Egypt detains another monk linked to abbot’s death

A man cries during the funeral of victims killed in the bombing of Cairo's Coptic cathedral, at the Mokattam Cemetery in Cairo, Egypt December 12, 2016. (Reuters)
Updated 12 August 2018

Egypt detains another monk linked to abbot’s death

  • The 33-year-old monk by his monastic name, Valtos
  • MENA said he is under police guard after an attempted suicide

CAIRO: Egyptian authorities have detained another monk as part of their investigation into the death of an abbot in a monastery north of Cairo last month.
The state-run MENA news agency identified the 33-year-old monk by his monastic name, Valtos, and said Sunday that he is under police guard after an attempted suicide.
Word of the arrest came a day after prosecutors said a detained and recently defrocked monk, identified as Isaiah, confessed to collaborating with others to kill Bishop Epiphanius, abbot of St. Macarius Monastery. The bishop was found dead on July 29.
His funeral was attended by Pope Tawadros II, the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Christians, one the world’s oldest Christian communities.


Erdogan hit by more arms bans as pressure grows over Syria invasion

Updated 16 October 2019

Erdogan hit by more arms bans as pressure grows over Syria invasion

  • United States threatens more sanctions
  • Britain, Spain and Sweden joined Germany and France in suspending military exports

ANKARA: Three more countries halted arms sales to Turkey on Tuesday as pressure mounted on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the Turkish invasion of northeast Syria.

Britain, Spain and Sweden joined Germany and France in suspending military exports, and the US threatened Ankara with more sanctions unless Erdogan halts the offensive.

“We will keep our defense exports to Turkey under very careful and continual review,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. “No further export licenses to Turkey for items which might be used in military operations in Syria will be granted while we conduct that review.”

Spain, a major arms exporter to Turkey, urged Erdogan to “put an end to this military operation” because it endangered regional stability, increased the number of refugees and threatened Syria’s territorial integrity.

“In coordination with its EU partners, Spain will deny new export licenses for military equipment that can be used in the operation in Syria,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Sweden also halted exports of military combat equipment. “Two permits that have been active have now been recalled,” it said.

BACKGROUND

Vice President Mike Pence will hold talks with Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday, and the UN Security Council will discuss the invasion.

Erdogan’s assault against Kurdish forces, launched last week, has prompted a chorus of international condemnation. “Many NATO allies are very critical and are condemning the military operation in northern Syria,” said Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO, the Western military alliance of which Turkey is a member.

Russia’s presidential envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, said Turkey had no right to deploy its forces in Syria permanently, and Moscow had not approved the operation.

US President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on Turkey on Monday, and on Tuesday the US said more sanctions would follow unless the invasion was halted.

“The plan is to continue the pressure on Turkey as we evaluate our chances to return the relationship to normal, a major element of that return to normal would be a cease-fire,” a senior administration official said. “And by cease-fire what I mean is forces on the ground stop moving on the ground.”

Vice President Mike Pence will hold talks with Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday, and the UN Security Council will discuss the invasion.