Christians, Muslims join hands against terror in Egypt

Egypt's Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed al-Tayeb (L) delivers a speech during a conference titled 'íFreedom and citizenshipíí hosted by Al-Azhar, one of the leading Sunni Muslim authorities based in Cairo, on Tuesday. (AFP)
Updated 01 March 2017
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Christians, Muslims join hands against terror in Egypt

CAIRO: Top Muslim and Christian clerics from the Middle East gathered in Cairo on Tuesday for a two-day conference on promoting coexistence as sectarian conflict continues to ravage the region.
The “Freedom and Citizenship” conference is hosted by Al-Azhar, one of the leading Islamic seat of learning. It comes as Coptic Christians in Egypt’s Sinai flee attacks by Daesh group who is waging an insurgency in the peninsula.
“Exonerating religions from terrorism no longer suffices in the face of these barbaric challenges,” Al-Azhar’s head Sheikh Ahmed Tayeb said in a speech on the opening day, referring to regional conflicts.
Tayeb called for dispelling “the lingering mistrust and tensions between religious leaders that are no longer justified, for if there is no peace between the proponents of religions first, the proponents cannot give it to the people.”
Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II called for “fighting extremist thought with enlightened thought.”
He said: “Egypt and the region have suffered from extremist thought resulting from a mistaken understanding of religion that has led to terrorism.”
Meanwhile, police arrested 22 people after hundreds went on a rampage in Egypt’s coastal city of Port Said to protest death sentences for 10 residents for their part in a deadly 2012 soccer riot.
The officials say protesters set tires ablaze, torched two police cars and pelted policemen with rocks on Monday night in the Mediterranean city’s low-income residential area of Fatimah Al-Zahraa.


UN envoy says ‘robust monitoring regime’ urgently needed in Yemen, Saudi hails Yemen accord

Updated 25 min 58 sec ago
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UN envoy says ‘robust monitoring regime’ urgently needed in Yemen, Saudi hails Yemen accord

  • The withdrawal of armed forces from the Yemeni port of Hodeidah will happen within days
  • Saudi Arabia says it is committed to reaching a political solution that guarantees the security and stability of Yemen

JEDDAH: UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths on Friday urged the creation of a “robust and competent monitoring regime” in war-ravaged Yemen, one day after fighting parties agreed to a cease-fire at a vital port.
“A robust and competent monitoring regime is not just essential. It is also urgently needed,” Griffiths told the Security Council, adding that “allowing the UN the lead role in the ports is the vital first step.”
If implemented, the deal on Hodeidah port, a key gateway for aid and food imports, could bring relief to a country where 14 million people stand on the brink of famine.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on Friday hailed the accord reached at the UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden.
Yemen’s warring parties on Thursday agreed to a cease-fire on a vital port in a series of breakthroughs in the talks.
In a statement by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kingdom backed “the agreements reached in Sweden in UN-sponsored talks between a delegation of Yemen’s legitimate government and the Houthi rebels,” the official SPA news agency reported.
“The Kingdom remains engaged in the search for a political solution in Yemen which guarantees the security and stability of the country,” the statement said.
The statement also called on the Iran-aligned Houthis to “embark on this path” toward a political solution.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry also said on Friday that it welcomed the agreement between Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the Houthi militia. 
The ministry said that the Kingdom was committed to reaching a political solution that guarantees the security and stability of Yemen.
The handing over of the port of Hodeidah to the control of the United Nations will help to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, the ministry stressed.