Thought for the day

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.<br>The functions of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents.<br>There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe." -- Thomas Jefferson

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The Yemeni government said Thursday it has signed a deal worth $200 million with Saudi Arabia to provide fuel to war-torn Yemen.

Under the deal, the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) will provide 250,000 metric tons of oil derivatives to Yemen, the state news agency Saba reported.

Saba said the deal will help increase the capabilities of Yemeni government institutions and the stability of electric power in various government and private institutions and the industrial sector.

The UN envoy for Yemen on Tuesday warned of the risk of more fighting breaking out in Yemen if the warring parties don’t agree to extend the current ceasefire, which is due to expire on October 2.

During a speech at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem al-Hashemi, renewed her country’s call for Iran to give up its claim to the three Persian Gulf islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa.

“We renew our demand [for an end to] Iran’s occupation of the three Emirati islands: The Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa, over which history and international law prove the sovereignty of my country,” al-Hashemi said in New York on 24 September.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is travelling to the Middle East on Saturday for a two-day, three-country visit aimed at striking new energy deals and forging fresh alliances amid the economic and geopolitical turmoil resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The German government has scrambled to wean Europe’s biggest economy off Russian oil, coal, and gas since coming to office last December.

While imports from Russia have declined sharply since then, there are fears that Germany, like other European countries, could face an energy shortage in the coming months

Prime Minister Yair Lapid met Jordan’s King Abdullah II on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Tuesday, and afterward issued a statement that this represented a strengthening of Israeli-Jordanian ties.

That’s the good news.

Relations with Jordan are strategically important for both Israel and Jordan, and meetings such as these can only help improve communications and foster closer ties. It is good that ties with Amman, which suffered under Benjamin Netanyahu’s tenure, are being strengthened. That is to be applauded.

Bahrain on Wednesday expressed its full support for "Syria’s sovereignty and stability" and the need to "build bridges with friends" as the foreign ministers of the two countries met on Wednesday.

World leaders met on Tuesday for the 77th United Nations General Assembly debate, marking the first fully in-person gathering in three years since the onset of the pandemic.

IN MARCH 2018, the U.S. government decided that five Yemeni men were so dangerous that there was only one solution: They needed to die. After a U.S. military commander gave the final sign-off, a missile ripped through their SUV, near the village of Al Uqla, and tossed the car into the air. Three of the men were killed instantly. Another died days later in a local hospital. The only survivor was Adel Al Manthari.

On 18 September, the head of the Houthis’ prisoner affairs committee, Abdul Qader al-Murtada, said that the Saudi-led coalition is obstructing the implementation of the prisoner exchange with Yemen, despite the deal being brokered through the UN.

According to Yemeni officials, the prisoners’ swap deal is at a “complete stalemate” on a local and international level, despite signing an agreement with the coalition and its partners to exchange 2,200 prisoners with each other.