Pope expresses ‘pain’ over attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt

Pope Francis said he would pray for the victims of the attack that killed seven. (AFP)
Updated 04 November 2018
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Pope expresses ‘pain’ over attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt

  • Seven Coptic Christians were killed in a terror attack claimed by the Daesh group in Egypt
  • 19 suspected militants linked to the deadly attack were killed in a shootout with police

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis said he was pained Sunday over an attack, claimed by Daesh, on Coptic Christians in Egypt which left seven dead.
“I express my pain after the terrorist attack which two days ago hit the Coptic Orthodox church in Egypt,” Francis said in Saint Peter’s.
“I pray for the victims, pilgrims killed just because they were Christian,” he added.
In Egypt, 19 suspected militants linked to the deadly attack were killed in a shootout with police, the interior ministry said Sunday.
The Daesh group said it was behind Friday’s attack near the central city of Minya as the Copts returned from a visit to the desert cemetery of Saint Samuel that was also targeted in 2017.


Arab League chief warns no Middle East peace deal without Palestinian state

Updated 11 min 15 sec ago
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Arab League chief warns no Middle East peace deal without Palestinian state

  • US-led conference will be held next week in Bahrain on proposals for the Palestinian economy
  • The Palestinian leadership is boycotting the conference

CAIRO: The head of the Arab League warned Monday that attempts to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict will be in vain without the establishment of a Palestinian state on all territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit’s comments appeared directed at a still unpublished peace plan that Donald Trump has dubbed the “deal of the century.” As part of the plan, a US-led conference will be held next week in Bahrain on proposals for the Palestinian economy.
The Palestinian leadership is boycotting the conference, saying Trump’s peace plan is likely to be heavily weighted in favor of Israel and to quash their aspirations for statehood in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
While the precise outlines of the draft plan have yet to be revealed, Palestinian and Arab sources who have been briefed on it say it jettisons the two-state solution.
“Whatever is rejected by the Palestinian or the Arab side is unacceptable,” Aboul Gheit said during an event at the Arab League.
“What is acceptable from our side as Arabs as a solution is the establishment of a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital,” he added.
Aboul Gheit said that Israel’s acceptance of an Arab Peace Initiative drawn up by Saudi Arabia in 2002, which offers Israel normal ties in return for withdrawal from territory captured in 1967, was the only acceptable solution for Arab states.
“If (Israel) chooses the only reasonable and accepted way from our side as Arabs, which is the establishment of a Palestinian state ... it will be accepted in the region as a normal regional partner,” he said.
Last week, a White House official said Egypt, Jordan and Morocco planned to attend the Bahrain conference.
Palestinians urged Egypt and Jordan to reconsider their attendance at the US-led conference in Bahrain, voicing concern it would weaken any Arab opposition to Washington’s coming peace plan.