Mon, 14 Jul 2003

PKB to set up branch in Egypt

JAKARTA: Former president Abdurrahman Wahid's National Awakening Party (PKB) plans to expand overseas after the Supreme Court ruled against its rival faction in its legal battle to participate in next year's elections, by opening a chapter in Egypt, where thousands of Indonesian Muslims study.

PKB Chairman Alwi Shihab and other PKB members will visit Cairo on July 17 to establish their party's Egypt branch, Antara reported on Sunday from Cairo.

Rusydi Arif, who will lead the Egyptian chapter of PKB, was quoted as saying Alwi and his deputy Mahfud MD, as well other party executive board members were scheduled to arrive in Cairo on Saturday, but the visit was delayed due to an unspecified reason.

Rusydi said PKB's Egyptian executive board had been established last week, comprising Indonesian members from various provinces.

Indonesian Ambassador to Egypt Bachtiar Aly was invited to the planned inauguration next week and will give a speech at the event, he added. --Antara