NICOSIA: Cypriot police said the body of a man was retrieved off the Mediterranean island’s western coast Thursday after newly arrived migrants said one among them had fallen overboard.
Police said a group of 44 Syrians — including two women and four children — were found wandering in the Peyia area north of Paphos.
The migrants told police that a man on the boat they were traveling in had gone missing before they reached the shore.
Authorities launched a rescue operation, and the body of a man was discovered in the waters.
A police official said the body was found after an extensive search using a helicopter, but it had yet to be formally identified.
The missing migrant was reported to be a 24-year-old Syrian.
Police believe the Syrians were smuggled from Turkey and dropped off pre-dawn before the boat departed.
Cyprus has complained that people smugglers have driven a huge rise in asylum seekers landing on its shores from Turkey in recent years.
The small EU state has lobbied Brussels to take action over the “disproportionate” numbers of asylum seekers it receives.
After being processed, the migrants who arrived on Thursday morning will be transferred to a reception center outside the capital Nicosia.
CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Oliver Varhelyi, European commissioner for neighborhood and enlargement, discussed the crises in Libya, Ukraine and Palestine, Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam, and relations between Cairo and the EU.
The presidency said the meeting reviewed “various aspects of the relationship between Egypt and the EU, whether with regard to its political, economic and development dimensions.”
It added: “Satisfaction was expressed over the overall developments in institutional cooperation between the two sides, stressing the importance of continuing joint coordination and strengthening mutual dialogue in this regard, to strengthen the friendly relations between them in light of common interests and challenges.”
The meeting also dealt with the global economic repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, especially with regard to energy and food.
El-Sisi and Varhelyi discussed ways that Egypt and the EU could coordinate efforts to improve living conditions in the Gaza Strip.
They also agreed on the importance of expediting the holding of elections in Libya. El-Sisi stressed the importance of ending the presence of armed militias and extremist groups in Libya as they undermine the chances of achieving stability and peace.
He described the Renaissance Dam as an “existential issue for Egypt and its people” given its effect on regional water supplies.
He reiterated Cairo’s position that a binding, legal agreement is required on the rules for filling and operating the dam in accordance with international law.
RIYADH: Yemen’s warring parties agreed to extend a UN-brokered truce for two months under the same terms as the original deal that was due to expire on Thursday, the UN envoy to Yemen said.
Delegations from the legitimate government and the Houthis are expected to return to the Jordanian capital Amman to continue talks, a Yemeni official said.
The truce had seen a halt to major military operations in Yemen and cross-border attacks in the seven-year war between the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen and the Iran-aligned Houthi group, and helped to ease a humanitarian crisis that has left millions hungry.
“For the past two months, Yemenis have experienced the tangible benefits of the truce,” United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said in a statement.
The truce is the most significant step in years toward ending the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people.
The renewed agreement will allow for fuel ships to continue to dock into Houthi-held Hodeidah port and some commercial flights from the airport in the capital Sanaa, which is controlled by the group.
There had been intense efforts to salvage the deal which was threatened by stalled talks on reopening roads in disputed Taiz, where Houthi troops have imposed a siege for years.
The United Nations is also seeking to start broader political discussions including on shoring up Yemen’s devastated economy, government revenues and public sector salaries.
ANKARA, Turkey: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has sent a letter to the United Nations formally requesting that his country be referred to as “Türkiye,” the state-run news agency reported. The move is seen as part of a push by Ankara to rebrand the country and dissociate its name from the bird, turkey, and some negative connotations that are associated with it.
Anadolu Agency said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, confirmed receipt of the letter late on Wednesday. The agency quoted Dujarric as saying that the name change had become effective “from the moment” the letter was received.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has been pressing for the internationally recognized name Turkey to be changed to “Türkiye” (tur-key-YAY) as it is spelled and pronounced in Turkish. The country called itself “Türkiye” in 1923 after its declaration of independence.
