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Arabic press review: North Korean missiles head to Yemen

Qatar siege demands dropped, as Pyongyang set to supply weapons to Abu Dhabi
Qatar Airways Group employees stand in front of a wall bearing a portrait of Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during a gathering to showcase support to the country and its leader, in Doha (AFP)

Anti-Qatar quartet drop demands to end siege

A quartet of countries that in June presented a list of 13 demands to Qatar in order to lift an embargo on the country have replaced those demands with a call for Doha to adhere to what they call “Six Broad Principles”.  

Diplomats from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have presented this new set of demands as the means to end the Gulf crisis, which has gone on for more than a month, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported on its front page.

The revised set of demands was presented by the UAE at the UN headquarters in New York. Diplomats from the three other countries were also in attendance. They also cited a desire to resolve the crisis in an amicable way. 

The paper quoted Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, the Saudi UN Ambassador, as saying: "Our goal is to reach a diplomatic solution." He reportedly added that he hoped everyone would "eventually agree on this".

Deal close on Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque

Palestinian officials have revealed a push by Arabs and the United States to reopen the Al-Aqsa Mosque to worshippers before Friday, when Palestinians have vowed a day of rage, the Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported.   

The newspaper quoted an official from the Fatah movement, in charge of the Jerusalem file, as saying that a deal was being negotiated to remove metal detectors placed at the entrance to the mosque. The official stressed that Saudi and Jordanian pressure, coupled with popular anger at Israel, led to direct American intervention.

The official called Abdel Qader said: "During the past 24 hours, intensive phone traffic has been conducted between Saudi Arabia and Washington, and between Jordan and Israel. They both applied pressure and demanded that the crisis be resolved before Friday.” 

“According to the information we have, Israel has been given a deadline until Thursday evening to remove the detectors.”

UAE buys North Korean weaponry to use in Yemen

The United Arab Emirates has bought weapons worth $100 million from North Korea to use in the Yemen war, according to a confidential note released by the Institute for Gulf Affairs, the content of which was published on the Arabi21 news site.

The US state department warned the UAE that the payments for these weapons would be used by North Korea on its nuclear program, according to the note.

The contract was signed between an Emirati company with very close ties to decision-making circles in Abu Dhabi and a North Korean company. 

The deal resulted in Pyongyang supplying Abu Dhabi with a shipment of weapons, including missiles, machine guns and rifles. All of these weapons are presumed to have been sent to Yemen to support UAE-backed groups in the war there.

Egypt, Algeria to receive cutting-edge Russian aircraft, helicopters 

Moscow plans to discuss supplying state-of-the-art aircraft and helicopters to Algeria and Egypt during the International Air and Space Museum (MAX 2017), the Russian Military and Technical Cooperation Agency announced, according to the Algerian Al-Shorouk Al-Youmi newspaper.

The newspaper mentioned that the Russian Military and Technical Cooperation Agency is planning to hold discussions with Egyptian partners concerning the import of helicopters for its Mistral-class amphibious assault ship in Egypt.