"This could tell you who really runs the Islamic world or is it more about who writes the checks. Four billion dollars from Saudi Arabia looks like a deal to me. You get the money if you free Mubarak and the clerics get a cut of the action to boot." N.P.Contompasis
Mubarak deserves mercy - top cleric
BERLIN (AP) - A German newspaper reports that Egypt's top Sunni Muslim cleric says the country's former president Hosni Mubarak should be granted mercy instead of facing prosecution. German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung's Sunday edition quotes Ahmed Al Tayeb, the grand sheikh of Cairo's Al Azhar University, as saying that "mercy should prevail over justice" given Mubarak's achievements and his poor health. Al Azhar representatives in Cairo could not immediately be reached to confirm the comments. The weekly says it interviewed the grand sheikh of Sunni Islam's foremost seat of learning in Egypt's capital. The cleric was further quoted as saying that toppling Mubarak was an expression of the people's desire for change "which Al Azhar supports".
‘Saudis agree $4b in Egypt assistance’
CAIRO (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide cash-strapped Egypt with about $4 billion dollars to support its economy, Egypt’s state MENA news agency reported on Saturday. Cairo has been asking donors and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help bridge a funding gap through mid-2012 estimated at $10-12 billion in the wake of the mass protests that ousted President Hosni Mubarak on February 11. The turmoil has caused tourism and investor revenue to dry up at a time when high popular expectations have increased the pressure on the budget. “The $4 billion will be distributed in the form of soft loans, deposits and grants,” MENA quoted Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s ruling military council, as saying. It did not provide a time frame or other details. Al Ahram newspaper, quoting unnamed Arab sources in Cairo, said on Saturday the $4 billion Saudi economic package would support Egypt’s general budget, the central bank, development and other projects and bond purchases. Egypt’s economy contracted by an estimated 7 per cent in the January-to-March quarter.