A Meeting in Salzburg Makes it Clear that What is Needed for The Middle East is the Equivalent Of The Congress of Vienna (1814) – a Post-Arab-Spring Equivalent to the Post-Europe-Spring: Can The Arab League that Excludes the Non-Arab Players Be of Any Use?
Amre Moussa, the former Arab League head from Egypt, is calling for a Middle Eastern equivalent of the 1814 Congress of Vienna, in which Europe’s great powers established a new order to prevent wars between empires following the defeat of Napoleon. Admittedly, Moussa quickly backtracked to say the plan couldn’t initially include Iran, Turkey or Israel, making it really just another Arab League meeting. Still, I think he’s onto something.
For years, the people of the Middle East have complained that the U.S. and Europe treat it as a kind of colonial playground, while the West has moaned the region must take more responsibility to regulate and provide security for itself. This week, reports of United Arab Emirates airstrikes in Libya, launched from airstrips in Egypt, suggest that is beginning to happen — but in precisely the wrong way. The airstrikes pit the more secular client of one Persian Gulf state, UAE, against Islamists supported by another, Qatar.
This is a recipe for a long and bloody civil war in Libya, at a time when the Middle East is imploding and the U.S. is no longer willing or able to police it alone. Divisions among the Sunni states and an expanding proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia have already resulted in a vortex of human suffering and instability in Syria that has spawned the Islamic State.
So Moussa’s idea of a congress “emanating from the Middle East” itself, rather than from the U.S. or Europe, and focused on how to ensure stability in the region makes sense. As a model, the Congress of Vienna has an attractive echo for the Middle East’s monarchies and dictators, as it was designed mainly by conservative autocrats as they sought ways to contain the subversive republican fervor unleashed by the French revolution. Old regime leaders in the Middle East see the Arab Spring in much the same light.
“We are talking about a major change in the Middle East,” Moussa said at a conference I’m attending this week in Salzburg, Austria, on lessons to be drawn from the Vienna Congress and the outbreak of World War I, hosted by the International Peace Institute and the Salzburg Global Seminar. “We have to discuss this like grownups: What are we going to do when this wave of change comes to its end?”
The Congress of Vienna was also used to redraw the map of Europe after the Napoleonic wars, and then fix borders and establish a mechanism to agree on changes. In this light, Moussa was adamant that proposals to break up Iraq along sectarian lines would be infectious and disastrous for the region. A deal in in which the likes of Iran and Saudi Arabia guaranteed the non-violation of borders is appealing.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical. For one thing, Iran and Saudi Arabia are involved in what they see as a zero-sum contest for power, and a meaningful agreement between them seems fantastical: The empires of Europe were driven to reconciliation only after nearly 20 years of defeats forced them to learn the value of alliance. Indeed, while Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal, also in Salzburg, supported Moussa’s idea, his focus was on how to create a united Arab front toward Iran — a poor starting point if the goal is to reconcile Iranian and Saudi interests
So long as the focus is on getting the Arab house in order, this is unlikely to get anywhere. A more serious attempt would focus not on Arab identity but on who needs to be at the table so that any deal that is reached would be meaningful. At a minimum, that means Iran, Israel and Turkey must be present. Inviting the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to facilitate and hold the ring would also be smart. It’s crazy, and it’s worth a try.
To contact the editor responsible for this article: Tobin Harshaw at bloomberg.net
At least one human said – “I really feel ashamed to be Arabic” – when watching the 400,000 fireworks extravaganza of Dubai’s Guinness-Record Shattering New Year Environmentally Disatrous and Financially Obnoxious Event by people that complain about Gaza.
Posted: 03 Jan 2014 01:44 PM PST
Dubai rang in 2014 with a record-shattering fireworks display. In an effort to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest fireworks extravaganza previously held by Kuwait, the emirate exploded a whopping 400,000 fireworks in less than 10 minutes.
Choreographed by America’s Phil Grucci, Dubai’s fireworks display was spread across 100 kilometers and lasted six full minutes.
The event took 10 months to plan and more than 200 pyrotechnicians arranged around The Palm and The World artificial islands ensured the display went off without a hitch.
Fireworks used were purchased in China, Spain and the United States, according to The National, and were hauled to the launching site by a long series of trucks.
