Naguib Sawiris, Egypt's Biggest Businessman, Has Deep North Korea Connection

02/08/2011 09:37 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Donald Kirk GlobalPost

SEOUL, South Korea -- Egypt's biggest businessman holding hands with Kim Jong Il.

This image, from an official photograph that also features the Dear Leader's brother-in-law (below), leaves little doubt as to which side North Korea backs in the Egypt uprising.

It's rare that Kim Jong Il personally receives a foreign visitor, much less allows his picture to be taken while firmly clasping the hand of one. Nevertheless, mobile-phone tycoon Naguib Sawiris got his very own squeeze while visiting Pyongyang in late January.

North Korea and Egypt are special friends. Kim Jong Il has a deep relationship with Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Telecom, that goes well beyond the mobile network his company set up in North Korea over the past three years.

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