<![CDATA[rss-Politics]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Politics]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Sudan’s military council praises Egypt’s support of Khartoum]]>
“I hope that Egypt's support to Sudan could extend until it [Sudan] recovers politically and economically to see Sudan's desired vision,” he said in remarks to TeN news program on Egyptian satellite channel on Sunday.

Egypt has played a significant role along history not only in Sudan, but in the Arab and Islamic world and Africa, he said, adding that Egypt has participated in bringing stability and security to Sudan.

Sudan is working on an integrated economic project to reconstruct the nation with Sudanese experts, in consultation with economists in Arab, African and European countries, Atta said.

Head of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki praised some African and Arab countries' efforts to solve the Sudanese turmoil, saying "Military and civilian leaders exerted a great effort to reach a transition agreement in Sudan […] The African Union has recognized the challenges and [hence] has taken decisions to help reach an agreement in Sudan."

On August 18, Sudanese Transitional Military Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change alliance (FFC) signed an agreement to pave the way for civilian rule.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said that Egypt will always support the Sudanese brothers, stressing that the coming period will witness an unprecedented enhancement at all levels of cooperation between the two countries.

The FFC alliance had previously called for the end of ousted President Omar al-Bashir’s regime. The main opposition alliance and the ruling transitional military council (TMC) have initiated the draft of the Sudan’s Constitution Declaration on August 4.

Since the ouster of former President Bashir on April 11, 2019, the interim military council has ruled the country, saying that its rule could last for 2 years until a new democratic government will be elected.
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8/18/2019 5:37:40 PM
<![CDATA[Hong Kong protesters throng streets in heat and heavy rain]]>
Sunday’s turnout showed that the movement still has broad-based support despite the ugly scenes witnessed during the past week when protesters occupied the Chinese-ruled city’s airport, for which some activists apologized.

There was an uneasy calm after nightfall, with no violent confrontations and protesters unclear on what would happen next. Police in riot gear checked the IDs of some demonstrators to the west of the Central business district, and there was a large police presence outside the Western District police station.

“They’ve been telling everyone we’re rioters. The march today is to show everyone we are not,” said a 23-year-old named Chris, who works in marketing and was dressed all in black, including a scarf covering his face and baseball cap.

“It does not mean we won’t keep fighting. We will do whatever is necessary to win, but today we take a break, then we reassess.”

One protester shouted at others who were jeering at police, “Today is a peaceful march! Don’t fall into the trap! The world is watching us,” prompting the group to move on.

Anger over a now-suspended bill that would allow criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China erupted in June, but the rising unrest has been fueled by broader worries about the erosion of freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula put in place after Hong Kong’s return from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

Protesters held aloft placards with slogans including “Free Hong Kong!” and “Democracy now!” and umbrellas to shield them from the rain. The crowd in Victoria Park, where the rally started, was peaceful and included elderly people as well as the middle aged, young people and families, with some parents carrying toddlers.


Despite rally organizers not having permission to march, the park could not accommodate the crowd, which thronged the streets around the park. Many protesters headed toward the city’s financial center, chanting for the city’s Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, to step down.

It was impossible to put an exact figure on the number of protesters but Reuters journalists, reporting from around the territory, put the total at at least 200,000.

“It’s bloody hot and it’s raining. It’s a torture just to turn up, frankly. But we have to be here because we have no other choice,” said a 24-year-old student named Jonathan who was at the rally that began in Victoria Park in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong island.

“We have to continue until the government finally shows us the respect that we deserve,” he said.

‘WE ARE HONG KONGERS’
Aside from Lam’s resignation, demonstrators are seeking complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, a halt to descriptions of the protests as “rioting”, a waiver of charges against those arrested, an independent inquiry and resumption of political reform.

“When we were young, we didn’t think about it. But my son tells me: After 2047, what will happen to me?,” said a history teacher named Poon, referring to the year when the 50-year agreement enshrining Hong Kong’s separate system will lapse.

“I will come again and again and again. We do not know how any of this is going to end. We will still fight,” she said.

Police have come under criticism for using increasingly aggressive tactics to break up demonstrations and on Sunday some people handed out balloons resembling eyeballs, a reference to the injury suffered by a female medic who was hospitalized after being hit by a pellet round in the eye.

On Saturday, however, a demonstration in support of the government attracted what organizers said was 476,000 people, although police put the number of attendees at 108,000.

The anti-government protests present one of the biggest challenges facing Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012. And with the ruling Communist Party preparing to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on Oct. 1, the crisis in Hong Kong has come at a sensitive time.

Beijing has struck an increasingly strident tone over the protests, accusing foreign countries including the United States of fomenting unrest.

Scenes of Chinese paramilitary troops training this past week at a stadium in the city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, gave a clear warning that mainland intervention by force is possible.

Last week, protesters who occupied the terminal at Hong Kong’s airport forced the cancellation of nearly 1,000 flights and detained two men they thought were pro-government sympathizers, prompting Beijing to liken the behavior to terrorism.

“We are Hong Kongers. We are here for our future. We feel for the teenagers,” said Frances Chan, 60, a retired journalist attending Sunday’s rally.

She said only a few protesters had used violence, sparingly, and that it was brought on by pressure from authorities and police.

“Actually, we want peace and freedom,” she said. “If the government would just listen to the five requests, things would calm down.”]]>
8/18/2019 4:17:01 PM
<![CDATA[Vice Admiral Osama Rabie appointed Suez Canal Authority chairman]]>
Rabie was born in 1955 and graduated from the Egyptian Naval Academy in 1977. He came up through the ranks to become commander of the Egyptian Navy in April 2015 before he was appointed vice-chairman of the Suez Canal Authority in December 2016.

The key positions Rabie held throughout his career are minesweeper commander, chief of staff of the Mine Action Brigade, and commander of the Mine Action Brigade. The vice admiral received the Long-Service and Idol Medal and the Second-Class Medal of Military Duty. ]]>
8/17/2019 4:36:02 PM
<![CDATA['Egypt to provide all forms of support for Sudan': Madbouli]]>
He also added that Egypt will spare no effort to provide all forms of support for Sudan in the coming stage, including political support in the regional and international arenas, topped by the African Union.

Madbouli conveyed greetings of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to the Sudanese side on the signing of the constitutional document.

He also expressed hope that this historic deal would represent a launch pad for stability, development and welfare in a way that helps achieve prosperity for the Sudanese people.

Sudan is celebrating the signing of the landmark deal that has been reached between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change alliance to pave the way for civilian rule.

On Sunday, the new transitional civilian-majority ruling council is to be announced.]]>
8/17/2019 3:53:25 PM
<![CDATA[Deforestation in Brazil, vote in Argentina endanger EU-Mercosur pact]]>
Deforestation has surged since Bolsonaro’s election last year. His plans to develop the Amazon and moves to weaken rainforest protection have alarmed environmentalists and given ammunition to European opponents of the trade deal with the South American common market.

Two former Brazilian environment ministers, Jose Sarney Filho and Izabella Teixeira, said Bolsonaro has rapidly undermined Brazil’s hard-won reputation as a responsible food producer and a leader in world environmental forums.

“Nobody imagined he would dismantle Brazil’s command and control mechanisms for protecting the environment so fast and effectively,” Sarney said in a interview.

He said Bolsonaro has deliberately demoralized environmental agencies and given wildcat miners an incentive to cut down trees and invade indigenous reservations.

Brazil’s presidency did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Sarney pointed to a “high risk” that some EU parliaments, particularly in big farming countries such as France, will not ratify the accord concluded last month with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

French President Emmanuel Macron warned in June he would not sign the EU-Mercosur pact if Bolsonaro pulled Brazil out of the Paris climate accord.

Amid deepening tensions with France over climate change policy and the environment, Bolsonaro suddenly canceled a July 29 meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian - and went for a haircut instead.

Germany and Norway have suspended donations to a $1.2 billion fund to back sustainable projects in the Amazon after the government shut down the steering committee that selects projects and planned to use it to compensate farmers who had land expropriated in protected areas.

Bolsonaro, a nationalist who has attacked foreign interference in the Amazon, retorted that Brazil had nothing to learn from European nations and did not need the money. He said the funds should be used to reforest Germany.

European diplomats and analysts said Bolsonaro’s stance on the Amazon will fuel opposition to the Mercosur agreement, which has already faced protests.

“You have a president who is basically torpedoing this deal, not only with his environmental policy, but with the way he presents it to the world,” said Oliver Stuenkel, international affairs expert at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo.

“There are a growing number of voices particularly in France and Germany saying that unless this policy changes the EU should no longer ratify the deal,” Stuenkel said.

AGRIBUSINESS WORRIED
Deforestation in Brazil more than tripled in July over the year, data from Brazil’s INPE space research agency shows. Bolsonaro attacked the data as misleading and fired the agency’s head.