We’re being given the challenge of breaking the world record,” said Grucci, who has worked in Dubai in the past, “so the scale of this is nothing that anybody has had the opportunity to oversee.”
Kuwait’s previous record was shattered by Dubai’s over-the-top performance, where nearly 100,000 fireworks were set off every minute.
“[Kuwait’s] firework display stretched over 5 km (3.11 miles) of seafront, started at 8 p.m. and lasted 64 minutes,” according to the Guinness World Record website. “Event organizers Parente Fireworks srl and Filmmaster MEA produced the event, which included the pyrotechnic display and a lights and sound show. Preceding this, an airshow was staged in the afternoon.”
Albeit impressive, the show somehow undoes all of the small steps that Dubai has taken over the last year to become a little less environmentally destructive.
While those that saw the show were extremely impressed and lauded Dubai’s efforts to draw tourists to the city, some commentators expressed regret over the extraordinary expense and extravagance.
“When I see this and remember that Gaza has been without electricity for 40 days,” said Oussama Bargougui on YouTube “I really feel ashamed to be Arabic.”
Screengrab from Dubai Media video
Above reminded me of the Arab UN official supervisor who at 60 years age bragged of just having had a baby.
An amazingly convoluted article in As-Safir (Lebanon) by Mustafa al-Labad seems to attribute all sorts of goals to Saudi Arabia except the one clear conclusion that Saudi and Israeli aims converge these days. UPDATED
The article we looked at is at: www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics…
Then today’s Opinion Column by Roger Cohen: www.nytimes.com/2013/10/29/opinio… that starts:
” DUBAI — Here’s how the Saudis see it: President Obama has sold out the Syrian opposition, reinforced President Bashar al-Assad after having called for his departure, embarked on a dangerous duet with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, played the wrong cards in Egypt, retreated from initial criticism of Israeli settlements that promised a more balanced American approach to Israel-Palestine, tilted toward the Shiites in the growing regional Sunni-Shiite confrontation, and generally undercut the interests of the kingdom.”
Both columns seem to forget that the real world is not based on heart feelings – not even when at the helm of a country sits a 89 year old monarch.
Nevertheless, Cohen notes “The Saudis, of course, always talk a good line and are happiest when others — read the United States — do the heavy lifting for them.” So now the Saudis will have figure out for themselves what heavy lifting their oil money can do for them. That for a start.
Then he says: “”But it is over Iran that the Saudis are most exercised — and it is not the Iranian nuclear program that has them so upset. Rather, it is the idea that the pre-revolutionary relationship between Iran and the United States could somehow be revived, extending Iranian influence in the region and relegating Saudi Arabia to being, as it once was, the lesser party of America’s “twin pillar” policy in the region.
The Saudis have already watched with concern as the U.S. invasion of Iraq served Iranian interests; they see Iran’s influence and military presence growing in Syria. What they fear above all is an Iranian irredentism aimed at stirring up of the Shiite populations in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
It was not lost on Saudi Arabia that Rouhani wrote in The Washington Post in September that, “We must join hands to constructively work toward national dialogue, whether in Syria or Bahrain,” just a few days before Obama spoke at the United Nations of working to resolve “sectarian tensions” in Syria and Bahrain.
Nothing can set Saudi alarm bells ringing quite like that: U.S. and Iranian presidents speaking to each other on the telephone, having aired similar sentiments on Bahrain, where the Saudi-backed Sunni monarchy has engaged in fierce repression of an opposition led by members of the Shiite majority, which is pressing for broader rights and political inclusion.
It is hard to say whether Israel or Saudi Arabia is more anxious today over the possibility of an American-Iranian breakthrough. That possibility remains extremely remote. The right deal — one that prevents the Islamic Republic from going nuclear while drawing it back into the community of nations — is in the U.S. interest, but current Saudi fury is one measure of the difficulty and of a U.S. Middle Eastern policy that is falling short.“”
Trying to reach conclusions from above we observe:
(a) The Saudis are yet to announce officially to the UN that they give up their UN Security Council seat – and we ask why should they? Is it not much more forceful to let there an empty seat that they can fill whenever they decide to do so, and in the mean-time force the UN to start reviewing its procedures in order to have a way to handle such an unprecedented situation when a state does not participate for a longer period at the meetings?
