Egypt’s Sissi orders cabinet to help resettle Sinai Christians feeing Daesh

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi meets with leaders of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the Egyptian National Police at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairoon Thursday, in this picture courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency.
Updated 25 February 2017

Egypt’s Sissi orders cabinet to help resettle Sinai Christians feeing Daesh

CAIRO: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday ordered the government to take all necessary measures to help resettle Christians who have fled Egypt’s Northern Sinai after Daesh killed several members of the community.
Hundreds of Christian families and students have fled to Ismailia, north Sinai’s neighboring province, after seven Christians were killed in Arish between Jan. 30 and Thursday.
Daesh, which is waging an insurgency there, claimed responsibility for the killings, five of which were shootings. One man was beheaded and another set on fire.
Sissi held a meeting on Saturday with the prime minister, ministers of defense, interior, intelligence among other officials to discuss “the importance to resist all attempts to sabotage stability and security in Egypt,” the statement said.
Sissi had also “directed the government to take all necessary measures to facilitate settlements for citizens in their set resettled areas.”
Orthodox Copts, who comprise about 10 percent of Egypt’s 90 million people, are the Middle East’s largest Christian community. They have long complained of persecution.
In December, Daesh claimed responsibility for bombing a chapel adjoining Cairo’s St. Mark’s Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic papacy, killing 28 people, mostly women and children.


GCC urges UN to extend Iran arms embargo 

The GCC — flag pictured — i comprised of six Arab Gulf nations: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. (File/AP)
Updated 09 August 2020

GCC urges UN to extend Iran arms embargo 

  • Letter from head of GCC says an extension is imperative to “ensure and preserve peace” in the Middle East.

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has asked the UN to extend an international arms embargo on Iran.

A letter sent by the GCC’s secretary general, Nayef Al-Hajraf, to the Security Council cites Tehran’s support for terrorism and its hostile actions against neighbouring countries as reasons to back an extension.

The embargo prevents the movement of conventional weaponry in and out of Iran, and is set to expire on Oct. 18 as part of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The agreement with international powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), provided sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for the regime curtailing its nuclear program.

In the letter, Al-Hajraf, points out that, in violation of the deal, Iran has “continued to proliferate conventional weapons and armed terrorist and sectarian organizations and movements throughout the region.”

It also said Tehran “has not desisted from armed interventions in neighboring countries, directly and through organizations and movements armed and trained by Iran.”

The embargo’s restrictions, the letter states, are “imperative to ensure and preserve peace and stability in this region.”

The US has also been pushing heavily for an extension to the arms embargo, warning that lifting it could have dire consequences.

In June, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cautioned that, if the embargo is terminated, “Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapons systems” and would “become an arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world.”

Pompeo added: “This is unacceptable.”

Russia and China, two of the permanent five members of the UN’s Security Council with veto power, want the arms embargo to lift as scheduled on Oct. 18.

Should that happen, the US has warned that it could introduce “snap back” sanctions built into the original 2015 deal, unilaterally restoring all UN sanctions on Tehran.