wiki globe

Posts Tagged ‘rejects’

Spain rejects ETA ceasefire

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:09 am

Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has rejected a permanent ceasefire declaration from armed Basque separatists ETA, saying he wants nothing less than their dissolution.


Zapatero was responding to the first unilateral declaration of a permanent ceasefire in ETA’s campaign of bombings and shootings for a homeland independent of Spain, which has claimed the lives of 829 people.


“The only thing we are waiting for from ETA is a statement on its definitive dissolution,” he told Antena 3 television, ruling out dialogue and saying ETA’s only choice was to disarm and respect the law.

Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (pictured) has rejected a permanent ceasefire declaration from armed Basque separatists ETA, saying he wants nothing less than their dissolution

Achieving an end to ETA’s violence would be a costly and difficult process, Zapatero said.


“We are without any doubt on the horizon of seeing that end to violence but it will take time,” he added.


“We must remain united, with strength and intelligence and defending the democratic state. That way we will achieve it. I have no doubt.”


ETA’s statement earlier Monday had talked of a ceasefire, but there was no promise to disband or disarm.


“ETA has decided to declare a permanent and general ceasefire which will be verifiable by the international community,” the group said in a video declaration.


“This is ETA’s firm commitment towards a process to achieve a lasting resolution and towards an end to the armed confrontation.”


The video showed three ETA members in white hoods and black berets, sitting in front of a table and reading the statement aloud in the Basque and Spanish languages.


They called on Spain and France to end “repressive measures” and abandon their attitude of “denial” towards the Basque Country; and they urged Basque people to agree on a future with independence as a possibility.


Jose Marco, vice-president of AVT, an association of victims of ETA attacks, dismissed the offer as “more of the same”.


The Basque Country’s interior minister Rodolfo Ares said the statement was a step in the right direction, but was “insufficient, because ETA has not decided to abandon terrorist activities”.


ETA announced a “permanent ceasefire” in March 2006 within the framework of negotiations with Madrid. But nine months later, it set off a bomb in the car park of Madrid-Barajas airport, killing two men.


Analyst Gorka Landaburu Illarramendi, director of news weekly Cambio 16 and victim of an ETA parcel bomb in 2001 that blew off several of his fingers, acknowledged that the latest statement was “an important step”.


But he added: “It is not the definitive step. And the hope of the great majority of the Basque, even Spanish, people is that this organisation dissolves itself and disappears from life.”


ETA released a series of declarations in September last year proposing an end to violence and calling for international mediation.


But the government dismissed them, insisting on a definitive, verifiable and unconditional ceasefire.

Spanish authorities believe ETA has been severely weakened after Spanish security forces, helped by other countries, particularly France, captured its leaders in a series of raids. There has been no attack on Spanish soil since August 2009.

And ETA has also come under severe pressure from within.

The group’s political wing, Batasuna, called on ETA to declare a permanent, verifiable ceasefire in an effort to get a ban imposed on its own participation in polls lifted so it can take part in municipal elections in May.

Batasuna was ruled illegal in 2003 because of its links with ETA. Zapatero made it clear to Batasuna that either ETA abandoned the armed struggle or Batasuna repudiated ETA if it wanted to take part in the election.

ETA was formed on July 31, 1959 during the dictatorship of general Francisco Franco by a group of Basque nationalist students.

On June 7, 1968, ETA shot and killed the police chief of the Basque coastal city of San Sebastian in the first deadly attack for which it claimed responsibility.

Source: SGGP

UN rejects demand to leave I.Coast

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 at 8:27 am

UN chief Ban Ki-moon rejected a demand that UN peacekeepers leave Ivory Coast, heightening the international confrontation with contested leader Laurent Gbagbo.


Gbagbo had earlier ordered UN and French peacekeepers out of the country, accusing them of backing rebel fighters supporting his rival Alassane Ouattara.


The demand for their “immediate” departure reflected the growing anger of Gbagbo’s nationalist supporters, and came as his most notorious lieutenant urged young Ivorians to make ready to fight for their sovereignty.


But Ban condemned attacks on UN troops in the West African nation and warned of “consequences” for those behind such action.

A supporter of Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo attends a demonstration in central London. UN chief Ban Ki-moon rejected a demand that UN peacekeepers leave Ivory Coast, heightening the international confrontation with contested leader Laurent Gbagbo

The UN mission, UNOCI, “will fulfil its mandate and will continue to monitor and document any human rights violations, incitement to hatred and violence, or attacks on UN peacekeepers,” Ban was quoted as saying in a statement.


