Around the world on 24 February 2021
We just had our first human rights talk with the Biden administration: The US is “concerned” about Egypt’s human rights record, as well as our potential acquisition of fighter aircraft from Russia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Foreign Minister Sameh Shourky in a phone call yesterday, according to a US state department press release. Blinken’s statement came amid expectations that President Joe Biden is set to recalibrate Washington’s relationship with key allies in the Middle East. Blinken and Shoukry’s conversation also covered peace negotiations in Libya and Palestine, and combating terrorism in Sinai. Reuters also had the story.
Iran is enriching its uranium to a grade close to that needed to manufacture nuclear weapons for the first time in eight years, according to two reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency, adding strain to the fraught process of negotiating a return to a US-Iran nuclear agreement, Bloomberg reports.