(b) The oil weapon has lost its power somewhat – so there are obvious repercussions when talking about the stand of Golf Community members.
(c) Everybody has a wish list and can tell the Saudis what to do – but after all the Saudis will find out that they know their self interests best.
UPDATED from an October 29, 2013 posting.
THE UPDATE IS FROM OCTOBER 30, 2013 NEWS:
Allies in Revolt
Published: October 29, 2013 27 Comments
It is not every day that America finds itself facing open rebellion from its allies, yet that is what is happening with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel. The Obama administration has denied there are serious problems. But there are clearly differences, some perhaps irreconcilable.
Here’s a quick summary: Saudi Arabia and Israel are deeply worried about the Obama administration’s decision to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran — their mortal enemy. Saudi Arabia and Turkey are sore at President Obama’s refusal to become militarily involved in ousting President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, in particular his decision not to respond with military strikes to Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons. Mr. Obama instead chose a diplomatic deal under which Syria’s chemical weapons would be dismantled.
The Saudis are also unhappy that Mr. Obama withdrew support for Hosni Mubarak, the deposed Egyptian president, and then worked with Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member who was elected to replace Mr. Mubarak but was later thrown out.
All three countries have resorted to threats and displays of pique to make their points. Saudi Arabia renounced a United Nations Security Council seat it had worked hard to win because, it said, the United States and the United Nations had failed to achieve a Mideast peace agreement or solve the Syria crisis, as if either objective could be easily delivered by America alone. Although it is hard to see how other countries like China and Russia would be better alternatives, Saudi officials have gone so far as to complain that they regard the United States as unreliable and would look elsewhere for their security.
Meanwhile, Turkey, a NATO member, has said it would buy a long-range missile defense system worth $3.4 billion from China because China’s bid was lower than bids from the United States and Europe. The decision may also, however, have reflected Turkey’s annoyance with Mr. Obama’s Syria policy. (It’s a dumb deal, too, and Turkish officials now seem to be reconsidering it; China’s system will be hard to integrate with NATO equipment, thus undermining alliance defenses and Turkey’s.)
As for Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is doing his best to torpedo any nuclear deal with Iran, including urging Congress to impose more economic sanctions on Iran that could bring the incipient negotiations between Iran’s new government and the major powers to a halt.
Much of this anger at the United States is driven by a case of nerves. The Arab Spring uprisings shook the old order, plunged the region into chaos, created opportunities for Iran to expand its influence in Syria and Iraq and threatened to worsen the Sunni-Shiite divide. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni-majority country, in particular, fears an American rapprochement with Shiite-majority Iran.
But Mr. Obama’s first responsibility is to America’s national interest. And he has been absolutely right in refusing to be goaded into a war in Syria or bullied into squandering a rare, if remote, chance to negotiate an Iranian nuclear deal.
In addressing the United Nations last month, Mr. Obama reinforced his intention to narrow his regional diplomatic focus to the Iranian nuclear deal and an Israeli-Palestinian peace. Some have read this as weakness and retreat, rather than pragmatism. We wish he had put more emphasis on Egypt and Iraq. But his priorities make sense. His task now is to reassure the allies that the United States remains committed to their security.
Also, the Iraqi leadership comes to Washington to ask to buy arms – this while having done nothing about uniting their country or alternatively letting it sub-divide to its three components – Shiia – Kurds – Sunni. Without this first Iraq will turn into another Syria with the Maliki, a Shiia, government trying to surpress its Sunni and Kurdish minorities. What should the US President do? He clearly does not want to step back into the Iraqi morass that his predecessor has created.
JEWISH AUSTRIAN ARTIST SHOSHANA or SOSHANA Afroim or former SUSSANE Schueller, PROMOTED BY THE AUSTRIAN EMBASSY, SHOWS IN DUBAI.
Soshana Afroyim (born 1 September 1927, Vienna, Austria) is an Austrian painter of the Modernism period. She devoted her life to art and travelled around the world, where she had many exhibitions. During her journeys, she portrayed many well known personalities and her art developed in different directions. Her early period artwork was largely naturalistic in nature, showing landscapes and portraits. Later her style developed towards abstract art, strongly influenced by Asian calligraphy.
