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January 25, 2013

Syrian refugees continue to enter Jordan as situation becomes \’critical\’

Syrian refugees continue to enter Jordan as situation becomes ‘critical’

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Friday, January 25, 2013

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The Jordanian government began an urgent aid appeal on Wednesday in order to deal with a refugee crisis as an estimated 20,000 Syrian refugees crossed into the country in the past week with 3,000 new refugees arriving daily as well as 50,000 at the border waiting to cross.

The Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh called for urgent international support to help deal with large amounts of Syrian refugees. The request for foreign aid comes amid alerts from international aid organisations to prepare for a humanitarian crisis and strained resources.

“This is obviously a reflection of the level of violence in southern Syria, and there will probably be more in the next few days,” he said. “We are getting aid — we are getting aid from Arab countries, from Western countries, from international organizations. It is still not enough, given the numbers that are coming in.”

A spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said that in excess of 26,500 refugees had crossed from Syria into Jordan since the beginning of January.

Jordan has stated in recent weeks that it may close the border in the case of large numbers of people crossing the border to seek refuge.



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December 8, 2012

Hillary Clinton condemns violence in Northern Ireland

Hillary Clinton condemns violence in Northern Ireland

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

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United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called yesterday (Friday) for an end to violence which has taken place in Northern Ireland this week, following the decision of Belfast City Council to stop flying the Union Flag year round. Clinton, who was on a visit to Belfast as part of a four-day tour of Europe, said that violence “is never an acceptable response to disagreements.”

Hillary Clinton
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At a press conference also attended by Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Clinton condemned the violence: “We have seen this week the work is not complete and I join in condemning the recent attacks,” she said. She also called for all Northern Ireland parties “to confront the remaining challenge of sectarian divisions, peacefully together”.

She said that even though peace in Northern Ireland was “remarkably durable”, “there are still those who would try to destroy it.”

Cquote1.svg [violence] is never an acceptable response to disagreements. Cquote2.svg

Hillary Clinton

Even though Clinton will be stepping down as Secretary of State next month, she pledged to continue working on the peace process in Northern Ireland, “I offer to you, as I stand down from Secretary of State, to continue working with you in developing the peace process as an advocate and cheerleader for the process and to reach out to those who are not feeling part of it.”

This week’s outbreak of violence in Northern Ireland followed the decision by Belfast City Council to only fly the Union Flag on certain designated days, instead of all-year round, as is currently the case. Although nationalists on the council had wanted the flag removed completely, Alliance persuaded them to vote for their compromise proposal, whereby the flag would only be flown on certain designated days per year.

Alliance MP for East Belfast Naomi Long has received death threats, which Clinton called “unacceptable”. A Carrickfergus Alliance party office was set on fire and two Bangor councillors’ homes were attacked.

Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton have visited Northern Ireland several times previously. Bill Clinton played a key part in convincing both sides in the conflict to agree to end the violence.

Since becoming Secretary of State in 2008, Clinton has visited over 100 countries, meaning she has visited more countries during her tenure than any other Secretary of State.

There is now speculation as to whether Clinton will launch another presidential bid, following her failed campaign in 2008, when she was beaten to the Democratic Party nomination by Barack Obama. Several international figures have said they would support her presidential candidacy, including former UK prime minister Tony Blair, and Jordanian minister Nasser Judeh. 57% of those polled in a recent survey by the Washington Post indicated that they would support Clinton’s candidacy although she has denied that she is planning to run.

Clinton is now to continue her tour of Europe, which is expected to be one of her last foreign trips as Secretary of State, with visits to the Czech Republic and Belgium.



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August 9, 2011

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait recall ambassadors to Syria

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait recall ambassadors to Syria

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

 
Correction — December 22, 2014
 
This article names Jordanian politician Nasser Judeh as the nation’s Prime Minister. He has never held that role.
 
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Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait all recalled their ambassadors to Syria Monday over concerns about the crackdown on protestors by the Syrian government.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced the decision to recall the country’s Syrian ambassador in a statement read on state television, saying that “[t]he Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [demands] the stoppage of the killing machine and bloodshed, and the use of reason before it is too late”.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa of Bahrain said that Syria should “resort to reason” and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah called for an end to military action, saying that “no-one can accept the bloodshed.” al-Sabah also said that officials from several countries in the region plan to meet in the near future to discuss Syria.

In addition to the recall of the ambassadors, diplomatic pressure increased on Syria from other fronts, with Prime Minister Nasser Judeh of Jordan making a televised request for talks between the protestors and government, and the Arab League issuing its first statement about the situation in Syria on Sunday, saying it is “alarmed” by events.



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