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Arabic press review: Jordan mediates between Egypt and Turkey over Libya

Meanwhile, Covid-19 restrictions stress Kuwait’s private sector and Palestinian flag raised in front of Netanyahu’s residence
Jordanian King Abdullah II (R) meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in the capital Amman on 19 July 2020 (AFP)

Jordan starts mediation between Egypt and Turkey

Amman has unexpectedly entered mediation efforts between Egypt and Turkey aimed at avoiding a war between them in Libya, where both countries back different sides in the civil war, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported.

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Sunday made an exceptional visit to the Jordanian capital, where he met King Abdullah and his Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, and delivered a message from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Ankara has supplied military aid to the internationally recognised Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), while Egypt, the UAE and Russia have supported rival military commander Khalifa Haftar in the east.

Earlier this week, an eastern-based parliament allied to Haftar had called on Egypt to help counter what it described as  "Turkish invasion and terrorism" in Libya.

During a press conference with Safadi, Shoukry stressed that what is taking place in Libya is a "grave threat to Arab and Egyptian national security", and his country will take "decisive measures" to ensure Egypt's security, indicating that Egypt may use military force in Libya to support Haftar and stop the Turkish expansion there.

Last month, Sisi said that Egypt's army might enter Libya if the GNA and its Turkish allies renewed an assault on the central Sirte-Jufra frontline, an area seen as the gateway to Libya's main oil export terminals. Both areas are held by the LNA. 

Sisi said that Egypt would not intervene in Libya without the approval of its parliament, which is dominated by members supportive of the Egyptian president. 

Coronavirus restrictions threaten Kuwait's private sector

Kuwait’s private sector is facing a severe crisis, as coronavirus restrictions limits production and tens of thousands of expatriate workers are unable to return to the country due to the closure of the airport, the London-based newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadid reported.

Additionally, some 110,000 foreign workers left Kuwait during the past six months, according to government data seen by the newspaper.

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A governmental report revealed that more than 320 companies filed complaints to the Public Authority for Manpower regarding the continuous absence of thousands of employees, and the inability of companies and commercial enterprises to resume their work.

The report showed that there are foreign workers who will not be able to return to Kuwait since their residency has expired while they are outside the country. Meanwhile, private sector companies will not be able to bring them back, except through new work visas, which are currently suspended.

A Kuwaiti government source, who preferred to remain anonymous, has confirmed that 78 percent of private sector companies are on the verge of collapse and bankruptcy, as economic activities cannot currently return to normal.

The source stressed that the most important obstacle to the resumption of business is the return of employees, especially those outside Kuwait.

The Gulf country is planning to resume commercial flights in early August.

Palestinian flag flies in front of Netanyahu's residence

Israeli protesters raised the Palestinian flag during a demonstration outside the Jerusalem residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, according to the London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

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Protests have taken place almost daily in occupied Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, with thousands calling for Netanyahu’s resignation in the light of his government’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic and its repercussions on the economy, which has seen a rise in unemployment.

Netanyahu denounced the raising of the Palestinian flag, saying it was raised “at the left-wing demonstration organised by Ehud Barak, the partner of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein”, referring to Barak's alleged ties to the disgraced financier.

Israeli public anger has been compounded by corruption alleged against Netanyahu, who went on trial in May for bribery, fraud and breach of trust - charges he denies.

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.