- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The Egyptian government is seeking approval to turn a northern New Jersey building once owned by Franciscan Friars into an annex to its mission in the United Nations.

The two-story structure in East Rutherford will be home to Brig. Gen. Yasser Hassan, Maj. Raslan Mahmoud and their families and also will have meeting rooms and housing for visiting dignitaries who previously had to stay in New York City hotels, The Record newspaper reported (https://bit.ly/1JpGC9C ). Hassan is a military adviser assigned to Egypt’s mission to the U.N., where he’s serving as a member of the Security Council.

The Egyptian government is seeking zoning approvals to make changes to the 13,500-square-foot building it purchased in December 2014 for nearly $1.7 million. The building will be a tax-exempt as a United Nations Mission annex.

Zoning Board member Al Levy said he’s concerned about the proposal because the plan increases the number of bedrooms in the building to 20 from 12 or 13.

But the Egyptian government contended that it’s continuing the same type of use that the Franciscans had for the building, which has been vacant for several years.

A hearing on the zoning case began earlier this month and will resume on Feb. 4.

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Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), https://www.northjersey.com

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