Egypt’s President El-Sisi makes whirlwind visit to Jordan

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King Abdullah II of Jordan (L) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi review an honor guard at Marka International Aiport, in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 13, 2018. (AFP)
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King Abdullah II of Jordan (R) welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at Marka International Aiport, in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 13, 2018. (AFP)
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King Abdullah II of Jordan (R) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi review an honor guard at Marka International Aiport, in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 13, 2018. / AFP / Khalil MAZRAAWI
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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi arrives at Marka International Aiport, in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 13, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 13 January 2019

Egypt’s President El-Sisi makes whirlwind visit to Jordan

  • Egypt might try to lobby Jordan to push the Palestinians into accepting the US peace plan
  • Egypt and Jordan must prepare for what comes next in Syria, says expert

AMMAN: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has visited Jordan to meet King Abdullah II to discuss regional political and economic issues, as well as Palestine and Syria.
Mamdouh Abadi, the former Jordanian prime minister, told Arab News he believed the visit was largely about Iran and Syria. “The timing of the visit, just after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s tour of the region, makes me think the visit was not about Palestine, but about Syria.” 
Veteran politician Abadi added: “I am happy there was a visit. I hope that President El-Sisi discusses Syria with others. Now that the UAE has restored ties with Damascus, this should loosen the regional boycott of Syria.”
Lamis Andoni, a veteran commentator on US-Arab relations, told Arab News he thought there was a clear link between the visit of Pompeo and suggestions of the creation of a pan-Arab military alliance.
“Jordan has no choice but to improve relations with Egypt. Egypt and Jordan must prepare for what comes next in Syria.”
Andoni believes that the problems lie with the Trump administration’s haphazard foreign policy. “All of a sudden, Washington decides something, and wants regional partners to produce results according to its vision,” he said. “If an Arab ‘NATO’ force is created, will it be asked to help remove Iran from Syria?”
Anis F. Kassim, editor of the Palestinian Yearbook of International Law, however, was not convinced that the Palestinian issue was not discussed at the meeting in Amman. 
Kassim told Arab News he worried Egypt might try to lobby Jordan to push the Palestinians into accepting the US peace plan. “Jordan has been a strong opponent to the ‘Deal of the Century,’ and when it comes to Jerusalem it is more principled than the Palestinian leadership,” he said.
The meeting in Amman was also attended by Jordan’s crown prince, Hussein Bin Abdullah, the Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi, and Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry.


Egypt sets virus vaccine target

Updated 9 min 31 sec ago

Egypt sets virus vaccine target

  • Volunteers will be closely monitored in order to take a second dose after 21 days

CAIRO: Assistant Health Minister and Coordinator of the Anti-COVID-19 Scientific Committee Ihab Kamal said that 842 people have volunteered in just one week to take part in Egypt’s coronavirus vaccine trials.

About 332 have been admitted in accordance with the health ministry’s requirements, which include being free from chronic disease.

Kamal said: “The number of volunteers until now is not low. We are working on raising the awareness of the citizens through various media platforms on the importance of the vaccine tests.” He added that the required number of volunteers is 6000.

He said the first two phases of the vaccine tests are complete and the third phase has begun. He added that volunteers are called for 21 days, pointing out that volunteers take a second dose in case they do not suffer any side effects. Kamal said the blood’s antibodies are measured throughout the year as part of the program.

Egyptian Minister of Health Hala Zayed announced on Thursday that she had launched the third and final phase of clinical trials on two vaccines developed by Egypt. She said the results of the two vaccine trials are positive so far.

Sources said that the Ministry of Health and the three centers taking part in the trials have received many applications. However, many of the applicants do not match the prerequisites, and therefore only 335 were accepted for the trials.

Zayed said in a press conference in Cairo that the current phase targets the participation of 6000 Egyptians. She said there are three places allocated for clinical trials.

Volunteers will be closely monitored in order to take a second dose after 21 days. After 45 days of the first dose, antibodies produced by the vaccine are measured to test their efficiency, Zayed said.

She said that national medical committees have been formed from civil and military bodies representing Egypt’s best medical experts.

She added that a committee will oversee conducting the clinical trials and that two vaccines out of seven have reached the third phase of clinical trials.

Zayed said that the first phase of the two vaccines included a test on a small group of 10 to 20 people with the aim of ensuring safety and also determining an appropriate dose. About 200 people took part in the second phase.

The third phase aimed included trials on 45,000 people from around the world, including 6,000 Egyptians.

The Ministry of Health and the company responsible for conducting the clinical trials explained the conditions that volunteers must follow to be eligible for tests.

They include an age bracket from 18 to 60 years old according to health condition. Registration must also be carried out using official documents. Volunteers must reside in Egypt or have valid residency documents during the trial period. Moreover, volunteers must sign an “informed consent” form prior to taking part in the trial.

There are a number of health conditions that prevent volunteers from taking part in the trials, including suffering from the symptoms of fever, dry cough, exhaustion and gonorrhea during the 14 days that precede the tests.