Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Egypt

Newsline: North Korean Embassy in Cairo accused of military sales

Egypt has purchased North Korean weapons and allowed North Korean diplomats to use their Cairo embassy as a base for military sales across the region, American and United Nations officials say. Those transactions earned vital hard cash for North Korea, but they violated international sanctions and drew the ire of Egypt’s main military patron, the United States, which cut or suspended $291 million in military aid in August. Tensions may bubble up again in the coming weeks with the publication of a United Nations report that contains new information about the cargo of a rusty North Korean freighter intercepted off the coast of Egypt in 2016. The ship was carrying 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades worth an estimated $26 million. The report, due to be released this month, identifies the customer for the weapons as an arm of the Arab Organization for Industrialization, Egypt’s main state weapons conglomerate.


Newsline: Sudan’s ambassador to Egypt to return to Cairo after withdrawal

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour announced that the Sudanese ambassador to Egypt, Abdel-Mahmoud Abdel-Halim, will return to Cairo to resume his duties. This comes a month after Sudan recalled the ambassador ‘for consultation’, which was said to be due to disputes over the ownership of the Halayeb Triangle border area, and over the use of the water from the River Nile that passes through both territories. Talks between the foreign ministers of both countries were held in Cairo two weeks ago, followed by a meeting with both chiefs of intelligence who discussed bilateral relations and how they can cooperate on a number of regional issues.


Newsline: Diplomats in Libya Cairo embassy kick out the ambassador

Several Libyan diplomats at the Libyan embassy in Cairo issued a statement announcing the dismissal of the ambassador Mohammed Abdulaziz for “violations related to regionalism” from his part and his loyalists. The diplomats announced rejecting to have any ambassador appointed by the Presidential Council’s government of what they described “Muslim Brotherhood.” They also added that they only abide by the orders of the House of Representatives and not the Foreign Minister Mohammed Sayala, whom they said had suspended the salaries of the embassy staffers wrongly.


Newsline: Sudan foreign ministry refutes reports on ambassador statement ‘declaring war’ on Egypt

The Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced news reports circulating statements by Sudanese ambassador to Cairo, Abdel-Mahmoud Abdel-Halim, who said his country intends to declare war on Egypt. In a statement, the ministry accused the media, more specifically Russia Today, of altering Abdel-Halim’s statements and placing them out of context. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs completely refutes circulations that the Ambassador of Sudan to Cairo made these statements, and confirms that he never made such statements to any media institution,” the ministry’s spokesperson said. “The ministry would like to point out that the ambassador was on a social occasion and was only explaining why he was summoned back to Sudan for discussions,” he added. The statement also said that Sudan is keen on stable and peaceful relations with Egypt. News outlets had reported that Abdel-Halim made the statements to journalists on Friday, saying “we are in the beginning of our road to democracy that starts with summoning the ambassador back for discussions, but you can also retract the ambassador without returning him, and third, you can kick out the ambassador from said country, fourth is to cut diplomatic ties and fifth is to declare war.” Sudan had recalled its ambassador Abdel-Halim back to Khartoum early January ‘for consultation’ which was said to be due to disputes over the ownership of the Halayeb Triangle border area, and over the use of the water from the River Nile that passes through both territories.


Newsline: Sudan recalls Egyptian ambassador as relations sour

Sudan has recalled its ambassador from neighbouring Egypt for consultations, the foreign ministry said without giving details on why or how long he would stay. In response, Egypt’s foreign ministry said it is evaluating the situation in order to take “appropriate action”. Ties between Khartoum and Cairo have deteriorated over the past year after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir accused Egyptian intelligence services of supporting opposition figures fighting his troops in the country’s conflict zones like Darfur. “Sudan has called its ambassador to Cairo, Abdelmahmoud Abdelhalim, to Khartoum for consultations,” the Sudanese foreign ministry said in a brief statement without offering details. Relations have soured over the use of the water from the River Nile that passes through their territories.


Newsline: US embassies are bracing for ‘potentially violent’ backlash over Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Several US embassies across the Middle East have warned of potentially violent protests in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The alert comes as Palestinian leaders encouraged worldwide demonstrations and called for Palestinians to engage in “three days of rage.” The US embassy in Jordan published a security warning telling US citizens that Trump’s decision may spark protests which “have the potential to become violent.” The statement urged US citizens to avoid large gatherings and to maintain a “high-level of vigilance” as tensions rise in the region. The embassy, located in Jordan’s capital Amman, also temporarily suspended public services, and instructed US personnel to keep a “low profile.” All embassy travel outside of Amman was temporarily suspended, and children of US officials were instructed not to attend school on Thursday. In Turkey, the US embassy in Ankara stated that it was aware of plans by several groups to stage public protests, and urged US citizens to avoid areas of large gatherings, particularly around US outposts in Ankara, Istanbul and Adana. The US embassy in Egypt said that Trump’s announcement has “generated significant media attention,” and Americans in the country are urged to stay vigilant. The US State Department has warned US embassies across the globe to increase security. US Marine units are on call if added security is needed in capitals across the world, the publication Marine Times said.


Newsline: Embassy reacts to alleged kidney harvest of Nigerians in Egypt

The Embassy of Egypt in Nigeria has denied alleged illegal harvest of the kidneys of Nigerians who travel to the North African country for medical attention. In a statement issued by Ahmed Maher, who is the Head of the Press and Information Office in the Egyptian Embassy, the North African country, said its government had submitted a list of Egyptian certified medical centres and hospitals licensed to perform kidney transplant to relevant authorities in Nigeria. It also explained that all the hospitals involved in organ trafficking in Egypt had been shut down and their medical personnel prosecuted. The mission further clarified that no Nigerian was involved in the crime, adding that no complaint was filed against any Nigerian national over the incident.