Mon, 04 Dec 2023

JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected on Wednesday a mediating proposal suggested by President Issac Herzog, saying his government will continue to push through the controversial and divisive judicial reform.

Herzog put forward his proposal on Wednesday night after weeks of talks with ministers from the coalition government, opposition lawmakers, and legal experts.

Warning that Israel is "on the verge of civil war," Herzog said his plan suggests a compromise that reflects the stance of wide sections of Israeli society.

"We are at a crossroads: a historical crisis or a defining constitutional moment," he warned.

About an hour later, Netanyahu rejected the proposal in a statement at the airport before embarking on a trip to Berlin. (Israel-Judicial-Reforms)

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RIYADH -- Saudi Arabia's finance minister announced on Wednesday that the kingdom's banking assets have reached 3.6 trillion Saudi Riyals (about 959 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2022.

Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan said that since 2019, the banking assets have increased by 37 percent, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The minister added that the number of financial technology companies in the country has risen from 20 in 2019 to 147 in 2022.

He made the remarks during the opening of the second edition of the Financial Sector Conference, a two-day event organized by the partners of the Financial Sector Development Program, including the Ministry of Finance, Saudi Central Bank, and Capital Market Authority.

The minister added that as the financial sector holds the key to the prosperity of the kingdom's traditional and digital infrastructure, ambitious goals have been set for the development of the sector. (Saudi Arabia-Bank-Assets)

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ANKARA -- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday Türkiye will "honor its pledge" on Finland's NATO bid after his scheduled meeting with the Finnish president later this week.

"We will run the necessary procedures. We will do our part and keep our promise. We will meet Mr. President and fulfill the promise we made," Erdogan told reporters at the parliament.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto will visit Türkiye on Friday to discuss Finland's bid to join the military alliance.

According to a statement released by the Turkish presidency on Wednesday, Erdogan and Niinisto are scheduled to meet and discuss bilateral relations, Finland's NATO membership application, Türkiye-EU relations, as well as other regional and global issues.

Finland's NATO accession bid has to get the Turkish parliament's approval. The latter will go into recess before mid-April, in the run-up to the country's presidential and parliamentary elections slated for May 14. (Türkiye-Finland-NATO)

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CAIRO -- China's home appliance giant Haier held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday for its first Egyptian factory, aiming to boost the manufacturing industry and provide local jobs in the North African country.

The Haier Egypt Ecological Park, invested by Haier Group's subsidiary Haier Smart Home with a total of 160 million U.S. dollars, will cover an area of 200,000 square meters in the 10th of Ramadan City of northeastern Sharqia Province.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Hossam Heiba, the CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones of Egypt, hailed the strong economic relations between Egypt and China, saying that the Egyptian government attaches great importance to cooperation with China and is ready to attract more Chinese investment, especially in technology and engineering industries as well as home appliances, which will help the Egyptian economy to move up the value chain. (Haier-Egypt-Factory)

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