Egypt calls reports of surveillance at COP27 'ludicrous'

AP , Monday 14 Nov 2022

COP 27 presidency representative Ambassador Wael Aboulmagd has dismissed as ``ludicrous'' Monday reports that Egyptian police have been conducting surveillance of participants at this year's U.N. climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh

COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh
Flags sway in the wind outside the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre, in Egypt s Red Sea resort city of the same name, during the COP27 climate conference, on Monday. Photo:AFP


The United Nations said Sunday that it was investigating allegations of misconduct by Egyptian police officers who were part of the force providing security to the global body at the venue.

Germany reportedly had raised through its embassy concerns after attendees at events hosted by the country were photographed and filmed.

But ambassador Aboulmagd said he had not received any direct complaints from Germany.

“I've seen reports in the media,'' he told reporters. “They're rather vague, imprecise, inaccurate.''

Germany's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that it was in contact with Egyptian authorities about the incidents at its pavilion.

“It seems ludicrous because that's an open event,'' Aboulmagd said, referring to a panel last week at the German pavilion at which the sister of jailed Egyptian activist, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, spoke. ``Why would any untoward surveillance exist in an open event?''

He suggested the issue was being raised to divert attention from the substantive topics being discussed at the climate talks.

"We're tired of these apparently intentional distractions from climate issues, excessive focus on unfounded allegations,'' said Abouldmagd.

The United Nations has confirmed that some of the security officers working in the part of the venue designated as United Nations territory come from Egypt, the host country of the COP in this session citing the ``scale and complexity of providing security at a large-scale event'' such as the COP27 climate talks.

It said that U.N. security “has been made aware of allegations of the Code of Conduct violations and is investigating these reports.''

*The story has been edited by Ahram online

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