The United Nations, United States, European Union and Ivory Coast’s west African neighbours all demanded that Gbagbo cede power to Ouattara after both men claimed to have won last month’s presidential election.


But the veteran strongman retains control of the official armed forces and his backers have vowed to fight on, turning their anger on UN peacekeepers, former colonial power France and Ouattara’s own Ivorian supporters.


“The president of the Republic of the Ivory Coast has just asked for the immediate departure from Ivorian territory of UNOCI and the French forces that support it,” Education Minister Jacqueline Lohoues-Oble said on Saturday.


As tension mounted between the two camps, Gbagbo’s supporters accused the United Nations’ 10,000-strong force and France’s 900 troops in Ivory Coast of supporting pro-Ouattara rebel fighters.


The spokeswoman repeated these claims and accused the UN mission of broadcasting rebel propaganda on its radio station to destabilise the country.


Ban said: “The international community has spoken with one voice regarding Mr. Gbagbo’s attempt to hold onto power.”


He added that statements of support for Ouattara by the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, and the African Union “have shown that the African continent is united in its commitment to respect the democratically expressed will of the Ivorian people.”


About 800 UN forces are protecting Ouattara’s government headquarters in an Abidjan hotel, while Gbagbo retains the presidential palace and the loyalty of the Ivory Coast army.


Ban “is deeply concerned about the attacks on a UN patrol and sentries at UNOCI HQ perpetrated by elements of the Ivorian security forces apparently loyal to Mr. Gbagbo, and an attack on UN military observers by Young Patriots on Saturday, 18 December, which left two military observers wounded.”


The Young Patriots also back Gbagbo.


Ban warned: “There will be consequences for those who have perpetrated or orchestrated any such actions or do so in the future.”


The UN leader reaffirmed a warning made on Friday that “any attack on UN forces will be an attack on the international community and those responsible for these actions will be held accountable.


“Any continued actions obstructing and constricting UN operations are similarly unacceptable.”

Guillaume Soro, Ouattara’s choice for prime minister and the leader of the New Forces former rebel movement, dismissed Gbagbo’s orders as having no authority.

“In any case, this decision can’t be put into effect as Mr Gbagbo is no longer president, so we don’t need to be concerned with it. We find this act of a beaten president entirely ridiculous…,” he told AFP.

France has said in recent days that its contingent, known as “Licorne”, could be used to ensure the safe departure of the 15,000 French civilians living in Ivory Coast if the situation turns dangerous.

The UNOCI mission deployed in 2004 to help end a civil war between Gbagbo’s southern forces and northern rebels dubbed the New Forces. The rebels now back Ouattara and Gbagbo’s order will increase fears of a new conflict.

“Play time is over,” declared Charles Ble Goude, Gbagbo’s minister for youth, who has been under UN sanctions since 2006 for “acts of violence by street militias, including beatings, rapes and extrajudicial killings”.

“We are going to defend the sovereignty of our country until the last drop of our sweat. I urge all Ivorians to make themselves ready for this combat. We are going to totally liberate our country,” he told AFP.

On Friday, France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy called for Gbagbo to stand down, warning he and his powerful wife Simone face individual international sanctions, including an EU visa ban and asset freeze.

“If Sarkozy plans military intervention, he’d better be ready to kill a lot of Ivorians,” Ble Goude warned at his rally.

On Thursday, street clashes between pro-Gbagbo security forces and Ouattara supporters left between 11 and 30 people dead, and the Red Cross has treated almost 550 wounded since the start of the stand-off.

The UN Security Council is to discuss the Ivory Coast crisis on Monday and take a scheduled vote on whether to extend its current mandate which ends on December 31.

Source: SGGP

Abbas rejects settlement freeze that excludes Jerusalem

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 at 10:10 am

Israel rejects ‘preconditions’ for direct peace talks

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 11:21 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday ruled out any “preconditions” ahead of an expected invitation to direct peace talks with the Palestinians that may be based on a complete settlement halt.


His remarks during a landmark visit to Greece came as Washington appeared to be closing in on the relaunch of direct talks after months of shuttle diplomacy that have failed to convince the Palestinians to enter face-to-face talks.


“I hope to resume direct talks with the Palestinians without preconditions,” Netanyahu said in Athens.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen here addressing the press in Athens, ruled out any preconditions ahead of an expected invitation to direct peace talks with the Palestinians that may be based on a complete settlement halt

Earlier an official speaking on condition of anonymity had told AFP in Jerusalem “Israel is ready to start direct negotiations immediately, but without any preconditions.”