Susanne Schüller born in Vienna into a Jewish middle-class family. Father Fritz Schüller owned a cufflink factory, mother Margarethe Schüller was a sculptor. Soshana first went to the Rudolf Steiner School, but soon changed to the alternative Schwarzwald School. She started do paint and draw at a very young age. Her mother supported Soshana’s creativity and collected her works carefully.
At the age of eleven, Soshana witnessed the German annexation of Austria 1938. Her father who had been born in Brno, had a Czech passport and left the country first to prepare the way. Margarethe Schüller, Soshana and Maximilian the brather fled to Switzerland, then Paris, where Fritz Schueller had waited for them and finally in 1939 they reached London, where they would stay two years. Soshana attended the Northwood College and in 1940 the Chelsea Polytechnic School, where she had painting and drawing lessons and learned about fashion design.
Soshana’s father fled then to Spain and via Tangier he escaped to New York. In 1941 he managed to get an affidavit for his family and booked three tickets for the S.S. Madura, the last civil ship that would leave Europe. In 1941 Soshana, her mother and her brother arrived at Ellis Island.
In New York City Soshana enrolled at Washington Irving High School and attended painting classes under the guidance of artist Beys Afroyimwhom she eventually married in 1945 and their son Amos was born in 1946. The family eventually returned to Vienna in 1947, Amos was left with her father and Soshana went to Paris in 1952 to continue a life in the arts. in 1956 her attention turned to Asia, then Mexico in 1965 and then to the world at large eventually new York, then back to Vienna in 1985 where she lives now in a nursing home, and still paints every day.
Since 2005 her son Amos takes care of her work and organizes exhibitions and other projects. We have met the several times and wrote about her in the past.
Of special interest – I submit www.sustainabilitank.info/2008/09…
And while the Austrian government honored her with a special postal stamp, she showed in Vienna a large exhibit with paintings reminding the viewers of the Nazi times, extermination camps and Jewish revival in Israel.
Soshana says about her work that “it is suffering that helps you grow and develop, the struggle and conflict in life. Even the plants seem to struggle for light and space … I believe in a greater spirit of nature, from which each person is a part, here to play his role in life.”
Soshana used drawing and painting as an outlet to deal with traumatic events she experienced in her life – like in a drawing, she called “Hitler as Cloun”.
When she returned to Vienna in 1985, she worked up the time of the Nazi regime and the Holocaust.
During Kurt Waldheim‘s election campaign in 1987/88, she made a series of paintings and collages, in which she incorporated Nazi propaganda texts. Soshana also painted motive cycles of the wars in Yugoslavia, the attacks on the World Trade Center or the wars on Iraq.
Soshana says about her work that “it is suffering that helps you grow and develop, the struggle and conflict in life. Even the plants seem to struggle for light and space …I believe in a greater spirit of nature, from which each person is a part, here to play his role in life.” – See more at: Soshana says about her work that “it is suffering that helps you grow and develop, the struggle and conflict in life. Even the plants seem to struggle for light and space …I believe in a greater spirit of nature, from which each person is a part, here to play his role in life.” – See more at: Soshana says about her work that “it is suffering that helps you grow and develop, the struggle and conflict in life. Even the plants seem to struggle for light and space …I believe in a greater spirit of nature, from which each person is a part, here to play his role in life.” – See more at:
Raped, Accused of having sex outside mariage, now PARDONED? This is the height of Chutzpah! Any future for tourism to the UAE before those Islamic judges are jailed and their books destroyed? NOW UPDATED – PART OF THE DEAL WAS THAT THE RAPIST WAS PARDONED AS WELL FROM HAVING HAD EXTRAMARITAL SEX!
UAE- Norwegian woman who claimed rape pardoned.
(Khaleej Times) A Norwegian woman, who was jailed for having illicit sex and for giving a false report to the authorities about being raped, has been granted pardon, a prosecution source has confirmed.
“Her case has reached authorities beyond the Public Prosecution including the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the source told Khaleej Times.
Marte Deborah Dalelv, in a statement to a Press agency, said that she was given back her passport by the Attorney-General’s Office and the case was dropped against her which made her free to leave the UAE.
The 24-year old woman, who works as an interior design executive, had been sentenced by the Court of Misdemeanours to 16 months in jail, followed by deportation, for falsely reporting a rape, having sex out-of-wedlock and consuming alcohol.
