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DUBAI, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - The UAE, a key player in the coalition battling Huthi rebels in Yemen, on Monday warned the insurgents to withdraw unconditionally from the flashpoint port city of Hodeida, after UN peace efforts fizzled.

"There can be no conditions in any offers to withdraw," the United Arab Emirates' minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash told a press conference in Dubai.

"If the rebels wanted to set conditions, they should have thought of that a year ago... Now is not the time to negotiate."

Huthi rebels have controlled Hodeida, a key entry point for desperately-needed aid, since 2014, when they drove the government out of the capital Sanaa and seized large swathes of the country.

Gargash's statement came hours before the UN's top Yemen envoy, Martin Griffiths, was due to brief the Security Council on his efforts to end the crisis over Hodeida, whose port handles over 70 percent of Yemen's imports.

Gargash said the Saudi and UAE-led offensive aimed "to help the UN envoy in his last chance to convince the Huthis to withdraw unconditionally from the city and avoid any confrontation."

ABU DHABI, June 17, 2018 (MENA) – The UAE welcomed the announcement by the Afghan government to extend ceasefire with Taliban, WAM reported on Sunday.

The announcement was made on Saturday by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

“The UAE supports Ghani’s announcement to extend ceasefire with Taliban as well as his proposal to begin peace talks,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Government said in a statement.

The ministry added that the ceasefire with the Taliban is a fundamental step to consolidate security and stability in Afghanistan.

It praised the Afghan president’s initiative, describing it as a brave decision that would pave the way for peace negotiations between the two sides.

ABU DHABI, June 17, 2018 (MENA) - The UAE welcomes the efforts exerted by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths to persuade the Houthis to hand over Hodaidah city to the legitimate Yemeni government, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said.

In a series of tweets on Twitter quoted by Al Arabiya channel, Gargash asserted that the UAE supports the efforts of Griffiths to facilitate handing over Hodaidah to the Yemeni government.

The residents of Hodaidah desire to be liberated, Gargash said, asserting that the Arab coalition will continue stepping up their military and humanitarian reinforcements to reach this urgent goal.

 

CAIRO, June 17, 2018 (MENA) – President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received a phone call from Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, Presidency Spokesman Bassam Radi said.

In the phone call, Bin Zayed congratulated Sisi on the occasion of Eid el-Fitr

in which he hoped Egypt and its people goodness, development and prosperity.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian president thanked the Crown Prince and hailed the deep-rooted relations between Egypt and the UAE. He also wished more development and prosperity to the Emirati people.

DUBAI, June 14, 2018 (News Wires) — The United Arab Emirates’ flagship carrier Etihad posted losses of $1.52 billion in 2017 despite a slight bump in revenue compared to the previous year, the airline said Thursday.

Etihad said it faced challenges ranging from significant fuel cost increases to costs associated with equity partners Alitalia and now-defunct Air Berlin.

The losses were smaller however compared to the $1.95 billion lost in 2016, a figure the airline revised upward from a previously reported $1.87 billion.

Revenue, meanwhile, inched higher from $5.9 billion in 2016 to $6.1 billion in 2017.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline’s second consecutive annual loss comes as the long-haul carrier reduced its aircraft fleet from 119 to 115 last year.

Some 18.6 million passengers flew on Etihad in 2017, approximately the same as 2016. The airline flies to 93 destinations, including several cities in the United States.

Etihad’s losses also come as it re-evaluates its business plans following last year’s departure of CEO James Hogan, who’d served in the post since 2006. He was replaced by Tony Douglas.

In a statement Thursday, Douglas said the company made “solid first steps” towards transforming its business model.

“We made good progress in improving the quality of our revenues, streamlining our cost base, improving our cash-flow and strengthening our balance sheet,” he said.

CAIRO, June 12, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt's Minister of Military Production Mohamed Saeed el Assar witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the National Organization for Military Production (NOMP) and the UAE's Al Falah Contracting Company at the ministry's premises.

In statements on Tuesday, Assar said the agreement aims at boosting cooperation between the two sides in the field of producing ready-mix high strength concrete with all necessary technical specifications.

The agreement also provides a chance for studying the establishment of a joint plant to produce ready-mix concrete to supply all projects currently under construction in Egypt, he added.

Assar noted that the NOMP is a major industrial facility with vast industrial and technological capabilities and is involved in the implementation of major national projects across the country as part of its comprehensive development plan for 2030. Hence, he regards the cooperation agreement clinched between NOMP and Al Falah Company to produce the ready-mix concrete as important for meeting the Egyptian market needs and decreasing importation.

Meanwhile, Al Falah Company Chairman Zayed Al Falah voiced confidence that NOMP's industrial potentials and its good reputation in performing its assignments will help in accelerating the implementation of the agreement.

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