Turkish President Erdogan lashes out at El-Sisi over Egypt executions

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also attacked Western countries which, according to him, ‘roll out the red carpet’ for his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. (AFP)
Updated 24 February 2019

Turkish President Erdogan lashes out at El-Sisi over Egypt executions

  • ‘They killed nine young people recently. This is not something we can accept’
  • Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been virtually non-existent since the Egyptian military in 2013 ousted president Mohamed Morsi

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sharply criticized his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi after the recent execution of nine people in Egypt, saying he refused to talk to “someone like him.”
“They killed nine young people recently. This is not something we can accept,” Erdogan said Saturday in an interview with Turkish TV channels CNN-Turk and Kanal D, referring to the execution Wednesday of nine men sentenced for the murder of the Egyptian prosecutor general in 2015.
“Of course, we are going to be told that it is a decision of the judiciary, but there, justice, elections, all that, are codswallop. There is an authoritarian system, even totalitarian,” Erdogan added.
“Now, I am answering those who wonder why Tayyip Erdogan does not speak to El-Sisi, because there are mediators who come here sometimes, but I will never talk to someone like him,” he said.
Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been virtually non-existent since the Egyptian military, then led by El-Sisi, in 2013 ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, a close ally of Erdogan.
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood is outlawed in Egypt but members of the group have sought refuge in Turkey.
Erdogan, who denounced Morsi’s ouster, sometimes draws a parallel with the failed coup against himself in 2016.
The Turkish president also called for the release of Muslim Brotherhood prisoners in Egypt.
“First of all, he should release all those imprisoned with a general amnesty. As long as these people have not been released, we will not be able to talk with El-Sisi,” he said.
Erdogan also attacked Western countries which, according to him, “roll out the red carpet” for El-Sisi and turn a blind eye to the latest executions in Egypt.
“Where are the Westerners? Have you heard their voices?” he said.
“On the other hand, when it comes to people imprisoned in our country (Turkey), they scream bloody murder.”
Amnesty International condemned the executions of the men, who it said were convicted in trials marred by torture allegations.


Arab ministers warn of oil spill disasters in the Red Sea

Updated 9 min 54 sec ago

Arab ministers warn of oil spill disasters in the Red Sea

  • The session was held at Saudi Arabia’s request to discuss ways of avoiding a disaster in the Red Sea

Arab ministers have warned of oil spill disasters in the Red Sea and called on international and regional bodies to maintain maritime security in the area.

An Arab League video conference session on Monday brought together ministers responsible for environmental affairs.

The session was held at Saudi Arabia’s request to discuss ways of avoiding a disaster in the Red Sea because of an oil tanker that has been anchored off Yemen’s Ras Isa port since 2015.

The Houthis have prevented international engineers from boarding the vessel to carry out essential repairs and there are fears that the oil it contains will start to seep out as the tanker’s condition deteriorates.

Ambassador Kamal Hassan Ali, assistant secretary-general and head of the economic affairs sector at the Arab League, said that the meeting concluded with foreign ministers being requested to take political action as the oil disaster threat was a matter of politics and security.

The meeting also requested that the league’s general secretariat communicate with the regional and international bodies of countries bordering the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden to preserve the environment and provide technical support in order to submit a report on spillage risks.

Hassan said that finding an appropriate solution to avoid an environmental catastrophe was of major regional and global importance because the scale of such a disaster would threaten marine life, biodiversity, international shipping lines and ports in that location.

He said that the region was facing major challenges that demanded solidarity and unity in all fields, including the environment.

Environmental challenges did not respect borders, he added, and maintaining a healthy environment for the region was a collective issue that required joint effort through plans and strategies adhering to local, regional and international agreements and laws.

Hassan regarded the participation of Arab ministers responsible for environmental affairs in the session as evidence of the importance that regional environmental security held for them, their countries and the region in terms of stability and people’s well-being.

He emphasized the close link between the environment and development, which had led to the emergence of the concept of sustainable development.

The preservation of oceans, seas, marine resources and their sustainable use was one of the most important development goals, he said.