Morocco to release 5,654 prisoners amid coronavirus outbreak

Morocco has a total of 919 cases and 59 deaths. (File/AFP)
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Updated 05 April 2020

Morocco to release 5,654 prisoners amid coronavirus outbreak

  • The inmates were selected on the basis of their age, frail health, time spent in prison and good conduct
  • Morocco has confirmed as of Sunday morning 919 coronavirus cases, including 59 deaths

RABAT: Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has pardoned 5,654 prisoners and ordered measures to protect inmates from the coronavirus outbreak, the justice ministry said on Sunday.
The inmates were selected on the basis of their age, frail health, time spent in prison and good conduct, the ministry said in a statement.
The north African country has confirmed as of Sunday 960 coronavirus cases, including 59 deaths.


Palestinian leaders ‘open to talks with Israel via Moscow’

Updated 03 June 2020

Palestinian leaders ‘open to talks with Israel via Moscow’

  • We trust President Putin to help stop annexation of parts of occupied West Bank, foreign minister says

AMMAN: Palestinian leaders would be open to a resumption of talks with Israel if they were brokered by Russia, Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said on Tuesday.

“We trust President Vladimir Putin and are sure that such a meeting would bear fruit, and succeed in getting us back to the talks, as well as stopping the Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank,” he said.

Al-Maliki said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had twice derailed Russian plans to hold discussions in Moscow. “Palestine is willing to have talks with Israel via video conferencing and under Russian auspices,” he said. “The Palestinian side will look into the idea if Russia felt it was feasible,” he said.

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Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group, told Arab News that Moscow had been engaging separately with both the White House and Ramallah about stopping or postponing Israel’s controversial annexation plans, which Netanyahu has threatened to implement on July 1.

“The sticking point appears to be around whether Trump’s plan … has to be at the center of the discussions. It is not enough to agree on the channel of the talks, be it Russia or another one. The substance of the talks is important.”

Zalzberg said opponents of annexation were waiting for Palestinian leaders to propose their own peace plan and agenda for talks, and were frustrated that neither was forthcoming.

Efforts are also underway for Israel’s new defense and foreign ministers to meet key Arab leaders including King Abdullah of Jordan, to persuade them that annexation would damage the chances of peace.