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Monday, 20 November 2017

Foreign affairs-laden night on the airwaves

As with the local press, the conversation on the airwaves was dominated by regional issues and foreign affairs, particularly Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

Ittihadiya Spokesperson Bassam Rady made the rounds on some of the talk shows to say that it has not yet been confirmed whether Saad Al Hariri will be in Cairo this week to meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. “The possibility of the visit is still under discussion,” Rady told Yahduth Fi Masr’s Sherif Amer. He did confirm that Monday is definitely not feasible as El Sisi will be in Cyprus for the tripartite summit there. “El Hariri is welcome at any time,” he said. Rady made similar statements to Al Hayat Al Youm (watch, runtime: 6:52).

As for President El Sisi’s Cyprus trip, Rady told Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary that this would be the first time El Sisi will address the Cypriot parliament (watch, runtime: 5:34).

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib also spoke to Rady on an issue close to the hearts of cave-dwelling news miners like ourselves: the need for a cohesive way to relay messages from the government to the public. Adib called for a monthly press conference at which El Sisi would address members of the foreign press corps to “dispel misinformation” on Egypt, with Rady politely nodding before Adib moved on to the next talking head (watch, runtime: 5:36).

Is Adib begging for the job of press secretary? Adib then grilled the head of the State Information Service Diaa Rashwan on the same topic, to which Rashwan responded that the SIS was planning to hold these types of briefings at some later date (watch, runtime: 3:49).

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi spoke with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir on the regional fronts Saudi is engaged in and the USD 100 bn anti-corruption probe. Al Jubeir rejected any claim that the Great Saudi Purge was a power grab, stating that Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman had announced that the campaign would be launched six months before the arrests were made. “Businessmen caught up in the probe have two options: either standing for trial or return the alleged illicit funds,” Al-Jubeir said.

On Qatar blockade, Al Jubair said that the Arab quartet will not resort to a military solution to the standoff as Qatar was too insignificant a state for that. He said that the issue had been given more importance that it should (you can watch full interview here, runtime: 30:48).

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