Egypt-Gulf friendship

Updated 22 January 2017
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Egypt-Gulf friendship

I fully agree with the column written by Khalaf Al-Habtoor (“Gulf states are the Arab nation’s backbone,” Jan. 17). He is not only a prominent Emirati businessman, but a leading elder statesman of the entire Arab world whose views are well appreciated and respected throughout the region.
Egypt is the heart and intellectual mind of the Arab world. It has the Arab world’s oldest university, Al-Azhar, and is renowned for top-class educational institutes with highly educated people who have excelled in all fields. Egypt is renowned for its tourism industry, and its capital Cairo was one of the Top 3 continually inhabited cities of the Ottoman Empire, along with Aleppo and Constantinople.
I remember in 1971-72, when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was just formed, its government emphasized education, and Egyptian teachers were recruited in large numbers to provide a good education to youngsters, many of whom have excelled in all fields.
It is a win-win situation. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have a large surplus of funds that they saved up during the oil boom, while Egypt has 100 million strong people. It needs investments to boost its sagging economy, and GCC funds can play a constructive role in this regard. People from GCC countries prefer Egypt as their second home; every year they go there on holiday with their families, especially Saudis. People-to-people relations between Egyptians and Gulf nationals are excellent.
It is time that elder statesmen such as Al-Habtoor and other like-minded people from GCC countries take the initiative, use their old contacts with Egyptian friends and see to it that Egypt is not distanced from the people of the Arabian Gulf.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is a mature leader who understands the importance of good relations with GCC countries. We all hope Egypt will read the writing on the wall, that it is best to maintain friendship with GCC countries for progress, prosperity and stability.


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017
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Cartoon in bad taste

I wish to use my “right of reply” to complain about the unfortunate caricature that appeared on Aug. 5, 2017, in your well-known newspaper. The cartoon represents President Nicolas Maduro sitting on a military tank and a hand coming out of the tank’s cannon writing on a book titled “New Constitution.” Such a caricature is offensive to my country.
What the caricature seems to imply is that President Maduro wants to rewrite a new constitution with the power of arms. This is totally false. It is immoral to give your readers such a forged image of Venezuela and its constitutionally- and democratically-elected government.
The revision of our constitution, which is among the best in the world, is mainly to reinforce it and make it more adaptable to the new times. It is not an imposition of our president; it has been backed by more than 8 million Venezuelans and has the objective of re-establishing the peace process that has been trampled by a violent opposition backed by interested foreign countries that pretend to give orders to our sovereign populace.
I fail to understand why some international media report fake news about my country, with the purpose of undermining our sovereignty, and the people of Venezuela’s absolute right to decide, in a free and independent manner, how it wants to conduct its internal affairs.
I invite your newspaper to inform about our country with the truth and the same respect that we, in Venezuela, treat to our brothers of Saudi Arabia.

Joseba Achutegui
Ambassador of Venezuela
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia