Egyptian army begins Radaa 2020 military drills

The drills include training in the preparation and organization of battle, moving and conquering and then pushing the main force to attack the front border of the hostile defenses. (AFP/File)
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Updated 15 October 2020

Egyptian army begins Radaa 2020 military drills

CAIRO: Radaa-2020 (Deterrence-2020 drills), carried out by units from the Egyptian Central Military Region with the participation of the branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces, is underway.

The drills will continue for several days as part of the annual plan for combat training of the Egyptian Armed Forces’ formations and units, in conjunction with the celebrations of the country and the armed forces of the 47th anniversary of the October war.

The drills include training in the preparation and organization of battle, moving and conquering and then pushing the main force to attack the front border of the hostile defenses, and completing the attack to achieve the planned tasks using the MILES simulation.

Mohamed Farid Hegazy, chief of staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces, addressed a number of commanders and officers participating in the project about the way to carry out the tasks assigned to them.

He imposed a number of emergency tactical situations to ensure their ability to take the right decision to face sharp and rapid changes during the course of the battle.

The Egyptian and Russian navies are conducting joint exercises in the Black Sea until the end of this year.

During the exercises, the warships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy and the Egyptian Navy, with the support of aircraft, will train to defend sea lanes against various threats.

Troops will be deployed to organize communications and resupply at sea, and participants in the exercises will conduct searches for suspicious ships.

Commander of the Egyptian Air Force Mohamed Abbas Helmy said on Tuesday that the Egyptian Army had air forces capable of reaching the farthest range to confront threats to Egypt’s national security.

Helmy confirmed that all major branches, including the air force, had witnessed an unprecedented boom in weapons systems, especially in recent years.

He said that events in neighboring countries and the targeting of terrorist organizations, in addition to regional developments, was a push to modernize the armament system within the air force.

The choice of modern air weapons was based on the nature of the tasks required, and challenges and potential threats against Egyptian national security, with the aim of protecting the capabilities and wealth of the Egyptian state, and if there was a need to strike terrorist elements.
 


Qatar comes to Turkey’s ‘rescue’ amid public outcry

Updated 27 November 2020

Qatar comes to Turkey’s ‘rescue’ amid public outcry

  • The bilateral ties have sparked a public outcry, with people criticizing the sale of strategic assets to the Gulf nation
  • Turkey transferred 10 percent of shares in the Istanbul stock exchange to the Qatar Investment Authority

ANKARA: Turkey and Qatar on Thursday signed investment deals worth millions of dollars, as part of the developing relationship between the two countries.
The external funding will help to alleviate Turkey’s currency crisis, which has seen the lira lose about 40 percent of its value this year due to depleted foreign reserves.
But the bilateral ties have sparked a public outcry, with people criticizing the sale of strategic assets to the Gulf nation. 
Turkey transferred 10 percent of shares in the Istanbul stock exchange to the Qatar Investment Authority, and the Turkish Wealth Fund’s stake in the stock exchange dropped to 80.6 percent as a result.
Qatar, having already poured $15 billion into currency swap deals, has also bought the transfer of 42 percent of shares in one of Turkey’s biggest shopping malls, Istinye Park on Qatar Street in Istanbul, for $1 billion. It has also pledged to invest in the Istanbul Golden Horn marina project.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, criticized the government for signing the deals with Qatar, saying that even the sale of the presidential palace to the Gulf country would come as no surprise.
“Where does your love for Qatar come from? Everything is being sold,” he said during a TV program on Friday.
Critics see the Qatari investment money as an alarming trend for the Turkish economy, dubbing the agreements as the “best Black Friday deal.”
According to Hakan Kara, an economics professor at Bilkent University in Ankara and former chief economist at the Central Bank of Turkey, concentrated funding from a single source mostly driven by personal relationships was at odds with the Turkish government’s previous emphasis on “the need to reduce the dependence on foreign capital.”
“History shows that such reliance on personal ties may bring compromises in many other areas,” he told Arab News.
The agreements will bring $300 million of capital flows to Turkey. Total investments from Qatar to Turkey have reached $22 billion.
Dr. Robert C. Mogielnicki, a resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington D.C., said while Qatari economic support for Turkey had been forthcoming in recent years, there were also political dimensions to these initiatives.
“A substantial increase in Qatari equity capital in Turkey has offset declining Saudi and Emirati investments over the years,” he told Arab News. “Qatari investments into Turkey spiked from 2015-2016, suggesting that the strengthening of this economic partnership preceded the 2017 Gulf rift and likely had its roots in the earlier 2014 regional dispute.”
Although securing new investment deals with Qatar is important for coping with the difficult economic times that Turkey is experiencing, experts have noted the need for economic diversification.
“Turkey still needs to expand and deepen its economic ties with other countries. Qatari-Turkish ties are but one of many linkages needed to support Turkey’s massive economy. A big risk for Turkey is that the politicization of its trade and investment deals today limits future opportunities,” Mogielnicki added.
According to Timothy Ash, a London-based senior emerging markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management, the recent deals are part of the long-running strong ties between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration and Qatar.
“Although Qatar has proved to be an active and dynamic investor in Turkey, I think that the $15 billion in financing is not a game changer,” he told Arab News. “They are useful but still pale into insignificance compared to Turkey’s annual $200 billion external financing needs. Doha pledged $15 billion in support to Turkey in 2018. That was supposed to comprise $5 billion in swaps, $5 billion in loans and $5 billion in investments. In the end, the loans were converted to a total of $10 billion in swaps and I think what we are seeing this week is the investment angle rolled out. I don’t think this is new money.”