Brazil’s powerful agribusiness sector, which managed to convince Bolsonaro not to withdraw Brazil from the Paris accord, is worried his stance on the Amazon could lead to a boycott against their exports.

Farming magnate and former Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi told Valor Economico newspaper that Bolsonaro’s “aggressive” speeches on the environment could sink the EU-Mercosur agreement and destroy years of work to get Brazil’s food exports an environmentally friendly stamp.

Walter Schalka, chief executive of Suzano Papel e Celulose SA (SUZB3.SA), urged agribusiness leaders this week to speak up against the surge in Amazon deforestation.

“Brazil will have to prove that it can produce its products in a sustainable way, without adding to deforestation,” former minister Teixeira told Reuters. “Today countries are questioning Brazil’s credibility.”

CHANGE IN ARGENTINA

Sunday’s primaries in Argentina put the EU-Mercosur deal under a new cloud of uncertainty as Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez emerged as the odd-on favorite to win the presidential election in October.

He has said he wants to renegotiate parts of the trade deal that do not suit Argentina. That could unravel the agreement given the rising resistance in Europe.

“If Fernandez is elected and wants to renegotiate parts of the accord, it would have to be reopened entirely. We would be back to square one,” a European diplomat in Brazil said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

While Fernandez is a moderate Peronist, his running mate is former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, a protectionist who is no fan of the EU deal.

“The pressure on him to not just accept and wave though this agreement is quite significant,” said Stuenkel.

Brazil’s foreign ministry declined to comment on the prospects for the EU-Mercosur agreement if Fernandez wins.

Foreign Trade Secretary Marcos Troyjo defended Brazil’s policy on the Amazon, saying, “The environmental policy of this government is the intelligent use of the country’s natural resources.”]]>
8/17/2019 12:48:13 PM
<![CDATA[Pompeo praises Lebanese gov’t for firm stand against Iranian threat]]>
Pompeo met in Washington with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in the presence of David Schenker, the assistant secretary of near eastern affairs, and David Hill, undersecretary of state for political affairs.

Pompeo also reassured Hariri of “the commitment of the United States to support Lebanon and its institutions, to preserve its security and stability.”

After the meeting, Hariri said he hoped to “reach a conclusive decision in the upcoming months regarding the border demarcation negotiations.”

During his visit, Hariri also met Undersecretary of Defense John Rudd. They discussed “ways to support the Lebanese army and the security forces,” according to the prime minister’s office.

He also met with Treasury officials, including Marshall Billingslea, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for terrorist financing, in light of the announcement by the US of fresh sanctions on Hezbollah officials.
]]>
8/16/2019 3:51:28 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey to open new military base in Qatar]]>
“A new Turkish base has been built near Qatar’s Tariq Ibn Ziyad military base,” Hürriyet correspondent, Hande Fırat, said, adding that the military base’s inauguration ceremony was expected to be “unveiled by the Qatari Emir and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”

Turkish soldiers were first deployed to Qatar in October 2015, in an attempt to contribute to the regional peace and to boost bilateral relations between Turkey and Qatar.

In December 2017, the military base was named the Qatar-Turkey Combined Joint Force Command.

Since Qatar’s Arabic neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain, placed Doha under a blockade in June 2017 for supporting terrorism, Turkey’s military presence has taken on greater significance.
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8/16/2019 3:44:55 PM
<![CDATA[Libya Air Force strikes warehouse housing drones in Zuwarah: Army]]>
The warehouse also contained the ammunition of the drones, according to the statement.

The operations room warned places in Libya from dealing with any foreign party, noting that these places will be a legitimate target for the Libyan Air Force.

The national Air Force fighter jets on Thursday said it targeted Zuwarah Airport airstrip and a control room inside it for drones.

Libyan air force fighter jets earlier launched air strikes on some of the militia positions south of Tripoli.

The Libyan Army's military media department said that the airstrikes led to the escape of the remaining militia groups, after the heavy losses they suffered.

The department pointed out that the Libyan Air Force carried out strikes on sites that were stationed by a number of foreign mercenaries.

These strikes were accurate and left a number of elements wounded and dead, the department added.

For his part, Libyan army spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari, in a press conference on Wednesday from Benghazi, said that the Al-Wefaq militias are suffering from the army strikes, especially after the destruction of the air defense system in Misrata.
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8/16/2019 2:50:55 PM
<![CDATA[Liberal Wafd forms committee to prosecute those disrespecting party ]]>
It has been observed recently that some people have been insulting and slandering the party members, overstepping the right of freedom of opinion and constructive criticism, the decree read.

This comes after the party announced dropping the membership of Al-Sayed Al-Badawi, who served as the president of the party from 2010 to 2018, over losing the "good reputation" membership condition.

Sources said the party decided to remove Badawi's name from all its records, as he failed to settle his disputes with a number of companies within a certain time limit, after he had been handed final imprisonment sentences, according to a memorandum submitted by Fouad al-Badrawi, the party's general secretary.

"The decision deprives Al-Sayed Al-Badawi from running again to head the Wafd Party, as dropping his membership was based on the loss of one of the conditions of membership, which is good reputation and conduct, which was denied [due to] the issuance of criminal provisions against him."

Badawi described the decision to expel him as retaliatory and reckless, adding that it violates the law and party regulations.

Badawi said he cannot explain Abu Shoka's hostility towards him, adding that this hostility needs a psychological explanation as it cannot be politically explained.

The New Wafd is believed to be Egypt’s oldest national liberal party and always played a significant role in the Egyptian political scene. It is linked to the original Wafd Party which was dismantled after the 1952 Revolution. The New Wafd Party was established in 1978.

Wafd has a powerful and coherent internal structure. The party is run by a supreme council that includes 50 members, all elected by the general assembly, and is said to be the highest decision-making body in the party.

Since its re-launch, Wafd has emerged as an influential player in the political arena. The party has the largest network of branches and representatives, covering major cities in all Egyptian governorates.

Wafd has a large membership base, consisting of various social segments,notably a number of political and cultural figures, making the party stand out as one of the few established parties that truly represent the Egyptian street. The party also enjoys a very strong presence in the media thanks to its famous daily newspaper and website.
Additional reporting by Egypt Today Staff
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8/16/2019 1:54:49 PM
<![CDATA[Gibraltar decides to free seized Iranian tanker; U.S. seeks to hold it]]>
The Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marine commandos in darkness off the coast of the territory at the western mouth of the Mediterranean on July 4 on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions by taking oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran.

Two weeks later, Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz leading into the Gulf.

The two tankers have become pawns in the standoff between Iran and the West, their fate tangled up in the diplomatic differences between the EU’s big powers and the United States.

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo decided to lift the detention order after formal written assurances from Tehran that the ship would not discharge its 2.1 million barrels of oil in Syria.

“In light of the assurances we have received, there are no longer any reasonable grounds for the continued legal detention of the Grace 1 in order to ensure compliance with the EU Sanctions Regulation,” Picardo said.

However, Gibraltar officials did not make clear whether the U.S. legal bid would mean the ship would have to be detained further or, if so, for how long.

“Separately, the United States Department of Justice has requested that a new legal procedure for the detention of the vessel should be commenced,” Picardo said. “That is a matter for our independent Mutual Legal Assistance authorities who will make an objective, legal determination of that request for separate proceedings.”

In a statement, the U.S. State Department said the United States had determined that the ship was helping Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which Washington has designated as a terrorist organization.

“In the case of the M/T Grace I, we will continue to act consistent with our existing policies concerning those who provide material support to the IRGC,” the State Department said.

Iran said the ship would sail shortly, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif characterised the U.S. bid to prevent it from leaving as “piracy”.

“America desperately tried to block the release of the tanker at the last minute, but faced a miserable defeat,” Iran’s ambassador to Britain, Hamid Baeidinejad, said on Twitter. “All preparations are done for the tanker to sail into open waters, and the vessel will soon leave Gibraltar.”

The tanker remains anchored, Reuters witnesses said, though its prow has moved around by at least 180 degrees. It was unclear whether that was due to the strong sea currents off Gibraltar or if it could be preparing to sail.

Earlier, a small vessel approached the Grace 1, which lowered a step ladder that at least two person used to reach the ship deck where they shook hands with people already on board.

Jalil Eslami, deputy head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, told the semi-official Mehr news agency the Grace 1 would head to “Mediterranean ports”, citing “an announcement by the owner of the tanker”. Eslami did not identify the owner.

Britain’s Foreign Office said Iran must abide by its pledge that the ship would not sail for Syria. There was “no comparison or linkage between Iran’s unacceptable and illegal seizure of, and attacks on, commercial shipping vessels in the Strait of Hormuz and the enforcement of EU Syria sanctions by the Government of Gibraltar,” it added in a statement.

