World Bulletin / News Desk
Hamas has begun a training programme for diplomats in the Gaza Strip where it rules, a senior official of the Islamist group said, raising the spectre of divisions in the Palestinian national movement spreading to its representation abroad.
Hamas seized Gaza in 2007 from the Fatah party that long dominated Palestinian politics and now rules parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. But Hamas has hitherto not challenged the Palestine Liberation Organisation, dominated by Fatah and recognised by the United Nations as the Palestinians' sole representative abroad for almost 40 years.
It may be time to end that diplomatic monopoly, Hamas deputy foreign minister Ghazi Hamad suggested on Wednesday.
"We have relations with some countries and we need to prepare our cadres and develop the diplomatic skills of staff to deal with those countries on joint projects," he told Reuters.
"The aim of such a step and training is to develop relations with world countries when time and conditions permit," said Hamad. He declined to say how many diplomats-in-waiting would be trained, what tasks they would perform or where.
It is the first time the new government of the small west African nations has put a figure to the amount it believes Jammeh plundered from state coffers before leaving for exile in Equatorial Guinea in January after 22 years in power.
Explosion at performance by American pop star Ariana Grande
The death comes as tensions have risen between protesters and security forces outside the El Kamour oil and gas pumping station.
The death toll climbed to 49 as the unrest entered its eighth week, the public prosecution service said in a new toll.
"The threats and blackmail which have been put on the table are intolerable," Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told a hastily convened press conference.
In a unanimous statement backed by China, Pyongyang's ally, the council instructed its sanctions committee to redouble efforts to implement a raft of tough measures adopted last year.
Iraqi forces to set up pontoon bridge linking northern city’s eastern, western halves
Meanwhile, in Ramallah and Hebron, at least 13 Palestinians are injured in clashes with Israeli forces
President Kiir declares unilateral cease-fire with rebels but bars his former deputy Machar from returning to country
European Commission nominated to represent EU in Brexit talks; negotiations expected to begin after UK election on June 8
Before his election on May 7, Macron had spoken in favour of cancelling part of Greece's debt mountain, equivalent to 180 percent of annual output, to give the country a chance to recover from its economic depression.
Young Tunisians continue to stage demonstrations near country’s southern oilfields to demand more job opportunities
Turkey is strategic partner of Georgia, Defense Minister Levan Izoria says ahead of trilateral summit in Batumi city
Street protests called by leftist groups around the country also appeared to have had only a modest impact, further easing the sense of intense crisis for the center-right president.
A crowd estimated at 10,000 people by local media waved European Union flags and chanted "Democracy! Freedom for Hungary!" as they made their way toward the parliament building, escorted by police cars.
"I hope first of all that asylum seekers and refugees can be taken out of detention centres," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said after visiting one centre in the Libyan capital.