Officials meet foreign diplomats, talk counter-terrorism and development

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Egyptian officials met on Tuesday and Wednesday several foreign diplomats in different fields, discussing counter-terrorism and development.

On Tuesday, Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar met minister of state for security at the home office Ben Wallace. According to a statement from the ministry, Abdel Ghaffar demonstrated the ministry’s efforts in combating terrorism and terrorist organisations, as well as steps to freeze their monetary and financial resources. The meeting took place with the attendance of British ambassador to Cairo John Casson.

The statement also mentioned steps by the security apparatus to secure airports, using technology and pre-emptive strikes against the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Meanwhile, the statement quoted Wallace asserting the importance of Egypt’s role in achieving stability in the Middle East, amid the rise of terrorist groups in the Arab and European regions. It added that the British official vowed his country’s willingness to increase security cooperation with its Egyptian counterpart, “in order to combat extremist thoughts.”

Abdel Ghaffar also briefed Wallace on latest updates concerning securing airports.

In another context, the country’s Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam met Australian ambassador for counter-terrorism Paul Foley, as well as the Australian ambassador to Cairo Neil Hawkins.

Allam discussed possible cooperation opportunities between Dar Al-Ifta’s Fatwa Monitoring Observatory and the Australian government in order to counter militancy and terrorism. He also asserted, according to a statement, that the danger of militancy has become global. He briefed the two diplomats on the activities of the observatory and its efforts to publish material in different languages to deconstruct the ideologies of militant groups.

The Egyptian state has been aiming to tighten its grip on electronic outlets that are allegedly “spreading and inciting terrorism”. Diplomatically, Egypt has participated in different global anti-terror conferences, where it highlighted the need to control outlets promoting terrorism, citing the media arms of Islamic State (IS) and other militant groups.

Egypt’s Dar Al-Ifta and major religious institution Al-Azhar have both condemned the actions of IS and Shi’a militias in Iraq.

An international social media campaign was launched by Dar Al-Ifta to “clarify the image of Islam across the globe due to the terrorist group’s violent acts”. The campaign is also aimed at ensuring that “all Muslims reject these practices that are contrary to the principles of tolerant Islam, which calls for co-existence”.

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