Britain has been in a delicate diplomatic position since seizing the Grace 1. The United States is its closest ally, but like other European countries it disagrees with U.S. President Donald Trump’s hardline policy on Iran, after Trump pulled out of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers last year.

Several diplomatic sources have said Britain seized the vessel at the request of the United States, although Gibraltar denies that it was ordered to do so.

Although Britain and Iran have both denied that they would swap the tankers for each other, there has been a widespread expectation that the British-flagged Stena Impero will not be freed until the Iranian tanker is released.]]>
8/16/2019 12:40:51 PM
<![CDATA[Former Sudanese intelligence chief banned from entering US]]>
Salah Gosh and his close family members were made ineligible for entry into the United States due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights.

The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday, “I am also publicly designating his spouse, Awatif Ahmed Seed Ahmed Mohamed, as well as his daughter, Shima Salah Abdallah Mohamed.”

The statement specifically stated “the Department has credible information that Salah Gosh was involved in torture during his tenure as head of NISS,” using an abbreviation for Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services.
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8/15/2019 1:39:17 PM
<![CDATA[UAE FM says Khamenei meeting proves Houthis are Iran’s proxy]]>
“Houthi relations with Iran, for long in search for proper designation, is clearer following their leadership’s meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei,” Gargash tweeted.

“Stated in black and white in their statement of fealty the Houthis are a proxy and that is the correct terminology,” he added.

During the meeting, Khamenei praising the militants Tuesday, as he met the Houthi negotiator, Mohammed Abdul-Salam.

Iran has long been accused of supporting the group, which sparked the war, chaos and destruction in 2014 when they seized the capital Sanaa.

Iran’s support for the Houthis and supply of weapons is regarded as one of the main reasons why the war in Yemen has lasted so long.

An Arab coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia, is supporting troops loyal to the internationally recognized government against the Houthis.

The meeting in Tehran is the first time Khamenei has held talks with a senior Houthi representative, Reuters reported.

"I declare my support for the resistance of Yemen's believing men and women ... Yemen’s people... will establish a strong government," Khamenei said.

Yemen's government and the Arab coalition accuse the Houthis of collapsing previous UN-sponsored talks to find a political settlement to the conflict.

Saudi Arabia and its allies say Iran’s support of proxy militias in the region, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and groups in Iraq, is the main cause of instability in the region.
]]>
8/15/2019 1:06:18 PM
<![CDATA[Turkish drones start operating in northern Syria]]>
Ankara and Washington reached an agreement last week to set up a joint operations center regarding the safe zone to be established in northern Syria.

However, there have been no clear details so far regarding the size of the zone and the command structure of joint patrols that would be conducted there.

A six-person US delegation arrived in the southern Turkish province of Sanliurfa on Monday to work on the establishment of the operations center.

Turkey has been accused of facilitating the smuggling of arms and fighters to Syria, despite international resolutions that stipulate otherwise.

Washington and Ankara have been at odds over plans for northeastern Syria, where US allies on the ground in the battle against ISIS militants.
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8/15/2019 1:05:29 PM
<![CDATA[Libyan MPs hail Egypt's support to war torn state in face of terrorism]]>
Egypt has a great role in standing with Libya in the fight against terrorism, extremism and militias, and with the Libyan armed forces led by Khalifa Haftar, MP Assalheen Abdul Nabi said in press remarks on Tuesday.

Abdul Nabi hailed Egypt's belief in the Libyan Parliament as the only legitimate body elected by the Libyan people and its authority to play the main role in any political process in solidarity with the General Command of the army.

MP Eissa al-Oreibi welcomed the statement issued earlier by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on the situation in Libya, stressing that the five points included by the statement are pivotal and can be a base for a solution to the Libyan crisis.

In an interview with Egypt Today, Oreibi hailed the role played by the Egyptian state institutions to establish security and stability in Libya, pointing out that foreign interventions by some countries outside the region complicated the Libyan crisis.

Egypt hailed the humanitarian truce declared by Libyan parties on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, stressing that it is a positive step towards building confidence between Libyan parties, a Tuesday statement by Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Hafez said.
Hafez's statement also reported that Egypt confirmed that putting an end to foreign interference, stopping support for armed militias and extremists, and eliminating terrorism and extremism are the only way to end chaos and restore security and stability in Libya.

The truce was reached following the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) call upon the parties on August 8 to express their commitment to a humanitarian truce on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.

The statement also stressed that it is important that Libyan parties must reject foreign interference in Libya’s affairs and document violations to UN resolutions by countries that facilitate the smuggling of arms and terrorist fighters to Libya before the international community.

According to the statement, Egypt further calls upon the UNSMIL to cooperate more with the elected representatives of the Libyan people to develop the road map needed to get out of the current crisis and implement all the elements of the initiative approved by the Security Council in October 2017.

In the same context, Egypt condemned the recent terrorist bombing in Benghazi, expressing condolences to the victims’ families.]]>
8/14/2019 8:42:44 PM
<![CDATA[2012: Muslim Brotherhood's Political Failures, Democracy Breaches]]>
Eventually, they had to choose between Ahmed Shafik, who served as the minister of civil aviation in the era of Mubarak, and Mohamed Morsi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood group, which they did not know well as it was almost silenced by Mubarak.

Millions of Egyptians headed to polling stations to vote for Morsi who died earlier this year during a trial, but only one year following his ruling, millions including former Morsi supporters took to the streets on June 30, 2013, calling on him to “leave” his post. Morsi was ousted a few days later.

On August 14, 2013, policemen and hundreds of Morsi supporters in Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda squares died during the dispersal of the protests, which called for returning the so-called legitimate president.

In 2012, the year Morsi ruled, Egyptians have been angered by Muslim Brotherhood political failures and democracy breaches.

Constitution referendum

In a step that seems democratic, Morsi announced that the Egyptian Constituent Assembly would vote on a new constitution in late 2012. The constitution was seen to be biased to the MB, as Islamist members reportedly represented 76 percent of the Assembly. In addition, legal experts thought it was full of defects.

A more balanced assembly was then formed, including police and army personnel, and representatives of Egypt's churches. On November 16, a few days before the vote, Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical churches in Egypt announced their withdrawal from the assembly, as it did not support religious pluralism, according to a unified statement from the churches.

Civil movements’ leaders, including Amr Moussa, former secretary-general of the Arab League; Gaber Nassar, former head of Cairo University; Anwar Esmat al-Sadat, nephew of late President Sadat; in addition to human activists, church representatives and more than 20 members of the assembly, withdrew from the assembly.

However, Morsi insisted on not postponing the voting process and the Muslim Brotherhood amassed more than 10.6 million votes in favor of the constitution, while more than 6 million votes opposed it.

Changeable stance, false promises

Khairat al-Shater, deputy supreme guide of the MB group at the time, claimed in the interview that the military institution said that it was delighted by the MB's decision not to run for presidency or seek the majority of seats in the Parliament.

However, in January 2012, it was announced that the MB's political wing, Freedom and Justice Party, won 235 total seats in the Egyptian Parliament, which represented about 47 percent of the total parliamentarian seats. The FJP was formed following the January revolution.

Moreover, on March 31, 2012, Mohamed Badie, the MB supreme guide, announced that Shater requested to resign from the group to run for president, after he was nominated by the MB. Shater said that he had never thought of taking up an executive post in the state; however, he had to abide by the group’s commands.

Less than a month later, the Egyptian election authority rejected the request of Shater to run for president, due to national legal procedures; the MB leaders were not surprised. Few days before the exclusion of Shater, the group reportedly prepared Morsi as an alternative. Apparently, the group did not dare to risk the chance.

Morsi won the presidential election with reportedly more than 13 million votes, representing about 51.7 percent of the electorate in the second round of the 2012 presidential election, to become the first elected president since the ousting of Mubarak.

Morsi thought he would satisfy people by promising them to solve problems concerning fuel, traffic, security and bread in 100 days. However, many people complained that Morsi failed to fulfill his promise.

The first 100 days of Morsi’s term were not successful, former parliamentarian Bassel Adel told CNN.

Adel claimed that Morsi wasted 40 percent of his time travelling abroad although the 100-day program and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Nahda presidential program which Morsi adopted focused on the internal affairs. In addition, Morsi was late forming the Cabinet which had not shown its efficiency up till now, he said.

Hamdi Bekheit, a military expert, claimed that the Nahda project needs 15 years in order to be achieved. He told CNN that the president and the ruling party exploited the ignorance and unawareness of many people, making promises they cannot fulfill. He added that the Nahda project needed a higher budget than the country could bear at the time.

Bekheit said that the security situation in Sinai had been worsened during the rule of Morsi and the MB, claiming that Morsi released prisoners [arrested during the January revolution] to distract people from questioning him about his promise.

