French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged European Union (EU) to agree upon a united policy on Turkey, given the sharpened tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Macron, who is due to hold the 7th Summit of the Southern Countries of the European Union (MED7) later on Thursday in Porticcio, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, said that, he was looking forward to a fruitful dialogue with Ankara nontheless.
The talks are to revolve around the escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean over Ankara’s gas drilling activities in the disputed waters of the region.
“I hope that this afternoon’s discussions will enable us to move forward on a common position.
“My deep wish is to resume a fruitful dialogue with Turkey,” Macron said while hosting a news conference in Corsica.
He also said that Turkey was no longer the EU’s partner in the Eastern Mediterranean region, given Ankara’s “unacceptable” actions.
Such actions relate to Turkey’s agreement signing with Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), which undermines Athens’ rights, and the drilling operations in Greece’s and Cyprus’ exclusive economic zones.
Countries with interest in the same economic zone include Egypt, Libya, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece.
On Friday, July 3, the Turkish defense minister reportedly signed an agreement with the Tripoli-based GNA, guaranteeing protection of Turkish interests and permitting direct Turkish military intervention in the country.
The new agreement allows for the establishment of a Turkish military base in Libya, as well as the creation of a Turkish force.
The agreement also grants Turkish military personnel greater legal rights when in the country.
Nevertheless, Macron added, the EU wants to prevent an escalation of tensions between the two parties.
The president also said that France and Germany have been working on a joint initiative to express solidarity for migrants in Greece, whose sheltering facility on the island of Lesbos was destroyed by a huge blaze earlier this week.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
VAR drama as Zaha double earns Crystal Palace shock 3-1 win at Manchester United
Manchester United’s season got underway with a shock 3-1 defeat by Crystal Palace as Wilfried Zaha grabbed a late double for the visitors in the Premier League on Saturday.
However, the win was not without drama, as VAR was once again the centre of attention.
United looked off the pace early on as Andros Townsend put Palace in front after seven minutes.
The home side’s campaign was starting a week later than initially scheduled due to last season’s Europa League commitments running into mid-August.
Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay went close as United chased an equaliser but the hosts could have gone in two goals behind at halftime.
Only a brilliant David De Gea save kept a goal-bound Jordan Ayew strike out.
United brought Mason Greenwood on at halftime but their task was made more difficult.
VAR decided that referee Martin Atkinson should consult the pitch-side monitor and he awarded Palace a penalty for handball against Victor Lindelof.
Ayew stepped up to take the spot kick but De Gea made a fantastic save.
The VAR drama was not done there, however, with Atkinson informed that De Gea had come off his line and the penalty was retaken, with Zaha converting this time.
New signing Donny van de Beek came off the bench to get the home side back in the contest with a goal on his debut.
However, former United forward Zaha had the last laugh as he made sure of a deserved win for Palace with a fine finish late on.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Nigerians gifted with exceptional confidence, resilience, mental acuity – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigerians are gifted with exceptional attributes of confidence, resilience and mental acuity.
He said that the attributes were best demonstrated in how Nigerians exceled even in other countries in sciences, medicine and politics.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said the vice president delivered the keynote address at the 111th Founders’ Day Lecture of King’s College, Lagos.
According to Osinbajo, teaching young people Integrity, innovation and hard work is the foundation of a good society.
“Teaching young people that there are huge rewards from creativity, innovation with a culture of integrity in business and personal life, coupled with hardwork and diligence, is the foundation of a good and prosperous society.
“When people are nurtured in the notion that rent-seeking or the prebendal capture of wealth or benefit by access to power is the path to success, then the society will not prosper.
“A few will capture all the resources, everyone else will be poor or on their way there.”
Citing Edward Banfield, American Political Scientist, Osinabjo explained that the exceptional attributes did not free people from the moral basis of a backward society, which was the self-interested, family-centric society where often the public good was sacrificed.