“The Palestinians, who have lost valuable time by refusing to revive these direct contacts, will present all the topics they want to discuss at the negotiating table,” added the official.


The diplomatic Quartet — European Union, Russia, United Nations and United States — was expected in the coming days to issue a statement inviting both sides to resume direct talks suspended since 2008.


The Palestinians said it would be modelled on a Quartet statement issued in Moscow in March that called on Israel to halt settlement construction and for the direct talks to lead to a final peace deal in two years.


Israeli media reported a forum of seven top cabinet members had decided to reject the Quartet statement, which could call on Israel to renew a limited 10-month West Bank settlement freeze, set to expire in September.


“The Quartet declaration should allow the Palestinians to descend the tree they have climbed by refusing negotiations, but it must not be binding on Israel,” Israeli media outlets quoted an unnamed minister as saying.


The minister said Israel would reject the appeal from the Quartet but accept a parallel invitation issued by Washington that would be “more balanced.”


Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat charged that Netanyahu’s right-wing government was not serious about peace.


“The announcement by the Israeli government rejecting the statement of the international Quartet before it is even issued shows that Israel is persisting in its rejection of a serious peace process,” Erakat told AFP.


“(This) clearly proves that this government has other interests besides peace and stability in the region,” he added.


Erakat also rejected Israel’s decision on Sunday to deploy 23 caravans in eight West Bank settlements to serve as classrooms, saying it was “placing additional obstacles” in the way of US efforts to revive the peace process.


Netanyahu arrived in Greece on Monday, the first Israeli prime minister to visit a country that has traditionally been pro-Arab and did not recognise Israel’s existence until 1991.


Israel has repeatedly called for direct talks with the Palestinians but has refused to completely halt settlement activity, which it considers a “precondition,” but which the Palestinians say was part of previous agreements.


The presence of some 500,000 Israelis in more than 120 settlements scattered across the occupied West Bank, including mostly-Arab east Jerusalem, has been one of the most contentious issues in the decades-old conflict.


The Palestinians rejected the partial freeze on settlements as insufficient because it did not include east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967 and annexed to its capital in a move not recognised by the international community.

The Palestinians view east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

US envoy George Mitchell has been shuttling between the two sides for months to relaunch direct peace talks. In May Israel and the Palestinians began indirect US-brokered negotiations.

The last round of direct talks collapsed when Israel launched a devastating three-week offensive in Gaza in December 2008 in a bid to halt rocket fire from the enclave ruled by the militant Hamas movement.

Source: SGGP

Israel rejects ‘preconditions’ for direct peace talks

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2010 at 11:22 am

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli officials on Monday rejected any “preconditions” ahead of an expected international invitation to direct peace talks with the Palestinians that would call for a complete settlement freeze.


Their remarks came as Washington appeared to be closing in on the relaunch of direct negotiations after months of shuttle diplomacy that have thus far failed to convince the Palestinians to enter face-to-face talks.

AFP/File – A man carries an injured child into Al-Shifa hospital following Israeli air strikes in Gaza City in July

“Israel is ready to start direct negotiations immediately, but without any preconditions,” an Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity.


“The Palestinians, who have lost valuable time by refusing to revive these direct contacts, will present all the topics they want to discuss at the negotiating table,” he added.


The diplomatic Quartet — comprised of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia — was expected to issue a statement inviting both sides to relaunch direct talks which were suspended in late 2008.


The Palestinians have said it will be modelled on a Quartet statement issued in Moscow in March that called on Israel to halt settlement construction and for the direct talks to lead to a final peace deal in two years.


They have resisted months of US pressure to relaunch the talks, arguing that Israel’s rightwing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not serious about withdrawing from lands occupied by Israel in 1967.


Israeli media reported that a forum of seven top cabinet members have decided to reject the Quartet statement, which may call on Israel to extend a limited West Bank settlement freeze, set to expire in September, for another 10 months.


“The Quartet declaration should allow the Palestinians to descend the tree they have climbed by refusing negotiations, but it must not be binding on Israel,” several Israeli media outlets quoted an unnamed minister as saying.


The minister was quoted as saying that Netanyahu’s government would reject the appeal from the Quartet but accept a parallel invitation issued by Washington that would be “more balanced.”


Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat charged that Netanyahu’s government was not serious about peace.


“The announcement by the Israeli government rejecting the statement of the international Quartet before it is even issued shows that Israel is persisting in its rejection of a serious peace process,” Erakat told AFP.