On the other hand, Morsi claimed in the October War anniversary in 2012 that he has fulfilled 70 percent of the goals during his first 100 days.]]>
8/14/2019 5:28:51 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Media Group releases documentary on Muslim Brotherhood dark history]]>CAIRO – 14 August 2019: Six years after the dispersal of the Muslim Brotherhood sit-in camp at Rabaa Al-Adawiya, the Egyptian Media Group (EMG), in cooperation with Egypt Today, released a documentary on Wednesday that exposes the bloodthirsty truth of the outlawed group.


The 45-minute documentary, namely "Scam" according to EMG, exposes how the Muslim Brotherhood used to create chaos and violence right before repudiation.


2013 Rabaa dispersal: How the Muslim Brotherhood posed imminent danger?

CAIRO - 14 August 2019: Today marks the 6 th anniversary of the dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda sit-ins by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters, which was identified by security experts as one of the biggest threats to the national security of Egypt and the Arab region.



The documentary, which features a number of public figures such as National Council to Combat Terrorism member Khaled Okasha and political sociology professor Saeed Sadek, will be aired by state TV's Channel 1 at 2:30 pm and Channel 2 at 8 pm. The Nile TV channel will also broadcast the documentary with English subtitles after the news bulletin at 5 pm.





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8/14/2019 3:01:01 PM
<![CDATA[Social media insults might fine up to LE 20k]]>
Law enforcement investigators and prosecutors are focusing on the Electronic Crimes law this period, especially after the hacking of personal accounts of some famous personalities.

On May 29, Egyptian authorities arrested a Lebanese citizen, namely Mona al-Mazbouh, over posting a video on her Facebook account talking about several situations that triggered her anger while spending her vacation in Cairo.

In June 2018, Egyptian Attorney General Nabil Sadek ordered to hold Mazbouh in detention for four days pending investigations over accusation of “insulting Egyptian people and the president”, amid calls from the Egyptian parliamentarians to bar her from entering Egypt.

Mazbouh also described President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as “unjust”, spitting on the Egyptians and insulting Egyptian women.

On May 11, security forces arrested a woman called Amal Fathy Abdel-Tawab who was reported to be a member of April 6 Youth Movement and was detained for six days pending investigations over accusations of defamation, insulting the Egyptian state and assaulting Banque Misr employees.

Abdel-Tawab started a live video on her Facebook page, while angrily-telling a situation that happened to her as she was finishing the procedures of reactivating her bank account; she started to mention several bureaucratic situations that delayed the procedures for a long time.]]>
8/14/2019 2:03:59 PM
<![CDATA[Scandalous sound leaks of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood since Rabaa dispersal]]>
In May 2016, an audio leak for the late member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood’s guidance bureau, Mohammed Kamal, emerged, in which he urged the members of the guidance bureau to resign and leave their posts for another new leadership, stating that he gave up all his executive posts to set an example for the rest of the members.

The late member was assassinated by the outlawed group in the same year for his call.



In April 2018, another sound leak surfed the social media platforms to expose the role of Moataz Matar, a broadcaster known for supporting the outlawed group through Turkey-based Al-Sharq news channel. The leak was linked to the unjustified dismissal of the channel employees due to the corruption and foul actions of dissident politician Ayman Nour and Moataz Matar.



Another sound leak circulated the Internet in November 2018 before being removed and deleted by the outlawed Muslim brotherhood exposed the involvement of a senior Muslim Brotherhood member and a fugitive in Turkey in homosexual relations in the capital city of Istanbul. The senior member known as Ibrahim Ismail was reported to use his political leverage in order to persuade young men into having a relationship with him.

The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood resorted to the financial support provided by some neighboring countries in order to shake the stability and the security of Egypt, their dishonest tactics were exposed by a sound leak that emerged in April 2019, in which a fugitive member of the terrorist group who lived in Libya was talking about a plan funded by thousands of dollars to create fake social media pages that induce the masses to take to the street through fabricated news and rumors.



The member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood guidance bureau, Amir Bassam, who fled to Turkey out of fear of legal persecution was the hero of a sound leak that appeared to surface in July 2019. Bassam in the sound leak exposes the financial corruption and the thefts among the Muslim Brotherhood senior members such as the terrorist group’s secretary-general Mahmoud Hussein.


]]>
8/14/2019 2:42:11 AM
<![CDATA[Kremlin says protests in Moscow have not created political crisis]]>
The demonstrations, over elections for the Moscow city legislature, have turned into the biggest sustained protest movement in Russia since 2011-2013, when protesters took to the streets against perceived electoral fraud.

“We do not agree with those many people who call what is happening a political crisis,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Protests happen in many countries of the world. They are provoked by specific issues,” he said.

Police have detained more than 2,000 people at demonstrations in Moscow. Some video footage of tough police action at the rallies has stirred anger among Russians who believe the authorities have used excessive force.

Peskov said tough police action at the rallies had been justified, but that individual cases of police excess were being looked into.]]>
8/13/2019 1:58:30 PM
<![CDATA[EEAA monitors environmental standards in sites of rice straw collection]]>
Representatives of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency at the Ministry (EEAA) made field visits to eight sites at Dakahlia governorate, increasing the number of checked sites to 50 areas, the statement added.

Burning rice straw in Egypt is considered the main cause of what is known as "the black cloud," a thick layer of smog from burning rice straw that spreads across Cairo for an extended period of time. Egypt’s weather has been witnessing severe changes during the past period and varied between extreme cold and rain to sandstorms and high temperatures.

The Egyptian government has adopted measures to encourage gathering rice straw to put into effect an agro-waste system introduced by the ministry instead of burning it, said Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmyin 2017.

Last year, EEAA head Mohamed Salah, statedthat legal action has been taken by the Ministry of Environment against farmers who continue to burn rice straw. The ministry seeks to curb “the black cloud” which is regarded as one of the main causes of climate change.

]]>
8/12/2019 2:51:26 PM
<![CDATA[Queen slams UK politicians as unable to govern because of Brexit crisis]]>
It is one of the harshest political statements made by the Queen in her 67-year reign.

The 93-year-old has largely kept quiet about her political views during her long time on the throne.

It comes as Britain's ongoing crisis over Brexit threatens to drag the monarch into the row over the UK leaving the European Union. ]]>
8/12/2019 12:35:44 PM
<![CDATA[AL denounces Benghazi terrorist attack, urges respecting truce]]>
The AL chief offered condolences to the families of the victims and wished speedy recovery for the injured, a well-placed source with the AL said on Sunday.

Abul Ghiet called on all Libyan warring parties to respect the UN-brokered humanitarian truce during Eid Al Adha and resume the political path, which is deemed the sole way to reach a permanent solution to the Libyan crisis, the source added.]]>
8/11/2019 11:31:31 AM
<![CDATA[Scores of Palestinians suffocated by Israeli tear gas bombs]]>
Eyewitnesses at the holy site told MENA that Israeli occupation forces stormed Al Aqsa Mosque, attacked worshipers and fired tear gas bombs at them shortly after the prayers were completed.

Israeli occupants also assaulted Al Quds Mufti Sheikh Mohamed Hussein, while Israeli forces are still deployed at the mosque yards as thousands of worshipers gathered to prevent settlers from pushing deep into the holy site.

Worshipers defied the storming settlers and gathered at Bab el Maghareba to prevent the settlers from entering the holy place.

Islamic Waqfs Department in Al Quds said that more than 100,000 worshipers performed Eid prayers at the holy mosque years amid calls by Aqsa officials on worshipers to stay at the mosque in anticipation of any storming operation by the Jewish settlers]]>
8/11/2019 10:57:53 AM
<![CDATA[Arab League says Al Aqsa mosque facing real threat]]>
The Saturday statement affirmed that such action necessitates firm international Arab and Muslim action to put an end to Israeli occupation's mounting threats.

Arab League’s Assistant Secretary General for Palestinian and Occupied Arab Lands Affairs Saeed Abu Ali pointed out to preparations by extremist Jewish settlers to raid al Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday, the first day of Al Adha feast, under the protection of Israeli police.

The Arab League strongly condemned on Thursday an Israeli decision to build 2,300 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank.

Abu Ali slammed Israel's continued aggression against the Palestinians under the eye of the US, considering this as a litmus test to the international community.

He underlined the Arab League's support for the Palestinians, urging international organizations to shoulder responsibility to prod Israel into halting its crimes.
]]>
8/10/2019 1:59:08 PM
<![CDATA[Iran unveils 'upgraded missile defense system']]>
The announcement comes at a time of rising tension between Iran and United States. Iran shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile in June. Tehran says the drone was over its territory, but Washington says it was in international airspace.

State television showed the Falaq, a vehicle and a mobile radar installation it said was an improved version of the Gamma system, which military experts said was of Russian origin.

Western military analysts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, though concerns about its long-range ballistic missile program contributed to Washington last year exiting the pact that Iran sealed with world powers in 2015 to rein in its nuclear ambitions in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions.

