Arab Parliaments Call for Boycotting Any State that Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Arab Parliaments Call for Boycotting Any State that Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Sunday, 11 February, 2018 – 12:45
The heads of Arab Parliaments during their meeting in Cairo on Saturday (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Cairo – Asharq Al-Awsat

The heads of Arab parliaments called for severing relations with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or transfers its embassy to it.

They also urged the Arab League to take decisive action against countries that did not abide by the international legitimacy’s resolutions by abstaining to vote in favor of the UN General Assembly resolution on Jerusalem on December 21.

In a statement issued at the end of the third conference of the Arab Parliaments and Arab Parliamentary Speakers in Cairo on Saturday, participants pledged to provide Palestine with the needed Arab support at all financial and political levels.

Voicing their rejection of US President Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem, which they described as a flagrant violation of international law, the Arab speakers warned that the US administration became an “untrustworthy peace sponsor and a distrusted broker in the Middle East peace process.”

In this context, they called on the United Nations to lead the Peace Process and preserve the sovereignty of Palestine and the legal status of Jerusalem in line with the UN resolutions and the 2002 Arab initiative.

The heads of parliaments decided to prepare an Arab parliamentary action plan in cooperation with the Arab Parliamentary Union and the Union of Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to expose the gravity of the racist laws approved by the Israeli Knesset and all the laws pertaining to the city of Jerusalem.

The current president of the Arab Parliament, Speaker Meshal bin Fahmi al Salami, said that the conference condemned Iranian interference in Arab affairs, as well as the Turkish intervention in Egypt and Libya.

He added that the participants issued a comprehensive document to combat terrorism, covering all the challenges posed by this phenomenon at the political, security, economic, cultural and media levels.

Egypt says 4,400-year-old tomb discovered outside Cairo  

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LOS ANGLES TIMES)

 

Egypt says 4,400-year-old tomb discovered outside Cairo

Egypt says 4,400-year-old tomb discovered outside Cairo
The Sphinx and the historical site of the Giza Pyramids are illuminated as part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in Giza, just outside Cairo on Oct. 24, 2015. (Amr Nabil / Associated Press)

 

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb near the country’s famed pyramids at the Giza plateau just outside Cairo, the Antiquities Ministry said Saturday, the latest discovery that authorities hope will help revive the country’s staggering tourism sector.

The tomb was found in a wider area of Giza’s western necropolis, which is known to be home to tombs from the Old Kingdom.

It likely belonged to a woman known as Hetpet, who archaeologists believe was close to ancient Egyptian royals of the fifth dynasty.

The tomb, unveiled to the media Saturday, is made of mud brick and includes wall paintings in good condition depicting Hetpet observing different hunting and fishing scenes.

Other scenes also depict a monkey — in pharaonic times, monkeys were commonly kept as domestic animals — picking fruit. Similar scenes have been found in other tombs belonging to the later 12th dynasty, according to the ministry’s statement. Another scene shows a monkey dancing before an orchestra.

This image taken from video on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, shows wall paintings inside a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo. The tomb likely belonged to a high-ranking official known as Hetpet during the fifth dynasty of ancient Egypt, officials said.
This image taken from video on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, shows wall paintings inside a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo. The tomb likely belonged to a high-ranking official known as Hetpet during the fifth dynasty of ancient Egypt, officials said. (Associated Press)

 

According to the ministry, the archaeological mission behind the discovery started excavation work in October. Archaeologists have been making discoveries near the site since the 19th century, and Mustafa Waziri, who led the mission, believes there is still more to be found.

“This is a very promising area. We expect to find more,” Waziri told reporters at the site. “We have removed between 250 and 300 cubic meters of layers of earth to find the tomb.

“What we see above the earth’s surface in Egypt doesn’t exceed 40% of what the core holds,” he added.

Waziri believes Hetpet had another tomb in Giza’s western necropolis and said that excavation work is underway to find that one too.

Hetpet is a known figure in Egyptian antiquity though her mummy has not been discovered. Fragments of artifacts belonging to Hetpet were found in the same area in 1909 and were moved to a museum in Berlin at the time, Antiquities Minister Khaled Anani said Saturday, speaking at the site to reporters and Western diplomats.