Her lawyer has already appealed the sentencing and a hearing was scheduled for September 5. She told police and prosecutors that her Sudanese boss raped her in his hotel room in the Safa area in Bur Dubai in March, taking advantage that she was under the influence of alcohol. The man was sentenced to 13 months in jail and deportation. She had been on a business trip with him when the incident happened.
Marte’s case has created media frenzy in the west after she told her story to the Press recounting her ordeal and shock over being held in custody for reporting a rape. She claimed that during the interrogation, she changed her testimony claiming to the investigators that she had consensual sex in a desperate bid to get a reduced sentence.
In Oslo, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said that Dalelv was being allowed to leave the UAE.
“Marte (Dalelv) is released! Thanks to everyone who signed up to help,” the minister wrote on Twitter, adding that she would be returning home soon.
A spokeswoman from the ministry told AFP that Dalelv was not deported.
“She hasn’t been deported, she has been pardoned. She can remain in Dubai if she wishes. Her passport has been returned to her,” said Ragnhild Imerslund.
“She will travel home shortly,” the spokeswoman added.
UPDATED: We learn from BBC that the the pardon came from the ruler of Dubai himself and that part of the deal was that he pardoned the rapist as well – that is the RAPIST was PARDONED from having had EXTRAMARITAL SEX – as the language of the Islamic Prosecutor. Really – this makes it even worse.
Sergey Biryukov and David Faiman of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Israel National Solar Energy Center, developed a – Dusting Off Solar Panels With an Electric Charge Sytem – to be used immediately by the evolving Solar Energy industry in the Arab Desert Lands.
From Pearls to Oil
Sunday, October 14
David Heard, Author, From Pearls to Oil
Khaleej Times – 02/10/2012
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying that the US has a role in democracy movements that continue to roil the Middle East, urged Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to embrace reform and Syria to accept protesters’ demands. “These revolutions are not ours – they are not by us, for us, or against us – but we do have a role.”
Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton urges Saudi, Bahrain to embrace Arab Spring.
By Bloomberg, Tuesday, 8 November 2011.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying that the US has a role in democracy movements that continue to roil the Middle East, urged Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to embrace reform and Syria to accept protesters’ demands.
“These revolutions are not ours – they are not by us, for us, or against us, but we do have a role,” Clinton said in remarks to the National Democratic Institute, a democracy support organization based in Washington. “Fundamentally, there is a right side of history. We want to be on it. And without exception, we want our partners in the region to reform so that they are on it as well.”
Clinton addressed skepticism in both the Arab world and at home about US motives and commitments since the Arab Spring began with a Tunisian fruit vendor’s protest self-immolation in December 2010.
Developments in the months since then have raised the possibility of Islamic groups gaining political power in Egypt, highlighted differences in the way the US has approached protest movements in places like Bahrain and Syria and drawn questions about US opposition to unilateral Palestinian attempts to gain recognition.
While there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to democracy in the Arab world, such a movement is firmly in US interests and is a strategic necessity, Clinton declared.
“The greatest single source of instability in today’s Middle East is not the demand for change,” she said, “It is the refusal to change.”
Clinton said that held true for allies as well as others. She warned that, if the most powerful political force in Egypt remains a roomful of unelected officials, there will be future unrest.
She decried Iranian hypocrisy, saying that contrary to its claims to support democracy abroad, the gulf between rulers and the ruled is greater in Iran than anywhere else in the region. Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and others “trying to hold back the future at the point of a gun should know their days are numbered,” Clinton said.
To the king of Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based as a bulwark against Iranian aggression in the Gulf, Clinton said that reform was in the kingdom’s interest.
Officials there have used mass arrests to counter protests by majority Shiites demanding greater rights in the Sunni-led nation. Members of Congress have demanded an inquiry into human rights abuses before a planned arms sale to the kingdom goes through.
The US will hold Bahrain to its commitments to allow peaceful protest and release political prisoners, Clinton said.
While reforms and equality are “in Bahrain’s interests, in the region’s interest and in ours,” Clinton said, “endless unrest benefits Iran.”
Palestinians also “deserve dignity, liberty and the right to decide their own future,” Clinton said. The only way to achieve that is through negotiations with Israel, Clinton said.