“This system has high capabilities and can detect all types of cruise and ballistic missiles and drones,” Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard, commander of the regular army’s air defenses, was quoted as saying by semi-official news agency Mehr.

Sabahifard said the Falaq was a locally overhauled version of a system which had been out of operation for a long time, Mehr reported. He did not give the system’s country of origin.

U.S. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Tehran after pulling out of the nuclear deal, which its other signatories are struggling to maintain as Washington also lobbies to establish a maritime security coalition to safeguard shipping in the Gulf in a related standoff with Iran over oil supplies.]]>
8/10/2019 11:54:22 AM
<![CDATA[Fighting rages in Yemen's Aden as U.N. calls for dialogue]]>
Residents said battles resumed at dawn, marking a fourth straight day of clashes between southern separatists and government forces in the city that hosts the temporary seat of Yemen’s internationally-recognized authorities.

At least eight civilians were killed on Friday, medical sources said.

The combatants are both part of the Saudi-led coalition that has been battling the Iran-aligned armed Houthi movement in Yemen since March 2015. The war has killed tens of thousands and pushed the poorest Arabian Peninsula nation to the brink of famine.

Saturday’s clashes centered on the all-but empty presidential palace in the predominantly residential Crater district, near Aden International Airport and in a neighborhood where the interior minister lives, residents said.

Sources told Reuters the minister, Ahmed al-Mayssari, left his home during a lull in fighting the previous night.

The Norwegian Refugee Council said the battles have trapped civilians in their homes with dwindling supplies of food and water. The aid group said prolonged fighting in Aden, a gateway for commercial and aid supplies, could impact efforts to tackle the humanitarian crisis gripping the rest of the country.

U.N. PLEA

The clashes began on Wednesday after the separatists accused an Islamist party allied to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi of complicity in a missile attack on a military parade, one of three separate attacks that targeted southern forces.

The separatists and Hadi’s government are nominally united in their battle against the Houthis, who removed Hadi from power in the capital Sanaa in late 2014, but they have rival agendas for Yemen’s future.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday urged the parties to cease hostilities and engage in “inclusive dialogue”.

The United Nations is trying to de-escalate tensions countrywide as it tries to implement a peace deal in the main port city of Hodeidah further to the north, to pave the way for wider political talks to end the war.

Separately, the Houthis’ Al-Masirah TV quoted a military spokesman as saying the group had launched a drone attack against Saudi Arabia’s civilian Abha airport, targeting the fuel depot and control tower. Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV said air traffic at the airport was normal.

The Houthis have stepped up cross-border missile and drone strikes on Saudi Arabia, which leads the Western-backed, Sunni Muslim pro-government coalition.

The group controls Sanaa, Hodeidah and other major urban centers while Hadi’s government holds Aden and a string of western coastal towns.

The Aden violence comes after key coalition member the United Arab Emirates, which has armed and trained thousands of southern separatist fighters, scaled down its military presence in Yemen amid pressure from Western allies to end the war and concerns about rising tensions with Iran in the Gulf.

The Yemen conflict is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Houthis deny being puppets of Tehran and say their revolution is against corruption.]]>
8/10/2019 11:46:51 AM
<![CDATA[India's Kashmir clampdown pushes some in Pakistan to discuss rejoining militants]]>
After the Indian government clamped down on Kashmir this week, Ali has again been thinking of going back.

“I have not left, we are all watching”, he said, adding that he believes all Kashmiris will take up arms when needed.

“I fought for my rights. When someone crushes you then what else can you do?” said Ali, 53, who was born in Indian-controlled Kashmir and then moved to the Pakistani side.

Seeking to tighten its grip on the region, India this week withdrew special rights for Jammu and Kashmir state. It has cut off almost all communications, prohibited assemblies of more than four people and detained hundreds of political and separatist leaders.

The constitutional change will mean that non-residents will be able to buy property, get government jobs and take college places in the state, to the fury of arch-rival Pakistan, which claims the region as its own and accuses India of trying to change the demographics of its only Muslim-majority state.

It has also angered many on both sides of Kashmir who see India as imposing its will on the region without giving the people a chance of self-determination.

Ali is not alone in wondering whether he might rejoin the armed struggle.

In the 1990s, Tanveer-ul-Islam was one of the top commanders of Tehreek-Ul-Mujahideen, a group resisting Indian rule that was banned as a terrorist organisation by New Delhi in February.

He and many other militants renounced violence decades ago, but said some veterans of the Kashmir conflict had been outraged by India’s decision.

“If the situation continues it might compel us to take up arms again. It is not just me, there are many others.”

If the views of Ali and Tanveer are representative of a fraction of the people in Kashmir, it could create a worsening threat of armed attacks for India.

To be sure, the majority of the refugees from Indian-controlled Kashmir whom Reuters spoke to in Muzafarabad, the capital of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, said they didn’t support an armed struggle, with some saying it just ended up hurting ordinary Kashmiris. Instead, they wanted to see stronger action against India by Pakistan and the international community.

HISTORIC CONFLICT

Nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir and engaged in an aerial clash in February after a militant group based in Pakistan claimed responsibility for an attack on an Indian military convoy.

India has long accused Pakistan of funding and harbouring the groups. Islamabad denies this, saying it provides only diplomatic and moral support to non-violent separatists on the Indian side.

In the small town of Chakothi, three kilometres (2 miles)from the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Indian and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, Zeeshan Sadiq said families are beginning to rebuild underground shelters.

Indian shells hit the area in February.

“The neighbours also came to stay in here as their bunkers were in disrepair,” Sadiq said, crouched in a claustrophobic reinforced concrete room under his home.

“Now everyone here is rebuilding them”.

Last week, Pakistan accused India of using illegal cluster bombs, killing two civilians and wounding 11. India has denied using such weapons. Exchange of fire between the two countries has intensified in the past few years along the LoC.

The blackout has made communication across the border impossible, residents said.

Trader Ajaz Ahmad Meer’s wife and two daughters were visiting Srinagar, the capital of Indian-held Kashmir, when New Delhi cut telephone and internet services.

“I have not heard from them for five days,” he said.

“I spoke to my seven-year-old daughter the night before communication got cut off. She said ‘papa we are troubled here’ and since then I have heard nothing.”]]>
8/10/2019 11:42:13 AM
<![CDATA[Khamenei urges haj pilgrims to oppose U.S. Israeli-Palestinian plan]]>
“The trick called ‘Deal of the Century’, which is being pushed by an oppressive America and its traitorous companions, is a crime against human society, and not just the Palestinian people,” state television quoted Khamenei as saying in a message to Muslim pilgrims performing the annual haj in Saudi Arabia.

“We call upon everyone to take an active part in defeating this deceit by the enemy,” Khamenei said.

The message was read at a rally held by Iranian pilgrims, state television reported.

Saudi officials have asked Muslims to focus on rituals of worship and warned against politicizing the rite amid regional wars and heightened tension between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Muslim Iran.

The White House has yet to unveil U.S. President Donald Trump’s full Middle East peace plan that aims to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and is led by Trump’s advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Unlike his predecessors, Trump has not endorsed the Palestinian demand for statehood or the long-standing “two-state-solution” envisioned in previous negotiations that saw the goal as Israel and Palestine existing side by side in peace.

Kushner has so far presented a $50-billion (£42 billion) economic revival plan for the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon that is dependent on Israel and the Palestinians reaching a political settlement to their decades-old conflict.

The Palestinian leadership has broken off diplomatic ties with the White House, accusing Trump’s administration of bias towards Israel. Washington has not said when it will present the full peace plan.]]>
8/10/2019 11:29:30 AM
<![CDATA[Kurdish party Spox: We are partners with Egypt in counter-terrorism efforts ]]>
In his press statements on Friday, Habib praised Egyptian security efforts in targeting a Brotherhood-linked cell involved in a Cairo terror attack on Sunday, saying “it proves the capability and determination of the Egyptian leadership and security apparatus in fighting terrorism.” He described the crackdown against the involved elements as “a strong revenge for the martyrs of all the terrorist crimes in the region and the whole world.” A blast took place on Sunday outside the National Cancer Institute in Cairo, claiming the lives of 22 people and injuring dozens.

“Kurdistan region received more than two million refugees despite the economic hardships it witnesses. There are more than half a million refugees in Kurdistan so far,” said Habib, as he signaled the “good” security cooperation between Baghdad and the rest of the region.

Habib further said in his statements that Kurdish people share historic and strong relations with Egyptian people and leadership, and cherish relationship with Palestinians and their president Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas is the first Arab president to visit Erbil, and meet with Masoud Barzany.

Kurdistan Democratic Party Spokesperson Habib ensured that Kurds support Palestinians’ rights and its capital El-Quds. He further stressed that the perpetrators of the assassination of a Turkish diplomat in Erbil in July will be tried per the law.