“(This) clearly proves that this government has other interests besides peace and stability in the region,” he added.


Erakat also rejected Israel’s decision on Sunday to deploy 23 caravans in eight West Bank settlements to serve as classrooms, saying it was “placing additional obstacles” in the way of US efforts to revive the peace process.


Israel has repeatedly called for direct talks but has refused to completely halt settlement activity, which it considers a “precondition,” but which the Palestinians say was part of previous agreements.


The presence of some 500,000 Israelis in more than 120 settlements scattered across the occupied West Bank, including east Jerusalem, has been one of the most contentious issues in the decades-old conflict.


The Palestinians rejected the partial freeze on settlements as insufficient because it did not include mostly-Arab east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967 and annexed to its capital in a move not recognised by the international community.


The Palestinians view east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.


The United States has been struggling for the past 18 months to relaunch the peace process, viewing it as a key foreign policy goal that would help improve relations with the Muslim world.


The two sides began indirect US-brokered talks in May, after the last round of direct talks collapsed when Israel launched a devastating three-week offensive in Gaza in December 2008 in a bid to halt rocket fire from the enclave ruled by the militant Hamas movement.


Hamas, which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state, has warned Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas against holding any negotiations with Israel, including in a weekend statement co-signed by 10 other hardline groups based in Syria.

d
Source: SGGP

Obama praises Wall Street reform, rejects Republican plan

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

US President Barack Obama Saturday praised a Wall Street reform law enacted this week and rejected a Republican plan to jump-start the economy, saying it will take the country backward.

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement about the economy in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington July 23, 2010. (AFP Photo)

“Wall Street reform is a key pillar of an overall economic plan we have put in place to dig ourselves out of this recession and build an economy for the long run — an economy that makes America more competitive and our middle-class more secure,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.


On Wednesday, the president signed into law the most sweeping reform of the US finance industry since the 1930s, promising US taxpayers would no longer get the bill for Wall Street excess.


The legislation, which some Republicans have pledged to repeal, introduces new consumer protections, checks the power of big banks and cracks down on deceptive practices by credit card firms.


Seeking to restore public confidence in his economic leadership as unemployment flirts with double digits, Obama said the bill would repair the fractures and abuses that produced the financial meltdown.


“It’s a plan based on the Main Street values of hard work and responsibility — and one that demands new accountability from Wall Street to Washington,” the president said in his address.


Obama also rejected an economic plan offered by House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner, saying it would repeal health insurance reform and take away tax credits from millions of small business owners.


According to the president, the Republican plan would also permanently keep in place the tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans.


“These are not new ideas,” Obama said. “They are the same policies that led us into this recession. They will not create jobs, they will kill them. They will not reduce our deficit, they will add one trillion dollars to our deficit. They will take us backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward.”


 

Source: SGGP

N.Korea rejects evidence over sinking of S. Korean ship

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

 North Korea has flatly rejected evidence showing it torpedoed a South Korean warship with the loss of 46 lives, saying it does not even own a midget submarine allegedly used for the March attack.


The North’s powerful National Defence Commission (NDC), chaired by leader Kim Jong-Il, held a rare press conference on Friday and denied Pyongyang’s involvement, according to official North Korean media.


Major General Pak Rim Su, director of the policy department of the NDC, said the North does not have a 130-tonne “Yeono (salmon)-class” submarine, which the South says torpedoed its 1,200-ton corvette, the Cheonan, in the Yellow Sea.


“We don’t have anything like a 130-tonne Yeono-class submersible,” Pak was quoted by Pyongyang’s Chungang TV as telling reporters.

Salvaged South Korean naval vessel Cheonan, which sank on March 26 near the maritime border with North Korea, is displayed in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, on May 19.

A multinational investigation led by Seoul concluded earlier this month that the March 26 sinking was caused by a torpedo attack from the North.


South Korean investigators said a Yeono class midget submarine had intruded into South Korean waters via international waters.


But Pak said: “It does not make any sense militarily that a 130-tonne submersible carrying a heavy 1.7-tonne torpedo travelled through the open sea into the South, sank the ship and returned home.”


But South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted South Korean officials as saying the North’s submarine fleet includes around 10 Yeono class submarines.


Pak also rebutted Seoul’s allegation that salvaged fragments of the torpedo matched design specifications that appeared on brochures the North allegedly sent to an unidentified potential buyer of North Korean torpedoes.


“Who in the world would hand over torpedo designs while selling torpedoes?” he said.


