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UAE pledges to deepen bilateral relations with Nigeria

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has expressed its readiness to deepen economic ties with Nigeria toward promoting investment and trade between both countries.

Dr Fahad AL-Taffaq, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to Nigeria, made this known in his address to commemorate the 48th National Day of the UAE on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the progress attained by UAE was based on balanced foreign policy centered on moderation, tolerance, humanitarian assistance and political openness that allows the country gain respect in diplomatic community.

According to him, this day marks the anniversary of the unification of the seven Emirates in 1971 to achieve the 2021 vision across different fields and make UAE globally competitive.

Al-Taffaq said, “as of 2018 the total volume of non-oil bilateral trade between the UAE and Nigeria stands at 1.5billion dollars.

“This is set to increase with the recent opening of a consulate office in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos in June, 2019.

“To increase bilateral relations between UAE and Nigeria, the two main UAE airlines “Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways” operate combined 28-flights weekly from Abu – Dhabi and Dubai-Lagos and Abuja.

“This represents the highest flight route from Nigeria to any other country globally, in addition Nigerian carrier, Air Peace recently launched three-weekly flights from Nigeria to Dubai via Sharjah.”

He said the country’s plan for the future is to compete on the world stage through reliance on technological know-how and extensive capital as an important resource of the country.

He also said that the country declared 2019 as year of tolerance to reinforce the spirit openness, mutual respect and coexistence promote tolerance.

The envoy, however, assured of the country’s readiness to host the Expo-2020 Dubai as the largest event to be staged in the Middle East, which Nigeria had confirmed to participate.

In a remark, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, Minister of State for Mines and Steel, congratulated the people of UAE on the commemoration of the occasion of their 48th anniversary celebration.

He prayed God to continue grant the government and people of UAE good cause to celebrate many more years ahead and assured of Nigeria’s to support them in any way as a nation.

According to him, the story of UAE is a story of great possibilities.

“We can see what they achieved since the 48 years of their existence and we want to congratulate them and also appreciate the wonderful work they are doing touching the whole world.

“Over the years, there have been mutual bilateral relations between Nigeria and the UAE, in terms of trade, education, technology and humanitarian supports.

“We have collaborated in ways which gave rise to the visit by President Muhammadu Buhari to UAE to strengthen the bilateral relationship for the future of both countries.

“I thank UAE for the great work they have doing and also use this opportunity to wish them well.” Ogah said.

The Day celebrated on Dec. 2, every year marks the UAE’s Union Day and stands for its nationalisation from the British Protectorate Treaties which were declared in 1968.

Edited & Vetted By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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Anthony Joshua thanks Nigerian envoy for inspiring him

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World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has expressed appreciation to the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, for psyching him up to reclaim his titles.

After Joshua lost to Andy Ruiz Jr during their first match in New York in June, Okoyen sent him a letter praising his courage and assuring him of Nigeria’s support in his future fights. 

areer.

The letter obviously meant a lot to the 30-year-old Nigerian-British pugilist, who held it up in a photograph obtained by the Nigeria News Agency .

After reclaiming the titles in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, he reciprocated with words of appreciation to the Consul General.

Joshua’s message was conveyed by a U.S.-based Nigerian journalist, Joi John, who covered the rematch in Saudi Arabia.

The two-time heavyweight boxing champion was quoted as saying that the letter was a big source of inspiration to him at a time he needed it most. 

“To Ben. God bless,” Joshua wrote on an autographed copy of the official fight brochure at the Diriyah Arena which he sent to the envoy.

Okoyen displays the autographed brochure from Joshua.

Born in the UK to Nigerian parents, Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua has always identified with his Nigerian heritage. 

Moments after defeating Andy Ruiz Jr, he did a video message thanking Nigerians for their support. 

The boxer will be visiting Nigeria to present his IBF, WBA, and WBO world heavyweight boxing titles to President Muhammadu Buhari, according to the Minister of Sports, Mr Sunday Dare.

(Edited by: Oluyinka Fadare/Emmanuel Yashim)
(NAN)
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9 terror suspects face remand custody hearings in Denmark

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Nine suspects face remand custody hearings in Denmark on Thursday on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack with a militant Islamist motive.

Danish media reported from the court that one woman and two men appeared at Copenhagen city court where they were charged with attempting to make explosives.