“The Kurdistan Democratic Party is able to solve disputes with Kurdish forces and Iraqis through dialogue,” he added. “The success of the Kurdish-Kurdish relations is the real supporter of the successful democratic experience in the region, with the existence of a parliament, a government representing the Kurds
]]>
8/10/2019 8:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Tunisian prime minister submits bid to run in presidential election]]>
On Thursday, Tahya Tounes party president and Prime Minister Chahed announced his decision to run in the early presidential elections after a unanimous vote for his candidacy at a meeting of the party’s extended National Council.

The date of filing nominations for the early presidential election that will take place on September 15 expires today]]>
8/9/2019 4:48:21 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo hosts delegation of Sudan Revolutionary Front]]>
The delegation includes main opposition leaders Minni Arkou Minnawi, Jibril Ibrahim, Malik Agar, Yasir Arman, and El Hadi Idris, according to Egyptian officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they are not authorize to brief the media.

The SRF is one of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) alliance, which was calling for the end of ousted President Omar al-Bashir’s regime. The main opposition alliance and the ruling transitional military council (TMC) have initiated the draft of the Sudan’s Constitution Declaration on August 4 in preparation for the final signatures due on August 17.

Following the initial signature, Egypt welcomed this political movement, saying, “The agreement is an important step on the right path towards security and stability in the country.”

According to sources, the formation of a sovereign council, which will run the country during a three-year transitional period leading up to elections, will be announced on Aug. 18. A new prime minister will be named on Aug. 20 and a cabinet on Aug. 28.

Egypt hosted the sixth meeting of the Egyptian-Sudanese Military Committee on July 14-18 under the chairmanship of the chiefs of staff of both countries' Armed Forces.

Since the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir on April 11, 2019, the interim military council has ruled the country, saying that its ruling could last for 2 years until a new democratic government will be elected.
]]>
8/9/2019 2:53:31 PM
<![CDATA[State denies misdirecting Cancer Institute contributions]]>
Business

The Cabinet Media Center has contacted the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, which denied news about directing donations originally allocated to renovate the bombed National Cancer Institute to other state projects.

The donation funds will be directed entirely to the restoration work of the Institute and the development of services for patients, under the supervision and control of both the Ministry of Finance and the Accountability State Authority, the ministry said.

A blast took place in front of Cairo's Cancer Institute building on Sunday, killing 22 people and injuring 47 others, according to official figure. The Interior Ministry blamed the incident on Hasm movement figures believed to be affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, and arrested those involved in the incident, according to a statement it issued on Thursday.

Cancer drugs

Rumors earlier claimed that the state's General Authority for Health Insurance has introduced counterfeit drugs for cancerous tumors, prepared in homes. The Ministry of Health categorically denied the rumors.

All medicines available in all hospitals and health insurance bodies as well as pharmacies are completely safe and in conformity with the standards of the World Health Organization.

The ministry added that all drugs in the market must obtain the approval of the National Organization for Drug Control and Research, and the concerned government regulatory authorities, and be inspected and researched before registration.

Concerning imported medicines from abroad, they must be inspected by the Food and Drug Administration.

Antiquities

The Ministry of Antiquities has denied news about halting the renovation work of the Heliopolis-based Baron Empain Palace, due to the weak financial allocations, according to the media center's report.

The renovation of the palace continues and is proceeding normally, the ministry said, noting that the completion rate reached 90% in preparation for the opening of the palace in October.

The Ministry affirmed its keen interest in renovating the Baron Palace which is considered one of the most important archaeological palaces in the Egyptian heritage, pointing out that the cost of development and restoration works amounted to LE 140 million.

Agriculture

The Media Center of the Council of Ministers revealed that in light of the reports that pesticides and harmful chemicals were used in storing potato seeds, the center contacted the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, which denied the reports.

In the agricultural sector, the Agricultural Ministry said rumors about using harmful chemicals in storing seed potatoes are totally untrue.

The process of storing seed potatoes is carried out in a safe manner in accordance with the international standards adopted, to ensure the production of high-quality agricultural crops. There is continuous and periodic monitoring on all storage places of seed potatoes, the ministry said.



Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July last year warned Egyptians against fake news, clarifying that more than 21,000 rumors have been propagated over a period of three month. The president also asked people to be cautious of calls that inherently aim at the collapse of the Egyptian state.

In June this year, Ali Hosni, undersecretary of the General Directorate of Information and Relations at the Interior Ministry, said that nearly 4-6 million fake accounts and pages on Facebook are aiming at spreading rumors among Egyptians.

Concluding 2018, the Cabinet's media center issued an information report on rumors attempting to fail the state's constructive efforts throughout the year, revealing that education was the most targeted by rumors, obviously due to the radical changes it is undergoing under the new system.

Measures

Soliman Wahdan, deputy Parliament speaker, said in March, 2019, that he is working to introduce a draft to put an end to rumors issued by some people and groups to destabilize the Egyptian state.

He said that these "terrorist" groups assign a number of research centers to study rumors and spread them across the country.

"We need to issue an urgent legislation to face the information warfare the outlawed groups and individuals play with," Wahdan said in a statement.

He added that social media platforms and some media channels are used by terrorist groups with the aim of spreading chaos and inciting strife between the Egyptian people and their government.

The planned draft law will impose heavy penalties on people spreading rumors about the country's economic situation and military institutions, with the aim of destabilizing the state, he said, adding that in case rumors resulted in the death or injury of citizens, the violators will, according to the law, receive tougher punishment.

The draft law also calls for establishing a governmental body that is linked to the Egyptian Cabinet to spot rumors and issue statements to respond to them once they emerge and spread, according to Wahdan.

The new watchdog will also monitor the media channels that spread inaccurate information and contribute to spreading rumors, Wahdan added.

According to article no. 188 of the penal code, those who spread fake news, statements, or rumors, would be sentenced to one year in prison at most, and would have to pay a minimum of LE 5,000 ($286) and a maximum of LE 20,000 ($1,145) as a fine. They can also be punished by only one of these two penalties.]]>
8/9/2019 2:17:38 PM
<![CDATA[Officials condemn rights groups' silence after Cancer Institute blast]]>
Ayman Nasry, head of the Arab European Forum for Human Rights said that some international human rights organizations have lost much of their credibility and neutrality. He added that these organizations have turned the dispute with Egypt into a personal one that lacks many human rights standards.

The terrorist attack on the National Cancer Institute has targeted not only innocent civilians but patients treated from serious diseases, Nasry said, stressing that the attack violates international covenants and protocols.

He also censured some countries and organizations, which have a political dispute with the Egyptian state, for not condemning such a terrorist attack, noting that in some cases, they link terrorist attacks with violations of human rights in Egypt.

Some international human rights organizations cooperate with organizations affiliated to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, despite knowing the clear dispute between the state and the Islamist group.

Dalia Ziada, director of Egypt's Liberal Democracy Institute, condemned the fact that many international human rights organizations published a statement of Hasm movement, while denying any links to the recent attack.

Hasm movement, believed to be affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood group, was held responsible for the attack by the Egyptian Ministry of Interior.

Ziada told Egypt Today that publishing Hasm's statement is like defending them although the Interior Ministry has officially blamed the bombing on them.

She said that such behavior raises questions about the amount of funding these organizations receive from Qatar to defend a terrorist organization.

"The silent human rights organizations are sponsors of terrorism and work for the Muslim Brotherhood," MP Sami Ramadan said, asserting that the Egyptian people are "confident that their political leadership will eliminate terrorism."

Respecting rights

In March, after a video showed a terrorist blowing himself up when two police officers got their hands on him in Cairo's al-Darb al-Ahmar, a parliamentarian said that respecting human rights is behind not shooting Al-Hassan Abdullah.

Parliament's Human Rights Committee member Mohamed al-Ghoul said that the incident slams all allegations issued by some suspicious human rights organizations that try to stain the image of the Egyptian police and frame terrorist groups as victims.
“The rights to live safely, and enjoy freedom of expression are inseparable and are highly valued by Egypt. Terrorism, racism, and hate crimes are rising in Europe and the (Middle East) region. However, that should not obstruct us from assuming development,” President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said in a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Cairo in January 2019.
]]>
8/8/2019 5:37:08 PM
<![CDATA[Ex-Wafd party leader slams current head's 'hostility' towards him]]>
Earlier in August,Abu Shoka ordered dropping the membership of Badawy from the nationalist liberal party, over alleged misconduct.

In a press conference on Wednesday,Badawy said that the accusations of squandering public money, which Abu Shoka had made against him, are false, noting that the Administrative Control Authority had investigated and refuted these charges.

Badawy said that this hostility from the party leader needs a psychological explanation as it cannot be politically explained.

New Wafd Party headed by Bahaa Abu Shoka announced earlier dropping the membership of Badawy, who served as president of the party from 2010 to 2018, over losing the "good reputation" membership condition.

