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Sunday, 2 December 2018

Egypt in the News on 2 December 2018: Mummies, revealing dresses, energy hub and Libya

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press are the charges brought against Egyptian actress Rania Youssef after she appeared at the Cairo International Film Festival in a revealing dress that exposed most of her legs, BBC reports. The actress is to go on trial on charges of “inciting debauchery” and public obscenity, and could face five years in jail if found guilty. The international press is having a field day, with Daily Mail, Sputnik News, Reuters and Daily Record also covering the story.

The charges against Youssef displaced the foreign press’ interest at the start of the weekend in the discovery of eight 3,000-year-old mummies in Egypt. CNN is one of the many that have the story.

Other stories worth noting this morning:

With the EuroAfrica Interconnector project, Egypt takes a big step towards its goal becoming the region’s energy hub, according to construction industry trade journal the Construction Review. The project will see Egypt connect 2,000 km of undersea cables with Cyprus and Greece, with an annual transmission capacity of 17.5 TW. “The country has now met it power needs and the 1,707 kilometer cable will transform Egypt to an energy hub for Africa and an electricity carrier for the European continent.”

Why is Egypt concerned with Libya? President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s efforts to act as mediator between fighting Libyan factions are more inspired by his fight against Islamists than reuniting Libya, Khalid Mahmoud writes for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mahmoud argues that, in supporting Haftar, Egypt is putting its goal of fighting political Islam first, which could come at the cost of its credibility as an unbiased mediator.

In brief:

  • A story on Egypt and Saudi Arabia pushing Arab states towards economic ties with Israel by Al Araby Al Jadeed is getting wide attention in the Israeli press.
  • Egypt is unlikely to warm up much more to Iran, which would pose a risk to its more valuable alliances with Iran’s regional rivals, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Bahauddin Foizee writes for International Policy Digest.
  • Egypt’s new human rights committee is still receiving attention in the foreign press, with critics saying “it will do nothing to improve human rights in the country,” according to Reuters.

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