Despite all the discoveries already made about ancient Egypt, experts say they hope to find much more treasures — in part thanks to modern technology — still buried under the vast desert.

The area of the latest discovery is close to a new museum under construction that will house some of Egypt’s most unique and precious artifacts, including many belonging to the famed boy King Tutankhamun.

The first phase of Grand Egyptian museum is expected to be opened later this year, while the grand opening is planned for 2022.

In January, Egypt placed the ancient statue of one of its most famous pharaohs, Ramses II, at the museum’s atrium, which will include 43 massive statues.

Throughout 2017, the Antiquities Ministry made a string of discoveries across Egypt — including some in the southern city Luxor, known for its spectacular temples and tombs spanning different dynasties of ancient Egyptian history.

Egypt hopes the inauguration of the new museum, along with the recent discoveries, will draw back visitors to the country where tourism has been hit hard by extremist attacks and political turmoil following the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak and the authorities’ struggles to rein in an insurgency by Islamic militants.

The government has tightened security around archaeological and touristic sites and spent millions of dollars to upgrade airport security, especially following the 2015 downing of a Russian airliner over the restive Sinai Peninsula by the Islamic State group, killing 224 people on board.

The bombing dealt Egypt’s vital tourism sector a hard blow after Russia suspended flights to and from Egypt.

In December, Cairo and Moscow signed a security protocol and announced plans to resume Russian flights to the Egyptian capital, due to start this month.

Civilians fire back against Helwan (Egypt) church attacker  

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE EGYPT INDEPENDENT)

 

Video: Civilians fire back against Helwan church attacker



Video footage of the militant attack targeting the Church of Saint Menasin the Cairo’s suburban Helwan district has emerged, showing the militant opening fire against a number of civilians and security officials attempting to guard the church.

The militant exchanged fire with and killed a member of the security forces guarding the church.

A number of the civilians seized the gun of the killed security member and fired back towards the militant, but failed to kill him.

Another video showed a militant lying on the ground, injured after exchanging fire with security forces that arrived to the scene. Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahd said that this militant is now dead.

Nine people were killed and another ten injured in clashes after two armed militants attacked the church.

Security forces had already imposed barriers in the area surrounding the church, as a measure for heightening security procedure during the Christmas and holiday period.

Yet, despite this, the militants targeted the church, opening fire against the security checkpoint surrounding the church.

The second fled the scene, according to reports from state-run media outlets.

As an emergency measure following the attack, police and armed forces increased security and closed all churches inside the Helwan suburb.

At Least 10 People Killed In Shooting At Cairo Egypt Church

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

(CAIRO) — At least 10 people, including eight Coptic Christians, were killed after unidentified gunmen opened fire outside a church in a south Cairo suburb, Egypt’s Health Ministry spokesman said Friday. It was the latest attack targeting the mostly Muslim country’s embattled minority.

Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said the attack outside the Coptic Church of Mar Mina left at least one policeman dead and eight others wounded, including two critically. The attack took place when two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire outside the church, he said.

Egyptian security officials said earlier that two policemen were killed in the shootout and the discrepancy was not immediately clear. The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

A video circulated on social media after the attack apparently shows the gunman lying on the ground. Authorities have closed off the area around the church.

Samir Gerges, a witness, said people inside the church closed the gates when the shootout began but bullets from the gunfire still entered the building. Gerges said he was walking in a nearby street when the shooting happened. He saw people running and some of them went to hide from the gunfire inside a nearby restaurant.

Raouth Atta, 40, was attending prayers inside the church when the shooting took place.

“Once the gunfire was heard, the gates were closed immediately,” she told The Associated Press over the phone. “People were terrified and wanted to check on their families in other buildings of the church. We stayed inside for 30 minutes before we were able to get out.”

Atta said that once she was let outside the building she saw blood scattered everywhere.

The spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church said in a statement that at least six people were killed in the attack, including five Copts and a policeman. It also said there was a separate attack on a store in the same suburb of Helwan that killed two Copts.

Egypt’s Christian minority has been targeted by Islamic militants in a series of attacks since December 2016 that left more than 100 dead and scores wounded. The country has been under a state of emergency since April after suicide bombings struck two Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday in an attack that was claimed by the local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population, have long complained of discrimination in the Muslim-majority nation, and say authorities have often failed to protect them from sectarian attacks.

