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.


Iran’s President Rouhani clashes with General Soleimani over Revolutionary guards funding: Reports

Updated 4 min 44 sec ago
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Iran’s President Rouhani clashes with General Soleimani over Revolutionary guards funding: Reports

LONDON: Iranian president Ali Rouhani clashed recently with General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Quds Brigade, over the Republican guard’s budget, according to Iranian media reports.

An Iranian paper quoted by Al-Arabiya said that the verbal clash between the two leaders took place at a Eid Al-Fitr reception in Tehran.

Solaimani is reported to have warned the president from reducing the Revolutionary Guard’s budget, but Rouhani apparently responded angrily according to the Iranian sources.

The confrontation between the two leaders was such that it necessitated the intervention of the head of the Iranian National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, who reconciled the two.

Iranian leadership disagreement about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s role, cost of operation and interventions in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen have risen to the surface recently.

The tensions come after the US renewed its pressure on Tehran questioning its role in the region and its tacit support for terrorism.

The US representative at the UN, Nikki Haley, has recently revealed that Iran spends over $6 billion annually to keep the Assad regime in Syria afloat, in addition to a million more to support allied militia like the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.