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Monday, 8 April 2019

El Sisi’s African tour ahead of US visit wrests control over Egypt’s airwaves

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s tour of Guinea ahead of his US visit dominated the nation’s airwaves last night. The president is due to land in Washington DC today for talks with The Donald. He’s also due to visit Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire as part of a tour of West Africa.

El Hekaya’s Amr Adib framed the tour as a chance for Egypt to make use of its popularity in West Africa (watch, runtime: 4:21). Adib said the president kicked off his visit in a university named after Gamal Abdel Nasser (the late president and advocate, variously, of Arab socialism and pan-Africanism in the Guinean capital Conakry.

Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary noted this was the first visit to Guinea by an Egyptian president since 1965 (watch, runtime: 3:01). Hona Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim, meanwhile, consulted with former deputy foreign minister for African affairs Ibrahim El Shwaimi, who positioned the visits as part of El Sisi’s strategy to re-engage with Africa (watch, runtime: 6:51). Egypt holds the presidency of the African Union this year.

On the other side of the ocean: Preparations in Washington are already underway. Egyptian expats in New Jersey and New York have flocked to DC to participate in “small scale” public discussions about the proposed constitutional amendments, Hona Al Asema’s Lama Gebreil reported from Washington (watch, runtime: 6:50). Gebreil suggested the war on terror would continue to shape Egypt-US relations for a long while to come.

El Hekaya’s Amr Adib drifted off on a tangent, wondering why the return of the Russian flights to the Red Sea, and with it plenty of RUB and USD, is constantly being delayed (watch, runtime: 3:10). Adib took note of El Sisi’s recent discussion of the flights with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, which we mentioned yesterday.

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