Biden and El Sisi discuss climate and Alaa Abdel Fattah
El Sisi sits down with Biden: US President Joe Biden met with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Friday on the sidelines of COP27. The two promised to step up efforts to address climate change, according to readouts from the White House and Ittihadiya. Biden and El Sisi also reaffirmed the importance of the two countries’ strategic relations, along with security and political turbulence in the region, especially in Palestine, Libya and Yemen. The story got coverage in Reuters and Bloomberg, among others.
Human rights was on the agenda: El Sisi underscored Egypt’s efforts on the human rights front by pointing to the national human rights strategy Egypt launched last year, as well as the reactivation of the presidential pardon committee, Reuters reports. Biden brought up activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and called for his release, after his family submitted a fresh appeal for a presidential pardon. Biden’s discussion of Alaa’s detention with El Sisi comes after the Prosecutor General issued a statement on Thursday asserting that Alaa is in “good health.” Bloomberg had the story.
LOCAL REAX- Local media covered the family’s appeal for a presidential pardon, positioning it as the first time that an appeal was made in the “correct means” as opposed to in the Western press. Influential talkshow host Amr Adib waded into the topic on Friday night (watch, runtime: 3:48), saying that in this case, Egypt should do whatever is in its best interest. See more in Masrawy | AMAY | Al Shorouk | Al Dostor.
Shoukry, Kerry talk climate on the sidelines: Foreign Minister and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry met with the US climate envoy John Kerry to discuss climate topics on the COP agenda, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Shoukry stressed that Egypt is looking to help countries participating in COP27 to reach common ground on global climate issues, while Kerry presented the US’ position on the topics at hand, the statement said, without providing further information.