Egypt’ Tourism Minister Resigns upon Adel Khayat’s Governor Appointment

Egypt’s tourism minister announced his wish to resign from his position following the appointment of a former ex-militant as the governor of Luxor. Adel Khayat’s appointment as governor roused protests from Luxor citizens. He was a member of the political wing Gamaa Islamiya, who claimed responsibility for killing 58 tourists in a 1997 attack.

However, Luxor Governor Khayat denied any role in the said attack. He promised to protect Egypt’s tourists in Luxor. The city was a usual spot for tourists, but because of the political instability in the country since 2011, Egypt’s tourist numbers have dropped greatly.

Dr. Hisham Zazou appointment of Khayat, said that his nomination will have great consequences on Egypt’s tourism. Prime Minister Hisham Qandil rejected Zazou’s resignation and said that the government will continue to review the details about Khayat and Zazou is to remain as tourism minister until then.

The president’s appointment of governors all over Egypt generally enraged the public as majority of these governors were from the Muslim Brotherhood where President Mohamed Morsi also belonged. The Muslim Brotherhood now control 13 of Egypt’s 27 governorships.

Protests continue against the governors, who found it difficult to enter their offices as protesters locked the gates and attacked escorts.

“Syrian Regime Have Used Chemical Weapons” – White House

The White House said that it has ‘high confidence’ that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons against the Syrian rebellion on a small scale. It has announced that it would provide unspecified “military support” against the opposition, true to its promise that the use of chemical weapons during the Syrian civil war was a “red line” for the United States.

US Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that the US has no “reliable” evidence that the opposition had used chemical weapons against the Syrian regime as well. Its announcement of declaring military aid to the opposition came as the UN reported that Syrian conflict had reached a death toll of 93,000 people, including women and children.

Senators such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham had called for providing military aid for Syria and said that provision of ammunition and heavy weaponry to the opposition may is long overdue. They also said that aside from such support, the US must also rally an international coalition to degrade the ability of the Syrian regime to sue airpower and ballistic missiles, which give them an advantage against the opposition.

The two-year conflict in Syria had formed different opposition parties in the conflict, such as the Supreme Military Council (SMC) and the Syrian Opposition Coalition. Without a unified front, the opposition effort may also lead a crumbling government amidst the ashes, according to political analysts.

Experts also speculate that the US aid was in response to the growing support provided by Iran and Hezbollah to the Syrian regime. The two countries are the closest allies of the regime and had supplied the regime with arms and men to support their campaigns.