Egypt denies military support for Assad

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said in an interview his priority is to support national armies in the Arab world. (AP)
Updated 28 November 2016
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Egypt denies military support for Assad

CAIRO: Egypt on Sunday denied Arab media reports claiming that it had a military presence in Syria, days after President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi expressed his support for the Syrian Army.
“These claims only exist in the imagination of those who promote them,” the Foreign Ministry said in the statement.
On Thursday, the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir said that 18 Egyptian air force pilots had been deployed on a military base in the Syrian central province of Hama.
It added, however, that it was “unclear” whether they were taking part in any military operations.
El-Sisi, the former army chief who was elected president in 2014, expressed support for the Syrian military during an interview aired Tuesday with Portuguese broadcaster RTP.
“Our priority is to support national armies, for example in Libya to assert control over Libyan territories and deal with extremist elements. The same with Syria and Iraq,” he said, responding to a question on whether Egypt would contemplate a UN peacekeeping role in Syria.
Asked by the interviewer whether he meant the Syrian military, El-Sisi, who has overseen a warming of ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad, responded: “Yes.”
Syrian security services chief Ali Mamluk made a surprise visit to Cairo in October and met Egyptian officials, in his first public foreign visit in five years.
El-Sisi, who was elected in 2014 almost a year after overthrowing his predecessor Muhammad Mursi, has cracked down on hard-liners and is battling a deadly insurgency.


Human rights violations by Iran regime condemned by UN committee

Vahid Mazloumin appears in court for the first time on charges of manipulating the currency market. (Tasnim News Agency/Reuters)
Updated 17 November 2018
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Human rights violations by Iran regime condemned by UN committee

  • The resolution “strongly urges” Iran to eliminate discrimination against women
  • It singles out violations including harassment, intimidation and persecution against religious minorities including Christians, Gonabadi Dervishes, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians and members of the Baha’i faith

NEW YORK: A UN committee on human rights has approved a resolution urging Iran to stop its widespread use of arbitrary detention and expressing serious concern at its “alarmingly high” use of the death penalty.

The General Assembly’s Human Rights Committee adopted the resolution by a vote of 85-30, with 68 abstentions. It is virtually certain to be approved by the 193-member world body next month.

The resolution “strongly urges” Iran to eliminate discrimination against women in law and practice and expresses “serious concern about ongoing severe limitations and restrictions on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.”

It singles out violations including harassment, intimidation and persecution against religious minorities including Christians, Gonabadi Dervishes, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians and members of the Baha’i faith — and urges the release of religious practitioners including Baha’i leaders.

Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi of Saudi Arabia said: “The Iranian people continue to suffer under a regime that does not respect human rights, that denies freedoms, that persecutes religious and racial minorities.” He called on Iran not “give shelter to terrorists.”

The resolution, sponsored by Canada, also calls on Iran to end “widespread and serious restrictions” including on freedom of assembly of political opponents, human rights defenders, labor leaders, environmentalists, academics, filmmakers, journalists, bloggers, social media users and others.