Egypt backs Trump's attack on Western media

Egypt backs Trump's attack on Western media
2 min read
08 February, 2017
Cairo hailed US President Donald Trump's claim that media outlets are failing to adequately cover acts of Islamist terror amid an increasingly desperate battle to salvage his 'Muslim ban'.
Donald Trump accused media outlets of giving little coverage to attacks by Islamist extremists [AFP]
Egypt on Tuesday said it backed US President Donald Trump's claims that Western media outlets have deliberately not reported "terrorist" attacks.

The president made the remarks on Monday, provocatively claiming that acts by Islamist extremists were receiving little coverage.

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid "hailed the US administration stance" on "the Western media's coverage of some terrorist attacks around the world".

The statement, Abu Zeid added, addressed "the White House release of a list of 78 terror attacks [9 of which were in Egypt] which Western media ignored in a clear bias."

Trump made his provocative claim amid increasing pressure on his administration to drop its ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, which has been temporarily suspended by a court judgement.

"You have seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported," he said during a visit to US Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

"And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it," he added.

Although the president failed to provide evidence for his claim, the White House later distributed a list of 78 attacks it said were "executed or inspired by" the Islamic State group."

The White House claimed that most of the attacks failed to receive adequate media coverage.

In its statement, the Egyptian foreign ministry said that "accusations and the finger of blame were pointed at others [like Egypt] after terrorist attacks ... which some Western media portrayed as a security failure on the part of the government".

It cited Western media coverage of the downing of a Russian passenger plane over Egypt's Sinai region in October 2015, in which 224 were killed.

The IS group claimed that it had smuggled a bomb onto the aircraft. The presence of a bomb was later confirmed by a Russian investigation.

Abu Zeid said he hoped that "the next phase will witness an essential shift in the way the international community deals with the phenomenon of terrorism."

Under Trump, Egypt-US relations seem to have begun anew, following a period of disagreements over rights crackdowns during Barack Obama's time as president.

The Obama administration temporarily suspended $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt following the 2013 overthrow of president Mohamad Morsi. 

On Monday, the White House confirmed that Trump is committed to providing military assistance to Egypt, following a conversation between the president and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.