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Sunday, 19 July 2020

Libyan crisis, decline in covid-19 cases top stories on talks shows

The latest developments in Libya dominated the airwaves last night, with all of the nation’s talking heads focused on the potential for Egyptian military intervention in the conflict. And the coronavirus was a topic of conversation for the first time in what seems like weeks, after daily cases continued to fall over the weekend, while Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi previewed her interview with IMF director Kristalina Georgieva.

Possible Egyptian intervention in Libya: Most of the talkshows dedicated segments to the Foreign Ministry’s statement on Libya, which on Friday accused Turkey of exporting terrorism to Libya and rejected Ankara’s involvement in the conflict. El Hekaya’s Amr Adib seemed to enjoy the statement, describing it as “powerful” (watch, runtime: 2:45). Adib also spoke with Khaled Al Mahjoub, the spokesman for the Tripoli operations room of the Egypt-backed Libyan National Army, who said that splitting Libya into two states is out of the question and claimed that Egypt’s potential intervention has forced Turkey to reassess its position (watch, runtime: 2:51).

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafiz told Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi that Egypt’s priority is stability and security for the Libyan people (watch, runtime: 6:32), while Al Hadath’s reporter in Washington said that the US is reluctant to interfere directly in the conflict due to its alliances with both Egypt and Turkey (watch, runtime: 12:19). Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 20:36) and Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa also also covered the ministry’s statement in their reports on Libya (watch, runtime: 2:34). We have detailed coverage of the latest out of Libya in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Covid-19 rate declines: Adib spoke with Health Minister Hala Zayed who confirmed that the number of infections and deaths has been decreasing for three consecutive weeks. Only 20% of the country’s ventilators are being used, she said, adding that the doctors have administered over 2 mn treatments since the outbreak began in March. She said that hospitals are already administering Remdesivir and plasma treatments successfully, and that Egypt has booked 30 mn doses of a vaccine being developed by Oxford University's Jenner Institute by bio-pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, with an eye toward obtaining the license to manufacturer it for distribution across Africa (watch, runtime: 25:07).

Georgieva gives us love — A preview: Lamees El Hadidi aired clips from her interview with IMF boss Kristalina Georgieva, who discussed Egypt’s response to the pandemic and the weekend’s G20 meeting. She commended Egypt on its swift policy response, saying that it dealt quickly with the covid-19 crisis and acted to protect its economy. She said that Egypt has implemented appropriate monetary policies for the USD 8 bn in emergency loans it has received from the IMF. The full interview with Georgieva will air tonight (watch, runtime: 8:43).

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