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Africa in December 2022

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Egypt in December 2022

1 December 2022

EGYPT:

Sisi and Erdogan Begin to Mend Relations After Nine-Year Rupture

Last week Egyptian President El- Sisi, while attending the World Cup in Qatar, met with Turkish President Erdogan for talks that ended nine years of severed relations between the two leaders. A week later, on 27 November, President Erdogan related to the press that he told Sisi he is keen to end the rupture between Turkey and Egypt and resolve the two countries’ disagreements in the Mediterranean. Erdogan added that the two countries could also resolve their disagreements concerning Syria. His optimistic comments came just five days after Egypt and Greece signed agreements on aeronautical and maritime search and rescue missions.

LIBYA:
EU Parliament Asks Libya to Cancel Maritime Agreement with Turkey

On 22 November, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavasoglu and Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush met on the sidelines of a UN conference in Morocco and revalidated the two countries’ agreements concerning stability efforts in Libya. The following day, however, the European Parliament urged the Libyan government to cancel its 2019 maritime MOU with Turkey. The Parliament’s statement expressed concern that the 2019 MOU could lead to illegal drilling activities in other countries’ exclusive economic zones, including those of Greece and Cyprus.

10 December 2022

 

  1. Egypt keen to boost strategic relations with China in all domains: Sisi tells Xi (Ahram Online).  The Egyptian president expressed his aspiration to boost Chinese tourism to Egypt as well as to encourage Chinese companies to boost their investments in the country, especially in the fields of localizing industrialisation and the transfer of high technology.

12 December 2022

Massive Celebrations Across the Arab World as Morocco’s Football Team Reaches World Cup Semifinals

From Casablanca to Baghdad, and in most European nations and the United States, Arabs celebrated Morocco’s World Cup quarterfinals win over Portugal. The victory in Doha marked the first time an Arab or African country has reached the semifinals in 92 years of World Cup competition. On viral video even showed Syrians living under harsh conditions in internally displaced persons camps erupting with joy after Morocco’s first goal, a header by Moroccan star Yusif Al Nusiri. The World Cup competition has been a source of immense pride for Arab populations around the world, with landmark performances such as Saudi Arabia’s victory over Argentina, Tunisia’s victory over France, and Morocco’s historic run to the semifinals.

Libya:  US Takes Custody of Libyan Man Suspected of Making 1988 Lockerbie Bomb

Scottish and US law enforcement authorities announced on Sunday that Lockerbie bombing suspect Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi has been transferred to US custody.  In 2020, the United States charged Al-Marimi, a Libyan, for his suspected role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988. The U.S. alleges that Marimi made the bomb that destroyed the plane over Lockerbie, Scotland. Marimi is the third Libyan man charged in the terrorist attack, along with Abdel Basit Megrahi, who died shortly after release from prison in 2009, and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, who was acquitted of the charge.

14 DECEMBER 2022

 

  1. Egyptian army leads new international force in Red Sea  – what is the mission? (Mareb Press) “The Egyptian Navy assumed command of Joint Task Force (153), one of the most important joint mechanisms to enhance regional security and stability and confront threats,” army spokesman Colonel Gharib Abdel Hafez said. The statement added that the new tasks assumed by the Egyptian Navy “are represented in combating smuggling and countering illegal activities, especially terrorist activities in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandab, and Gulf of Aden regions.”

 

16 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Egypt seeks US help in reviving Ethiopia dam deal (Iraqi News). Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday sought US help in pressing Ethiopia into an agreement concerning a mega-dam that the parched Arab country sees as an existential threat.

20 DECEMBER 2022

European Investigators Probe MEPs’ Ties to Morocco

European newspapers in Italy, France, and Spain reported that European investigators claim fifteen members of the European parliament have been involved in efforts by the government of Morocco to influence EU decisions and actions.  Several newspapers claimed Moroccan intelligence was involved in outreach to the EU MEPs to shape EU actions concerning Morocco.  The investigations come at the same time that Belgium is investigating an MEP’s alleged corrupt relationship with the government of Qatar.

New Egyptian Gas Field

Egypt’s Energy Minister on 15 December announced the country had discovered a large new gas field in the Mediterranean Sea. The minister said the size of the new “Narges” field was not yet known, but it is likely to be Egypt’s second-largest field when its reserves are known.

Tunisian Election Turnout Less Than Ten Percent

Tunisian voters signaled a strong vote of disapproval of Tunisian President Kais Saied by making the choice not to vote in Tunisia’s new parliamentary elections.  Only nine percent of Tunisia’s nine million eligible voters participated in the vote, the lowest turnout recorded in any modern election.  The voter participation was a sharp collapse from the 40 percent of Tunisians who participated in Tunisia’s previous round of elections in 2019.

21 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq Pledge to Increase Coordination Amid Regional Challenges (Ahram Online). The leaders of Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan met on Tuesday for consultations on regional political developments and unprecedented threats to the security of the Arab World and the Middle East.

 

28 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Al-Azhar Grand Imam Calls on Taliban to Reconsider University Ban for Afghan Women (Ahram Online). Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb has called for the Taliban to reconsider their decision to ban Afghan women from accessing university education, saying the decision contradicts Sharia (Islamic law). In his message, El-Tayyeb said that banning Afghan women from accessing university education contradicts Sharia and conflicts with its call for both men and women to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. El-Tayyeb added that the ban overlooked more than 2,000 hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) in this regard and also overlooked the historic examples of pioneering women in education, sciences and politics.

 

29 DECEMBER 2022

 

  1. Iranian Regime Claims Egypt is Ready to Reconcile with Iran (Tehran Times). “In light of the mechanisms on which Egyptian foreign policy is based, I believe that Egypt has accepted that there will be negotiation over contentious files with Turkey, despite the apathy in relations over the past years, and the same may be the case with regard to the file of relations with Iran,” stated Egypt’s Ambassador to Iran Ezzat Saad. The CEO of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs stated that Iraq may play a pivotal role in opening the door to consultations between Egypt and Iran.

 

30 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Egypt Places Muslim Brotherhood Leaders on the Terrorist List Again (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Egypt has included leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood on the lists of terrorists again. The latest listings, which included a minister and a parliamentarian during the era of former President Mohamed Morsi, came days after an Egyptian court asked authorities in Cairo to place an Interpol “Red Notice” on media professionals loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood.

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