Egypt foreign minister to tour Gulf in push for political solution

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will embark on a Gulf tour and “will affirm Egypt’s firm position on the need to preserve Arab unity,” the ministry statement said. (AFP)
Updated 11 November 2017
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Egypt foreign minister to tour Gulf in push for political solution

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday dispatched his foreign minister for talks with Arab nations over the regional crisis triggered by the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, the ministry said.
Al-Hariri’s resignation has plunged Lebanon into crisis, heightening regional tensions.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will tour Jordan, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia for bilateral talks, but also to discuss regional developments with a message from El-Sisi, the ministry statement said.
“The foreign minister’s tour comes in the framework of permanent consultations between Egypt and Arab brothers on mutual relations and the conditions in the region, especially in the shadow of developments in Lebanon’s political arena,” it said.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the minister will confirm Egypt’s position on the need for Arab solidarity and to avoid negative fallout on regional security.
Shoukry “will affirm Egypt’s firm position on the need to preserve Arab unity,” the ministry statement said.
He will also “affirm Egypt’s policy... that pushes for political solutions to crises and the need to spare the region any more turmoil and polarization.”
El-Sisi told a press conference on Thursday that Egypt fully supported Gulf countries, whose security he called a “red line.”
But he also urged caution. “I am not for war. We have had our experience with war,” he said.
“The region faces enough turmoil already. We should approach (the tensions) extremely cautiously,” he added.


Russia to send modern S-300 missile defense systems to Syria

Updated 50 min 1 sec ago
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Russia to send modern S-300 missile defense systems to Syria

  • President Vladimir Putin has ordered additional security measures after a Syrian Soviet-era S-200 air defence missile shot down a Russian military plane by mistake
  • Russia will transfer the modern S-300 air defence system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks

MOSCOW: Moscow will bolster Syria's air defence with a S-300 system and jam radars of military planes striking from off the coast of the Mediterranean following the downing of a Russian plane, its military chief said.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that President Vladimir Putin has ordered additional security measures after a Syrian Soviet-era S-200 air defence missile shot down a Russian military plane by mistake, killing 15, in an incident last week that Moscow blames on Israel.
"This has pushed us to adopt adequate response measures directed at boosting the security of Russian troops" in Syria, Shoigu said in a televised statement.
"(Russia will) transfer the modern S-300 air defence system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks."
Syrian military had already been trained to use the system, which was set to be sent over in 2013 but was held up "at the request of Israel," Shoigu said.
"In regions near Syria over the Mediterranean Sea, there will be radio-electronic suppression of satellite navigation, on-board radar systems and communication systems of military aviation attacking objects on Syrian territory."
Moscow says Israeli F-16 planes which struck Latakia in western Syria on September 17 later used the landing Russian Il-20 surveillance plane as a "cover," which resulted in the Il-20 being struck by a Syrian air defence missile.
"We are certain that the realisation of these measures will cool the 'hot heads' and will keep them from poorly thought-out actions which threaten our servicemen," Shoigu said.