Egypt: Algeria must say sorry and pay

Egypt would return its ambassador to Algeria, who was recalled last month over a bitter football row, only if it received compensation for vandalised Egyptian property, a newspaper reported on Monday.

Algeria and Egypt engaged in a diplomatic row after Algerian fans attacked the buses of Egyptians fans at a World Cup qualifier hosted by Sudan in November, which Algeria won.

Egypt withdrew its ambassador, Abdel Aziz El-Nasr, in response.

"We will not return the Egyptian ambassador to Algeria until there is an apology and compensation for the damage that was inflicted on Egyptian businesses and people," Shorouk newspaper quoted Legal Affairs Minister Mufid Shehab as saying.

Algerians ransacked and burned the offices of Egyptian companies in Algiers, including telecommunications giant Orascom, and Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit has estimated the damages at tens of millions of dollars.

"The companies will ask for compensation for this damage and we hope... the Algerian government... will comply when these companies submit their compensation requests," the foreign ministry quoted Abul Gheit as saying in a statement on Sunday.

Abul Gheit also said that Egypt hoped to resume good relations with Algeria, stressing that the two countries were joined by "brotherhood and affection". - AFP

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