Just last week, hundreds of Muslim demonstrators stormed an unlicensed church south of Cairo wounding three people. The demonstrators shouted anti-Christian slogans and called for the church’s demolition, the diocese in the area said at the time. The demonstrators destroyed the church’s contents and assaulted Christians inside before security personnel arrived and dispersed them.

Egypt FM in Ethiopia to End Standoff in Talks on Nile Dam

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Egypt FM in Ethiopia to End Standoff in Talks on Nile Dam

Tuesday, 26 December, 2017 – 12:15
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. (Reuters)
Cairo – Asharq Al-Awsat

Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry is scheduled to head to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Tuesday to resume the negotiations with his counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu regarding the Renaissance Dam project on the Nile River.

The talks aim at breaking over the dam, which Addis Ababa is building on one of the main tributaries of the Nile.

Cairo said the dam would threaten water supplies that have fed Egypt’s agriculture and economy for thousands of years.

Ethiopia, for its part, said the dam, which it hopes will help make it Africa’s largest power exporter, will have no major effect on Egypt.

It accuses Cairo of flexing its political muscle to deter financiers from backing other Ethiopian power projects.

Egyptian officials said safeguarding the country’s quota of Nile water is a matter of national security.

“No one can touch Egypt’s water … (which) means life or death for a population,” President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said last month.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Abou Zeid affirmed in a statement that this move comes in light of the Egyptian desire to end the standoff in talks on the dam’s specialized technical committee work.

Abou Zeid also said that Shoukry’s visit aims to express Egypt’s good intentions regarding cooperating and rebuilding confidence with Ethiopia to preserve both countries’ rights to Nile water.

Delegations from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia met in Cairo in November to approve a study by a French firm commissioned to assess the dam’s environmental and economic impact.

However, negotiations stalled when they failed to agree on the initial report with each blaming others for blocking progress.

Shoukry is willing to bring new ideas and proposals to light to help the technical committee in its work, according to the statement.

The negotiations will also include discussing the details of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s visit to Egypt next January.

16 Egyptian police officers killed in shootout with militants

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

16 Egyptian police officers killed in shootout with militants

Mourners in Cairo pray during a funeral Saturday for a police captain killed in the desert shootout.

Story highlights

  • Police trying to raid “terrorist elements’ hideout” in Western Desert, ministry says
  • At least 16 police officers were killed and 13 injured, it says

(CNN)At least 16 Egyptian police officers were killed and 13 injured in a shootout with militants in Egypt’s Western Desert, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said Saturday.

The firefight occurred Friday as police were attempting to raid “a terrorist elements’ hideout” in the desert’s Bahariya Oasis about 370 kilometers (more than 220 miles) southwest of Cairo. The shootout lasted several hours, according to an Interior Ministry statement.
The statement said national security forces had received information that “terrorists” were in the desert to “hide, train, equip, and carry out terrorist operations, taking advantage of the rugged desert and ease of movement.”
Fifteen “terrorists” were killed or injured in the attack, state-run media outlet Ahram Online reported Saturday, citing the Interior Ministry.

Newly unearthed ancient tomb with mummies unveiled in Egypt

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Newly unearthed ancient tomb with mummies unveiled in Egypt

Researchers examine the tomb on Saturday.

Luxor, Egypt (CNN)Egyptian authorities unveiled a previously undiscovered ancient tomb belonging to a goldsmith and his wife near Luxor in southern Egypt on Saturday.

The tomb, at the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis, contains “mummies, sarcophagi, statuettes, pots and other artifacts,” according to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.
It belonged to Amenemhat — which means the god “Amen Is In the Forefront” — and his wife Amenhotep, said Mostafa Al-Waziri, who led the Egyptian team which unearthed the 3,500-year-old tomb.
While Amenhotep is usually a man’s name, Waziri said, the team found references inside the tomb that indicated she was the lady of the house.
CNN was the first media outlet to be given access to the tomb on the day of the announcement.

Researchers discovered a number of skulls inside the tomb.

