Egyptian president directs the restoration of Al-Bayt shrines

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (AFP file photo)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 26 July 2021

Egyptian president directs the restoration of Al-Bayt shrines

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (AFP file photo)
  • El-Sisi directed the establishment of a new central headquarters of international organizations in the diplomatic district

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has directed the restoration of the shrines of the Al-Bayt family, especially the tombs of Sayyida Nafisa, Sayyida Zainab and Imam Hussein bin Ali.
The Egyptian presidency said that El-Sisi met with the head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, Ihab El-Far, and discussed the restoration of the interior halls of mosques and their sophisticated architectural decorations.
The restorations will be in keeping with the historical pedigree of the sites. The development of the surrounding roads, squares and other facilities will also match the heritage of the shrines.
The Al-Ashraf Syndicate — descendants of the Prophet Muhammad and his immediate family — thanked El-Sisi for his directives to develop the shrines of the Al-Bayt mosques.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The restorations will be in keeping with the historical pedigree of the sites.

• The development of the surrounding roads, squares and other facilities will also match the heritage of the shrines.

“President El-Sisi’s interest in developing the shrines and mosques of Al-Bayt confirms his constant keenness to develop Egypt’s civilized Islamic front … and we will see valuable architectural masterpieces after completing their restoration and development,” the statement said.
El-Sisi also directed the establishment of a new central headquarters of international organizations in the diplomatic district. In a meeting to discuss the new location, participants covered the development of the diplomatic quarter in accordance with the UN, and how it would adhere to international architectural standards.
Elsewhere, Jehan Abd El-Moneim, deputy governor of Cairo for the southern region, confirmed that the development of the Sayyida Ruqayya shrine has been completed.


IAEA says Iran refused to allow monitors access to Tesa Karaj centrifuge assembly site

IAEA says Iran refused to allow monitors access to Tesa Karaj centrifuge assembly site
Updated 11 sec ago

IAEA says Iran refused to allow monitors access to Tesa Karaj centrifuge assembly site

IAEA says Iran refused to allow monitors access to Tesa Karaj centrifuge assembly site
  • Iran failed to fully honor agreement on monitoring equipment, IAEA says

VIENNA: Iran has failed to fully honor the terms of a deal struck with the UN nuclear watchdog two weeks ago allowing inspectors to service monitoring equipment in the country, the watchdog said on Sunday.
Iran allowed International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to replace memory cards in most of the equipment, as agreed on Sept. 12, the IAEA said. But it did not allowed that to happen at a workshop that makes centrifuge components at the TESA Karaj complex, the watchdog added.
“The (IAEA) Director General (Rafael Grossi) stresses that Iran’s decision not to allow Agency access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop is contrary to the agreed terms of the Joint Statement issued on 12 September,” the IAEA said.


Algeria postpones trial of Bouteflika’s brother

Algeria postpones trial of Bouteflika’s brother
Updated 26 September 2021

Algeria postpones trial of Bouteflika’s brother

Algeria postpones trial of Bouteflika’s brother
  • The corruption trial of ousted Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s younger brother, slated to begin this month, will be postponed for two weeks
  • He remains in custody on corruption charges, along with several other political and business leaders from the Bouteflika era

ALGIERS: A court in the Algerian capital on Sunday postponed the corruption trial of the younger brother of ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who died this month, local media reported.
Defense lawyer Miloud Brahimi requested the postponement, citing Said Bouteflika’s “psychological condition” after the Sept. 17 death of his brother.
Algerian media said the 63-year-old who served as presidential adviser appeared pale and weak at the court hearing.
The trial of Bouteflika and several co-defendants in the capital’s Dar el-Beida suburb was delayed until Oct. 10, but a defense request for their release on bail was turned down.
Said Bouteflika was detained in May 2019, a month after his brother quit office following mass protests against his bid for a fifth presidential term.
Said was sentenced to 15 years in prison for “plotting” against the army and the state, but a retrial in January cleared him of those charges.
He remains in custody on corruption charges, along with several other political and business leaders from the Bouteflika era.
The once-mighty presidential aide was long seen as the real power running the North African country after his brother suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013.


