1997 09 30 Tuesday No. : 22297
UAE EXPRESSES RESENTMENT OVER EU CRITICISM
The UAE yesterday summoned the Ambassadors of the European Troika and expressed its deep anger and resentment over the European Parliament's criticism of the death sentence passed by the UAE courts against two murderers who committed a number of crimes such as killing, raping and theft, in violation of the religious teachings of the law.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al Nahyan said he affirmed to the Ambassadors of the Netherlands, Italy and Britain the UAE's rejection of any interference in its internal affairs, religious beliefs or its Islamic Shariah based on the Holy Qu'ran.
"The UAE respects the sovereignty of the European Union, EU, countries, their freedom to choose their religious beliefs and does not interfere in their internal affairs. Likewise, we reject any interference in our internal affairs, our religious beliefs and our Islamic Shariah," he said.
Sheikh Hamdan added that the verdict on the two criminals who threatened the security of the citizens was passed according to the legislations observed here as it was first deliberated by the Court of First Instances, the Court of Appeals and then the Higher Federal Court. The verdict is an implementation of the Shariah laws, which guarantee justice and security for all and which demand that the killer should be killed to protect the society from his evils," the Minister said.
"If the EU was to criticise a fair court verdict of executing the criminals, then what would the EU courts do?" he continued. "Do they set criminals free to horrify citizens without punishment and under the pretext of protecting human rights? Are these criminals who violate the norms and laws and become devoid of human feeling to be protected by human rights?"
Sheikh Hamdan went on to say that the UAE, as per the directives of President HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, was keen to provide security to its citizens and residents alike, provided that they abide by the laws and do not violate the rights of the individuals of society. Respect of human rights is one of the top priorities of the UAE's policy and maintaining them is the goal that all the country's authorities are seeking to achieve."
The Ambassadors - Henry Juriaen Hein of the Netherlands, Pietro Cordone of Italy and Anthony Harris of Britain - said that they believed the information upon which the European Parliament based its statement was untrue and inaccurate and informed Sheikh Hamdan that they would follow up the matter with their respective Governments. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)
(A local paper explains that) an international row has blown up between the UAE and the European Parliament over the execution of two convicted murderers earlier this month. On September 18, Members of the European Parliament, MEPs, accepted a resolution critical of the UAE authorities. The resolution centres around the execution of a UAE national - Majid Fakher Hussein - and an Iranian national - Abdul Mahdi Karim Mushtaq - who were convicted of a series of horrific murders in 1995.
The execution was carried out by firing squad in public on September 12 in Al Ain. Yesterday, the official Arabic daily Al Ittihad hit back at the European Parliament in a front-page editorial headlined "Why is the European Parliament Defending Criminals and Killers?" (carried in full in yesterday's edition No. 22197 of 'The Emirates')
The European Parliament comprises 626 MEPs elected from throughout the 15 member states, which include the UK, France and Germany. Initially, the Parliament had only a consultative role, although, with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and the Single European Act, its powers increased. MEPs can now amend proposed legislation and have the power of veto legislation in certain cases. (The Gulf Today)
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UAE PUTS CEILING ON WEDDING COSTS
The Cabinet yesterday held is weekly meeting under the Chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed al Nahyan. The Cabinet approved two letters from the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Awqaf (Endowments) outlining a draft law defining wedding dowries.
The new draft law set dowries at a maximum of Dh 20,000.0 and divorce compensation at Dh 30,000.0. Wedding parties should not exceed one day. The Cabinet approval was in line with instructions by President HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan to curb soaring wedding expenses which burden the young couples as they embark on building their family life.
The other letter covered modification of the 1974 Federal Law on pensions for civil servants and other Government workers. The new law stipulates the inclusion in such pensions of the 25.0% pay rise for civil servants ordered by President Sheikh Zayed in December.
It also stipulates that the wage of a pensioner should not be less than his basic salary, in addition to the social aid for his children, or a maximum of Dh 3,750.0 per month. It should also not be less than his basic salary plus his family's social aid or a minimum of Dh 2,500.0 per month. Disbursement of those benefits would be retroactive from December 1, 1996.
Other Cabinet business included the agreement on a memorandum from the Interior Minister on a proposed agreement with Tunisia on fighting drugs. The Cabinet also approved another letter, from the Ministry of Finance and Industry, extending a contract with the Emirates Transport Corporation during the scholastic year 1997 - 1887, as from October 1. The contract is worth around Dh 187.0 million.
Yet another memorandum came from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and included authorising the Federal Environment Authority, FEA, to sign an international protocol on fighting desertification. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)
Regarding weddings once more, wedding contractors said that some ceremonies could cost more than $ 200,000.0 as scores of sheep and camels are slaughtered to feed the often thousands of guests. "Some parties also include the distribution of gifts," said one contractor. Although hundreds of tribes in the country have reported internal agreements to limit dowries following Sheikh Zayed's appeals, wedding extravaganzas have continued unabated, according to officials.