An entrance, uncovered in the courtyard of another tomb, leads to a squared chamber where, in a niche, Amenemhat is pictured with his wife in a partly damaged duo sandstone statue, Waziri said.
Between their legs is seen a little figure of their son. “The daughter, or as they used to refer (to daughters) ‘the precious,’ is usually the one pictured in this place. If the family have no daughters, they would take their daughter-in-law. It is unusual to see the son,” said Waziri.
The owners belong to the 18th dynasty of Egypt. The tomb appears to have been reused, as sarcophagi from the 22nd and 21st dynasties were found as well, said Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Enany.

Statues discovered in the tomb, whose owners belong to the 18th dynasty.

It had two burial shafts, one of them probably dug for the mummies of Amenemhat and Amenhotep. Archaeologists found mummies, sarcophagi and funerary masks carved in wood, along with statuettes of the goldsmith and his wife.
Archaeologists also found the mummies of a woman and her two adult children in another burial shaft in the courtyard. Experts said initial analysis of the mummies shed light on the diseases from which the deceased were suffering, as well other aspects of how they lived.
The tomb also holds clues to new tombs, in the form of funerary masks belonging to four officials whose burial spots have not yet been found.
“This is not the end. This will lead to more discoveries in the future,” Waziri said.

Archaeologists also found funerary masks carved in wood and statuettes of the couple.

The clue that led to the tomb unveiled Saturday was in fact uncovered in another 3,500-year-old tomb unearthed in April in the same area, he said.
In that discovery, officials announced that they had found 10 colorful sarcophagi and numerous figurines.
The main T-shaped tomb in the April find belonged to a city judge named Userhat and is typical of New Kingdom noblemen’s tombs, the ministry said in a statement at the time.
Egyptian archeologists have also found several other tombs and statues in other areas of Egypt this year.
Parts of a 3,000-year-old colossal statue, believed to have stood about 30 feet tall, were found in Cairo in March. Archeologists unearthed the statue in a pit in an area of low-income housing in the eastern neighborhood of Matareya.
This story has been updated to clarify the translation of Amenemhat’s name made by Egyptian officials during Saturday’s news conference.

Researchers examine the tomb on Saturday.

Luxor, Egypt (CNN)Egyptian authorities unveiled a previously undiscovered ancient tomb belonging to a goldsmith and his wife near Luxor in southern Egypt on Saturday.

The tomb, at the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis, contains “mummies, sarcophagi, statuettes, pots and other artifacts,” according to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.
It belonged to Amenemhat — which means the god “Amen Is In the Forefront” — and his wife Amenhotep, said Mostafa Al-Waziri, who led the Egyptian team which unearthed the 3,500-year-old tomb.
While Amenhotep is usually a man’s name, Waziri said, the team found references inside the tomb that indicated she was the lady of the house.
CNN was the first media outlet to be given access to the tomb on the day of the announcement.

Researchers discovered a number of skulls inside the tomb.

An entrance, uncovered in the courtyard of another tomb, leads to a squared chamber where, in a niche, Amenemhat is pictured with his wife in a partly damaged duo sandstone statue, Waziri said.
Between their legs is seen a little figure of their son. “The daughter, or as they used to refer (to daughters) ‘the precious,’ is usually the one pictured in this place. If the family have no daughters, they would take their daughter-in-law. It is unusual to see the son,” said Waziri.
The owners belong to the 18th dynasty of Egypt. The tomb appears to have been reused, as sarcophagi from the 22nd and 21st dynasties were found as well, said Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Enany.

Statues discovered in the tomb, whose owners belong to the 18th dynasty.

It had two burial shafts, one of them probably dug for the mummies of Amenemhat and Amenhotep. Archaeologists found mummies, sarcophagi and funerary masks carved in wood, along with statuettes of the goldsmith and his wife.
Archaeologists also found the mummies of a woman and her two adult children in another burial shaft in the courtyard. Experts said initial analysis of the mummies shed light on the diseases from which the deceased were suffering, as well other aspects of how they lived.
The tomb also holds clues to new tombs, in the form of funerary masks belonging to four officials whose burial spots have not yet been found.
“This is not the end. This will lead to more discoveries in the future,” Waziri said.

Archaeologists also found funerary masks carved in wood and statuettes of the couple.