Sources said the party decided to remove Badawy's name from all its records, as he failed to settle his disputes with a number of companies within a certain time limit, after he had been handed final imprisonment sentences, according to a memorandum submitted by Fouad al-Badrawi, the party's general secretary.

"The decision deprives Al-Sayed Al-Badawy from running again to head the Wafd Party, as dropping his membership was based on the loss of one of the conditions of membership, which is good reputation and conduct, which was denied [due to] the issuance of criminal provisions against him."

In May 2018, Badawy announced his resignation from the party's consultative council, without disclosing the reasons behind his decision. He affirmed later that his resignation from the council does not include leaving the party.

In December, he announced freezing his activity inside the party, only a week after Abu Shoka, who took office in April 2018 as the new leader of the party ordered referring Badawy to investigation over disseminating rumors against the party.

Badawy joined the party in 1983 and froze his activity in late 2019. He became secretary general of the party in 2000, was elected as the party’s leader in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.

The New Wafd is believed to be Egypt’s oldest national liberal party and always played a significant role in the Egyptian political scene. It is linked to the original Wafd Party which was dismantled after the 1952 Revolution. The New Wafd Party was established in 1978.

Wafd has a powerful and coherent internal structure. The party is run by a supreme council that includes 50 members, all elected by the general assembly, and is said to be the highest decision-making body in the party.

Since its re-launch, Wafd has emerged as an influential player in the political arena. The party has the largest network of branches and representatives, covering major cities in all Egyptian governorates.

Wafd has a large membership base, consisting of various social segments,notably a number of political and cultural figures, making the party stand out as one of the few established parties that truly represent the Egyptian street. The party also enjoys a very strong presence in the media thanks to its famous daily newspaper and website.
]]>
8/8/2019 2:56:47 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, France FMs discuss bilateral ties, regional situation]]>
In a phone call, the ministers lauded the level of bilateral, and highlighted the need to promote these relations in various fields in a way that meets the aspirations of the people of the two countries, Egypt's ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said.

Shoukri and Le Drian discussed the situation in the Middle East and ways to resolve the ongoing crises and tackled the preparations for the G7 summit to be held in Biarritz, France later this month.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in the G7 Summit, French Ambassador to Cairo Stephane Roumtier said in July, in a ceremony marking France’s National Day.

“France has great ambitions for the relations between the two countries. This is what President Macron proposed during his meeting with President Sisi last January when he visited Cairo, and this is what he will say again when receiving President Sisi in France at the end of August,” he said.

Ambassador Roumtier shed light on aspects of cooperation between Egypt and France in many fields such as education, infrastructure, and energy.

On January 28, 2019, Macron paid Egypt a three-day visit, during which the bilateral relations, as well as the crises in Syria, Libya, Palestine, and Africa were discussed.

President Sisi stated that he discussed with his French counterpart coordination on regional and international affairs as well as economic and cultural matters, explaining that the strategic partnership would help remedy deficiencies in the Egyptian economy.

“French companies are welcome to participate in mega projects and benefit from opportunities in Egypt,” President Sisi said. He also highlighted that 2019 is the year of French-Egyptian culture in the country

Macron announced launching a joint electric cars project, and cooperation on infrastructure, railways, roads, healthcare, culture, upbringing, and academic cadres training, promising to be more committed to teaching the French language in Egypt.

Macron also pointed out the need to increase the French presence in the Egyptology sector, museum exchange programs, and joint work on Islamic artifacts.


Additional reporting by Noha el-Tawil and Engy Magdi]]>
8/8/2019 2:09:55 PM
<![CDATA[Lawmaker reviews Egypt's all-out anti-terrorism strategy with US amb.]]>
Lawmaker Karim Darwish made the remarks during his meeting with US Coordinator for Counter-terrorism Ambassador Nathan A. Sales.

The meeting tackled Egypt-US cooperation against terrorism, alongside coordinating and exchanging views in this regard, Darwish said in statements on Thursday.

Egypt has adopted a multi-dimension comprehensive strategy to counter terrorism, the lawmaker added, pointing out to the achievements it realized in fighting terrorism at the military and security levels.

Darwish shed light on the role played by Egypt's religious institutions in combating extremist ideologies.

Egypt's counter terrorism strategy is mainly based on countering terrorism through encouraging development, creating job opportunities, along with promoting economic and social rights of millions of Syrian refugees living in the country, he added.

Egypt has been spearheading efforts meant to reach settlement to regional crises and issues with the aim of realizing stability and security, Darwish noted.]]>
8/8/2019 1:25:03 PM
<![CDATA[AL slams Israel's decision to build 2,300 settlements units in WB]]>
In statements on Thursday, AL Assistant Secretary General for Palestinian and occupied Arab lands affairs Saeed Abu Ali said the decision is a flagrant violation of the international law.

Abu Ali slammed Israel's continued aggression against the Palestinians under the eye of the US, considering this as a litmus test to the international community.

He underlined the Arab League's support for the Palestinians, urging international organizations to shoulder responsibility to prod Israel into halting its crimes.]]>
8/8/2019 1:00:08 PM
<![CDATA[LNA destroys fighter jet on Misrata Airport runway ]]>
The LNA warned in a press release against the use of the airport for military purposes, asserting that any fighter jet that would take off from Misrata Airport will be shot down by the Libyan Air Force.

Units of the Libyan National Armed Forces started moving on July 22 towards combat zones to liberate the capital, Tripoli, from militias and extremist groups, a military source told Egypt Today on condition of anonymity.

The LNA announced earlier in July that Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) targeted the Libyan town of Tarhuna, southeast of Tripoli, in conjunction with Libya’s warnings to Turkey against acts threatening Libyan nationals. Tarhuna is a prominent city hosting the Libyan armed forces east of the country. The unmanned aircrafts are said to be operated remotely by Turkish officers in Tripoli.

In June, Libyan officials told Egypt Today on condition of anonymity that LNA forces were pursuing Islamic State (IS) elements in the south of the country, killing more than a dozen militants over three days. It had also raided a militant hideout in the mountainous area of Haruj.

The General Command of the Libyan National Army (LNA) launched on April 4 the “Dignity Flood” operation to free Tripoli.
]]>
8/7/2019 5:01:34 PM
<![CDATA[Xi voices China's support to Egypt's efforts in maintaining security, combating terrorism]]>
This came in a cable of condolences that the Chinese president sent Wednesday to his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi over Sunday's terrorist attack that occurred outside Egypt's National Cancer Institute (NCI).

In his cable, Xi said that China firmly opposes all forms of terrorism and strongly condemns the terrorist attack.

Xi said he was shocked to learn about such a grave terrorist attack, which left major casualties.

On behalf of the Chinese government and people, Xi expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.]]>
8/7/2019 1:48:27 PM
<![CDATA[British Council completes social enterprise training to 8 ministries, 4 institutes, 3 universities]]>
Almost 250 key stakeholders from different government agencies attended the programme’s information sessions or engaged in focused training workshops.

Ministry of Trade and Industry represented by Industrial Modernization center – Creative Egypt programme; Federation of Egyptian Industries; Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies and; Export Development Authority & Chamber of Handicrafts are among the key government partners of the programme.

The objective is to establish new - or develop existing - creative hubs and incubators focused on creative and social enterprise, through training and capacity building, with the purpose of creating jobs and fostering social entrepreneurship that contributes to the community and the environment.

The partnership with Ministry of Trade and Industry will drive capacity building for Creative Egypt,to help local artisans expand in local markets or access export opportunities.

On the other hand, Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies will develop the National Academy for Disabilities Technologies through the programme, as part of its objective to create job opportunities for people with special needs through creative enterprise. In addition, the partnership will transfer know-how for the development of assistive technologies.

Quote by Elizabeth White, Director of the British Council in Egypt said: “The programme comes as part of our continuous work to build cultural bridges between Egypt and the UK, andshare our experience with creative enterprise, which contributes today with over GBP100 billion to the UK economy.

We want to help policymakers in Egypt foster and encourage creative and social enterprise, which has the power to grow the size and resilience of the local economy.”

The project aims to bring government, academia, civil society, and businesses to work on developing creative ventures, to help mitigate poverty, inequality and joblessness for young people, promote women’s empowerment, and support marginalized groups.
]]>
8/7/2019 12:24:54 PM
<![CDATA[China welcomes agreement on constitutional declaration in Sudan]]>
The TMC and the Freedom and Change Alliance Sunday signed the agreement, which includes the establishment of a transitional government for a period of 39 months.

Beijing respects the independent choice of Sudan regarding the course of national development, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying in a statement Wednesday.

Hopefully, parties concerned would put national interests of Sudan and the Sudanese people first, he said.

