Trump committed to working to de-escalate Gulf tensions

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Reuters)
Updated 06 June 2017
0

Trump committed to working to de-escalate Gulf tensions

WASHINGTON: The White House said US President Donald Trump is committed to working to de-escalate tensions in the Guf.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Sydney that the decision would not affect the fight against terrorists and that Washington had urged its Gulf allies to resolve their differences.
Meanwhile, Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is also an adviser to King Salman, met with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah late on Monday during a short visit.
Kuwait’s official news agency said that Prince Khaled delivered a letter from King Salman to the Kuwaiti emir that discussed bilateral ties between the two Gulf countries and the latest regional developments.
Kuwait’s emir urged his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to exercise restraint and refrain from steps that would escalate the situation, according to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
Sheikh Sabah in a phone call with the Qatari emir hoped Sheikh Tamim would give a chance to efforts aimed at “containing tension in brotherly relations among brothers.”
Kuwait appears to be trying to play a neutral and potentially mediating role between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain. Qatar’s ruler had visited Kuwait’s ruler last week.
Kuwait and Oman have not severed ties with Qatar and have not issued statements about the political standoff.
An Omani Foreign Ministry official arrived in Qatar Monday night. The ministry on Twitter described the visit as planned before the crisis.
In another development, a Somali civil aviation official said at least 15 Qatar Airways flights used Somalia’s airspace since Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations moved to sever links with the Gulf nation.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters, said that before the Gulf diplomatic crisis erupted, just one or two Qatar Airways planes flew over Somalia each day.
Separately, Iran’s foreign minister spoke with his Qatari counterpart after Monday’s developments.


Egypt court upholds corruption conviction of Mubarak, sons

Updated 22 September 2018
0

Egypt court upholds corruption conviction of Mubarak, sons

  • Saturday’s ruling by the Court of Cessation dashed any hope that Gamal Mubarak could run for public office.
  • Mubarak’s two sons are currently on trial for insider trading.

CAIRO: Egypt's highest appeals court on Saturday rejected a motion by former president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons to overturn their conviction on corruption charges.
The ruling by the Court of Cessation, Egypt's final recourse for appeals in criminal cases, dashed any hope that Gamal, Mubarak's younger son and one-time heir apparent, could run for public office. A senior newspaper editor and confidant of Egypt's current president had recently suggested that banker-turned-politician Gamal may have been contemplating the move.
The Mubarak trio was sentenced to three years each for embezzling funds meant for maintenance of presidential palaces but which they spent on upgrading or building private residences. The sons were released in 2015 for time served, while their father was freed last year. They repaid the funds, a total of 125 million pounds (about $7 million).
Mubarak's sons are currently on trial for insider trading. They are free on bail after a judge on Thursday overturned a surprise Sept. 15 ruling to detain them. The case's next hearing is on Oct. 20.
The rejection of their appeal Saturday and Gamal Mubarak's subsequent ineligibility to run for office came in the wake of recent comments by the chief editor of state-run Al-Akhbar publications, Yasser Rizq, who suggested that frequent public appearances by the younger Mubarak could be a prelude to a future presidential run.
Rizq first warned Gamal Mubarak against harboring presidential ambitions in an article published in May. He repeated the warning in a television interview aired earlier this week.
"His real crime is insulting the dignity of the Egyptian people," Rizq said, alluding to Gamal's one-time intention to succeed his father. It violated the constitution and amounted to the toppling of republican rule, he explained. He said it was not improbable that he would strike a political deal with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to secure the group's return to politics in exchange for its support in a presidential bid in 2022, when President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi's second term ends.
Preventing Gamal from succeeding his father was among the main drivers of a 2011 uprising that ended Mubarak's 29-year rule, as well as the military's support for it. The years that followed saw Mubarak regime heavyweights tried on corruption or abuse of power charges. Most have since walked free, while second-string regime loyalists found their way back to public life under El-Sissi.