He said that while receiving an education, the mind of a young person must be lifted up beyond self as education must teach the primacy of community, of the good and the well-being of the collective over self.
The Vice President said that the educational design and content must take into account, the current moral and social circumstances, as well as the physical and mental constraints we face as a people.
“There must be, as a rule, a prevailing moral standard, corruption or deviance must be the exception, not the rule.
“Concerns faced at the lower levels of our society; the problems of out-of-school children and the huge deficit in the education of girls,” he said.
For her part, Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who was the guest speaker, commended the Federal Government’s response to COVID-19 through the Economic Sustainability Plan.
Mohammed said that scaling up infrastructure for connectivity will be crucial as well as access to digitalised curricula, digital skills training for teachers and students, and methods to protect privacy.
Other dignitaries at the event included the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who virtually-delivered a goodwill message from President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.–General Babagana Monguno.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo and the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido II, among others also featured.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Liverpool sign Portugal winger Jota from Wolves
Liverpool have completed the signing of Portugal forward Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton Wanderers on a long term contract, the English Premier League (EPL) champions said on Saturday.
Liverpool’s versatile 18-year-old defender Ki-Jana Hoever moved in the other direction on a five-year contract.
He played four senior games for the Anfield club following his arrival from Ajax Amsterdam in 2018.
British media reported that Liverpool agreed a five-year deal worth about 41 million pounds for Jota.
It is expected that his versatility and work rate should fit in well with manager Juergen Klopp’s hard-pressing style of play.
“It’s just a really exciting moment for me and my family,” Jota told Liverpool’s website.
“All of my path since I was a kid and now, to join a club like Liverpool —— the world champions —— is just unbelievable. I just want to get started.”
The 23-year-old Jota was left out of Wolves’ League Cup defeat by Stoke City on Thursday and was an unused substitute in their 2-0 league win over Sheffield United last weekend.
Initially arriving on loan from Atletico Madrid in 2017, Jota has scored 16 goals and provided six assists for Wolves in the Premier League over the last three seasons.
“I think I’m a team player,” Jota said. “I play upfront and my job is to find a way to score goals and to provide assists and that’s what they can expect from me…I’ll always try to help the team in the best way possible.”
Jota is Liverpool’s third signing of the close season following the arrival of Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich and Greece left-back Kostas Tsimikas.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Pirlo says Suarez unlikely to join Juventus after all
Juventus are unlikely to sign FC Barcelona and Uruguay forward Luis Suarez afterall, coach Andrea Pirlo said on Saturday as he prepared for the start of the new Serie A season.
Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri last month in spite of having no senior coaching experience, will make his debut at home to Sampdoria on Sunday.
He said Juventus needed a centre-forward but that there was not enough time for Suarez to obtain an Italian passport.
Juventus have already used up their limit of two non-EU signings following the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Arthur and United States international Weston McKinnie.
They will only be able to add Suarez if he can obtain an EU passport.
“We’re all waiting for a centre-forward. There is still a long way to go in the transfer window. So, we’re calm and happy, we’re not in a hurry,” said Pirlo.
“Suarez is difficult because it takes a long time to get the passport. So, it’s unlikely that it could be him”.
Although Suarez is eligible for Italian naturalisation as his wife is a citizen of the country, the process usually takes several years.
This is a detail overlooked in much of the speculation linking him to the Serie A champions over the last month.
Pirlo said Cristiano Ronaldo and Dejan Kulusevski would share the role against Sampdoria.
“Neither Kulusevski nor Ronaldo will start in the classic centre-forward position. They will try to move according to what the other does,” said Pirlo.
“There will be rotations to allow as many people as possible to arrive in the area.”
The 41-year-old said he was relaxed ahead of the new season where he would be expected, at the minimum, to bring Juventus a tenth successive Serie A title.
“After a month of Juve I have no doubts, but many certainties,” he said. “I have fitted in well, now the pitch will do the talking.”
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)