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Arabic press review: Sisi refused to share Munich stage with Qatari emir

Egyptian president's demand leaves event organisers in a panic. Meanwhile, US forces besiege IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Munich on Saturday (AFP)

In Munich, Sisi causes conference chaos

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi refused to speak in the same room as the emir of Qatar at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Sunday, reports news website Arabi21.

With the event well underway, Sisi threw his hosts into a state of “inconvenience and confusion” when he made a last minute request to change the time and place of his speech to avoid the emir, a well-informed source told Arabi 21.

He also asked the hosts “to do their best so he wouldn’t be embarrassed by any of the attendees’ questions about the Qatar blockade,” the source said.

In June 2017, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic relations with Qatar over allegations that Doha supports terrorism, a rift which has continued until now.

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World leaders gather annually for the conference to discuss security and terrorism challenges facing their countries and the world.

Baghdadi besieged in Deir Ezzor

American forces have besieged Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor with five of his deputies, according to Jordan’s state-run news agency Petra.

The IS members are seven kilometres from the Iraqi border, an unnamed Iraqi security source told Petra’s Baghdad correspondent.

The source said Iraqi forces are monitoring the US operation and are ready to protect Iraq’s borders and prevent any militants from entering.

Oppose Sisi 2034? Go to jail, go directly to jail

Egyptian security services have launched a new campaign of arrests targeting critics of constitutional amendments that would keep President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in power until 2034, al-Quds al-Arabi reports.

Mamdouh Hamza, an activist and international consulting engineer, was recently detained and brought before a public prosecutor on charges of spreading false news that would trigger unrest on Twitter. He was released after paying bail worth $1,140.

Hamza had called on the residents of Cairo's Al-Warraq Island to reject government plans to displace them, and hold tight to their lands and homes. However, according to al-Quds, the main reason behind his arrest was his rejection of the constitutional amendments.

An Egyptian court in southern Giza also ordered the 15-day detention of Ahmad Jamal, a journalist for Al Karama newspaper, on charges of publishing false news.  

Human rights activists say they expect further arrests and detentions of those who speak out against the amendments.

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

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.