In December, Erdogan ordered the use of “Türkiye” to better represent Turkish culture and values, including demanding that “Made in Türkiye” be used instead of “Made in Turkey” on exported products. Turkish ministries began using “Türkiye” in official documents.
Earlier this year, the government also released a promotional video as part of its attempts to change its name in English. The video shows tourists from across the world saying “Hello Türkiye” at famous destinations.
The Turkish presidency’s Directorate of Communications said it launched the campaign “to promote more effectively the use of ‘Türkiye’ as the country’s national and international name on international platforms.”
Turkey’s English-language state broadcaster TRT World has switched to using “Türkiye” although the word “Turkey” slips in by anchors still trying to get used to the change.
TRT World explained the decision in an article earlier this year, saying Googling “Turkey” brings up a “a muddled set of images, articles, and dictionary definitions that conflate the country with Meleagris – otherwise known as the turkey, a large bird native to North America – which is famous for being served on Christmas menus or Thanksgiving dinners.”
The network continued: “Flip through the Cambridge Dictionary and “turkey” is defined as “something that fails badly” or “a stupid or silly person.”
TRT World argued that Turks prefer their country to be called “Türkiye”, in “keeping with the country’s aims of determining how others should identify it.”
DUBAI: A Kuwaiti MP has called for a ban that would restrict expat workers living in the country from changing jobs before completing five years’ service.
Abdullah Al-Turaiji MP, submitted the proposal on Wednesday calling for the rule change that would restrict workers in the country from changing jobs before completing five years with the same employer, national daily Kuwait Times reported.
Al-Turaiji urged government officials to change laws in order to protect employers who invest time and money in recruiting and training their employees.
And he called for legislation to be reviewed to protect the rights of employers from what he called ‘a theft of trained and skilled workers’ by other recruiters.
According to the Kuwaiti MP, there have been several instances where citizens have recruited inexperienced domestic helpers, drivers, farmers, or personal cooks who have later left them for other employers offering better pay.
Al-Turaiji suggested that employees should work for their current employer for at least one year, leave the country, and only return after five years if they wanted to change jobs.
He added that the purpose of the proposal was to ‘safeguard the rights’ of employers and Kuwait’s labor market.
His proposed rule change would also apply to law offices that recruited legal advisors, who allegedly changed jobs for ‘limited’ salary increases after gaining the necessary skills.
Al-Turaiji blamed brokers and labor offices for being part of what he views as a problem for employers, and described workers as being ‘greedy’.
Currently, labor laws in Kuwait allow most expat workers to change jobs freely if they have been with their current employers for at least one year. Should an employer refuse to provide an employee with the necessary release, the court forces them to do so.
The commander of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Thursday a new offensive threatened by Turkey in northern Syria would create a humanitarian crisis and undermine a campaign against the Daesh group.
SDF general commander Mazloum Abdi called on all sides to “prevent any new tragedies and support de-escalation.”
“We are concerned about new Turkish threats which pose high risk on northern Syria. Any offensive will divide Syrians, create a new humanitarian crisis, and displace original inhabitants,” he wrote on Twitter.
We are concerned about new Turkish threats which pose high risk on northern Syria. Any offensive will divide Syrians, create a new humanitarian crisis, and displace original inhabitants and IDPs. New escalation will also negatively affect our campaign against ISIS.
Turkey has pledged to launch a new military incursion against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, the spearhead of the SDF, which controls swathes of the north at the Turkish border.
While Turkey views the Kurdish-led forces in Syria as terrorists and a national security threat, the United States views the SDF as a major partner that helped drive Daesh out of vast areas of Syria.
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday Turkey will rid northern Syria’s Tal Rifaat and Manbij areas of terrorists, confirming the targets of the new incursion for the first time and saying it will continue into other regions.
Ankara has carried out four operations in northern Syria since 2016, seizing hundreds of kilometers of land and pushing some 30 km deep into the country, mainly targeting the YPG.
Washington has expressed concern about any new offensive in northern Syria, saying it would put US troops at risk and undermine regional stability.