The clue that led to the tomb unveiled Saturday was in fact uncovered in another 3,500-year-old tomb unearthed in April in the same area, he said.
In that discovery, officials announced that they had found 10 colorful sarcophagi and numerous figurines.
The main T-shaped tomb in the April find belonged to a city judge named Userhat and is typical of New Kingdom noblemen’s tombs, the ministry said in a statement at the time.
Egyptian archeologists have also found several other tombs and statues in other areas of Egypt this year.
Parts of a 3,000-year-old colossal statue, believed to have stood about 30 feet tall, were found in Cairo in March. Archeologists unearthed the statue in a pit in an area of low-income housing in the eastern neighborhood of Matareya.
This story has been updated to clarify the translation of Amenemhat’s name made by Egyptian officials during Saturday’s news conference.

A China Eastern Airlines jet suffered a major engine failure; Australia To Singapore

THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN

A China Eastern Airlines jet suffered a major engine failure shortly after taking off out of Sydney for Shanghai on Sunday.

After the airplane landed safely back in Sydney, emergency crews found a gaping hole in the front part of the engine nacelle’s structural casing, known as the nose cowl.
The incident with the jetliner’s engines is the second of its kind in as many months.
No passengers or crew aboard the twin-aisle Airbus A330-200 were injured during the incident, according to Xinhua news. The jet typically seats around 265 passengers.
After hearing a “really, really loud” unexpected noise after takeoff, “nobody really panicked, but I was a little bit nervous and it kind of smelled like burning,” one passenger told CNN affiliate Seven Network.
Airbus said it is “aware of the incident and will support the investigation of this engine issue.”

Nobody was injured on the Airbus A330.

A spokesman for Rolls-Royce, which manufactures the engine, said in a statement, “We are aware of the incident and will be working closely with relevant partners to understand the cause of the issue.”
The engine failure in Sydney resembles another recent incident. An Egypt Air flight from Cairo to Beijing in May aborted its takeoff after reporting a failed engine. The nose cowl on that Trent 700 engine also had torn away and had reportedly been ingested by the engine. No one was hurt during that incident.
Rolls-Royce, which powered both planes with the Trent 700 engine, said it was too soon to consider the incidents linked.
A 2011 directive by the European Aviation Safety Agency warned of two operators who “found extensive damage to engine air intake cowls” after the sound dampening panels around the front fan of the engine collapsed. An Emirates flight arriving in Dubai in 2006 sustained similar damage to its Trent 700 engine after a flight from Birmingham, England.
EASA at the time gave airlines 24 months or the accumulation of 5,000 takeoffs and landings or 20,000 hours, whichever came first, to conduct the inspections.
Airlines have a choice of three types of engines on the Airbus A330 workhorse. Rolls-Royce is the most popular choice on the fleet of more than 1,300 jets flying today.

ISIS Video Threatens To Attack More Christians

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

Video had threatened Christians with more attacks

THE Islamic State group claimed responsibility for bombing two Egyptian churches as worshippers gathered to mark Palm Sunday, killing at least 43 people and injuring more than 100 in the deadliest attacks on the Coptic Christian minority in recent memory.

The attacks followed a Cairo church bombing in December and came weeks ahead of a planned visit by Catholic Pope Francis intended to show support for the country’s Christian minority.

The first bombing struck the Mar Girgis church in the city of Tanta north of Cairo, killing 27 people, the health ministry said.

Emergency services had scrambled to the scene when another bombing rocked the Saint Mark’s church in Alexandria where Coptic Pope Tawadros II had been leading a Palm Sunday service.

Sixteen people were killed in that attack, which the interior ministry said was caused by a suicide bomber. A church official said that Tawadros had left before the bombing.

At least 78 people were wounded in Tanta and another 41 wounded in Alexandria, the health ministry said.

Egyptian officials denounced the violence as an attempt to sow divisions in the country, while Francis sent his “deep condolences” to Tawadros.

Islamic State claimed that its “squads” carried out both attacks, in a statement by its self-styled Amaq news agency.

Images broadcast by private television stations showed bloodstains smearing the whitewashed walls of the church in Tanta next to shredded wooden benches.

“The explosion took place in the front rows, near the altar, during the mass,” General Tarek Atiya, the deputy to Egypt’s interior minister in charge of relations with the media, told reporters.

“I heard the blast and came running. I found people torn up … some people, only half of their bodies remained,” said Nabil Nader, whose resident is in front of the Tanta church.

