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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Egypt in the news on 2 May 2017

It’s a blessedly quiet morning for Egypt in the international media, with little coverage and no single story dominating the imagination of the world’s scribes. Wire services including Reuters and AFP are covering the rare drive-by shooting in Cairo of three members of the police service, including two captains, so look for more pickups of this overnight story as the day wears on.

Also getting attention: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says Egypt’s “heavy-handed security measures … were fostering the very radicalisation it was looking to curb,” Reuters reports.

Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt is also getting the last bit of coverage this morning, including images of the papal trip and input from various attendees of the pope’s homily at the Air Defense Stadium on Saturday. Vatican Radio also has the full text of the pontiff’s presser on board his flight back to Rome, during which he touched on concerns about voicing his support for the Egyptian government, among other topics.

Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt has the possibility to go down as an important historic moment, John L Allen Jr writes in Crux. Allen says “perhaps what Pope Francis’s brief outing to Egypt captured was the collision of one of the most important Muslim nations in the world ready to draw a line against fanaticism, and the single Christian leader in the world most capable of helping them pull it off.” The Hill says the Pope’s visit delivered a message of peace in Egypt.

…The Pope’s visit defies all critics, Basma Elbaz writes in the Huffington Post. She says the visit “was full of positive signs and it represented a victory on different fronts, not only on the front of mending ties with the Muslim world – especially that it suffered tensions during Benedict years – but also on the front of ecumenism. He sent a message of hope and peace to Muslims and Christians alike.” However, Robert Fisk was less optimistic in his piece for The Independent, in which he writes that Christians face deeper challenges than the Daesh attacks. He says Christians in Egypt have needed the regime to protect them, but this has led to them becoming “associated with the regime itself.”

Other coverage worth a skim:

  • Amnesty International says Egyptian workers and trade unionists have been faced with a punitive campaign to deter and punish them from mobilizing or going on strike.
  • Some of the Israelis who were expelled from Sinai following the signing of the peace agreement with Egypt are asking the Israeli government to recognize and remember them, reports Arutz Sheva.

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