Thu, 07 Jul 2022

Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, May 18

19 May 2022, 07:44 GMT+10

ADEN, Yemen -- Yemen's internationally-recognized government on Wednesday accused the Houthi rebels of recruiting children in their ongoing fighting in the Arab country.

According to a statement released by the country's Minister of Information Muammar Eryani, the Houthi rebels are opening dozens of summer camps for children in the areas under their control, trying to enlist them for military service in the war-torn country.

"The Houthi militia talks openly through its media outlets on dragging on children to brainwash them with extremist thoughts imported from Iran, train them on fighting and send them to war fronts as fuel to its hopeless battles in implementation of Iranian expansion policies," said Eryani, adding the actions are "in gross violation of international laws and conventions."

The Houthi rebels have yet to comment on the allegations from the government. (Yemen-Houthis-Child soldiers)

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ANKARA -- Turkey will not approve Sweden's NATO membership if the country does not extradite "terrorists" upon Turkish request, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

"Supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Syria's Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorist organizations and asking us for support for NATO membership is, to say the least, inconsistent. We asked Sweden to return 30 terrorists, but they refused to do so," Erdogan said while addressing his party's lawmakers.

"We cannot say yes to making this security organization deprived of security," the president said.

Erdogan also told Sweden and Finland delegations not to bother coming to Ankara to convince it to approve their NATO bids. (Turkey-NATO-Veto)

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TEHRAN -- Iranian naval guards have seized a foreign ship attempting to smuggle fuel out of Iran, Iranian state TV reported Wednesday, citing a provincial judge.

"More than 550,000 liters of smuggled fuel were seized and 7 of its crew members were arrested," Chief Justice of Hormozgan Province Mojtaba Qahremani was quoted as saying.

The ship has been docked at the port in Hormozgan for legal proceedings and necessary investigations, he noted.

No details were released about the nationality of the vessel and the detainees or the date of the seizure. (Iran-Fuel-Smuggle)

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BEIRUT -- A new 10 million U.S. dollars grant will help Lebanon mitigate the environmental and health impacts of the Beirut port explosions on the neighboring population and support Beirut's reconstruction, the United Nations said in a statement on Wednesday.

The grant, given through the Beirut Critical Environment Recovery, Restoration and Waste Management Program, was agreed on Wednesday between the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the presence of Lebanon's Environment Minister Nasser Yassin.

"This project will implement environmental recovery activities in the city of Beirut to mitigate risks of a solid waste crisis and other environmental impacts which resulted from the Port of Beirut explosion," said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director. (Lebanon-World Bank-UN-Aid)

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