The worshippers had been celebrating Palm Sunday, one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar, marking the triumphant entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem.

Pope Francis, who is due to visit Cairo on April 28-29, offered prayers for the victims.

“Let us pray for the victims of the attack unfortunately carried out today,” he said in an Angelus prayer.

“May the Lord convert the heart of those who sow terror, violence and death and also the heart of those who make weapons and trade in them.”

Copts, who make up about a 10th of Egypt’s population of more than 92 million and who celebrate Easter next weekend, have been targeted by several attacks in recent months.

Jihadists and Islamists accuse Copts of supporting the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, which ushered in a deadly crackdown on his supporters.

In December, a suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State killed 29 worshippers during Sunday mass in Cairo.

The group later released a video threatening Egypt’s Christians with more attacks.

The bombing of the church within a compound that also holds the seat of the Coptic papacy was the deadliest attack against the minority in recent memory.

A spate of jihadist-linked attacks in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, including the murder of a Copt in the city of El Arish whose house was also burned, have led some Coptic families to flee their homes.

About 250 Christians took refuge in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya after Islamic State released a video in February calling for attacks on the religious minority.

Reacting before the second bombing in Alexandria, Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid called the attack in Tanta “a failed attempt against our unity.”

“Terrorism hits Egypt again, this time on Palm Sunday,” he tweeted. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail also condemned the attack, stressing Egypt’s determination to “eliminate terrorism.”

The Cairo-based Al-Azhar, an influential Sunni Muslim authority, said it aimed to “destabilize security and … the unity of Egyptians.”

Egypt’s Copts have endured successive attacks since Morsi was ousted in July 2013.

More than 40 churches were attacked nationwide in the two weeks after the deadly dispersal by security forces of two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo on August 14, 2013, Human Rights Watch said.

Amnesty International later said more than 200 Christian-owned properties were attacked and 43 churches seriously damaged, adding that at least four people were killed.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as then army chief helped remove Morsi, has defended his security forces and accused jihadists of attacking Copts in order to divide the country.

Egypt, Jordan Agree On Importance Of Resuming Negotiations For A Palestinian State

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT AND REUTERS NEWS)

Middle East

Egypt, Jordan Agree on Importance of Resuming Negotiations for a Palestinian State

Ayman al-Safadi, Reuters

Cairo- Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry and his Jordanian counterpart Ayman al-Safadi met for three hours in Cairo on Thursday to discuss crises and recent challenges facing the Arab region.

“It’s time to clear up the Arab atmosphere and provide a minimum of consensus on resolutions issued by the Amman summit, to deal with all crises, conflict, war and terrorism tearing the region apart,” said Safadi.

He also pointed to the possibility of reaching Arab unanimity, despite existing differences in a desire “to spare the region further devastation threatening security and stability of Arab states.”

The two FMs held a press conference following talks in Cairo to discuss the latest developments in the region, including the Palestinian peace process and Egyptian-Jordanian relations.

Safadi, who arrived in Cairo early Thursday, hoped the upcoming Arab League summit to be held in March in Amman would enhance joint Arab action in a way that improves capability of addressing crises affecting the Arab world.

Safadi replied to a Syria question with “Jordan is taking part in Astana’s Syria peace talks as an observer and supports any effort that aims at reaching a ceasefire across Syria, especially in the southern region closer to Jordan’s northern border.”

The Astana talks are not an alternative to the Geneva efforts that form the main framework of reaching a political solution to the Syrian conflict, the minister highlighted.

He also said that discussions with Shokry addressed the major challenges facing the Arab world and ways to address them, underlining Cairo’s important role in enhancing the regional stability and security.

Jordanian-Egyptian consultation and coordination not only aim at serving bilateral relations, but also seek to serve the interests of the Arab nation and its peoples to enhance joint Arab action and maintain pan-Arab security, Safadi stressed.

The minister also highlighted the significance of increasing the level of coordination among Arab countries to find solutions to regional crises, especially the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, the Syrian war and the developments in the Libyan arena.

For his part, Shokry expressed hope that the Arab summit will boost joint Arab action and serve Arab national security, voicing Cairo’s readiness to help Amman in organizing the summit.