Prince Charles discusses religious tolerance with Egyptian PhD students in London

Students from Al-Azhar University met with Prince Charles in London. (Courtesy Al-Masry Al-Youm)
Updated 19 March 2018
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Prince Charles discusses religious tolerance with Egyptian PhD students in London

LONDON: Prince Charles met with a group of Egyptian students from Cairo’s Al-Azhar University to discuss religious tolerance and efforts at combatting terrorism, said a spokesperson for the British Embassy in Cairo.

Six students from a scholarship program between the UK and Al-Azhar Univeristy met with Prince Charles at his residence in London.

The students, who are currently pursuing their PhDs at several British universities, are part of a Religious Studies Scholarship established in 2015 by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and the British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson.

The grant seeks to promote dialogue between cultures and religions. Since 2016, six scholarships have been awarded and each grant is valued at more than £170,000 per candidate.

The reception was attended by both Ambassador Casson and the director of the British Council in Egypt, Jeff Streeter.

“We’re proud to partner with Al-Azhar to encourage dialogue and support young faith leaders like the six Egyptian students here today, in order to promote the values of peace, openness and tolerance,” said Ambassador Casson.

It is planned to raise a further £2m to provide for 15 more scholarships from now until 2025.

The meeting came after the recent death of an Egyptian engineering student in the UK, who was severely beaten and subsequently died, following an attack by a group of young women.


Calm in Hodeidah as observers move in to monitor cease-fire

Sporadic clashes continued until about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, but residents said there was calm after that. (AFP)
Updated 59 min 31 sec ago
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Calm in Hodeidah as observers move in to monitor cease-fire

  • “Both parties said publicly they are abiding by the cease-fire,” a UN official said
  • The truce in Hodeidah officially began at midnight on Monday

JEDDAH: Truce monitoring observers will be deployed in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah on Wednesday as the first 24 hours of a UN-brokered cease-fire passed without incident.

The Redeployment Coordination Committee comprises members of the Yemeni government supported by the Saudi-led coalition, and Houthi militias backed by Iran, and is overseen by the UN. 

The head of the committee will report to the UN Security Council every week.

Deployment of the observers is the latest stage in a peace deal reached after talks last week in Sweden. Both sides in the conflict agreed to a cease-fire in Hodeidah and the withdrawal of their forces within 21 days.

“Both parties said publicly they are abiding by the cease-fire,” a UN official said on Tuesday.

Local authorities and police will run the city and its three port facilities under UN supervision, and the two sides are barred from bringing in reinforcements.

UN envoy Martin Griffith said the committee was expected to start its work swiftly “to translate the momentum built up in Sweden into achievements on the ground.”

The truce in Hodeidah officially began at midnight on Monday. Sporadic clashes continued until about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, but residents said there was calm after that. 

“We are hopeful that things will go back to the way they were and that there will be no aggression, no airstrikes and lasting security,” said one, Amani Mohammed.

Another resident, Mohammed Al-Saikel, said he was optimistic the cease-fire would pave the way for a broader truce. “We are hopeful about this cease-fire in Hodeidah and one for Yemen in general,” he said. “We will reach out in peace to whoever does the same.”

The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution that asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to submit proposals by the end of the month on how to monitor the cease-fire.

The resolution, submitted by the UK, “calls on all parties to the conflict to take further steps to facilitate the unhindered flow of commercial and humanitarian supplies including food, fuel, medicine and other essential imports and humanitarian personnel into and across the country.”