Gaza to begin rebuilding homes destroyed in May conflict

Gaza to begin rebuilding homes destroyed in May conflict
Updated 26 September 2021

Gaza to begin rebuilding homes destroyed in May conflict

Gaza to begin rebuilding homes destroyed in May conflict
  • About 1,800 destroyed or damaged homes will be rebuilt in the first phase of work, according to an official
  • Palestinian officials say 250 people, including 66 children, were killed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza

GAZA: The reconstruction of homes in Gaza that were destroyed or damaged in the May conflict between Israel and Hamas will begin in the first week of October using aid from Qatar, a senior Palestinian housing official said on Sunday.
Gaza’s Hamas-run government says Israeli air strikes destroyed about 2,200 homes in the enclave during the 11-day conflict and damaged 37,000 others. Some homes in Israel were damaged by rockets launched by Hamas and other Gaza militant groups.
About 1,800 destroyed or damaged homes will be rebuilt in the first phase of work, according to Naji Sarhan, Gaza’s deputy minister for housing and public works.
He said that Israel had lifted some restrictions on steel and cement entering the territory in recent days. Last week, Egypt began repairing Gaza’s main coastal road, part of a broader plan to revamp Gaza infrastructure.
Palestinian officials say 250 people, including 66 children, were killed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza. Israeli officials says 13 people, including two children, were killed in Israel by militant rockets.
Following a May 21 cease-fire, mediated by Egypt, access to reconstruction funds and materials has been a key Hamas demand. Israel limits construction materials entering the territory, saying Hamas uses them to build weapons to wage attacks.
But following an agreement with the United Nations and Qatar, Israel allowed about $20 million in aid from the Gulf state to enter Gaza this month. That disbursement will be followed by $50 million of Qatari funds earmarked for rebuilding homes, Sarhan said.
Gaza officials estimate it will take $479 million to rebuild homes and infrastructure damaged in the May fighting. Qatar and Egypt have each pledged $500 million for Gaza reconstruction.


Egypt stresses need for binding deal on Renaissance Dam

Egypt stresses need for binding deal on Renaissance Dam
Updated 26 September 2021

Egypt stresses need for binding deal on Renaissance Dam

Egypt stresses need for binding deal on Renaissance Dam
  • Egypt describes the dam as an existential threat because it suffers from water scarcity
  • The country fears that the process of filling the dam will affect its share of the river’s water

CAIRO: During a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry reiterated the need to reach a binding legal agreement on the operation and filling of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam in a manner that takes into account the interests of all parties.

Egypt describes the dam as an existential threat because it suffers from water scarcity and receives 95 percent of its water needs from the Nile. Egypt fears that the process of filling the dam will affect its share of the river’s water. 

Since 2011, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have been negotiating an agreement on filling and operating the dam, which is intended to be the largest source of hydroelectric power generation in Africa. However, all negotiating attempts have failed.

Shoukry said there is no specific date for the resumption of talks, and the three countries are waiting to hear proposals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the current chair of the African Union.

He added that during his meetings in New York, he was keen to highlight Ethiopia’s “stubborn” position on the crisis.

 

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Sudan ruling body chief pledges reforms to army after coup attempt

Sudan ruling body chief pledges reforms to army after coup attempt
Updated 26 September 2021

Sudan ruling body chief pledges reforms to army after coup attempt

Sudan ruling body chief pledges reforms to army after coup attempt
  • Al-Burhan said the armed forces are committed to holding elections on the date fixed for ending the transition

KHARTOUM: The general who heads Sudan’s ruling transitional authority on Sunday pledged to reform the army, days after a failed coup.
“We are going to reorganize the armed forces... Partisan activities are banned in the army,” Sovereign Council chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan said at the opening of a military hospital in Khartoum.
“The armed forces are committed to holding elections on the date fixed for ending the transition” in 2023, he said.
“After that, the army will leave the political scene and its role will be limited to protecting the country.”
Sudan is led by a civilian-military administration under an August 2019 power-sharing deal signed after president Omar Bashir’s ouster by the military in April that year following mass protests against his iron-fisted rule.
Sudan’s government said it thwarted a September 21 coup attempt involving military officers and civilians linked to the regime of imprisoned Bashir. At least 11 officers were among those arrested.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has since called for reforms within the army, a highly sensitive issue in Sudan.
A transition to full civilian rule has remained shaky, reeling from deep fragmentation among political factions, economic woes and a receding role for civilian leaders.
Paramilitary leader and Burhan’s deputy in the Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, has pointed a finger of blame at politicians after the failed coup.
“Politicians are the main cause behind coups because they have neglected the average citizen... and are more concerned fighting over how they can stay in power,” Daglo said.