Tag Archives: Oman

BCCI to host T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman in October-November

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced  that the  T20 World Cup 2021 will be held in the UAE and Oman from 17 October to 14 November  

The World cup was scheduled to be held in India but due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country it has been shifted.  

The BCCI will remain the hosts of the event, which will now be held in Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground,  

We would have been happier hosting it in India but considering the uncertainty due to the Covid 19 situation and the importance of a world championship, the BCCI will now continue to host this tournament in UAE and Oman. The BCCI is looking forward to creating a spectacle.Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Saurav Ganguly

The Board made every effort to stage the T20 World Cup in India and provide its passionate fans with a reason to cheer after a long period of gloom. However, the prevailing pandemic situation in the country meant that the health and safety of everyone concerned was fraught with risk should a tournament of this stature is held across the country. The BCCI will continue to host the tournament, which will now be held in the UAE and Oman and work closely with the ICC to make it a memorable event.BCCI Secretary, Jay Shah

Whilst we are incredibly disappointed not to be hosting the event in India, the decision gives us the certainty we need to stage the event in a country that is a proven international host of multi-team events in a bio-secure environment. We will work closely with the BCCI, the Emirates Cricket Board and Oman Cricket to ensure fans can enjoy a wonderful celebration of cricket and our r priority is to deliver the I World Cup 2021 safely, in full and in its current window. – Acting ICC CEO Geoff Allardice

Emirates Cricket Board is honoured that the BCCI and the ICC (International Cricket Council) have entrusted us with staging and delivering the ICC event.  – Emirates Cricket Board Vice President  Khalid Al Zarooni 

The UAE’s reputation as being a safe country in which to host high-profile sporting events is a strong complement to our government’s unwavering commitment to implementing and monitoring effective health practices during the pandemic. Having hosted a number of high-profile tournaments in recent months our team is well-prepared and ready to mobilise to ensure the success of the World Cup. It is indeed a great moment for Oman Cricket to be selected as a venue/host of the forthcoming 20 World Cup. We shall leave no stone unturned to exceed the requirements of BCCI and ICC. Oman will certainly extend a very warm welcome to all the teams, officials and media in October.Oman Cricket Chairman, Pankaj Khimji

Expansionist China and the Economic War

Lalit Shastri

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif signed the Iran-China strategic partnership pact, Saturday 27 March 2021

The die has been cast. The World is getting divided. There are enough signs of a no-holds barred economic war between nations wedded to democracy on one side and expansionist China with countries inextricably tied to it due to the economic stranglehold on the other. After the Indian Army pushed back China in the Galwan Valley and banned its money spinning apps, and challenged both its military might and sway in digital technologies, trade and commerce, we now have a scenario where China is against the wall due to so many factors. And this, despite its position as world’s leading economic power. China is now hyper active on the world stage to counter the Quad.

At the Quad meeting between the US, India, Japan and Australia, earlier this month, US President Joe Biden renewed commitment to ensure that the Indo-Pacific region is governed by international law, committed to upholding universal values, free from coercion and also announced the launch of an “ambitious new joint partnership” to boost vaccine manufacturing, for the global benefit and strengthen vaccinations to benefit the entire Indo-Pacific region. He also underscored the Quad is going to be a vital arena for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stamped the moment by reiterating that the Quad will now remain an important pillar of stability in the region.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined the discussion by asserting that together the Quad nations will create a different future. It is the Indo-Pacific that will now shape the destiny of our world in the 21st century, he asserted.

The Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga echoed the same sentiment by stating that Japan-Australia-India-U.S. leaders working together will help in realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Days later, addressing his first press conference after his swearing-in, the US president had underscored “a stiff competition with China, while pointing to China’s overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world. Biden also used this important interaction with the media to categorically drive home the message that it is not going to happen during his presidency and the United States are going to continue to grow and expand.

Picking China in no uncertain terms, Biden also informed media-persons at this press meet that he has already told Jinping in straight terms: “as long as you and your country continues to so blatantly violate human rights, we’re going to continue, in an unrelenting way, to call to the attention of the world and make it clear what’s happening to the Uighurs, what’s happening in Hong Kong”.

Besides the message delivered through the Quad, China also has been facing the heat on the issue of forced labour in China’s Xinjiang region and the call for boycott of goods produced through blatant violation of human rights.

Expansionist China
Expansionist China, which has a long standing territorial dispute with India and Japan, is also locked in South China Sea disputes over maritime and island claims with Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. The strategic importance of South China Sea can be gauged from the fact that a third of the global maritime trade and close to 40 per cent of China’s total trade passes through the South China Sea shipping lanes.

To ensure strategic balance in the South China Sea, U.S. warships and aircraft have frequently been moving into that area in a “show of force” and carrying out exercises in the disputed waters.

Then there is the Belt and Road Initiative, a global infrastructure development strategy, a brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping adopted in 2013 to invest in close to 70 countries to build economic land and rail transportation routes through Central Asia. China describes the Belt and Road Initiative, which has 2049 as the deadline for completion, as “a bid to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future.”

Significantly, India, a major regional power, has refused to join China’s Belt and Road project. India has point blank declined to join the BRI because the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is integral to the BRI, passes through Pak occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Notwithstanding the fact that China is Australia’s largest trading partner and also their interdependence economically – China needs raw matrial from Australia, while Australia ships almost a quarter of its exports to China – the situation has reached such a pass that Australia is now thinking in terms of diverting much of its shipment to other countries.

China-Iran: Comprehensive Partnership
During Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s six-nation tour to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Oman, Bahrain and the UAE, China and Iran on Saturday 27 March 2021 signed what has been described by a section of the media as a 25-year “Political Strategic and Economic Treaty”.

The treaty was signed by Wang Yi and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. From China’s point of view, the pact with Iran is significant especially due to the Belt and Road Initiative in the region.

