Update Egypt’s politics digest July 18: AL Secretary General offers reconciliation mediation between Egypt, Qatar; Muslim mob stabs Christian to death in Egypt over feud
Former minister of foreign affairs Ahmed Aboul Gheit - Ahmed ismail/Youm7

CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top political news stories on July 18 here:

AL Secretary General offers reconciliation mediation between Egypt, Qatar

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Monday that he could go to Qatar to mediate between Doha and Cairo if two sides are ready for reconciliation and healing their differences. His comments came in an interview with al-Arabia channel.

Since the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the military in July 2013, the relation between Egypt and Qatar, Morsi and banned group of Muslim Brotherhood’s ally, have been strained.



Muslim mob stabs Christian to death in Egypt over feud

(AP) — A Muslim mob in southern Egypt stabbed a Coptic Christian to death over a personal feud, officials said Monday, stoking anger among Christians amid a spike in assaults on their community.

Bishop Macarious of the southern Minya governorate said the mob attacked the families of two priests with knives and batons in the village of Tahna al-Gabal late Sunday.

A family member, Fam Khalaf, 27, was killed and the father of one of the priests was wounded. Police said they arrested four people in connection to the incident.

On Monday, mourners gathered at a local church for prayers for the dead and protests. Marching to the graveyard, they chanted “with blood and soul, we redeem the cross.”

Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt’s mostly Muslim population. Sectarian violence occasionally erupts, mainly in rural communities in the south. Islamic extremists have also targeted Christians.

On Saturday, a group of Muslims attacked and torched houses of Christians in the village of Abu-Yacoub, also in Minya, following a rumor that a Christian intended to turn a kindergarten into a church. Security forces arrested at least 14 people. Last week, in another Minya village, Kom al-Lufi, a group of hard-liners attacked and torched houses of Christians after a similar rumor.

In May, a Muslim mob stripped an elderly Christian woman of her clothes and paraded her on the streets of another Minya village, following a rumor that her son had an affair with a Muslim woman. The incident sparked public uproar and prompted Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to publicly vow to bring the attackers to justice.

Egypt’s Orthodox Coptic Christians strongly supported el-Sissi’s ouster of his Islamist predecessor Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood group. Following Morsi’s toppling, many Islamists claimed that Christians had conspired with the military against them. Attacks on Christian homes, businesses and churches subsequently surged in the south.

Sisi meets with African leaders in Kigali

On the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Kigali, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met on Sunday with the President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé, who extended an invitation for Sisi to attend an extraordinary summit for African heads of state and government on maritime security and safety.

President Sisi also met with his President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila, who lauded the technical support Egypt offers to his country in the field of training and capacity building and looked forward to maximizing benefit from President Sisi’s initiative to offer 1,000 scholarships for the Sahel-Saharan countries at Egyptian military institutes.

Also, Sisi held a meeting with President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, who lauded the important role Al Azhar plays in enhancing cultural ties, disseminating the tolerant teachings of Islam and combating extremist thoughts by dispatching envoys. This is in addition to scholarships offered to study at Al Azhar.


Albanian fisherman returns, released from capture in Egypt

(AP) – Police say a fisherman has returned to Albania after being taken to Alexandria, Egypt, on a boat commandeered by an Egyptian man as it left Albania’s Port of Durres June 18.

Luan Mema, 36, returned Sunday after the Albanian Embassy in Egypt provided him with a passport, police said Monday.

Adel Sallan, 30, the Egyptian man accused of taking the boat, was arrested in Alexandria. Sallan has claimed to friends and in Facebook posts that he took the boat because he was owed 70,000 euros ($77,000) in back pay, which the boat owner has denied. Three other Egyptians found on the boat in Alexandria claimed Sallan sold them the boat for 100,000 euros ($110,000).

Police say the whereabouts of the Albanian boat captain is unknown.

Egypt doctors disciplined over widely mocked AIDS device

(AP) — Egypt’s doctors union has referred four members to a disciplinary court for taking part in the army’s development of a widely mocked device said to cure AIDS and hepatitis C.

The military’s engineering wing unveiled the device in 2014, saying it could extract the viruses and turn them into “kofta,” or ground meat. The army’s claims were roundly dismissed by medical professionals.

Egypt’s Doctors’ Association said Monday that the four doctors had promoted the device before conducting the “recognized scientific steps,” causing “intentional harm to millions of Egyptian citizens.”

Hepatitis C is widespread in Egypt, where it kills some 40,000 people every year, according to the World Health Organization.

Probe into journalists’ assault while covering Lawyers’ Syndicate assembly

Head of Lawyers Syndicate, Sameh Ashour, announced opening a probe after a number of members have assaulted journalists who were covering an emergency general assembly Sunday, Youm7 reported.

Ashour called on all journalists who witnessed the assault to submit videos and photos documenting the attack in order to identify the assaulters and hold them accountable.

Youm7 has published some pictures showing lawyers attacking journalists.


French consulates in Alexandria to receive condolences for Nice attack victims

The French consulate in Alexandria will open Monday a condolences registry for the victims of truck attack Thursday in Nice city, France, which left at least 84 deaths and dozens injured after a truck ran over them.


Parliament did not receive Draft law on churches construction so far: Coptic Church representative

Bishop Paul, representative of Coptic Church at the committee tasked with putting the draft law on the construction of churches, said that the law has not passed to the parliament so far.

He said that there will be discussions between representatives of three churches in Egypt and the Minister of Legal Affairs within the coming days to reach a compromise formula for the law.


30 Egyptians evacuated from Juba: Foreign Affairs Ministry

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it managed, through Egyptian embassies in Nairobi and Juba, to evacuate 30 nationals from Juba, South Sudan; they are on their way back home through Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, according to Youm7.

The ministry has renewed its warnings to Egyptians living in Juba to “be cautious and do not leave their residencies,” as well as advised nationals not to travel to South Sudan until security situation is settled.


Egyptian embassy in Damascus frees nationals stuck for 4 yrs

Egyptian embassy in Damascus managed to free an Egyptian family that has suffered difficult situations in a restive area for four years living under suffocating siege, Youm7 reported.


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