General Urges Egypt to Keep to Transitional Plan
Earlier this week, Egyptian General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi called on Egyptians to adhere to the government’s transitional road map, which places presidential elections in the spring. El-Sissi, who has stated he will not run for president, also stated that the armed forces will not support any single candidate. In addition, about 100 pro-Morsi protestors gathered in Tahrir Square yesterday, chanting “We are a country, not a military camp.” The protesters were later dispersed by security forces. A delegate from the European Union arrived in Egypt on Tuesday to discuss “the possibilities for a return to a transition in which all sides can participate.”
Imprisoned Canadian May be Charged with Murder
A Canadian citizen who has been imprisoned in Egypt for more than a month may be charged with murder by Egyptian prosecuters. John Greyson, a filmmaker, and Tarek Loubani, a doctor, were arrested an August 16 by Egyptian security forces, and have been informally accused of attacking a police station. According to his sister, Greyson signed a list of allegations which include murder, though Greyson cannot read Arabic. The Canadian government is currently “doing absolutely everything it can to secure their release,” according to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
Inspectors Begin Disarmament of Syrian Chemical Weapons
A 19-member team from the Hague is to begin work on the disarmament of chemical weapons in Syria today. The group arrived on Tuesday to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2118. “Their efforts are expected to focus on verifying information provided by the Syrian government,” according to a UN statement. Syria’s arsenal is believed to include more than 1,000 tons of sarin, mustard gas, and other banned chemicals at over 45 sites throughout Syria. It will be the first such mission to take place in country during a civil war.
Stolen Artifacts to Go Back on Exhibit
A new exhibition entitled “Destruction and Resurrection” is scheduled to be on display in the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo for the next two weeks. The exhibit will feature pieces stolen and damaged after the January 25 revolution in 2011. The world-famous Egyptian museum, which houses some of the most important works and archaeological pieces in human history, was looted on January 28. Interim Minister of State Affairs Mohamed Ibrahim said that 28 artifacts are still missing.
US Senate May Delay Iran Sanctions
In a move that could improve US – Iranian relations, the US Senate is considering not imposing more economic sanctions on Iran. On Monday, the European Union’s Catherine Ashton implied that such an action on the part of the US might improve the atmosphere for future negotiations. The process of imposing further sanctions has also been slowed by the current US government shutdown. Iran is scheduled to meet with the US and five other nations later this month for talks in Geneva.