Libya uncertainty key issue for El-Sisi during Arab League Summit in Saudi Arabia

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi ahead of the Arab League Summit in Dhahran. AFP
Updated 16 April 2018
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Libya uncertainty key issue for El-Sisi during Arab League Summit in Saudi Arabia

  • Haftar is important for Egypt because he believes in the Libyan unity
  • UN is leading efforts to reunify the country

CAIRO: Uncertainty in Libya and the deadlock in Palestinian reconciliation efforts will be the main concerns of Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as he attends the Arab League Summit in Dhahran.
Buoyed by his recent resounding and controversial election victory, the Egyptian president will have much to discuss with Arab leaders.
Bassam Radi, a presidential spokesman, said El-Sisi would discuss with his Arab counterparts “important issues affecting Arab security” including developments in Syria, Yemen and Palestine.
El-Sisi’s prime concern is the situation in Libya, where fears are growing over the health of the military commander Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar, one of Libya’s key power brokers, is being treated in Paris after feeling unwell during a foreign tour and is expected to return to Libya within days, Ahmed Al-Mismari, a spokesman for Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), told Reuters on Saturday.
Rumors and contradictory reports about the seriousness of his condition swirled jn the Libyan media last week, especially as Haftar had not made any public appearances recently.
Haftar, 75, is the most powerful figure in eastern Libya and his LNA is aligned with a government based in the east which has opposed a rival government in the capital, Tripoli.
On Friday, UN Libya envoy Ghassan Salame and several Libyan officials said they had spoken to Haftar by phone.
Haftar won the backing of Egypt when he arrived as a stabilizing force confronting Islamist and extremist forces in the country’s east, which borders Egypt.
El-Sisi met the head of the Presidential Council of Libya Fayez Al-Sarraj in Dammam on Saturday and urged all the Libyan political factions to cooperate with the UN envoy to restore peace to the troubled state, according to presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi.
“This is the most important part of the Arab Summit agenda for Egypt since Libya’s situation affects the Egyptian national security. Egypt played a significant role and has invested politically to control the terrorist attacks on its Western borders,” said Mohamed Farahat, a political analyst.
“Haftar is important for Egypt because he believes in the Libyan unity and he also proposed a project to build the Libyan unified army and this is what makes him special as a leader.”
El-Sisi has also invested a lot of political capital in reconciling the two main warring Palestinian factions and a return to peace talks with Israel.
Abbas Kamel, senior political and security aide to El-Sisi, visited both Ramallah, home of the Palestinian Authority, and Tel Aviv last week to lay the groundwork for the Arab Summit to adopt a resolution expressing willingness to engage with a US peace plan.
The aim of the talks is not only to persuade Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to approve the launch of negotiations but to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to exercise restraint before what he sees as the perfect opportunity to deal a blow to Hezbollah and limit Iran’s presence in Syria.


Comoros minister praises Muslim World League's development work

Muslim World League Secretary-General Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa distributes aid packets among poor families in Comoros. (SPA)
Updated 27 April 2018
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Comoros minister praises Muslim World League's development work

  • The league’s contribution to the medical field totaled SR6,948,032
  • The league established six educational institutes more than 30 years ago

Comoros’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hamid Karhila, has commended the development efforts carried out by the Muslim World League (MWL) in his country. 

He also expressed his government’s gratitude to the MWL for its initiative launched by Secretary-General Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa.

Karhila said during a visit to the headquarters of the International Association for Relief, Care and Development (IARCD): “The new Comorian government aims to keep this cooperation with the MWL. This would help achieve more developmental and humanitarian projects that serve the Comorian people.”

Secretary-General of the IARCD Abdul Aziz Sarhan said: “The Muslim World League will continue to provide assistance and stand with the needy in all countries around the world.”

Sarhan said that the association carried out various humanitarian, medical and relief projects in the Comoros at a cost of SR10,916,645. These projects benefited 1,104,969 people between 2006 and 2017.

The league’s contribution to the medical field totaled SR6,948,032, which benefited 971,333 people. 

The league established six educational institutes more than 30 years ago. These institutes graduated thousands of students who occupy some of the highest positions in the Republic of the Comoros.

The MWL is also building a mosque at a cost of SR200,000 and working on the construction of an artesian well that cost SR130,000, as well as two surface wells at a cost of SR20,000.