World Bulletin / News Desk
Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, said in a television interview broadcast on Thursday that he would run for president if the army chief does not contest elections.
"I believe now I will run for the presidency," Shafik told Al Qahira Wil Nas television, adding that he would compete if army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stayed out of the race that is expected later this year.
Shafik left Egypt last year after being defeated in the presidential election by Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood politician since overthrown by the army and now on trial for conspiracy and inciting violence while in office.
Last month, Egyptian courts acquitted him in one corruption case and shelved another.
Shafik's return would reflect a shift in the balance of power in Egypt since the army removed MOrsi and set the Arab world's largest nation on a new course designed to lead to presidential and parliamentary elections.
The next milestone is a Jan. 14-15 referendum on a new constitution.
Shafik, a former air force commander who cited Mubarak as a role model during his election campaign, lost narrowly to Morsi in the run-off.
Speaking from the United Arab Emirates, Shafik said it was possible he would return to Cairo to vote in the referendum.
In an interview in September, he said he would not run for the presidency if Sisi did and added that Sisi had his full support.
Sisi has yet to say if he will run. He enjoys wide support among those Egyptians who rejoiced at Morsi's overthrow, but he is reviled by the ousted president's supporters. Dates for presidential and parliamentary elections have yet to be set.
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Tuesday pledged $500 million in humanitarian aid to help ease the crisis in Syria.
Syrian state television put the number killed at 44 and said 21 others had been wounded in the attack on Mabouja, a 60-km (40 mile) drive east of Hama. A Syrian military source said the army had repelled the assault on Tuesday.
A strike early on Tuesday near Sanaa airport blew a large crater in a group of five houses, witnesses said. There were no casualties, suggesting the buildings had been empty since a deadly raid in the same area last week.
Aiming to seal preliminary deal by Tuesday midnight with diplomats fear opportunity will be lost if no deal today
Explosions and heavy gunfire was heard in the Shida and al-Hisama districts of Saada province and near the town of Haradh in neighbouring Hajja province.
fState TV says tons of food and medical supplies have been airlifted to Shiite militant group.
"Iran and Saudi Arabia can cooperate to solve the Yemeni crisis," Abdollahian told reporters in Kuwait, speaking through a translator. "We recommend all parties in Yemen return to calm and dialogue".
In a statement, the independent aid agency "called for the urgent removal of obstacles to the delivery to Yemenof vital medical supplies needed to treat casualties from a week of deadly clashes and air strikes".
Egypt Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Egypt was in contact with Saudi Arabia and Oman in an effort to ease the return of Egyptian nationals from Yemen.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is mounting an attempt to airlift nationals from the Yemeni city of Sanaa.
Ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh thanked Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said in a Facebook statement
Iranian news website Tabnak named the journalist as Amir Hossein Motaghi, who helped Rouhani to his landslide win in the 2013 presidential elections.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation agreement signed in Turkish capital
According to witnesses, pro-Saleh forces, Houthis enter Yemen's Ad Dali after 6 days of clashes