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Strains with Turkey – Sisi-Obama meeting

01, Sep 2014 / EGYPT / 512 Words

Keesing’s Record of World Events (Formerly Keesing’s Contemporary Archives 1931-2014)
Volume 60 (2014), Issue No. 9 (September), Page 53597

The Egyptian foreign ministry on Sept. 24 issued a statement fiercely criticising newly-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey for questioning the legitimacy of Field Marshal (retd) Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as president of Egypt in an address to the UN General Assembly in New York. The following day, on the fringes of the UN session, President Sisi had his first meeting with US President Barack Obama, who described relations with Egypt as an “important cornerstone of our security policy” as he sought Sisi’s support for the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State (IS) movement in Iraq and Syria [see pp. 53555-56 (USA); 53594-95 (Iraq); 53593-94 (Syria)].

Referring to the deposition by Sisi of the moderate Islamist Muslim Brotherhood (MB) government of Mohammed Morsy in July 2013 [see pp. 52813-14] as “the murder of democracy in Egypt”, Erdogan deplored “the killings of thousands of innocent people who want to defend their choice” for Egypt, whilst “the person who carried out this coup is being legitimised”. The Egyptian riposte asserted that “such lies and fabrications are not something strange from the Turkish president, who is keen to provoke chaos and to sow divisions in the Middle East region through support for terrorist organisations”.

A roadside bomb exploded on Sept. 2 near an armoured police vehicle travelling in the northern Sinai peninsula close to the border with the Gaza Strip, killing 11 police officers. The bombing was attributed to the Islamist group Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt), which had been designated as a “terrorist organisation” in May amidst reports of increased activity against Egyptian targets by its fighters [see pp. 53446; 53384].

Trials of Mubarak and Morsy

The retrial of former President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in a special court in Cairo (the capital) on charges of directing the killing of protesters during the Arab Spring uprising that overthrew him in February 2011 was adjourned on Sept. 27 in anticipation of a verdict being given at the end of November. [For proceedings see pp. 53537; 50308-09; for original trial, appeal, and other proceedings against Mubarak see pp. 53383; 52867; 52704; 52087.] On Sept. 29 the trial in a Cairo suburb of former President Morsy and 35 other senior members of the MB on charges of plotting with foreign organisations to destabilise Egypt [see p. 53206] was adjourned until mid-October. [For other trials of MB members see pp. 53537; 53446; 53383-84; 53320; 53258-59.]

IN BRIEF

Protests mounted in early September against the eviction from their homes of thousands of Egyptians to make way for the construction of a second channel for the Suez Canal, as announced in August [see p. 53537]. A total of 5,000 homes in Abtal and Qantara were earmarked for destruction, reportedly with no compensation being available to those evicted by the Egyptian military supervising the project.

The prime minister of Egypt in 1999-2004, Atif Mohammed Ubayd, died on Sept. 12 at the age of 82. A supporter of President Mubarak, Ubayd was put on trial for corruption after Mubarak’s fall and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labour in March 2012 [see p. 51017]. The conviction was later overturned on appeal.

Last article p. 53537.