But Yonhap quoted an unidentified senior government official as saying that the South got hold of brochures sent by a North Korean state-run trading company to a potential weapons buyer that contain design specifications of three types of torpedoes.


Senior Colonel Ri Son Gwon dismissed as a “fabrication” a serial number hand-written on a torpedo fragment reading “1 bun” or number one.


South Korea said the serial number handwritten in Korean was strong evidence of Pyongyang’s involvement in the sinking.


“When we put serial numbers on weapons, we engrave them with machines,” Ri said. “We use ‘bun’ only for football or basketball players,” he said.


But South Korean investigators said the North also uses “bun” for numbering things to be assembled, attributing the information to defectors from North Korea.


Pak said the Seoul-led multinational team was not in a position to conduct an objective probe and attacked Seoul for rejecting Pyongyang’s demand to allow its own experts to investigate the cause of the sinking

Source: SGGP

Honduras Congress rejects return of ousted leader

In World on December 3, 2009 at 10:42 am

Honduran lawmakers rejected the reinstatement of ousted President Manuel Zelaya during a heated debate which revisited details of the June 28 coup which polarized the nation.








Honduras’ ousted President Manuel Zelaya (AFP)

A simple majority of 65 lawmakers in the 128-member body had voted against Zelaya’s return to the presidency shortly before 730 pm (0130 GMT), after more than six hours of debate.


The decision came amid pressure to resolve the five-month crisis, and after many Latin American governments warned they would not restore broken ties unless Zelaya was allowed to finish his term, which ends January 27.


The vote, however, put an end to a US-brokered crisis deal between Zelaya and de facto leader Roberto Micheletti, who took over after the coup.


Micheletti, who stepped down briefly over the elections, said before the vote that Zelaya was “history.”


As the political drama played out in the Congress, dozens of security forces faced off outside with backers of Zelaya, who has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy since returning in September.


Despite angry speeches from several deputies who slammed both the coup and a military crackdown which followed, only nine lawmakers had backed Zelaya’s return when the majority against it was reached.


The same Congress, along with the Supreme Court, business leaders and the military, had backed Zelaya’s expulsion over his plans to change the constitution, which they saw as a bid to undo term limits.


Lawmakers had received advice from the attorney general and the Supreme Court, which has said that criminal charges against Zelaya still stand.


“As far as I know, the Congress does not have the capacity to make this decision,” Zelaya told local Radio Globo ahead of the vote.


Zelaya had suggested that he would not resume the presidency even if Congress voted him back in, saying a US pact which left the decision to Congress had failed.


Divisions in the Central American nation have remained wide since controversial weekend elections held under the de facto regime, in which conservative Porfirio Lobo claimed a solid victory.


Lobo, who backed the coup, has vowed to work for national reconciliation.


His National Party, with 55 seats in Congress, voted against Zelaya’s return.


Lobo, who lost to Zelaya in 2005 elections, has not spoken out on the issue, prefering to leave the decision to Congress.


Zelaya suffered from splits within his Liberal Party which has a majority in Congress but is deeply divided over his swing to the left under the influence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.


The United States, a key business partner and donor, and the European Union, also a key donor, said they saw the weekend polls as an important first step forward out of the crisis, but many in Latin America, starting with powerhouse Brazil, said they served to whitewash the coup.


Rights groups said the elections were marred by the lack of international consensus, and slammed a military crackdown on journalists and activists since the coup.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

City rejects proposal to rebuild children’s hospital for keeping green space

In Vietnam Health on October 2, 2009 at 10:09 am

Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee will not allow the rebuilding of Children Hospital No 2 because of its environment and historical values, it was announced October 1.


It was an official response to proposed plans by the city-based company, Compensation and Site Clearance, to knock down and rebuild the hospital to international standards, at a cost of VND3.2 trillion (US$178 million).








A corner of Children Hospital No 2 (Photo: thesaigontimes)

The committee’s deputy chairman, Hua Ngoc Thuan, signed a document that informed the Government Office, the city Party’s Committee and relevant departments and ministries about the recent decision.


The decision said that the hospital needs to be preserved to keep green spaces in the inner city.


In case that it is necessary to repair and upgrade the hospital to meet diagnosis and treatment demand, the city’s Department of Health will order the hospital to establish projects, repairing rundown buildings in accordance with the city’s policy.


The hospital was built in 1867 by the French and is considered as a historical relic and green space in the inner city.


Related article:
Critics pan company proposal to rebuild HCMC children’s hospital


Source: SGGP