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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

British MPs requesting permission to visit Morsi in prison top int’l coverage of Egypt

A group of British MPs have petitioned the Egyptian government to allow them to visit ex-Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in Tora prison “to review conditions of [his] detention” and look into claims that he was denied adequate medical care, The Associated Press reports. The bipartisan group said they made the request on Morsi’s family’s behalf. The story is making top headlines on Egypt in the foreign press this morning with coverage from The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal (paywall), among others. Middle East Monitor also says that ex-Ikhwan leader Mohamed Badie’s family is also concerned for his health.

A close second was Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who wrapped up his three-day visit to Egypt yesterday with a trip to Al Azhar mosque, notes The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Xinhua and the Saudi Gazette both picked up the joint statement issued by Ittihadiya yesterday on MbS’ meetings with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. The Saudi royal had also presided over the signing of various cooperation agreements, including one that establishes a USD 16 bn joint investment fund that would finance the development of 1,000 sq km of land in South Sinai for Saudi’s NEOM project.

The elections stories continue to make the rounds in the foreign press as well, with USA Today arguing that Coptic Christians’ support is essential for President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s presidential bid, while JCPA wonders what can be expected from the election with little or no opposition. The Washington Post then says that the only interesting thing about the election will be the rate of abstention.

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