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Arab countries offer to join air campaign on Islamic State: US PARIS: Arab countries have offered to join the United States in air strikes against Islamic State targets, US officials said on Sunday, indicating a possible widening of the air campaign against militants who have seized parts of Iraq and Syria. The officials declined to identify which countries had made the offers but said they were under consideration as the United States begins to identify roles for each country in its emerging coalition against militants who have declared a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East. The addition of Arab fighter jets could strengthen the credibility of the American-led campaign in a region skeptical of how far Washington will commit to a conflict in which nearly every country has a stake."I don't want to leave you with the impression that these Arab members haven't offered to do air strikes because several of them have," a senior US State Department official ...

Post-war counselling awaits Gaza children going back to school GAZA: Some 500,000 children returned on Sunday to school in the Gaza Strip, where many will be given psychological counselling before regular studies begin after a devastating 50-day war between Palestinian militants and Israel. The opening of the school year had been delayed for three weeks because of damage to more than 250 schools and the use of about 90 UN educational facilities as shelters for tens of thousands of residents displaced by fighting, the ...
Egypt says global action needed to counter Islamic State CAIRO: Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria are forging ties with other extremist groups in the region, Egypt's foreign minister said on Saturday, backing Washington's call for global action to counter the threat. Militant groups that share Islamic State's ideology and "take Islam as a cover" must be dealt with, Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri told a joint news conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the Egyptian capital. Egypt's strong public support ...
Germany sending 40 soldiers to Iraqi Kurdistan BERLIN: Berlin is preparing to send around 40 soldiers to northern Iraq to train Kurdish fighters battling against militants from the Islamic State, the German army said on Saturday. Following a decision last month by the German government to provide Kurdish peshmerga forces with weapons, Berlin's defence ministry said it had sent six soldiers to its consulate in Arbil, northern Iraq, to "coordinate" joint training exercises. Additional teams will be "temporarily" deployed to Iraqi Kurdistan, ...
US insists no anti-militants coordination with Assad WASHINGTON: With momentum building for international military action against extremists in Syria, the United States reiterated Friday it will not coordinate with Bashar al-Assad in the effort."The answer to the security challenges is not the Assad regime," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters. "They have created this security vacuum. We are not going to be working with them in this fight," she added. "They have lost legitimacy to lead, period."An Assad advisor, Buthaina ...
US, France ramp up anti-militants efforts ARBIL: France's president travelled to war-torn Iraq and Washington's top diplomat to neighbouring Turkey Friday, ramping up efforts to address what they now see as the global threat posed by militants.Francois Hollande was the first head of state to visit Iraq since militant-led militants seized large parts of it in June, and he said France is ready to step up its military involvement.Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry was in neighbouring Turkey, which many ...
Kerry confident of broad anti-IS coalition ANKARA: US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed confidence Friday of building a broad coalition including Arab and European nations against Islamic State militants, on a visit to Turkey which has refused to allow strikes on the extremists from its territory.The top US diplomat also voiced Washington's opposition to Iran joining a conference on the Iraq crisis in Paris on Monday.Kerry held talks in Ankara with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of a ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln