Syria opposition: UN envoy cannot form delegation for peace talks

U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, left, speaks to head of Syrian opposition delegation Mohammed Alloush, right, prior to talks on Syrian peace at a hotel hall in Astana, Kazakhstan, in this Jan. 23, 2017 photo. (AP)
Updated 02 February 2017
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Syria opposition: UN envoy cannot form delegation for peace talks

BEIRUT: Syria opposition officials Wednesday criticized UN envoy Staffan de Mistura after he said he could pick the opposition delegation representatives to UN-led talks in Geneva if they failed to do so.
De Mistura on Tuesday said the talks previously scheduled for Feb. 8 had been postponed to Feb. 20 in part to give the opposition more time to present a united delegation.
And he warned that if they had not done so by Feb. 8, he would “select the delegation in order to make sure that it can be as inclusive as possible.”
The opposition rejected the comments as “unacceptable.”
“Selecting the Syrian opposition delegation is not the business... of de Mistura,” wrote Riad Hijab, head of the opposition High Negotiations Committee, on his Twitter account.
Salem Muslet, a spokesman for the opposition umbrella group, said de Mistura’s comments were “unacceptable” and showed a “disregard for the ability of the representatives of the Syrian people.”
Muslet also asked whether de Mistura would “intervene in the formation of (President Bashar)Assad’s delegation.”


Egypt opens museum to honor Naguib Mahfouz

Foreign visitor reads the biography of the late Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz after the official opening of the museum in Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2019. Picture taken July 14, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 12 min 8 sec ago
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Egypt opens museum to honor Naguib Mahfouz

  • The two-storey building in Cairo’s Gamaliya district is near to where the author was born and the area was the inspiration for many of his stories and characters

CAIRO: A museum commemorating the life and works of Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz has opened in Cairo, nearly 13 years after the Nobel laureate’s death.
The Naguib Mahfouz Museum and Creativity Centre houses the belongings and personal library of Mahfouz, who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature — the only Arab to do so.
The center, in a redeveloped building dating back to 1774, had been planned for years but had been delayed by financial and other issues.
“I hope this museum becomes a center of cultural radiation and a tourist attraction,” Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem said at the opening ceremony.
The two-storey building in Cairo’s Gamaliya district is near to where the author was born and the area was the inspiration for many of his stories and characters.

“I hope this museum becomes a center of cultural radiation and a tourist attraction.”

                                       Inas Abdel Dayem, Egypt’s culture minister

As well as displaying some of his personal belongings and handwritten texts, the museum includes a hall containing all his works, in modern and old editions, as well as seminar rooms, an audiovisual library and a library housing research and studies on Mahfouz’s works. His Nobel medal, however, is not on display and remains with his family.
Mahfouz’s daughter Umm Kulthum, who attended the opening, said she was happy that the dream of building the museum had been realized “after years of waiting.”