The Middle East’s protest movements may bring to power groups and parties that the US disagrees with, Clinton acknowledged. She said she is asked about this most often in the context of Islamic political parties. “The suggestion that faithful Muslims cannot thrive in a democracy is insulting, dangerous and wrong,” she said.
While “reasonable people can disagree on a lot,” Clinton said the crucial factor will be adherence to basic democratic principles. Parties must reject violence, abide by the rule of law and respect freedom of speech, association and assembly, as well as the rights of women and minorities, she said. “In other words, what parties call themselves is less important than what they do,” Clinton said.
The US has the resources, capabilities and expertise to support those trying to make the transition to democracy, Clinton said. Groups like National Democratic Institute can help with the nuts and bolts of democracy, teaching people how to form a political party, how to ensure women participate in government and how to foster civil society.
Mindful of the economic roots of the unrest, the Obama administration is also promoting trade, investment and regional integration, Clinton said.
“With so much that can go wrong and so much that can go right, support for emerging Arab democracies is an investment we can’t afford not to make,” she said.
UPDATE 2: RICE vs. WHEAT – This might be an East-West question. A major exhibition on the use of Rice to be held in the UAE. November 3-5, 2011, Dubai. European Business, India, Brazil, Russia, as well as potential new exporters will be present.
OUR ORIGINAL OCTOBER 9, 2011 POSTING:
RICE vs. WHEAT – This might be an East-West question. A major exhibition on the use of Rice to be held in the UAE. November 3-5, 2011, Dubai.
UN Energy in its Clean Energy Solutions Newsletter No.2 provides us the list of countries in the CLEAN ENERGY MINISTERIAL that account for 80% of global energy use and concurrent pollution – these are the countries that can bind and move on what was discussed to death at the climate negotiations.
Clean Energy Solutions
this from: UN-Energy firstname.lastname@example.org – http://www.cleanenergyministerial.org .
On Accelerating the transition to clean energy technologies Issue 2 of UN Energy Newsletter tells about the
There Secretary Chu announced that he would host the first Clean Energy Ministerial to bring together ministers with responsibility for clean energy technologies from the world’s major economies and from a select number of smaller countries that are leading in various areas of clean energy.
We are intrigued by the list of participating countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
That is the EU countries, Australia, Canada, Norway, the US, Korea, and Japan – that is the old OECD countries – plus the UAE and the new big seven growing economies – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa.
These States account for more than 80 percent of global energy consumption and pollution, and as well a similar percentage of the market for clean energy technologies. Our argument is that if anything happened in Copenhagen in December 2009, it is that the concept of trying to chase an agreement of 192 government has been replaced by a practical approach of communicating with the 80% that includes the major energy users – historic as well as future polluters. It shall be hoped that a cooperation in their own self interest, between the industries and governments of these countries, can move the issues from their present dead point. After all – much has been achieved already in individual cases – the only problem being that when the 192 come together – rhetoric gets the day and agreements are very sparse.
The participation of the UAE – a federation that two of its members are already involved in financing development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies – though still oil exporting in good standing with OPEC – makes sure that oil countries, not just Norway, are also participating in these efforts. Also, talking about oil production as a major part of their economies – this clearly extends to the post OECD countries – Brazil, Mexico and Russia.
The material states: The Clean Energy Ministerial is a high-level global forum to promote policies and programs that advance clean energy technology, to share lessons learned and best practices, and to encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy. Initiatives are based on areas of common interest among participating governments and other stakeholders.
Also: The world is on the cusp of a clean energy revolution. Some new technologies can help provide clean energy by harnessing the power of the sun, wind and other renewable resources. Other technologies can enable more efficient use of energy in buildings, industry and vehicles. These technologies, when coupled with supportive policies, can significantly reduce carbon pollution from traditional fossil fuels, improve local air quality, create jobs, enhance energy security and provide improved access to energy around the world. Yet barriers to the adoption of clean energy technologies abound, and the cost of some technologies remains high. By working together, governments and other stakeholders can overcome barriers and advance the market adoption of clean energy technologies.
Seemingly – at least US based initiatives are already in place.
