Sisi Warns of ‘Catastrophic’ Consequences of an Israeli Assault on Rafah

FILED - 18 October 2023, Egypt, Cairo: President of Egypt Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is pictured in Cairo. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa Pool/dpa
FILED - 18 October 2023, Egypt, Cairo: President of Egypt Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is pictured in Cairo. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa Pool/dpa
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Sisi Warns of ‘Catastrophic’ Consequences of an Israeli Assault on Rafah

FILED - 18 October 2023, Egypt, Cairo: President of Egypt Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is pictured in Cairo. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa Pool/dpa
FILED - 18 October 2023, Egypt, Cairo: President of Egypt Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is pictured in Cairo. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa Pool/dpa

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday warned against any Israeli military assault on Rafah in the Gaza Strip.
Presidential spokesman Ahmed Fahmy said that Sisi’s concerns came during a telephone call with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte.

Sisi warned against what he described as “catastrophic” humanitarian consequences of any military act on Rafah, according to the Arab World Press.
The spokesman added in a statement published by the Egyptian presidency on its Facebook page that the war in Gaza must be brought to a halt, pointing to the dire consequences of an aggression against Rafah and its impact on regional peace and stability.
“It emphasizes the need for the international community to implement the related UN resolutions”, he said according to the statement.
Fahmy also pointed out that Sisi and Rutte stressed the need for joint swift efforts to reach a ceasefire in Gaza to allow the entry of humanitarian relief aid to the Palestinians in the Strip.
They also emphasized the importance of reaching a two-state solution to restore regional stability and peace.
On Tuesday, head of Egypt’s State Information Service Diaa Rashwan confirmed that Egypt has never discussed any plans with the Israeli side of a ground invasion on Rafah, denying reports published in US newspapers on this matter.
He stressed Egypt’s “firm and well-known” stance and complete rejection of this assault. “The Egyptian leadership has warned that any assault on Rafah will lead to massacres, heavy human losses, and widespread destruction", he stated.
Moreover, Egyptian security sources said that military and security coordination between Egypt and Israel over any Israeli incursion into Rafah did not mean approval of it.
Egypt welcomed the return of Palestinians northwards from Rafah, believing it to be in the interest of the population, the sources added.



Yemen’s Central Bank Tightens Grip on Foreign Transfers

Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)
Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)
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Yemen’s Central Bank Tightens Grip on Foreign Transfers

Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)
Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)

Yemen’s Central Bank, based in Aden, the interim capital, has tightened its grip on foreign money transfers, requiring all transactions to go through approved banks and exchange companies.

Banks and exchange companies must operate mainly from Aden and grant local entities permission to handle transactions. Moreover, they must deliver remittances in the received currency without converting unless the client requests otherwise.

This step aims to better regulate financial flows amidst Yemen’s challenging economic situation.

The decision strengthens the Central Bank’s control in Aden by requiring all banks and exchange companies in Houthi-held areas to get approval before conducting transactions.

It also ensures that transfers are made in the original currency, unlike what the Houthis are doing now, withholding transfers in US dollars. This comes just two days before the deadline for banks to move their main offices from Houthi-controlled Sanaa to the interim capital.

According to Yemeni financial expert Wahid Al-Fudai, the Central Bank’s decision aims to regulate international money transfers through remittance companies and tighten control over them.

Al-Fudai sees this decision as part of the bank’s efforts to regulate banks and exchange companies according to local laws, serving the public interest, and keeping up with global trends.

He explained to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Central Bank had previously issued instructions regarding financial networks, emphasizing the need for its oversight over external transfers.

He stressed that only qualified and licensed institutions are allowed to conduct these transfers, meeting all requirements for compliance with international standards, especially in combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

Al-Fudai highlighted the importance of this step, especially with the Iran-backed Houthi militias now labeled as a terrorist organization by the United States and Australia, which could lead to further complications requiring the Central Bank’s attention.