Egypt in the News on 18 February 2021
Human rights is on the international press’ agenda for the second day running: The Wall Street Journal is running an opinion piece by a human rights lawyer calling on the Biden administration to ramp up pressure on Egypt in response to our treatment of US citizens. A suspension of aid, targeted sanctions and visa restrictions are all on Jared Genser’s list of ideas. The piece comes after relatives of Egyptian-American activist Mohamed Soltan, whose father was a senior Ikhwan official, were reportedly detained this week by authorities.
The Middle East is still (mostly) getting the “silent treatment” from Biden: The FT’s David Gardner points out that we’re with Saudi Arabia on the list of Mideast countries that have yet to get calls from the Biden White House. Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu only received his call yesterday, Reuters reports, after much speculation that the delay could point to Israel’s fall from grace following the end of the Trump administration.
Also making the international press:
- Regional diplomacy: Egypt will likely reach across the aisle and attempt to mend ties to forces in western Libya after its preferred candidates Aguila Saleh and Fathi Bashagha weren’t appointed to the country’s newly-formed transitional authority. (Arab Weekly)
- FGM: An Egyptian woman who survived FGM and a plastic surgeon dedicated to helping victims talk about the outlawed practice. (France24)
- Ancient Egypt: Ancient Egyptian ruler Seqenenre Taa II may have been killed in a ritual execution ceremony after being captured in battle, a new study relying on CT scans and x-ray imaging of his mummified corpse suggests. (The Guardian | Live Science | Daily Mail)