These CEM initiatives are focused on three global climate and energy policy goals:
(1) Improve energy efficiency worldwide through the Global Energy Efficiency Challenge,
(2) Enhance clean energy supply,
and (3) Expand clean energy access.
nbsp;www.ArabianBusiness.com provided news about Prince Alwaleed distancing himself from the World Trade Center Mosque – also other interesting news.
WORLD EXCLUSIVE of Arabian News: Prince Alwaleed, number 19 on Forbes’ list of the Global Rich, speaks up ‘against’ Ground Zero mosque. More to be released by him on Sunday October 31st, 2010 (Haloween).
Saudi’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud says he did not finance the Ground Zero mosque.
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed has said he is against the construction of a mosque close to the site of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York. In an exclusive interview with Arabian Business to be published on Sunday, His Royal Highness also said he had no part in financing the controversial project.
In his first public comments on the issue, he said: “I heard and saw a lot of news about me being associated with it and this is all wrong. We did not finance this thing.
“I say that I am against putting the mosque in that particular place. And I’ll tell you why. For two reasons: first of all, those people behind the mosque have to respect, have to appreciate and have to defer to the people of New York, and not try to agitate the wound by saying ‘we need to put the mosque next to the 9/11 site’.
“The wound is still there. Just because the wound is healing you can’t say ‘let’s just go back to where we were pre-9/11’,” he said. “I am against putting the mosque there out of respect for those people who have been wounded over there.”
Prince Alwaleed added: “More importantly, the mosque is not in the best location, the mosque has to be in a dignified location. It can’t be next to a bar or a strip club, or in a neighbourhood that is not really refined and good. The impression I have is that this mosque is just being inserted and squeezed over there. So I am personally against putting the mosque over there…”
“I believe that Christians have the right to build churches where they want and Jews have the right to put synagogues where they want and Muslims have the right to put a mosque where they want. But you have to take care and respect the dignity of those New Yorkers who have been hit badly. Ten years ago is nothing when you talk about history.”
Several US news organizations claimed earlier this month that the prince had been involved in funding the construction of the mosque.
In the interview, the prince argued that the wounds of the twin terror attacks could take up to 30 years to heal. He said: “For sure, the wounds are so deep. What I’m saying is, it’s been a decade right now, and I would evaluate things at being at a standstill. They did not improve dramatically but they didn’t worsen. You see pockets of deterioration from people who don’t want things to advance,” he said.
“I don’t want to exaggerate and say things are falling apart, they are not. Most governments are pragmatic, most people are logical. There are pockets of extremism in Israel, in the US and in the Muslim world. But we have to fight them with reason, with logic and with compassion. We can’t just say ‘go to hell,’ we cannot do that.”
*The full interview with HRH will be published at 8am UAE time on Sunday 31 October on www.arabianbusiness.com.
The following day, 1 November, Arabian Business will also publish the first magazine interview with his wife, HH Princess Ameerah Al Taweel.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud formed Kingdom Holding Company in 1980, and the firm is today one of the largest and most diversified private investment companies in the world, with holdings in a large number of Middle Eastern and international firms.
KHC’s domestic and international portfolio includes investments in a range of sectors, from iconic real estate landmarks and world-famous luxury hotels, to banking, media and information technology, retail business and healthcare, entertainment and tourism. These include stakes held in major companies such as Citigroup, Apple and News Corp.
Saudi flag in a Bonn toilet? Football with global climate? The Saudis Block the SIDS in Bonn by claiming that a shift to renewables harms oil exporters and Mexico is in Saudi Corner – here goes Cancun. Then AL Jazeera transmission of the South Africa – Mexico football game is sabotaged: Warning to Cape Town? The question: whose rights were stolen first?
Probe at UN climate talks after Saudi sign smashed
Saturday, 12 June 2010 10:06
SAUDI STANCE: Saudi angered many by blocking study of global warming. (Getty Images)
UN climate negotiators agreed to an investigation on Friday after protesters smashed a sign emblazoned “Saudi Arabia” and dropped it in toilet after Riyadh blocked a study of deeper cuts in greenhouse gases.
Pieces of the smashed Saudi Arabia sign – about 30 cm and placed on a table to identify the delegation during negotiations – were dropped in a toilet and then photographed, delegates said. The pictures were then put up on some walls.
