Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Egypt

Newsline: South Sudan’s diplomat stripped of cash at Cairo airport

South Sudan’s Deputy Ambassador to Nigeria, who was denied leaving Cairo with thousands of U.S dollars on him has finally left Egypt bound for Abuja without some of the money.Mawien Makol, an official of the Foreign Affairs ministry told journalists that Deputy Ambassador, Riek Puok was carrying with him nearly $17,000 in cash while boarding a flight at the Cairo International Airport bound for Nigeria on Sunday when he was stopped at the foot of the aircraft. He said the authorities in Cairo refused to allow the diplomat to leave with the cash given that Egyptian travel regulations prohibit travelers from carrying more than $10,000.


Newsline: Greek embassy takes on diplomatic representation of Egypt in Qatar

The Greek embassy in Doha will take on the diplomatic representation of Egypt in Qatar following Cairo’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with the Gulf state in the early hours of Monday, the Egyptian foreign ministry has announced. In a statement, the ministry said that Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri spoke to his Greek counterpart Nikos Kutzias, asking Greece to act as the representative of Egypt in Qatar and to attend to the interests of Egyptian nationals residing in Qatar, as the Egyptian embassy will be closed.


Newsline: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt break diplomatic ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt on Monday broke diplomatic relations and all land sea and air contacts with fellow Gulf Arab state Qatar, accusing it of supporting “terrorism and extremism”. Saudi Arabia’s state news agency said the kingdom had decided to sever diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar “proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by international law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”. It urged “all brotherly countries and companies to do the same.”


Newsline: Israel’s embassy in Egypt has been empty for five months

Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, Dr. David Govrin, and his diplomatic staff have been working from Jerusalem for the past five months, with the embassy in Cairo remaining empty due to the security situation in the country, Yedioth Ahronoth has learned. Last week, the Israeli diplomats received an official notice from the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Finance Department, informing them that the additional pay they receive for working abroad has been retroactively cancelled for the months they’ve spent working in Israel. The notice cites the reason for the cut: “This is an embassy that has been evacuated from the country in question.” In addition, work contracts for 30 local embassy employees—including secretaries, drivers and maintenance workers—have not been renewed, while the rental contract for the ambassador’s home in Cairo’s Maadi district hasn’t been renewed in four months. According to the Egyptian official, the ambassador and his diplomatic staff were supposed to return to Cairo several weeks ago, but “it appears that following the terror attacks in the Coptic churches, Israel went back on that decision, and we have no new information about the Israeli mission returning to Cairo.”


Newsline: Egyptian embassy tries to prevent auction of 2300-year-old coffin in UK

An ancient Egyptian coffin lid being sold at auction in Cambridgeshire should be withdrawn from sale and repatriated to Egypt, embassy officials in London have said. They are furious at the refusal of Willingham Auctions to withdraw the partial sarcophagus, which dates back thousands of years. It was discovered by auctioneer Stephen Drake during a clearance of a house in Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex, last month. The property was the home of the big game hunter and journalist Captain “Tiger” Sarll, who is thought to have found the coffin lid in Africa and had it shipped back to Britain. He died in 1977, and his widow continued to live there until her death in 2005. The two-metre artifact is an ancient Egyptian Ptolemaic coffin top made for “Hor, son of Wenennefer” and dating back to around 330 years BC, according to an initial assessment by Egyptologists at Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. An Egyptian embassy official told The Independent that sellers or owners of Egyptian antiquities “should have proper provenance and an export licence”. The Ministry of Antiquity in Cairo has instructed them to try to prevent the sale from going ahead, they added. “We tried to encourage the auction house to convince the family that we are keen to repatriate it to its country of origin. We wanted them to give it up voluntarily but unfortunately they refused.” Earlier this week, the Egyptian Embassy, London, reported the proposed sale to Scotland Yard, but it is understood that the police are powerless to act since it is a civil matter, not a criminal one. Auctioneer Stephen Drake was unrepentant: “Legally we are allowed to sell it; the vendor wants us to sell it for them, we are acting on their behalf.” He added: “While being sympathetic to the Egyptian embassy, it’s not our decision to put it into sale. The Egyptian government are welcome to bid for it.” But the Egyptian Embassy official ruled out such a move, as that would simply be “encouraging more people to loot items and put them on sale”.


Newsline: Saudi Arabia opens largest embassy in Egypt

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal inaugurated his country’s largest embassy in the Egyptian capital Cairo. The well-equipped building is built on a 45,000 sq.m. in the heart of Al-Giza province. For his part, Prince Saud Al-Faisal expressed thanks to the Egyptian government officials for the facilities they extended to the concerned bodies to fulfill their obligations to make this building a reality on time.


Newsline: Egypt summons Turkish envoy over Gaza criticism

Egypt on Sunday summoned Turkey’s charge d’affaires over criticism of Cairo’s handling of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry summoned the Turkish charge d’affaires to lodge Egypt’s rejection and resentment over Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comment, slamming Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as an illegitimate tyrant. Erdogan also said that Egypt could not be relied upon to negotiate a ceasefire with Israel. Turkey and Egypt withdrew their ambassadors last year after the military ousted Egyptian Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. Turkey’s government has had a strained relationship with Egypt since the ouster of Morsi. The spat between Ankara and Cairo came to a head in November when Egypt’s military rulers expelled Turkey’s ambassador over Erdogan’s support for Morsi, prompting a tit-for-tat response from the Turkish government.