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The US at the UN: Peacebreaker at a place for peacemakers?

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“Why do American politicians who advocate for the two-state solution hesitate to support the actual establishment of a Palestinian state?” 

“A setback to achieving peace in the Middle East.”

“The US is a war-monger.” 

The US has faced considerable criticism on social media after exercising its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to sink Palestine’s bid for full United Nations membership. Its veto once again thwarted the long-held aspirations of the Palestinian people. Amid escalating conflict in Gaza, the US, instead of fulfilling its expected role, has obstructed in every possible way the justified demands of the Palestinians to join the UN family and enjoy their inalienable right. The one-sided policy of the US has come under heavy criticism for becoming the most formidable hindrance to the peace process in Gaza.

It has been a decades-long dream of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state. After failing to halt the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory through diplomatic channels, the Palestinian authority shifted its focus to obtaining UN membership in 2011. This strategic move culminated in a formal application to the UN within the same year. However, the US spearheaded opposition to this request, resulting in Palestine being granted only a “non-member observer State” status with no voting privileges.

Since the outbreak of the current round of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in October 2023, the Palestinian authority has intensified its pursuit of full UN membership to secure broad international support and to pressure Israel into halting its offensive in Gaza. Many nations believe that full membership for Palestine would confer upon it a status equal to that of Israel, thereby facilitating the conditions necessary for Palestinian-Israeli dialogue. Nevertheless, the US veto has once again dashed the hopes of the Palestinian people and the collective efforts of the global community.

Every nation that genuinely endorses a two-state solution should advocate for Palestine’s full UN membership. Why are American politicians, who often vocalize their commitment to this solution, not doing what they are saying?

In pursuit of “regional stability” in the Middle East and to meet domestic political objectives, the US has historically aligned closely with Israel. Their special relationship is evident in the US stance on Israel’s opposition to Palestinian efforts to gain full UN membership. The US hopes to ensure that all resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict come under its own guidance. Obviously, the move by Palestine to join the UN would diminish US influence in the peace process.

The veto seemed so out of place when the world is witnessing the severe humanitarian crisis and rising casualties in the Gaza Strip: as of press time, Israeli military operations in the region had resulted in the loss of over 34,000 Palestinian lives and about 77,000 injured. At this critical moment, the US has not only failed to provide adequate assistance to the vulnerable Palestinians, but also consistently supplied Israel with weapons and equipment and vetoed more than one Security Council resolutions calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The actions by the US underscore its role as an impediment to peace in both international and regional arenas.

At a time when the spillover effects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict continue to undermine peace and security in the Middle East, especially when a new vicious circle of retaliation began between Israel and Iran, it is more urgent than ever to grant Palestine full membership in the UN and move further toward a two-state solution, addressing the root cause for regional turmoil. This depends on joint efforts by each and every UN member, who ought to know that no single power has the authority to veto the future of the Palestinian people.

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China: Will advance cooperation with Maldives while respecting its sovereignty

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Bater, Vice Chairman of the 14th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) the political advisory board in the People’s Republic of China, has affirmed that Chinese government will respect and support Maldives’ sovereignty while advancing cooperation between the two nations.

Bater, who is an official visit to the Maldives, paid a courtesy call on President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu Thursday morning at the President’s Office.

During the meeting, Bater conveyed warm greetings from Chinese President and congratulated President Muizzu on ruling PNC’s victorious supermajority in the parliamentary elections.

He also spoke regarding the historic relations between Maldives and China, and in this trajectory, reiterated that the Chinese government respects and supports the Maldives’ sovereignty and promotes mutual respect while advancing cooperation between the two nations.

Bater said President Xi’s state visit to the Maldives in 2014 and President Muizzu’s recent state visit to China have significantly contributed to the advancement of cooperation and friendly relations between the two countries.

Speaking at the meeting, President Muizzu emphasized the cordial relationship between the Maldives and China and expressed looking forward to strengthening the friendly relations between the two countries.

Referring to his state visit to China, the President also extended gratitude for the opportunity.

President Muizzu and Beter concluded the meeting by expressing their eagerness to work closely on future collaborations.

Bater arrived in the Maldives on a three-day official visit on Tuesday evening.

He was appointed vice chairperson of CPPCC in 2018, and also serves as a member of Central Committee of ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

CPPCC, comprising of delegates from CCP and its people’s organizations, political parties and independent members, advises and puts proposals for political and social issues to government bodies. It, however, lacks any real legislative power.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Minister Shiyam: MIFCO lacks capacity to purchase yellowfin tuna this year

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Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shiyam, on Wednesday, said the state’s fisheries company, MIFCO, lacks the capacity to purchase yellowfin tuna from yellowfin tuna fishermen this year.

Local fishermen staged a protest at sea on Wednesday over the delays in the disbursement of payment for the fish purchased from them. The protest, organized by the Bodu Kanneli Masveringe Union (BKMU) – a trade Union of yellowfin tuna fishermen – initially began at Hulhumale’ jetty and later moved to Male’ lagoon.

Minister Shiyam visited the protest site and addressed the fishermen during which he said MIFCO currently lacks the capacity to purchase yellowfin tuna from yellowfin tuna fishermen. Nevertheless, he affirmed the administration’s commitment to purchase yellowfin tuna as pledged by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

“We are undertaking efforts to strengthen MIFCO, and we will get it done,” he added.

Speaking further, Minister Shiyam underscored the President’s wishes to fulfill his electoral pledges in the early years of his electoral term.

“Please know that in these seven months, we have been faring through serious financial difficulties. Nevertheless, we are working,” he stressed.

The Minister also noted that the government wishes to proceed with matters following consultations with stakeholders.

He also addressed one of the biggest concerns of fishermen at present; the government’s plans to allow commercial longline fishing.

He assured that commercial longline fishing will not be allowed as it had been practiced previously in the Maldives, adding the plans will be implemented in a manner that the interests of the yellowfin tuna fishermen, who will strongly be impacted by longline fishing, are protected.

At Wednesday’s protest, participants demanded the government drop its plans to allow commercial longline fishing. They also demanded that MIFCO begin purchasing yellowfin tuna as pledged by the government and the disbursement of payment for pending dues to fishermen.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Over MVR 10 million raised for Palestine as nationwide telethon concludes

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The nationwide telethon, conducted under the slogan “Falastheenaa Eku Dhivehin,” which translates to “Maldivians in Solidarity with Palestine,” by the Public Service Media (PSM), in partnership with local media has concluded.

Over MVR 10 million was raised for Palestinians with donations from various parties, alongside over USD 31,000.

As part of the telethon, donation boxes have been placed in 13 locations across the Maldivian capital, Male’ City.

The telethon was conducted under the direct instruction of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu who launched the event on Wednesday morning. President Muizzu and First Lady Sajidha Ahmed made donations during the launching ceremony.

The ceremony was also attended by senior government officials including cabinet ministers.

Notable donations made during the telethon included MVR 2.1 million from Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), MVR 500,000 from STELCO and MVR 300,000 from STO. Donations were also made by various other government ministries, institutions, companies and private individuals. A local family, ‘Nooran Family’ also donated MVR 50,000.

Israel’s current war on Gaza, which began on October 7, 2023, has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, many of them women and children. It has also reduced much of the Palestinian territory to rubble, displaced the vast majority of residents, and resulted in widespread malnutrition.

Source(s): sun.mv

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