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Sunday, 27 January 2019

Eighth anniversary of Egypt’s 25 January revolution tops foreign press coverage

Egypt’s human rights situation was in the spotlight on the eighth anniversary of the 25 January revolution, with both Reuters and Amnesty International among those weighing in. Australian outlet ABC News also notes that Friday marks the one-year anniversary of Australian-Egyptian Hazem Hamouda being held in pretrial detention. Asharq Al Awsat took note of the Armed Forces deploying security forces in Tahrir Square and other locations to preempt “any disruptors of peace,” which the WSJ’s Jared Malsin and Amira El-Fekki lament is part of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s determination to prevent a repeat of the 2011 uprising.

This preemption comes as supporters of El Sisi try to push constitutional reforms that would allow him to stay in power, to “finish the projects he started,” arguing that a change in leadership would destabilize Egypt and weaken the fight against Daesh, Heba Saleh writes for the Financial Times. Analyst HA Hellyer notes that, despite the lack of organized opposition, “the establishment seems, via various editorials, keen to gain at least the perception of active public acquiescence, if not open support.”

The foreign press is also still reporting on prospects for regional cooperation with the inauguration of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum a week ago. Both Bloomberg and the Associated Press had coverage Wednesday on why the new regional alliance is good news. Both outlets appear to shine the spotlight on Israel, or rather, Israel’s emergence as the new friendly neighbor. Long time readers of Enterprise will note that we consider it as rather Egypt’s emergence as a global energy hub. While Bloomberg focuses on Israel’s gas export plans — including its unfeasible to plan build a direct pipeline to Europe instead of shipping via Egypt’s LNG facilities — the AP notes statements by Israeli commentators on how the time for a more overt relationship between Israel and its Arab neighbors (tired of Turkey and Iran) is neigh.

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