During his meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhan, who has hailed the Iran-China strategic partnership as ‘major step’, the Chinese Foreign Minister reiterated that China’s willingness to develop the China-Iran relations will not change.

In Riyadh Wang batted for a five-point initiative to achieve security and stability in the Middle East. The fine-tuning of the objectives of Wang’s West Asia tour obviously points to an attempt by China to counter the takeaway and the deep message conveyed to the entire world by Biden, Modi, Morrison and Suga when they went on a virtual platform for the Quad Summit.

Wang spoke of mutual respect, upholding equity and justice, achieving non-proliferation, collective security, and accelerating development cooperation in Riyadh.

China also is in an overdrive mode to counter sanctions over the “Xinjiang forced labour” narrative. In a latest move, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has responded to unilateral sanctions on Chinese officials over Xinjiang by announcing sanctions against two US individuals, one Canadian politician and entity on Saturday. China has also sanctioned nine UK individuals and four entities following what it has decried as “their provocative statements”.

The Chinese mouthpiece Global Times said in a report Sunday that the “West has forced companies including H&M, Nike to politicize the Xinjiang cotton supply chain issue and pushed them to offend Chinese consumers and the market. It is inevitable that they will be punished by the market”.

The Global Times report goes on add “Foreign brands may see their total enterprise value, in perspective of growth prospects, reduced by about 50 percent in five years, due to their groundless vilification over cotton…”

Chinese Minister of Defense Wei Fenghe, on Friday during a visit to the site of Chinese Embassy in former Yugoslavia, said: “The Chinese military will never allow history to repeat itself as China is capable and determined to defend its national interests,” Wei Fenghe was there to pay tribute to martyrs in Belgrade, where the Chinese Embassy in former Yugoslavia was bombed by NATO in 1999.

Chinese Foreign Ministry also said on Friday that the US-led NATO, owes a debt to the Chinese people, in the backdrop of the condemnation of NATO by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the Serbia’s nation-wide commemoration of the deaths of thousands of innocent people by NATO.

On March 25, China and Turkey kept the Quad Summit in perspective when they agreed to oppose what they described as “attempt by some countries to politicize the COVID-19 vaccine cooperation” and pledged to continue their cooperation in fighting the pandemic.

A day earlier, Hungarian President Janos Ader had also said that Hungary and China will continue to strengthen cooperation on anti-pandemic, economy, trade, tourism and military affairs, and would promote in-depth development of the Hungary-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

These are not merely utterances. In fact, the die has been cast. The world is getting divided and there are enough signs of a no-holds barred economic war between nations wedded to democracy on one side and expansionist China with countries inextricably tied to it due to the economic stranglehold on the other. After the Indian Army pushed back China in the Galwan Valley and banned its money spinning apps, and thereby challenged both its military prowess and sway in digital technologies, trade and commerce, we now have a scenario where China is against the wall due to so many factors. And this, despite its position as world’s leading economic power. China is now hyper active on the world stage to counter the Quad by embracing allies or by trying to build new alliances in West Asia, and with countries of Central and Eastern Europe to retain its stranglehold on national economies.

US has worked actively with Indians and others to help Americans leave Yemen

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Yemen
Indian Navy’s massive evacuation mission in Yemen (representative photo)

Washington DC: The US has actively worked with Indians and others, including organisations like International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to use their resources and to tell Americans how they they can use those resources to leave Yemen.

This was pointed out by Marie Harf, the US department of State Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications, at the daily press briefing here on Monday. Ms. Harf said: “are aware that several other U.S. citizens are detained in Yemen” while confirming that U.S. citizen Casey Coombs ( a freelance journalist) had left Yemen and arrived safely in Muscat, Oman, she said that he was in stable condition. She also told journalists that the U.S. ambassador and a consular official met him at the airport upon his arrival and were providing all possible consular assistance.

Ms. Harf said: “We are grateful to the Government of Oman and personally to Sultan Qaboos for assisting with the safe passage of a U.S. citizen to Oman, and deeply appreciate his majesty’s friendship to our country.”

Casey Coombs
Casey Coombs

When asked whether Coombs had been detained by the Rebel Houthis, Ms. Harf neither confirmed nor denied it. She summed up the query by saying: “I don’t have more details to share”. When asked whether Coombs was injured or wounded, she replied: “I don’t have more details on that to share, but I know there have been some press reports out there about his condition, so we wanted folks to know that he is in stable condition.”

Citing “their safety” as the reason, Ms. Harf said it would not be possible to give the specific number of Americans held in Yemen. She also said: “we are doing everything we can to obtain the release of these individuals. And obviously, there are a number of ways we can do that, some of which we’ve talked about before.

Ms. Harf further said, Americans were being told not to go to Yemen as the situation there is dangerous. More so as the US embassy has been temporarily closed, and he US does not have the same kind of resources to help them (the Americans) if they get into trouble or get taken or have an issue that they need resolved. She states categorically – “while we have not used American assets to evacuate Americans, we have actively worked with international organizations like IOM, like the ICRC, and with other countries like Djibouti and the Indians and others to use their resources and to tell Americans how they can use those resources to leave Yemen. So we have done everything we can to let Americans know what the resources out there are and to help facilitate them taking advantage of those resources.”

On being asked by a journalist if there was any talks in Oman between the U.S. and the Houthis regarding the situation in Yemen in general and about the Americans specifically, Ms. Harf said that US Assistant Secretary Patterson traveled to Oman and to Saudi Arabia to conduct meetings and consultations with a variety of regional parties on the crisis in Yemen.

When asked whether or not she met with the Houthis, the Ms. Harf said: “they engage with a wide swath of Yemenis from a number of different groups, and we’re just not going to get into specifics.”