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On this day July 24, 1977

The Libyan–Egyptian War, a short border war between Libya and Egypt over political conflicts, ended after the combatants agreed to a ceasefire organized by Algeria.

Mediation by Algeria and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yassir Arafat finally led to a ceasefire. Egyptian President Sadat gave his forces instructions to stop all attacks on 24 July 1977 and agreed upon an armistice.

Even after the fighting ended, the rift between Arab states remained, however. Many conservative Arab countries had sympathy for Egypt and Sadat, while the so-called social revolutionary–progressive Arab states endorsed Libya and Gaddafi. An editorial in The New York Times summed up an American perspective of the war by quoting a Palestinian: “If the Arabs haven’t got Israel to fight, they will be fighting each other.” Read More…

Egypt to open Rafah Border Crossing for humanitarian and medical aid

Egypt will open a Gaza Strip crossing for humanitarian and medical aid.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered the opening of the Rafah Border Crossing. Food and medical supplies will be allowed, but not concrete or steel. It will be made available for ill and injured Palestinians seeking medical treatment.

Rafah is the only point on the Gaza border not controlled by Israel; a 2005 agreement put the Palestinian and Israel in charge of the border, with observation from the European Union. United Nations officials had demanded an end to the Gaza blockade. Read More…

Hamas accuses Egypt of using lethal gas on tunnel

Palestinian smugglers in the Gaza Strip are facing a deadly crackdown from Egypt.

The Islamic militant group Hamas says Egyptian forces pumped gas into a Gaza smuggling tunnel, killing four Palestinians. Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, accused Egypt of committing a “terrible crime” and of killing the Palestinian workers “in cold blood.”

Speaking at a Gaza news conference, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called for an investigation and demanded that those responsible to be brought to justice.

There are hundreds of tunnels under the Gaza border with Egypt aimed at bypassing a crippling Israeli blockade. The tunnels bring in food, gasoline and other goods, but are also used by Hamas to smuggle guns, ammunition and rockets. Read More…

Nuclear Security Summit

President Barack Obama open the 47-nation Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.  The president says he wants new commitments to secure weapons-grade plutonium and uranium to prevent nuclear terrorism.

With concerns about the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea a major backdrop to the conference, this is the biggest U.S.-sponsored gathering of world leaders in more than 60 years.

The New START treaty was signed on April 8, 2010 in Prague by U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev and Iran will hold the Tehran International Conference on Disarmament and Non- Proliferation, 2010, announced on April 4, 2010 and to be held April 17–18, 2010.

The Summit is the largest gathering of heads of state called by a United States president since the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization. Delegations from forty-six governments plus the United States are attending, thirty-eight of which are represented by heads of state or government. Read More…

On this day March 22, 1945

Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan, and Yemen founded the Arab League, a regional organization that facilitates political, economic, cultural, scientific and social programs designed to promote the interests of the Arab world.

League of Arab States

League of Arab States

The Arab League currently has 22 members, Egypt’s membership was suspended in 1979 after it signed the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty, and the League’s headquarters were moved from Cairo to Tunis.

In 1987, Arab countries restored diplomatic relations with Egypt and the country was readmitted to the league in 1989 while the league’s headquarters moved back to Cairo. In September 2006, Venezuela was accepted as an observer, and India in 2007. Read More…

Egypt’s top Sunni cleric dies aged 81

Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy, Grand Imam of al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, dies at the age of 81.

al-Azhar Mosque - جامع الأزهر

Tantawy died on the morning of March 10, 2010 as result of a heart attack during a visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Tantawy died as he was about to board his return flight to Egypt at Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport.

His heart attack came just after he fell whilst boarding the plane. Tantawy had just attended the prize-giving ceremony for the King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam. He was officially pronounced dead at the Amir Sultan hospital. Read More…

On this day October 6, 1973

Egypt, under the leadership of President Anwar Sadat , launched Operation Badr in co-ordination with Syria, respectively crossed the cease-fire lines in the Sinai and the Golan Heights, which had been captured and occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.

Golda Meir, Pat and Richard Nixon in 1973

1973 Golda Meir, Pat and Richard Nixon

The War was fought from October 6 to October 26, 1973, began with a joint surprise attack on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism.

Attacking across the Suez Canal, the Egyptians were successful during the first four days of the war, following which the front settled into a stalemate.

After a disastrous Egyptian attempt to renew the offensive, the Israelis counterattacked, striking at the seam between two Egyptian armies. In over a week of heavy fighting, the Israelis crossed the Suez Canal (where the old ceasefire line had been), and eventually cut off elements of the Egyptian Third Army after a United Nations cease-fire had failed. Read More…