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Iran wants Iraq, Venezuela in TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday hailed Egypt's aims in putting together a new "contact group" on the Syrian crisis, but said it wanted to expand the initiative to include its allies Iraq and Venezuela. Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdolahian was quoted on his ministry website after attending the first meeting of the group in Cairo on Monday that Egypt's offer to host another session at ministerial level "is a positive step." He welcomed Egypt's stated goal of trying to stop Syria's bloodshed through "consensus" in the group, based on policies to bring about a ceasefire, to maintain Syrian sovereignty and to reject any foreign intervention. That was "a balanced solution," Amir Abdolahian said. The contact group, created by Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi, comprises Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran. The first three countries have all publicly called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down as a first step to quelling an 18-month conflict ...

Qatar to expel son in law of ousted Tunisian president  TUNIS: Qatar has ordered the expulsion of the son-in-law of ousted Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who had fled to the Gulf Arab state during the Tunisian uprising, a presidential spokesman said on Monday. Sakhr Materi, who was a powerful figure during the rule of his father-in-law, is wanted in Tunisia for financial corruption. Tunisian presidential spokesman Moncef Marzouki said in a statement that Qatar had agreed to a Tunisian request to expel Materi. The statement did ...
Israel talking nuclear JERUSALEM: Israel is talking with Washington about laying down "clear red lines" for Iran over its nuclear programme, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with Canada's CBC. "Iran will not stop unless it sees clear determination by the democratic countries of the world and a clear red line," Netanyahu told the Canadian television channel. "The sooner we establish one, the greater the chances that there won't be a need for other types of action," he ...
Qaeda claims latest deadly Iraq attacks  BAGHDAD: Al-Qaeda front organisation the Islamic State of Iraq posted a claim on the Internet Monday for a wave of more than 30 attacks around the country that killed more than 88 people.   The bombings and shootings were in response to the "campaign of extermination and torture of Sunni Muslim detainees in Safavid prisons," the statement said in a pejorative reference to the Shiite-led government implying that it was under the domination of formerly Safavid-ruled neighbouring ...
Palestinian bid to open eco accord JERUSALEM: A Palestinian request for talks on amending the Paris Protocol governing economic ties with Israel in a bid to address social unrest in the West Bank is "not serious," an Israeli official said on Monday. Palestinian civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh told AFP on Sunday he had made a formal request to the Israeli government through the defence ministry for talks on changing the 1994 agreement. But the official dismissed the move, saying the fact that ...
Fugitive Iraq VP rejects death sentence  ANKARA: Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on Monday rejected his murder conviction and death sentence and ruled out returning home until he is guaranteed "security and a fair trial". "While reconfirming my absolute innocence and that of my guards, I totally reject and will never recognise the unfair, the unjust, the politically motivated verdict, which was expected from the outset of this funny trial," Hashemi told a a news conference in Ankara. "I consider the verdict ...
Palestinian shot after hurling firebomb at soldiers: army JERUSALEM: A Palestinian was shot early on Monday by Israeli soldiers who said he had hurled a firebomb at them in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, a military spokeswoman told AFP. "Palestinians hurled firebombs at an Israeli army outpost in Hebron. While the soldiers searched the area for suspects, additional firebombs were thrown at them and the soldiers responded with fire," the spokeswoman said. "One of the suspects was injured and evacuated by army medics ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyJuly 23, 2015
Reserves $18.677 bln