18 August 2018


Qatar accuses Saudis of barring haj pilgrims, Riyadh says untrue

KONFRONTASI-Qatar has accused Saudi Arabia of barring its citizens from this year’s haj, something Riyadh denies, saying a diplomatic dispute is not stopping Qataris from making the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Although 1,200 Qataris are eligible to perform the haj under a quota system, Qatar says it has become impossible to get permits, blaming the campaign by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to cut trade and diplomatic ties with the country.

Abdullah Al-Kaabi of the state-run Qatar National Human Rights Committee said Saudi Arabia had shut down an electronic system used by travel agencies to obtain permits for pilgrims from Qatar.

“There is no chance this year for Qatari citizens and residents to travel for haj,” he told Reuters. “Registration of pilgrims from the State of Qatar remains closed, and residents of Qatar cannot be granted visas as there are no diplomatic missions.”

A Saudi official said Qatar had blocked several registration links set up for its pilgrims.

An official at Saudi Arabia’s haj ministry said a group of Qataris had arrived for the pilgrimage which runs from Sunday to Aug. 24, but he did not say how many there were or whether they had traveled directly from Qatar. Last year, 1,624 Qatari pilgrims attended, he said.

China: Turkey can overcome 'temporary' economic crisis

KONFRONTASI - China says Turkey will overcome its "temporary" economic crisis, arguing that a "stable" Turkey plays a major role in maintaining "regional peace and stability."

Countering China’s Rising Influence

By. Rizal Ramli
(Source: businesstimes.com.sg)

After raising tariffs on Ankara, US raps Turkish retaliation

KONFRONTASI - The administration of US President Donald Trump has regretted Turkey’s move to increase tariffs on US imports, which itself came in retaliation for increased tariffs earlier imposed by Washington on Ankara.

The new Turkish tariffs came in response to what Ankara called Washington’s attack on its economy as well as the partial collapse of the Turkish lira after the US boosted tariffs on Turkey’s steel and aluminum last week.

Russian foreign minister says dollar's days numbered as global currency

KONFRONTASI - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Russia has been exploring for some time using national currencies to settle bilateral trade deals with Turkey and other countries.

Lavrov, who was speaking at a news conference with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara, said on Tuesday that the US dollar’s role as a global trade currency was in decline.  “I’m confident that the grave abuse of the role of the US dollar as a global reserve currency will result over time in the weakening and demise of its role.”

Why Turkey’s Lira Crisis Matters Outside Turkey

KONFRONTASI-Investors are fretting about emerging markets again.

Turkey is the front-burner concern at the moment, but what really is getting people’s attention is the prospect that the financial problems there could spread to other fast-growing but risky countries.

If history is any indication, that has the potential to quickly turn a local crisis into a global one. Or maybe not.

What’s happening in Turkey?

China denounces new US military act

KONFRONTASI - China has denounced the United States’ military budget for 2019, which puts investment proposals by Chinese companies under closer scrutiny and boosts military support for self-ruled Taiwan.

US President Donald Trump on Monday signed the 2019 US military spending bill into law, authorizing the Defense Department to invest around $716 billion into military strategies that will primarily target Russia and China.

Deadly hospital fire kills nine people in Taiwan

KONFRONTASI-A fire at a hospital in Taiwan's most populous city killed nine people and injured 15 others early on Monday.

The blaze broke out on the seventh floor of the building, which was used for hospice care, according to the New Taipei City Fire Department.

Media footage showed patients being wheeled out of the building in their hospital beds, while medical workers took others out on stretchers and into ambulances.

Tunisian president proposes inheritance equality for women, with exceptions

KONFRONTASI-Tunisia’s president on Monday proposed giving women equal inheritance rights despite protests from thousands of people objecting to any challenge to Islamic law.

The North African Muslim country, which toppled autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, grants women more rights than other countries in the region, and since last year has allowed Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men.

But in a show how divided society remains, thousands demonstrated on Saturday in front of parliament against any changes to inheritance rules.

Leaked: US wondering whether to call killing Rohingyas ‘genocide’

KONFRONTASI - The United States is still undecided whether to use the term “genocide” in reference to the systematic campaign of violence against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, a leaked document shows.