The Guardian • Issue #2088

GLOBAL BRIEFS

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2088

SAUDI ARABIA: When asked about normalisation of ties with Israel at the Munich Security Conference, the Saudi Foreign Minister said that the only pathway towards security and stability in the Middle East, including Israel, was through a Palestinian state. “We are focused on a ceasefire and on Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and we are focused on humanitarian access for the people of Gaza,” he said. Saudi Arabia repeatedly stated that it would not open diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognised.

POLAND: Ukraine asked Poland to punish protesting farmers as they spilled EU-bound Ukrainian grain during border disputes. Polish farmers staged blockades across Poland to protest against cheap Ukrainian grain imports and heavy EU regulations. The fresh border blockades mark another blow to Ukraine-Poland relations as Ukraine questions the lack of reaction from the Polish authorities. Several Ukrainian officials accused Polish farmers of acting in the interests of Russia. Donald Tusk, the Polish Prime Minister, called for calm and promised to find ‘solutions’ amid a wave of farmer protests across Europe. Earlier he had warned that the economic disputes with Ukraine could lead to “sudden anti-Ukrainian sentiment”. Tusk assured Ukrainian President Zelensky that “Nothing will change in Poland’s intention to help Kyiv fight off the Russian invasion’ during his visit to Kyiv in January. However, he also vowed to protect Polish farmers from “unfair or inadequate competition.”

YEMEN: Yemen’s Houthi fighters claim to have shot down a second US MQ-9 Reaper drone. “The Yemeni Armed Forces will not hesitate to take more military measures and carry out more qualitative operations against all hostile targets in defense of beloved Yemen and in confirmation of the position of support for the Palestinian people. The operations of the Yemeni Armed Forces in the Red and Arabian Seas will not stop until the aggression stops and the siege on the Gaza Strip is lifted,” a Houthi spokesman said. A British ship was attacked last Sunday in the Gulf of Aden and suffered ‘catastrophic’ damage. The crew of the attacked vessel abandoned the ship. The US Central Command is concerned about the use of anti-ship missiles, unmanned underwater vessels and unmanned surface vessels that the Houthi fighters may use against the US navy.

UKRAINE: Last week the Russian Defence Ministry announced that Avdeyevka, a northern suburb of Donetsk was fully under Russian control. The Russian flag was raised on the administrative building of the coke and chemical plant there. Retreating Ukrainian troops left wounded soldiers behind and urgent medical help was provided by Russian medics.

ARGENTINA: The neo-liberal economic measures of the recently elected Javier Millei have resulted in a sharp rise in poverty levels. It is estimated that 27 million people are poor, with 7 million destitute, the highest number in 20 years. The population of Argentina is about 46 million people.

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