat. The UAE troops which left for Kuwait on last February to complete their readiness and ...  >>MORE

Flight activities to continue uninterrupted at Abu Dhabi Airport: Al Muhairbi

Posted on 21/03/2003

Flight activities at the Abu Dhabi International Airport continue smoothly and would remain uninterrupted by the events in Iraq, according to Khalid Ghaith Al Muhairbi, Director General of the Airport. Al Muhairbi said that in line with the directives of the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Civil Aviation Department, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, a co-ordinated plan was put in place between the Department and other agencies working at the Airport, including the Immigration and Naturalisation ...  >>MORE

Gulf Air announces minimal disruptions

Posted on 21/03/2003

Gulf Air, the national airline of Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, has announced that despite the onset of military conflict in the region, it is operating normally and at most, only expects minimal disruption to its flights. "We have received assurances from the civil Aviation Authorities that the airports of our gateway cities of Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and Muscat will remain open for business, and we are in constant liaison with the authorities to review any changes or developments,” said James Hogan, ...  >>MORE

Emirates airline to continue its flights to all destinations except Kuwait

Posted on 21/03/2003

The Emirates Airline said that its flights will continue without any disruptions to all destinations with the exception of Kuwait to which flights had been stopped after the American attack on Iraq began. In a statement issued here, the Airline asked the passengers to call their travel agents or Airline offices to confirm flight details before heading for the airport. Maurice Flanagan, Emirates Group Managing Director said that that safety remained the Airline's top priority. In a statement ...  >>MORE

UAE braces for relief operations in Iraq

Posted on 21/03/2003

The UAE has started preparations for large-scale relief operations in war-hit Iraq as more aid shipments ordered by President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan were offloaded and distributed to the Iraqis. Officials at the Red Crescent Authority (RCA) said they planned to step up such operations in collaboration with the Red Cross to help the Iraqis during and after the war. Co-ordinated operations were discussed by the two sides during a meeting at the RCA headquarters in Abu ...  >>MORE

UAE business sector keeps watchful eye

Posted on 21/03/2003

The UAE's business sectors initial response towards the war against Iraq is that reality has not matched the worst-case scenarios. Despite general concerns by expatriates and UAE nationals for friends and relatives in the Northern Gulf, various industry sources in Abu Dhabi maintained a 'business as usual' and a 'wait and watch' approach. In Dubai, they were quite hopeful that any dip in business confidence will be strictly short-term and a recovery is possible by as early as May or June. Also, ...  >>MORE

Strike on Iraq will not affect UAE airspace

Posted on 20/03/2003

UAE airspace will not be affected in the event of a war against Iraq and airline traffic at the international airports will continue as usual, according to the Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). Ghanim Al Ghaith told reporters yesterday: "We understand that everybody is worried about the situation. The GCAA Air Control Centre will publish updated news with regard to contingency routes to be used in case of war. This will be announced in time and distributed to the ...  >>MORE

RCS ready to deliver relief supplies to Iraq: Hamdan

Posted on 20/03/2003

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the UAE Red Crescent Society, said the UAE RCS was ready to meet any new humanitarian situation that may arise in Iraq. He said that the RCS was playing a leading role in assisting victims of the current developments in Iraq and would garner support to tackle the deteriorating situation of the Iraqi people, caused by more than 12 years of sanctions, adding that the organisation views with great concern the ...  >>MORE

Residents see no reason to panic

Posted on 20/03/2003

Despite the looming war with Iraq, residents, shopkeepers and officials say it is business as usual in the UAE and that there is no fear of a fallout from the conflict. An official said there is absolutely no need to stock up with food. Dr Sulaiman Al Jassim, Chair-man of Consumer Cooperative Societies Union, said: "The food supply in the country will not be affected if a war breaks out. There is also no reason to panic and stockpile food." According to Dr Al Jassim the supply to the country ...  >>MORE

Hundreds join anti-war rally

Posted on 17/03/2003

Hundreds of people of many nationalities yesterday marched in procession, chanting slogans against the U.S. and the UK as they protested against the impending attack on Iraq. They called for a peaceful settlement to the crisis; stressing UN weapons inspectors have been doing their job properly. The procession started at the Police Department and ended at the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque. Fadah Farah, a UAE national, said the protesters want to tell the U.S. that Arabs are ...  >>MORE

Ex-Iraqi Minister hails UAE proposals

Posted on 17/03/2003

A former Iraqi foreign minister, who has emerged a s powerful force for a secular democratic Iraq” is pushing for Iraqis to run a post war administration, praised President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's proposal for Iraqi President Saddam Hussain to go on exile. He said Iraqis world-wide welcomed it as the only sensible way forward. "It is the proposal of a leader and visionary who understands the wishes of the Iraqi people,” Adnan Pachachi said while strongly rejecting the ...  >>MORE

Students stage anti-war procession in Al Ain

Posted on 16/03/2003

Students of the UAE University (UAEU) yesterday took to the streets of Al Ain in an anti-war procession, expressing solidarity with the people of Iraq. The first anti-war protest by university students in the UAE, it started from the Islamic Institute building of the UAEU, and was organised by the Emirates National Students Union. The procession, which started at 5pm, passed through several streets and ended close to the university's football ground. The protesters were holding UAE flags, ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

UAE to extend visit visas of Iraqis free of charge


RCA helps stranded Iraqi fishermen return home


Cabinet meeting calls for end to suffering of Iraqi people


Journalists call for end to war against Iraq


26 RCA centres to collect aid for Iraqis


UN urged to help end war on Iraq


Dubai unaffected by war in Iraq, says DTCM official


Illegal Iraqis can stay in country until war ends


RCS relief aid crosses into Iraq


Dubai e-Government launches 'e-Contribution' drive to raise funds for Iraqis


FNC backs government stance on Iraq


Zayed ideas are aimed at maintaining security in the region: GCC Chief


10,000 in Iraq solidarity march


UAE continues to be safe place - U.S. diplomat


RCS organises fund-raising for Iraqi people


12-hour telethon raises funds


Arab media refutes war coverage bias


RCS crosses into Iraq to arrange relief


Sheikha Fatima voices concern over the humanitarian situation in Iraq


Banks operating normally in GCC


Mohammed bin Rashid Foundation to send aid to Iraqi victims


Abu Dhabi TV winning war of the news networks


RCS prepares for massive relief operation in Iraq


Emirates to carry Kuwait Airways passengers


Life in UAE normal, nothing to worry about: Mohammed


Dubai Airport continues normal operations


RCS to deliver emergency relief assistance to Iraq


No UAE soldiers wounded in landmine explosion: Kuwaiti official


Business as usual at Dubai Airport


UAE troops to maintain stability


Flight activities to continue uninterrupted at Abu Dhabi Airport: Al Muhairbi


Gulf Air announces minimal disruptions


Emirates airline to continue its flights to all destinations except Kuwait


UAE braces for relief operations in Iraq


UAE business sector keeps watchful eye


Strike on Iraq will not affect UAE airspace


RCS ready to deliver relief supplies to Iraq: Hamdan


Residents see no reason to panic


Hundreds join anti-war rally


Ex-Iraqi Minister hails UAE proposals


Students stage anti-war procession in Al Ain