According to the report, in another courtroom at the Copenhagen city court, five other suspects, four men and one woman, were charged with attempting to acquire firearms or to finance the purchase of firearms.

Meanwhile, the ninth suspect was facing a hearing in the city of Odense.

The hearings took place the day after Copenhagen police and the Danish security service PET, said they had arrested about 20 people in connection with raids at about 20 locations across the country.

Jorgen Skov, of the Copenhagen police, said that authorities believed the suspects attempted to obtain material to make explosives and acquire firearms.

However, Police have not mentioned any possible target.

Skov said police would request the hearings be held behind closed doors.

Earlier, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, said in a statement that the arrests were “a reminder that there are individuals in Denmark who have the intent and capacity to commit acts of terrorism.”

Edited by: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)
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Netanyahu to give up ministerial portfolios by Jan. 1

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the Justice Ministry on Thursday that he would give up his ministerial portfolios by Jan. 1, in light of corruption charges against him.

In addition to the post of Prime Minister, which he would retain, Netanyahu currently acts as Minister for welfare, Diaspora Affairs, Agriculture and Health.

The Justice Ministry said in a statement that Netanyahu would also appoint his replacements by Jan. 1.

Netanyahu’s move comes in response to a petition filed by the good-governance group Movement for the Quality of Government in Israel to the Supreme Court to have him removed from office.

The country will hold an unprecedented third election within a year on March 2, after the Knesset voted to dissolve itself Thursday amid a political stalemate that had grasped Israel since September elections.

Under Israeli law, Netanyahu does not have to step down as Prime Minister if indicted and vowed not to give up the position.

However, legal precedent stipulates that ministers cannot hold on to their position when they are on trial.

In November, Israel’s Attorney-General announced that Netanyahu would be charged with fraud, breach of trust and bribery in three separate cases, making him Israel’s first sitting premier to face indictment.

Netanyahu recently spoke of a “witch hunt” and “coup attempt” against him, and has repeatedly hurled attacks at Israel’s Justice Ministry.

Edited by: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)
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Ukraine welcomes U.S. sanctions against Nord Stream-2 pipeline

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Ukraine’s leadership, on Thursday welcomed expected U.S. sanctions on the Russian-German Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline.

Ukraine had in a very long time protested the project as undermining existing Western economic sanctions to compel Russia to resolve a conflict in Eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border, and end its occupation of Crimea region.

According to Ukrainian Presidential Administration, Ukraine is grateful for the votes in favour of sanctions against the pipeline, a political project that undermines the energy security of Europe.

The Ukrainian Prime Minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk, welcomed congressional approval of the sanctions as good news.

“The sanctions should dramatically complicate the construction of the Russian pipe,’’ he said.

Edited by: Yahaya Isah/Abdulfatah Babatunde
(NAN)
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Yemen’s Hodeida remains most dangerous for civilians, aid groups say

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Yemen’s port of Hodeida on Thursday continued to be the most dangerous area in the country, several international aid groups said.

According to the group, Dec. 12, makes it exactly one year since a peace deal was reached between Yemeni rivals that promised a ceasefire in the western city.

The Stockholm Agreement was reached in Dec. 2018, following UN-sponsored talks in Sweden between representatives of the government and the Houthi rebels.

It focused on a truce agreement for Hodeida that included a province-wide ceasefire and the withdrawal of Houthi fighters.

The agreement has not been fully implemented.

A group of 15 aid organisations, including the Norwegian Refugee Council and Oxfam, said in a statement that in 2019, 799 civilians were killed and wounded in Hodeida province, representing a quarter of all civilian casualties across Yemen.

“This was the highest toll across war-torn, impoverished Yemen,” they said.

The groups noted that about 390,000 Yemenis had been displaced so far in 2019, in spite of a drop in the levels of violence compared to 2018.

They added that besides Hodeida, the northern provinces of Saada and Hajjah, and the southern Taiz and Dhale were among the most dangerous for civilians in 2019.

“As aid agencies working in Yemen, we are outraged that after almost five years, Yemenis continue to suffer from an incalculable humanitarian crisis fuelled by conflict.

“Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the violence,” they added.

Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, has been locked in a devastating power struggle between the Houthis and the government since late 2014.

Edited by: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)
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