Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the assistance for the safe evacuation from Kabul of Afghan citizens of Greek interest

Our Ambassador to Islamabad, upon instructions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, is expected to travel – provided that the security conditions allow it – to Kabul, in order to assist, on the ground, with the efforts for the safe evacuation of people who are of interest to Greece.

At the same time, our Embassies in EU member states and Washington were instructed to request from European partners and the United States to provide all possible assistance to the Greek Ambassador through their Embassies on the ground.

Covid-19: Ghana receives 1 bln USD assistance from IMF to boost post-covid recovery

ACCRA, Ghana has received a sum of 1 billion U.S. dollars from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to boost its post-COVID-19 economic recovery, the Ministry of Finance said.

The package is part of the fund’s 650-billion-dollar package approved to support the post-COVID economic recovery in IMF member states.

“The new allocation will meet the additional financing needs of the country, caused by the impact of the pandemic on public financing,” said the release on Friday.

The gesture from the IMF “provides additional policy space to support Ghana’s efforts to counter the impact of the pandemic on lives and livelihoods,” Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said.

He added that the government would follow all statutory requirements in spending the IMF support funding.

In 2020, Ghana received an initial package of 1 billion dollars from IMF to support its fight against the pandemic.

Source: NAM News Network

Egypt urges dialogue to end Algeria-Morocco diplomatic rift

CAIRO, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry urged for dialogue to end the diplomatic rift between Algeria and Morocco.

Shoukry made the remarks during two separate phone conversations with his Algerian and Moroccan counterparts Ramtane Lamamra and Nasser Bourita, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

During the two conversations, Shoukry discussed the recent developments in the relations between the two countries, stressing the need to overcome the current crisis.

He urged for seeking dialogue to solve the outstanding issue between Algeria and Morocco in the interest of strengthening joint Arab action.

On Tuesday, Lamamra announced his country’s decision to “break off its diplomatic relations with Morocco.”

Lamamra, in a letter on behalf of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, attributed the decision to Morocco’s “hostile acts” towards Algeria since mid-July, particularly “the support given to what Morocco’s ambassador to the UN called the right to self-determination of the ‘valiant Kabyle people’ in Algeria.”

Algeria and Morocco have been undergoing tense relations for decades. Their border has been closed since 1994 after Rabat started imposing visa entry on Algerian nationals following a bomb attack in Marrakesh.

Source: NAM News Network

Algeria says to divert Spain gas supplies away from Morocco pipeline

ALGIERS, Algeria said it was ready to divert all its Spain-bound natural gas exports via an undersea pipeline that bypasses Morocco, state media said, days after Algiers cut ties with its North African rival.

In a meeting with Spanish Ambassador Fernando Moran, Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab stressed “Algeria’s full commitment to cover all of Spain’s natural gas supplies through the Medgaz” pipeline, said a statement quoted by the official APS news agency.

Algeria exports natural gas to Spain via both the Medgaz pipeline and the higher-capacity GME pipeline which runs overland through Morocco.

But on Tuesday Algiers abruptly cut diplomatic relations with its western neighbour over alleged “hostile actions”, accusations the kingdom has dismissed as “absurd”.

The rift came just over two months before the GME pipeline, currently owned by Spanish gas giant Naturgy, passes into Moroccan ownership on Nov 1.

Negotiations over Algeria’s continued access to the pipeline had already been complicated by growing strains in ties between Algiers and Rabat.

Last Saturday, Morocco had said it wanted to keep open the GME pipeline, which carries about half of Algeria’s gas exports to Spain.

But ties have collapsed, particularly after Algeria accused Morocco of complicity in deadly forest fires that killed at least 90 people.

Morocco’s normalisation of ties with Israel last year as a quid pro quo for US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara also angered Algiers.

The Medgaz pipeline’s capacity of some eight billion cubic metres per year to Spain is set to be expanded by 25 percent later this year.

But this higher capacity alone will not be able to handle what Algeria has historically exported to Spain, according to the Middle East Economic Survey.

But Arkab on Thursday “highlighted recently launched projects such as expansion of the capacity of Medgaz” which Naturgy has said should come online in the final quarter of 2021.

Source: NAM News Network

Mali releases ex-interim president and PM from house arrest

BAMAKO, Former Malian interim President Bah Ndaw and his prime minister, Moctar Ouane, have been freed from house arrest by the authorities who deposed them in May, a committee monitoring the post-coup transition has said.

Their detention by military officers in May marked Mali’s second coup since the overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita the previous August.

The political upheaval alarmed regional powers and allies such as France, which feared it could delay a promised return to civilian rule via democratic elections scheduled for February 2022.

In a statement on Friday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it “welcomes” the move by Mali to lift “all restrictive measures” on the former leaders.

Both men were appointed as interim civilian leaders after a military coup in August 2020, charged with steering Mali back towards the civilian rule.

But after a sensitive government reshuffle in May, Mali’s strongman Colonel Assimi Goita deposed Ndaw and Ouane in a second coup. Goita was later declared interim president.

Aides to Ndaw and Ouane had indicated that the two leaders had been kept under house arrest after their removal.

ECOWAS said on Friday that the two should enjoy all the rights associated with their roles as the former president and the former prime minister.

The lifting of restrictions follows an appeal from Ndaw and Ouane to the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which recently demanded that Mali justify their detention.

Goita, for his part, has promised to restore civilian rule and stage elections in February next year.

However, there are doubts about whether the government will be able to hold elections within such a short timeframe in the shadow of rampant violence across Mali.

The government has been struggling to quell an armed uprising that first broke out in the north in 2012, and which has since spread to the centre of the country and neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed in the conflict to date.

On Friday, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Group to Support Islam and Muslims claimed responsibility for an August attack that killed 17 Malian soldiers, according to a SITE Intelligence.

Source: NAM News Network