Foreign Secretary statement about Sharm el Sheikh travel advice

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Philip Hammond spoke after COBR this evening and announced that we are now advising against all but essential travel by air to Sharm el Sheikh.

The Foreign Secretary said:

This evening the Prime Minister has chaired another COBR meeting of which we reviewed all the information that we have available from a range of sources concerning the Russian airliner crash in Sinai at the weekend. As a result of that review we have concluded there is a significant possibility that crash was caused by an explosive device on board the aircraft. Earlier this evening we delayed the return to the UK of British bound flights that were on the ground in Sharm el Sheikh while we conducted a review of security at the airport. We have people on the ground working with the Egyptians, and I’d like to pay tribute to Egyptian authorities, who have been extremely cooperative throughout the day and who have moved heaven and earth to meet our demands on the ground.

Unfortunately and very reluctantly we have concluded that we have to change our travel advice and that we are now advising against all but essential travel by air to Sharm el Sheikh. That means that there will be no UK passenger flights out to Sharm el Sheikh from now. Passengers who are on the ground in Sharm el Sheikh will be returned to the UK. We are working with the airlines and the Egyptian authorities to put in place emergency procedures and additional screening and additional security to ensure they can get home safely either on their original scheduled return dates or if they wish to leave earlier on an earlier date. Although I should emphasise we are not changing our advice with regard to the threat level in the Sharm el Sheikh resort itself.

I recognise that this action will cause immense disruption and inconvenience to many people and I apologise to the people this evening who have gone out to the airport and then have had to go back to their hotels. I also recognise the immense impact this will have on the Egyptian economy but we have to put the safety and security of British nationals above all other considerations. When we are in possession of information we will not hesitate to act on it in order to protect that security and we will take whatever criticisms we receive. We have to act in the interest of British nationals.

Tanzanian Elections

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On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of the United Republic of Tanzania on their presidential and parliamentary elections, reaffirming Tanzania’s strong democratic record.

As President John Pombe Magufuli and his administration assume their responsibilities, we look forward to continuing our close partnership and strengthening further ties between our two countries as we work together to support democratic traditions, promote regional security, and continue to spur economic development.

I also thank outgoing President Kikwete for his efforts to help build a strong and enduring relationship between the United States and Tanzania.

The United States, however, continues to be gravely alarmed by the announcement by authorities that they intend to nullify Zanzibar’s October 25 presidential election.

We strongly urge Tanzania’s new administration to ensure that the will of the Zanzibari people is reflected in the prompt, fair, and peaceful conclusion of the electoral process in Zanzibar.

Fridays of the Commission

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“TOWARD CLIMATE JUSTICE FOR AFRICA”

What: Conference-Debate of the “Fridays of the Commission”

Theme: “Toward Climate Justice for Africa”

Who: Department of Economic Affairs, AUC in partnership with OXFAM, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and Act Alliance.

When: Friday 6 November 2015

Time: From 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Where: Small Conference Room 2 of the AUC New Conference Building

Objectives: In the framework of the preparation of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) to be held in November 31st to December 11th, 2015 in Paris, France, this special session will:

Share perspectives on the essential elements of a new climate change agreement, and concrete proposals on climate adaptation financing

Bring forward evidence and voices from frontline communities facing climate change across Africa

Expected Outcomes:

The expected outcomes of the meeting are as follows:

Further the understanding of African priorities for climate change action and financing for adaptation

Enhanced visibility and identification of support for funding community-owned initiatives on renewable energy, agriculture investment.

Background:

Environmental degradation and adverse impacts of climate change continue to seriously affect the continent of Africa. Periodic droughts, flooding and the looming El-Niño are a few of the impacts that African people continue to face as result of climate change. 2015 is a critical year for global climate change negotiations. From November 30tht to December 11th, UN member states will be meeting in Paris, France to negotiate a new climate change treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

As one of the world’s most vulnerable continents to climate change, Africa must strategically be engaged in this process to secure a mutually beneficial deal that delivers the much needed support to enable its people to adapt to the negative effects of climate change, whilst crafting strategies to help deal with global warming levels as recommended by scientists – below 1.5°C. ACT Alliance, We-Have-Faith, PACJA and Oxfam International, and their member organizations, are – in partnership with the Africa Union Commission Department of Economic Affairs – organising a Friday of the Commission session entitled “Toward Climate Justice for Africa.

The event will showcase how various stakeholders – civil society, UN negotiators, faith leaders, Members of Parliament, and government representatives – are forging a partnership to ensure a strong COP21 outcome that will guarantee support to vulnerable communities in Africa.

Media representatives are invited to cover the meeting.