However, mixed marriages have declined sharply over the past few years, following the creation of The Marriage Fund to help the men of the UAE marry their compatriot women. The Marriage Fund, ordered into existence by Sheikh Zayed in 1992, extends a grant of Dh 70,000.0 ($ 19,075.0) to each bridegroom seeking to marry a UAE national bride.
The Fund stipulates that the applicant must be a bachelor. The Fund has a capital of Dh 250.0 million ($ 68.0 million), financed from the Federal Budget. It has, over the five years of its existence, benefited more than 8,000 couples. (The Agence France-Presse, AFP)
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ADGAS MARKS LNG PLANT'S ANNIVERSARY
The Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company, ADGAS, today celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Liquid Natural Gas, LNG, plant. ADGAS was established in 1973 under the directives of President HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who decreed that the wasteful flaring of natural gas had to stop. Thus, a highly-sophisticated gas liquefaction plant was to be built on Das Island.
In 1977, Sheikh Zayed officially inaugurated the plant, owned and operated by ADGAS, which has enjoyed the support of the President and HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who is also Chairman of the Supreme Petroleum Council, SPC.
ADGAS' march has been full of remarkable achievements that will undoubtedly be maintained and consolidated through appropriate planning, continuous development of its human resources and use of state-of-the-art technology, all of which is taking ADGAS into the 21st century long before it has even started.
The co-operation and support of ADGAS' founding shareholders, namely the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, Mitsui, British Petroleum, BP, and TOTAL, have greatly contributed to ADGAS' progress and success over the years.
ADGAS is the first company in the Arab Gulf region to invest in LNG industries as part of the UAE's plans to diversify its economy and sources of income. Expansions have turned the firm into one of the largest LNG and liquefied petroleum gas, LPG, producers in the world.
With its new agreement with the Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO, of Japan to double its LNG production, ADGAS witnessed major changes and expansion, including the refurbishment and improvement of its plant, construction of the third process train, renewal and expansion of its LNG tanker fleet and the recent move of the company's offices to its new headquarters overlooking the Abu Dhabi Corniche.
The third LNG process train can produce up to 3.0 million tonnes of LNG annually and it has brought the plant's output in 1997 to around 5.8 million tonnes, or 8.0 million tonnes if LPG, pentane and sulphur are included. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)
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AJMAN RULER OPENS NEW COLLEGES
Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman HH Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid al Nuaimi yesterday opened the new College of Pharmacology and Health Sciences and the College of Dentistry at Ajman University of Science and Technology.
Sheikh Humaid was accompanied by Ajman Crown Prince Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid al Nuaimi and chief of the Economic Department Sheikh Ahmed bin Humaid al Nuaimi and was received on arrival by Chancellor of the University Dr Saeed Salman, Deans of the Faculties and senior officials. Sheikh Humaid stressed the importance of education and made the donation of a large piece of land to the University in order to meet the needs of future expansion.
Dr Salman lauded the Ajman Ruler's commitment to developing the University and the efforts exerted in this direction over the past ten years. He also referred to the status attained by the University and added that branches of the educational institution were established in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and in Oman and that, too, it has links with 150 similar institutions worldwide.
Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacology Dr Fawzi Qutb and Dean of Students' Affairs Dr Rashid Nasser bin Nasser also addressed the ceremony marking the inauguration of the two new colleges. Sheikh Humaid then toured the various sections of the University, expressed admiration for all that had been achieved and thanked the organisers of the ceremony. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)
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UAE PROFESSOR WINS PRESTIGIOUS SHOMAN AWARD
The renowned 'Shoman Award for Young Arab Scientists' went this year to an Emirati Professor of Law, Dr Jassim Ali Salem al Shamsi, who is based at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain. Dr al Shamsi, who is head of the Law and Islamic Shariah Faculty at the University, was given the award for his research papers and studies published in the law periodicals of the Universities of the UAE and Kuwait.
In an interview with the Emirates News English-language daily newspaper, Dr al Shamsi elaborated on some of his published studies such as 'The Implementation of Civil Law Rules on AIDS Carriers'
According to Al Shamsi, the study focused on three main issues. These are: 1) The impact of AIDS screening on the principles of freedom in marriage; 2) empowering parents and executive authorities to annul a marriage if either of the partners was afflicted by AIDS, as well as giving the same right to both the non-afflicted and the afflicted partner; and 3) the role of the parents of an afflicted partner to go ahead with an abortion, should the foetus, too, be afflicted with the disease.
The establishment of the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award allocates prizes in 12 separate specialisations bi-annually for young Arab scientists in order to contribute to the foundation and development of a generation of future scientists, which is the ultimate goal behind the Award's establishment.
The number of award winners up to 1995 was 194 and all the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council, AGCC, countries - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE - with the sole exception of Bahrain, have had nationals who have been recipients of the awards, as have a number of other Arab countries. (The Emirates News)
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