Egypt calls for anti-Daesh coalition to prioritise Africa 

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In a video conference held by the coalition, Sameh Shoukry said Egypt’s efforts in curbing the group’s ambitions would continue. (Courtesy: @MFAEgypt)
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The meeting included 31 representatives who met at the invitation of Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio and US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo. (Courtesy: Theglobalcoalition.org)
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Updated 04 June 2020

Egypt calls for anti-Daesh coalition to prioritise Africa 

  • Shoukry said the coalition would prevent the extremists from exploiting the coronavirus pandemic
  • The FM was concerned about the emerging threat posed from Daesh in West Africa and the Sahel

CAIRO: Egypt’s foreign minister said Thursday that the coalition to defeat Daesh must prioritise the extremist group’s growing threat in Africa.
In a video conference held by the coalition, Sameh Shoukry said the coalition efforts in curbing the group’s ambitions must continue.
Shoukry said the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh should prevent the extremists from exploiting the coronavirus pandemic, according to Ahmad Hafez, Shoukry’s advisor.
Hafez said the foreign minister was concerned about the emerging threat posed from Daesh in West Africa and the Sahel, and that the coalition needed to make this a top priority. 
But Shoukry said the coalition needs to complete efforts to defeat Daesh and prevent it from reshaping itself in Iraq and Syria. The coalition must ensure the group and its affiliates are unable to reconstitute any territorial enclave, he added.  
The meeting included 31 representatives who met at the invitation of Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio and US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo.
The coalition ministers reaffirmed their belief that this comprehensive effort is necessary to achieve a full and enduring defeat of Daesh worldwide.
Pompeo urged the 31 member states to step up funding to defeat the group despite a budget crunch caused by the pandemic.
A US raid last year killed the group’s leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
“That said, our fight against ISIS (Daesh) continues, and will for the foreseeable future. We cannot rest,” Pompeo told the conference.
“We must continue to root out ISIS cells and networks and provide stabilization assistance to liberated areas in Iraq and Syria,” he said.
He asked nations to pledge toward a goal of more than $700 million for 2020.


Iran breaks its record for most new coronavirus cases in one day

Updated 35 min 36 sec ago

Iran breaks its record for most new coronavirus cases in one day

  • Iran, which emerged early on as an epicenter of the virus, has seen its worst wave of deaths from the illness in recent weeks
TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday reported its highest single-day toll of new coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic with more than 5,000 new infections, as the country struggles to cope with a surge in transmission.
Iran’s health ministry also reported that 322 people had died from the virus, pushing the death toll over 31,000. The new infection count on Tuesday eclipsed the previous high of 4,830 last week, shining a light on the nation’s floundering efforts to combat the virus.
Iran, which emerged early on as an epicenter of the virus, has seen its worst wave of deaths from the illness in recent weeks. Monday’s death toll shattered its previous single-day record, prompting state news outlets to declare it a “black day.”
Hospitals in the hard-hit capital of Tehran are overflowing. Last week, health officials announced that the city had run out of intensive care beds for virus patients.
The increase comes after Iranians packed cafes and restaurants at vacation spots during recent national holidays, and after schools reopened for in-person instruction last month.
The government has resisted a total lockdown because it does not want to further weaken an economy already devastated by unprecedented US sanctions. The Trump administration re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran after withdrawing in 2018 from Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers.
With the death toll skyrocketing, authorities are now starting to impose more restrictions. The government closed museums, libraries, beauty salons, schools and universities in Tehran earlier this month, and imposed a mask mandate outdoors.