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Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing - August 14, 2020

Daily briefing on novel coronavirus pandemic worldwide, Turkey, other developments

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 14.08.2020
Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing - August 14, 2020

ANKARA 

Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkey and around the world.

UAE-Israel deal

A normalization deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel drew global attention Thursday.

Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize relations, US President Donald Trump said Thursday, in a move that delays Israel's plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.  

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu touted his country’s new peace deal as “historic.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke by phone with Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh, and both rejected the US, UAE and Israeli tripartite announcement.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it recalled its ambassador to the UAE in response to the deal.

Speaking as one, Palestinian groups slammed the new UAE-Israeli deal, with Hamas announcing the agreement does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of the Palestinian people.

The Fatah movement said that with the deal, Abu Dhabi is flouting its national, religious and humanitarian duties toward the Palestinian cause.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi criticized the deal. Addressing Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ashrawi wrote on Twitter: "Please don't do us a favour, we are nobody's fig leaf."

“The Palestinian leadership strongly rejects and condemns the surprising American, Israeli and UAE declaration on normalization of relations,” Nabil Abu Rudeina, a Palestinian Authority spokesman, said in a televised statement.

Turkey’s Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin condemned the deal. “History will definitely record the defeat of those who betrayed the Palestinian people and their cause,” he said on Twitter.  

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric welcomed the announcement of the agreement, saying it will create an opportunity to promote peace in the Middle East.

US presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden characterized the agreement as a "historic step."

The normalization of ties between Israel and the UAE is a "strategic mistake,” the top foreign policy advisor to Iran's parliament speaker said late Thursday, in the first reaction from an Iranian government official to the news.

Bahrain said the deal to normalize ties is "a step to enhance opportunities to achieve peace in the Middle East."

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday welcomed the new peace agreement and applauded “the efforts of those in charge of the deal to achieve prosperity and stability” in the region.

Developments in Turkey

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu sent letters to European Union foreign ministers and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell about recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey's approach on the issue.


In his letter, Cavusoglu stressed that Greece and Greek Cyprus's unilateral steps and alliances excluded Turkey, in spite of calls for collaboration and dialogue by Ankara and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

He also held phone conversations with his Hungarian, Lithuanian and Bulgarian counterparts and discussed recent matters related to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, the National Defense Ministry announced that the Turkish Navy will continue to protect the country’s Oruc Reis vessel during its seismic research in the Mediterranean.

Any attack on a Turkish vessel engaged in energy exploration along Turkey’s continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean will pay dearly, warned Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The country continues its efforts to prevent violence against women with a multidimensional and holistic approach with zero tolerance, Erdogan said.

Turkey confirmed 1,243 new cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday, bringing the tally to 245,635. Healthcare professionals conducted 66,892 tests to diagnose the disease over the past day, taking the tally to over 5.5 million

The country's higher education head announced that Turkey will reopen universities on Oct. 1 with measures in place to counter the coronavirus.

A Daesh/ISIS terrorist who was plotting a bomb attack in northwestern Turkey has been arrested, according to a security source.

Turkey and Libya have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost trade and economic ties.  

Coronavirus developments worldwide

Coronavirus cases and fatalities continued to rise in countries across Eurasia and Central Asia on Thursday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Education Minister Anja Karliczek held a coronavirus summit with state education ministers to discuss a spike in cases at schools, days into the start of a new academic year.

Spain broke its post-lockdown COVID-19 record Thursday, reporting 7,550 new cases, and several regions are now considering banning smoking in public places to help curb the virus’s spread.

As Spain leads Europe in a post-lockdown resurgence of COVID-19 cases, experts are clamoring for authorities to urgently change their strategy to limit the spread of the infectious disease.

Doubling its list of “high-risk” countries, France is now requiring travelers from 16 more countries to take a PCR coronavirus test to cross its borders.

A new study released Thursday showed that 6% of the population in England had contracted COVID-19.

The British government announced that France will be taken off the UK’s list of coronavirus travel corridors from Saturday morning, meaning those returning to Britain will have to quarantine for two weeks.

Also the UK government said it has changed the way it counts deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the official death toll from the pandemic down by over 5,000.

The number of coronavirus cases in Southeast Asian countries climbed to 350,027 on Thursday, while the death toll in the region has reached 8,633 and recoveries are at 221,574.

You can also check our feature story on how the pandemic put a damper on India’s fat weddings.

Meanwhile, with 66,999 additional infections of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours as of Thursday as well as 942 deaths, India has reported a new record in daily cases, raising its overall total to 2.4 million.

Dario Vivas, the governor of Venezuela's Caracas capital district, died Thursday of COVID-19.

Coronavirus cases in Africa have continued to slow down, as seen in the past two weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced.  

Global developments

The death toll from last week’s massive explosion at Beirut port has risen to 177, Lebanese Health Minister Hassan Hamad said Thursday.



Saida Turkish Hospital, built by Turkey nearly 10 years ago but which did not start services due to some issues caused by the Lebanese government, is planned to be opened upon the instructions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after last week’s blast at Beirut port.

Turkey will be Azerbaijan’s number one partner in military and military-technical cooperation in the near future, President Ilham Aliyev said Thursday during a meeting with a delegation led by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

Protests against the results of Belarus’ presidential election continued for a fourth day Thursday, the Interior Ministry said.

An Israeli warplane fired a missile that landed in a school run by the UN Refugees Agency (UNRWA) in Al-Shati refugee camp in western Gaza City.

Arab tribes, opposition Kurds and Assyrians have formed a political bloc against the YPG/PKK in northern Syria as they seek to strike a balance against the terrorist organization, local sources said Thursday.

A fire broke out at the Essalam Prayer Hall in Lyon early Thursday, damaging a door, entrance and the prayer room of the mosque.

The Pentagon said Thursday it is "concerned" by "incidents" in the Eastern Mediterranean amid tensions between France and Turkey, urging the NATO allies to find a solution.

The number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits last week fell below one million for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

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