Thursday,19 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1252, (25 June - 1 July 2015)
Thursday,19 July, 2018
Issue 1252, (25 June - 1 July 2015)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

US delivers two fast missile boats

THE UNITED STATES has delivered two fast missile naval vessels to the Egyptian navy, the US Embassy in Cairo announced on Monday. In a statement, the embassy said that the fast missile craft, built in Pascagoula, Mississippi, had arrived in Alexandria on board a US transport ship on 17 June, and would join the Egyptian naval fleet in the coming weeks. “This delivery effectively doubles Egypt’s total fleet of fast missile craft from two to four,” said the statement, describing the vessels as a $1.1 billion “investment” by the US in “the bilateral strategic partnership” between both countries.

“The Fast Missile craft supports maritime and regional security, which includes protecting vital waterways such as the Suez Canal and the Red Sea,” the US Embassy in Cairo’s senior defence official, Major General Charles Hooper, was quoted as saying.

“They will help protect civilian and commercial vessels entering Egypt’s territorial water through coastal patrol surveillance and maritime searches,” the statement added.

Following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the US announced it would freeze a part of its annual military aid to Egypt, citing doubts over democratic reforms in the country.

In April, the White House announced that it was restoring military aid to Egypt, aiding efforts to boost Cairo’s ability to combat the extremist threat in the region.

Kingdom rules

AMBASSADOR Amr Moawad, assistant foreign minister for consulate affairs and Egyptian expats, has appealed to Egyptians in Saudi Arabia to abide by the rules and regulations that Riyadh has drawn up for holders of entry visas so as to avoid being detained.

Moawad said in a statement issued Sunday that the Saudi authorities were very strict regarding illegal entry into the kingdom, adding that these kinds of cases are not included in decrees of royal pardons that the Saudi monarch issues.

Moawad also said Saudi Arabia had started an awareness campaign dubbed ‘Be Organised’. The campaign informs people via media and social networks about the rules and regulations of staying or visiting the kingdom. Riyadh took the step after the number of visitors who do not comply with residency and visiting regulations increased.

The Foreign Ministry statement came a few days after the Egyptian Embassy in Riyadh ended the detention of 162 Egyptians in Jeddah who failed to comply with the kingdom’s residency and work rules.

Egypt’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Afifi Abdel-Wahab said the embassy was exerting every effort to inform residents and visitors of the kingdom’s regulations and is in continuous coordination with Saudi authorities.

Shortly after the release of the detainees the embassy said in a statement that it was following up any problems they might have on their return home.

It also underlined the work of EgyptAir to earmark a number of seats for the detainees on their return. However, given that this is a busy season because of the Umrah, or the lesser pilgrimage, finding a place for the detainees can take time, the statement added.

Partially dropped

SWITZERLAND is dropping part of a prosecution case against Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak, his close aides and family members, involving hundreds of millions of Swiss Francs frozen in Swiss banks.

Switzerland froze the funds and opened criminal proceedings over suspicion of money laundering and “support of a criminal organisation” after the 2011 popular uprising that ousted Mubarak.

The office of the attorney general of Switzerland said Monday it partially dropped charges related to criminal organisation, but that proceedings will continue against all the defendants on charges of money laundering. Seized assets will remain seized for the time being.

In late 2013, the Swiss government said it had decided to keep 700 million Swiss Francs ($761 million) held by Mubarak and his aides frozen for three more years.

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