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Signs Of Iran-Egypt Thaw At Al-Sisi Inauguration

Signs Of Iran-Egypt Thaw At Al-Sisi Inauguration

There is a more than three-decade-long clash of cultures between Egypt's secular establishment and Iran's post-revolution clerical regime. The brief interlude following the election of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi was, alas, too brief to notice any significant change.

But all eyes in Tehran were back on Egypt this past weekend for the inauguration of General Abdulfattah al-Sisi after his election as president. Iran sent Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir'abdollahian to the investiture ceremony.

For a sense of the deep skepticism in some Iranian quarters, the conservative daily Jomhuri-e Eslami called Sisi the man "who considers himself president of Egypt," noted Iran's ISNA news agency.

The paper deplored Iran's decision to acknowledge Sisi's election, observed that as the event broadcast on Egyptian television showed, "Sisi practically exchanged more courtesies and diplomatic conversation with Amir'abdollahian than other state heads and representatives."

The reason, it stated, "was that Sisi wanted to show the cameras he had Iran's approval." It concluded that Sisi was the great beneficiary of these images, while Iran had made a "blatant strategic mistake" by recognizing a "coup leader" as president.

It is never entirely sure what Iran could have wanted from Egypt in the past 30 years — except possibly its good offices with the West and Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Presidents Hosni Mubarak and al-Sisi.

— Ahmed Shayegan

Photo: Ahmed Gomaa/Xinhua/ZUMA

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Migrant Lives

A Train Journey With Bengal Migrants Looking For A Living Far Away

Finding a seat on the Karmabhoomi Express is close to impossible. A closer look at why so many migrant workers travel on it, and out of Bengal, offers a grim picture.

image of a train

The Karmabhoomi Express runs from Kamakhya to Mumbai in a 3 day journey.

India Rail Info
Joydeep Sarkar

WEST BENGAL — Welcome aboard the 22512 Kamakhya-LTT Karmabhoomi Express — a metaphor, if any, of the acuteness of Bengal’s unemployment problem.

It is 10.28 pm at north Bengal’s Alipurduar Junction and the crowd has swollen to its peak. This is when the Karmabhoomi Express appears at the station. It is bound for Mumbai. Finding a seat on it is close to impossible. It is always chock full and there are always hundreds struggling to get a spot in the unreserved general compartment.

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