Ahmadinejad told not to interfere in Gulf affairs

Updated 06 February 2013
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Ahmadinejad told not to interfere in Gulf affairs

CAIRO: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed the crisis in Syria with his Egyptian counterpart yesterday in the first visit by an Iranian leader to Cairo in more than three decades, marking a historic departure from years of frigid ties between the regional heavyweights.
Ahmadinejad’s three-day visit, which is centered around an Islamic summit, is the latest sign of improved relations between the countries since the 2011 uprising ousted Egypt’s longtime ruler President Hosni Mubarak and brought an Brotherhood-led government to power in Cairo. Such a visit would have been unthinkable under Mubarak, who was a close ally of the US and shared Washington’s deep suspicions of Tehran.
Egypt’s President Muhammad Mursi gave Ahmadinejad a red-carpet welcome on the tarmac at Cairo airport, shaking the Iranian’s hand and exchanging a kiss on each cheek as a military honor guard stood at attention.
The two leaders then sat down for a 20-minute talk.
During his visit to Egypt, Ahmadinejad is scheduled to meet with Grand Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the head of Al-Azhar. He is also scheduled to attend the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo, which starts today.
Security officials said Ahmadinejad also will tour the Pyramids in Giza.
Egypt’s top scholar Ahmed Al-Tayyeb told Ahmadinejad not to interfere in the affairs of Bahrain or the Gulf and to uphold the rights of his country’s Sunni minority.
In a statement, Tayyeb, the imam of the prestigious Al-Azhar institute in Cairo, also denounced what he described as the “spread of Shiism in Sunni lands”.
Once close, Egypt and Iran severed their relations after the 1979 Islamic Revolution when Cairo offered exile to Iran’s deposed shah. Relations further deteriorated after Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.
Yesterday, Egypt’s Daawa Salafiya, which is the foundation of the main Salafi Al-Nour Party, released a statement calling on Mursi to confront Ahmadinejad on Tehran’s support for the Syrian regime and make clear that “Egypt is committed to the protection of all Sunni nations.”
On the other end of the political spectrum, liberal Egyptian politician Mohamed Anwar Esmat Sadat, nephew of the late President Anwar Sadat, said in a statement yesterday that he is concerned about the Brotherhood’s ties with Iran. Sadat was assassinated after signing Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. Iran then outraged Egyptian officials when it named a street in honor of his assassin, Khaled Al-Islambouli.
Mohammed Abbas Nagi, an Egyptian expert on Iran, said Mursi may be trying to restore some level of diplomatic ties with Tehran in order to show that Cairo is pursuing a more independent foreign policy than that of his predecessor and to keep the door open to the Islamic Republic in case the Gulf states’ support dwindles.


Prince William visits Jerash, meets students during Jordan visit

Updated 25 June 2018
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Prince William visits Jerash, meets students during Jordan visit

  • Britain’s Prince William visited the Roman ruins of Jerash in northern Jordan, accompanied by his host Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah
  • The two princes met children from Jordan and neighboring war-torn Syria during their visit to the site

AMMAN: Britain’s Prince William ended a two-day tour of Jordan on Monday that included a visit to the archaeological Roman city of Jerash. The visit also included meetings with young Jordanian and Syrian students.
Ziad Guneimat, head of the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Archaeology in Jerash, told Arab News that the visit was very successful. “The prince toured the entire facility and expressed amazement at the location and its history,” he said.
Guneimat said that the British prince was accompanied by Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, who said that this was his first official visit to the important archaeological site since becoming crown prince and regent.
Prince William posed for a photo in the same location where his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, was photographed as a two-year-old when her father was director of the British Airways office in Amman. 


The Duke of Cambridge told a crowd of Jordanian and internationals at a reception that his wife, who had recently given birth, was sorry she could not make the trip to Jordan.
Osama Salameh, a spokesman for the Royal Court in Amman, told Arab News that Prince William and the Jordanian crown prince spoke with Jordanian and Syrian students on the sidelines of the visit to the archaeological site. 
A spokesperson for UNICEF said that Prince William met with younger Syrian refugees benefiting from UNICEF’s Makani program, which offers psychological support for Syrian refugee parents and children.

The British prince was unable to watch his country’s World Cup game live on Sunday, so the UK embassy recorded the game and he was seen watching the recorded version of Britain’s 6-1 victory over Panama along with Jordan’s crown prince.
At an event sponsored by the UK Embassy in Amman on Sunday to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday, Prince William read out a message in which the queen looked back warmly on her 1984 visit to Jordan and spoke of the country as “a staunch and long-held friend.” 
“The way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, not to mention your longstanding commitments to Palestinian refugees, is remarkable,” the prince told Jordanians. The event was attended by Jordanians, members of the diplomatic corps as well as the newly sworn-in Prime Minister Omar Razzaz and members of his Cabinet. 
Prince William arrived in Israel on Monday for the first-ever official visit of a member of the British royal family to the tumultuous region London once ruled.
Arriving from neighboring Jordan, the Duke of Cambridge landed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport and then departed to Jerusalem, where he will stay at the elegant King David Hotel, site of the former administrative headquarters of the British mandate.
Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Prince William will be staying at the Hotel, which was the main administrative building of officials during the British Mandate from 1920-1948. The hotel was also the site of a terrorist attack by a Zionist underground organization in July 1946, which killed 91 people.