The United States is reportedly floating plans for a new security alliance with six Gulf Arab states, alongside Jordan and Egypt, to counter Iran’s growing presence in the region. Provisionally named the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), some have dubbed it an “Arab NATO” of Sunni Muslim allies.
The Trump administration’s bid to establish an “Arab NATO” to mitigate Iranian expansionism in the Middle East is much easier said than done, at least if history is any indicator.
Egyptian police have arrested a journalist after raiding his home amid a new crackdown against dissent, a media watchdog has reported. The Arab Observatory for Media Freedom said in a statement that security forces detained Mohamed Said Fathy, 33, on Friday.
The European Union has condemned Egyptian authorities over a wave of arrests of activists since presidential elections earlier this year, prompting an angry response from Cairo. European External Action Service, the EU’s diplomatic arm, made the criticism on Wednesday in an online statement.
Egyptians who hoped that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s thumping victory in the March presidential election — when he won 97 percent of votes in a deeply flawed poll — would encourage the authoritarian government to soften its crackdown on dissent have been disappointed.
Egypt has prevented Qatari officials from taking part in an Arab League meetings in Cairo this week, Qatari state-run QNA news agency has reported.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday, during his visit to Cairo, to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries and enhancing cooperation in various fields, according to Egypt’s presidency spokesperson Bassam Rady.
On May 3, the world celebrates the Press Freedom Day. This year, nonetheless, Egypt celebrates it with dozens of journalists behind bars and a plethora of blocked websites.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, speaking at the Arab Summit held in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, stated that Arab states are facing “the most serious crisis since their independence”.
Egyptian diplomatic circles are lobbying to galvanize the Arab League to accept South Sudan as a permanent member of the organization.