Are relations between Hizbullah and Egypt about to advance?
Translated in part below and in full in today’s Daily Briefing (for a free trial and access to the searchable database, email firstname.lastname@example.org):
On February 17, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report by Ibrahim Nasser el-Din: “…Ad-Diyyar learned from diplomatic sources in Beirut that the Egyptian authorities have broken the Gulf “ban” on Hezbollah by sending a number of “friendly messages” to Hezbollah. The last of these messages was sent via a political figure close to Hezbollah that recently visited Cairo.
“According to the available pieces of information, this individual [i.e. the political figure close to Hezbollah] was arrested at the International Cairo Airport and summoned to meet with a high ranking security official. Without any equivocation, the official addressed the individual as being affiliated to Hezbollah. When the latter tried to deny this relationship out of a fear of the potential repercussions, his interlocutor reassured him by saying that this relationship is not harmful and that it could actually be beneficial. He added that the Egyptian authorities do not have any intention to take any negative measures against him and that this is rather an opportunity to deliver a message to the Hezbollah leadership in Lebanon, a message indicating that Egypt is fighting in the “same ditch” as the Party against the takfiri groups, that Egypt shares the Party’s vision regarding the war in Syria, and that there are more common points than points of disagreements.
“The conversation also included an Egyptian stressing on the major estrangement on the level of the relationship with Saudi Arabia and a tendency to rapprochement with the Iranian side. In conclusion, this friendly meeting will be followed by practical steps as per the high ranking Egyptian security officer. An important shift at the level of the bilateral relations is expected to be seen late this month. The level of the talks is also expected to be lifted to a higher level in order to discuss the hanging issues. The return of the Al-Manar channel to broadcast through the Nilesat might constitute one of the signs indicating the progress or stumbling of the communications…”