UNSMIL confirms Tunis CBL Governors’ meeting between El-Kaber and Hibri on auditing the CBL

The United Nation’s Libya mission, UNSMIL, confirmed today that a ‘‘work’’ meeting was held in Tunis yesterday between Tripoli-Central Bank of Libya Governor Saddek El-Kaber and acting head of the Beida Central Bank of Libya, Ali Hibri. The meeting came at the invitation of UNSMIL head Ghassan Salame to discuss the audit of both banks’ activities since the 2011 revolution by an independent international audit team. UNSMIL gave little details beyond saying that the meeting was ‘‘positive in its results’’. It will be recalled that on 16 July, Mohamed El-Sallak,…

Tory MPs complain over peer’s Tunisia trip

Three Tory MPs have lodged a complaint against party colleague Lord Sheikh over his attendance at a conference on Palestinian rights in Tunisia in 2014. Lord Sheikh confirmed he was at the event, as Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn faced questions about his participation in a memorial ceremony during the same trip. The Conservative Muslim Forum founder said he did not attend the controversial wreath-laying ceremony. But MPs Zac Goldsmith, Robert Halfon and Andrew Percy want an investigation. No Corbyn apology after wreath criticism The International Conference on Monitoring the Palestinian Political…

Did Morocco let more migrants make dangerous Spain crossing?

 Morocco may have relaxed migration controls into Europe as leverage in key negotiations with Brussels, it’s been claimed. The country, 14 kilometres from Andalucía, is in fresh focus after its northern neighbour Spain emerged as the busiest route into the EU for migrants. Experts say while they cannot be certain, there are suspicions border checks were eased ahead of negotiations on a fisheries agreement and how much Brussels should give Rabat for helping protect the EU’s external border. It’s controversial because the sea crossing to Spain can be deadly —…

Migration: Italy Mulls Investing at Least €1 Bln in North Africa

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has unveiled lately an ambitious plan worth at least 1 billion Euros destined to support the economies of North African countries, help create job opportunities in this region and curb migration flows. In a statement to Sky TG24, Mr. Salvini said these investments would focus on agriculture, fishing and trade. “It is not enough to close [ports] and send [migrants] back home,” underlined the Italian interior minister, explaining is that the move is part of a wider plan to tackle a number of security issues…

Algeria Ready for Joint World Cup Bid, but Politics May Get in the Way

Algeria’s sporting authorities have reiterated a desire to jointly bid with neighbours Tunisia and Morocco for the hosting rights of the 2030 FIFA World Cup. While Algerian Minister of Sports Mohamed Hattab spoke more cautiously in June when Morocco first spoke of the possibility of a joint bid, the Algerian official is currently more welcoming of the proposal, as he “confirmed” his country would support a united Maghreb bid. Speaking on Thursday, July 26, Hattab suggested the countries sideline political differences for the benefit of the region’s many football fans…

Italy Says Libya’s Election Hinges on Reconciliation

As Libyan parties continue to have different standpoints towards the commitment to France’s mediation and the outcomes of the meeting, hosted by Paris in May, Italy seemed to follow the path of French diplomacy in the Libyan crisis file in which Italian Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta arrived in Tripoli coming from Tunisia. In renewal of French-Italian disputes, Trenta who arrived with General Claudio Graziano said: “we do not believe that an acceleration of the electoral process can bring stability,” adding that the north African nation also needed “reconciliation, the return…

Why the prospects for democracy are so much better in Tunisia than Egypt or Libya

May’s municipal elections in Tunisia had many commentators speculating about the future of the country’s ongoing democratic transition. The results were roughly in line with expectations, with the “Islamist” Ennahda taking 27.5 percent of the vote, the “secular” Nidaa Tounes taking 22.5 percent and independent candidates taking 28 percent. At the same time, voter turnout, at 35.5 percent of registered voters, was disappointingly low. Nonetheless, most observers agree the prospects for democratic transition in Tunisia are much better than they are for Egypt or Libya. Indeed, some have come to see the…

Saudi Arabia 300kph ‘Haramain Express’ train, High-speed intercity transport to serve pilgrims of the two holy cities

.60 million – number of passengers to be served per year .453 km – the distance covered by the two-way electric trains, linking the Saudi cities of Makkah and Madinah with extensions to Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City. .5 – number of stations on the system (Makkah, Madinah via Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport and King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Rabigh). .35 trains — number of trains to be used on the line .417 – Seating capacity per train .300kph – Maximum speed the Haramain Express Train The $16 billion (SR60 billion) high-speed “Haramain…

Morocco Joins Interpol-Led Counter-Terrorism Operation ‘Neptune’

Interpol announced Friday it has deployed agents in Mediterranean seaports in eight countries, including Morocco, to apprehend suspected terrorists during the summer tourist season. Codenamed “Neptune,” the counter-terrorism operation aims to assist local authorities to identify foreign terrorists using Mediterranean maritime routes between North Africa and southern Europe. The operation also addresses threats from firearms, drugs, and human traffickers, Interpol stated. The “Neptune” operation is led by Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Spain, Italy, and France, with the support of the World Customs Organization and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency…

Migrants rescued in Maltese SAR stranded on ship outside Tunisia

Migrants rescued in Maltese SAR have been refused port entry in Malta, Italy and Tunisia according to NGO that says rescued people are now stranded at sea Malta and Italy have been accused of refusing to give safe harbour to 40 migrants rescued by a supply ship inside the Maltese search and rescue region. The NGO WatchTheMed said it had collected information that strongly suggests that a boat carrying 40 migrants from several African countries seeking protection in Europe, was “illegally transferred into Tunisian territorial waters” after having reached international waters…