Cairo International Book Fair postponed due to COVID-19

Cairo International Book Fair postponed due to COVID-19
A security guard checks the temperature of a man before he enters a mosque in Cairo on Monday. (Reuters)
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Updated 25 November 2020

Cairo International Book Fair postponed due to COVID-19

Cairo International Book Fair postponed due to COVID-19
  • The committee discussed developments in the world over the pandemic and its impact on other book fairs

CAIRO: The Supreme Administrative Committee of the Cairo International Book Fair announced that this year’s fair will be postponed to June 30, 2021, due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The committee, headed by Enas Abdel Dayem, Egypt’s minister of culture, also decided to add an additional four days to the delayed festival schedule, seeing it run until July 15.

Greece was set to participate in the festival, and arrangements are being made to ensure continuity for next year’s event to celebrate the depth of historical and cultural relations between the two countries. According to an official statement, the committee discussed developments in the world over the pandemic and its impact on other book fairs, which has led to multiple other cancellations and postponements.

The meeting discussed the participation of international institutions and Arab and foreign publishers, who are expected to face difficulty traveling between countries due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Saeed Abdo, president of the Egyptian Publishers Union, said that the decision was inevitable.

“We are linked to foreign publishers, not just Egyptians, and there is great difficulty in traveling between countries, so we decided to postpone it until June,” Abdo said.

“The postponement will not affect those involved in the fair, but will provide the opportunity for the participation of a larger number of people,” he added.


Italy lauds decree on Palestinian elections

Italy lauds decree on Palestinian elections
Updated 13 min 55 sec ago

Italy lauds decree on Palestinian elections

Italy lauds decree on Palestinian elections
  • Italy’s government said it is “ready to support, along with the EU, the Palestinian electoral process"

ROME: Italy has welcomed the signing of a decree by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to hold general elections this year, and urged Israeli authorities to facilitate their holding in all Palestinian territories.

“We are talking about a positive development to ensure the rights of the Palestinian people and strengthen local authorities, to which Italy continues to provide constant support, including through targeted programs of bilateral cooperation,” said a spokesman for Italy’s Foreign Ministry.

Elections “would contribute to strengthening the legitimacy of, and international confidence in, Palestinian institutions,” he added. Italy’s government said it is “ready to support, along with the EU, the Palestinian electoral process.”

The upcoming Palestinian elections would be the first in 15 years. Elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) will be held on May 22, and presidential elections will be held on July 31.

A 120-seat Parliament will be formed. Voting will take place both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies said the decree by Abbas represents an “important opening” for US President-elect Joe Biden.

“It is good news for the entire Middle East, where Italy has always been an advocate for peace, dialogue and stability,” it added.