“This is a serious incident. We should fully support that the secretariat should carry out an investigation and the result should be informed to the parties,” Chinese delegate Su Wei said.
Lebanon’s delegate also said that the Saudi flag was abused during a protest in the conference hall after Saudi Arabia blocked the small island state’s push.
Saudi Arabia has often expressed worries at U.N. climate negotiations that a shift towards renewable energies will undermine its oil export earnings.
Sabotage to blame for World Cup fiasco – Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera Sport, which suffered major technical problems during its broadcast of the FIFA World Cup to Middle East viewers, has blamed “a deliberate act of sabotage”.
Its exclusive coverage of the South Africa versus Mexico match on Friday was hit by regular transmission problems with fan across the region unable to enjoy the spectacle.
“Despite its considerable efforts to bring the best coverage to the most possible fans across the Middle East and North Africa including 18 free-to-air games from the group stages, Al Jazeera Sport viewers repeatedly lost their signal through the course of yesterday’s opening fixture,” the statement added.
Hundreds of fans also complained about the problems on Twitter.
For most of the first half an hour of the first game between hosts South Africa and Mexico, viewers were left with no picture or a frozen screen.
The issues appeared to have been sorted out shortly before half time but problems persisted throughout the second half of the match.
Broadcasts on the English language channel morphed into French commentary from the start and then the channel went blank. The English commentary only appeared much later in the first half of the game.
The only coverage working throughout was the HD channel broadcasting in Arabic only.
Broadcasting rights across the region are owned by Al Jazeera Sport, and can currently be accessed either by purchasing an Al Jazeera Sports card or through Etisalat’s pay TV E-Vision.
Al Jazeera has ‘FIFA backing’ to tackle World Cup woes
BACKUP PLAN: Al Jazeera Sport has implemented its contingency plan to minimise future World Cup disruption which has been blamed on saboteurs. (Getty Images)
The general manager of Al Jazeera Sport said on Saturday that the company had implemented a “back up plan” to minimise future disruption to its FIFA World Cup coverage, adding that it had the full backing of FIFA to tackle the problem.
However, later on Saturday, the broadcaster experienced further technical problems, notably during the Argentina v Nigeria match, as protests mounted up on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Al Khelaifi said that the TV station had the “full backing” of World Cup organisers FIFA to find the culprits he accused of deliberately jammed the Nilesat and Arabsat satellites.
In a statement, FIFA said: “FIFA is supporting Al Jazeera in trying to locate the source of the interference in the broadcast of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. FIFA is appalled by any action to try to stop Al Jazeera’s authorised transmissions of the FIFA World Cup as such actions deprive football fans from enjoying the world game in the region. It is not acceptable to FIFA.”
Al Jazeera Sport suffered major technical problems during its broadcast of the opening World Cup match between South Africa versus Mexico on Friday.
Al Khelaifi said: “The people who were responsible did not steal the TV rights of Al Jazeera yesterday, they stole the viewers’ rights because this was a match that was being broadcast free to everyone. Of course we have been in contact with FIFA and they are supporting us to find them [the people responsible].”
He added that Al Jazeera was working with “a number of international specialised companies” to track down the culprits and that he was confident they would be found soon.
In a statement released earlier, the TV company said: “Al Jazeera Sport would like to condemn the actions of those involved in the deliberate attempts to block its signal during its World Cup broadcasts yesterday”, adding that it was a “deliberate act of sabotage”.
Al Khelaifi told Arabian Business that its contingency plan to minimise future disruption was now in operation but added that he could not say if future satellite attacks would happen during the football tournament.
“I think these people are sick,” he said, adding that everything was being done to ensure the best possible TV coverage for the rest of the tournament.
Technical problems hit the beginning of the coverage by the Qatar based TV station with its special World Cup channels frozen or broadcasting in the wrong language in a number of countries across the Middle East.
For most of the first half an hour of the first game between hosts South Africa and Mexico, viewers were left with no picture or a frozen screen.
The issues appeared to have been sorted out shortly before half time but problems persisted throughout the second half of the match.
The second match of the night – France v Uruguay – was unaffected.
Al Khelaifi could not put a figure on how many viewers were affected by the disruption on Friday but said that 85m people had tuned in for Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Champions League Final last month.
Broadcasting rights across the region are exclusively owned by Al Jazeera Sport