Hua also expressed hope that the agreement would help achieve peace, stability and development in the Arab country as soon as possible.]]>
8/7/2019 11:38:15 AM
<![CDATA[US would act against any Turkish military offensive against Kurds in Syria]]>
“Clearly we believe any unilateral action by them would be unacceptable,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday. “What we’re going to do is prevent unilateral incursions.”

The warning came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed threats to drive US-backed Kurdish militia away from its border.

The US and Turkey have been in talks for months about a “safe zone” in northern Syria east of the Euphrates River.

Turkey is demanding a long strip of land extending 32 km into Syria, over which it would have full control.

“The US can never agree to that,” said Aaron Stein, director of the Middle East program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a US think tank.

James Jeffrey, the US special envoy for Syria, further said, “Turkey wants a deeper zone than the one we think makes sense.”

On the other hand, the US has proposed a two-tiered zone, with a 5 km demilitarized strip and a further 9 km area cleared of heavy weapons.

Turkey was using the threat of an invasion to push for a deal on the border zone that suits its interests, said Jesse Marks, a Middle East analyst and Fulbright scholar at Cambridge University.

“Over the past six months of negotiations, Turkish invasion rhetoric has intensified in periods of political impasse,” he added.
]]>
8/7/2019 11:30:34 AM
<![CDATA[Rouhani warns war with Iran is the mother of all wars]]>
In a live TV speech, Rouhani added that if the United States wants to have negotiations with Iran then it must lift all sanctions.

He further noted that Iran must be allowed to export oil.

“Peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani said at the Foreign Ministry in a speech, which also praised Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after the United States imposed sanctions on him on July 31.

Tensions have risen between Iran and the West since last year when the United States pulled out of an international agreement, which curbed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in return for an easing of economic sanctions on Iran.

Fueling fears of a Middle East war with global repercussions, the Guards seized British tanker Stena Impero near the Strait of Hormuz in July for alleged marine violations, two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar accused of violating sanctions on Syria.

“A strait for a strait. It can’t be that the Strait of Hormuz is free for you and the Strait of Gibraltar is not free for us,” Rouhani said.

Approximately one-fifth of the world’s oil traffic passes through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The Guards seized an Iraqi oil tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday, which they said was smuggling fuel and detained seven crewmen, Iran’s state media reported.

]]>
8/7/2019 9:29:56 AM
<![CDATA[Tunisia's Muslim Brotherhood Ennahda VP Mourou to run for presidency]]>
Party vice president Abdel Fattah Mourou, 71, a lawyer, will run in elections due to be held two months early on Sept. 15 following the death of president Beji Caid Essebsi last month.

Liberal Prime Minister Youssef Chahed will also stand, his Tahaya Tounes party said last week, making him one of the likely frontrunners to succeed Essebsi.

Recent reports revealed that Ennahda might back Chahed over Mourou.

Other candidates who have announced their intention to run include liberal former Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa and Moncef Marzouki, who served as interim president for three years after autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled.

Essebsi was chosen in the first democratic presidential election in 2014.

One of Ennahda’s leaders, Mourou has long demanded reforms to the party to make it more open and to distance it from the Muslim Brotherhood in other Arab countries.

Critics say Mourou is two-faced, however, and holds contradictory positions on the role of the Islam in society.

“Mourou is a highly regarded figure in Tunisia, he is able to unite Tunisians and to find consensus between rivals. This is what Tunisia needs now,” Imed Khmiri, a senior Ennahda official, told Reuters.

Mourou is currently acting speaker of parliament after former speaker Mohamed Ennaceur became interim president.

Tunisia’s president mainly has authority over foreign and defense policy, governing alongside a prime minister chosen by parliament who has authority over domestic affairs.
]]>
8/7/2019 9:23:46 AM
<![CDATA[Abu Dhabi crown prince donates LE50M to National Cancer Institute restoration ]]>
The institute’s building was damaged by an explosion that killed 20 and injured 47. None of the patients or medical staff members was harmed. However, the patients have been moved to other hospitals.

Number of 'Cancer Institute Explosion' victims, injured rises

CAIRO - 5 August 2019: The Ministry of Health and Population announced that the number of victims in "The National Cancer Institute Explosion" became 20 instead of 19, including four bodies whose identity is still unknown. The number of the injured rose to 48 from 30.




The explosion occurred because of a car that contained explosives and drove wrong-way to crash into three other cars in front of the building. The car was on its way to launch a terror attack elsewhere. The Ministry of Interior held Hasm terror group responsible for the incident. Hasm, Arabic for decisiveness, is affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The statement did not reveal further details regarding the terrorist attack Hasm was planning to do.
]]>
8/6/2019 12:57:09 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi signs amendments to law regulating trade unions]]>
Under the amendments, the General Trade Union of Workers should include at least 10 unionist committees, grouping at least 15 workers as members.

The Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) will group at least seven general trade unions, to be made up of 150,000 workers as members.]]>
8/6/2019 12:26:21 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi endorses amendments to private, non-profit univ. law]]>
The amendments stipulate the inception of a council for private and non-profit universities by the Ministry of Higher Education.

Minister of Higher education will chair the council whose membership will comprise presidents of the private and non-profit universities, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Universities alongside advisers to higher education minister.

Under the amendments, four heads of private and non-profit universities board of trustees, five public figures selected by the higher education minister, three presidents of state-owned universities nominated by the Supreme Council of Universities will also be members of the newly-introduced council.

The membership, which extends for a year, can be renewed only once.

The law was published in the gazette.]]>
8/6/2019 12:23:07 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi expresses hope to develop bilateral cooperation with Brunei ]]>
Additionally, the president expressed his keenness on attracting more investment from Brunei, taking advantage of the promising investment opportunities currently available in Egypt in various sectors.

Sisi also hopes to enhance political coordination and consultation on various regional issues and issues of common concern, especially the fight against terrorism and extremist thought.

According to a statement issued by presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady, Sisi stressed that his majesty's current visit represents a strong impetus for these relations in light of the great understanding between Egypt and Brunei on various regional and international issues.

For his part, Sultan Hassan Bolkiah stressed the depth of the relations between the two countries and the two friendly peoples, praising the achievements Egypt has witnessed in the past period in various fields, especially in combating terrorism, economic reform and the major national projects being implemented with the aim of achieving comprehensive development.

"Egypt's pivotal and active role in the Arab and Muslim worlds is the role that Brunei is counting on for stability and security to prevail in the Middle East and the Islamic world as a whole," he added.

The statement reported that the talks tackled ways to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in a number of fields in line with the potential of the two countries, especially in terms of cultural and religious cooperation.

President Sisi reviewed Egypt's efforts over the past years to combat and undermine extremist ideology and the role of religious institutions in Egypt to correct the religious discourse, pointing out Egypt's keenness to continue the role of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif in Brunei as a beacon to spread the noble values of Islam.

Bolkiah stressed the importance of the Egyptian role in confronting the rhetoric of extremism and hatred.He said that Al-Azhar has a high status among the people of the Sultanate of Brunei because of its broad cultural and religious influence and its ability to spread the true image of Islam.

The meeting also reviewed the latest developments in the Middle East and the Islamic world as well as the importance of continuing intensive coordination and pushing forward joint efforts to solve the regional crises.
]]>
8/6/2019 11:35:40 AM
<![CDATA[House speaker: Egypt persists in leading development diplomacy in Africa]]>
Abdel Aal's remarks were read out on his behalf by Head of the House's African Affairs Committee Tarek Radwan during the opening session of meetings of the Pan-African Parliament's Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolution, which kicked off earlier in the day and are to run for four days.

The Egyptian speaker noted that Egypt insists on spearheading Africa's "development diplomacy" in the same way it led national liberation movements across the continent during the 1950s of the past century.

He noted that Egypt has many geographical and historical affiliations in Africa, a matter which pushes it for buttressing its cooperation with its fellow African states in the face of regional and international challenges.

The speaker made it clear that one of the top priorities of Egypt during its current presidency of the African Union is to achieve economic and social development for the African peoples based on a strategy to overhaul the agricultural and manufacturing systems in the continent with a special emphasis on the pivotal role played by youths and women to realize the goals of Agenda 2063 which is the blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.

Such goals could also be realized through encouraging the private sectors and civil society so as to increase their contribution to the development programs and projects in Africa along with enhancing cooperation with international partners based on the principles of mutual respect and realizing of common interests, with an emphasis on not interfering in the internal affairs of any country, he added.]]>
8/5/2019 12:56:50 PM
<![CDATA[Pics: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan FMs call for cooperation to counter terrorist funding]]>
The trilateral gathering aims at boosting cooperation at various levels pursuant to the resolutions of the tripartite Egyptian-Jordanian-Iraqi summit, which was held in Cairo on March 24.

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They also underscored the need to get rid of pro-terrorism media platforms and support Iraq's efforts to eliminate ISIS remnants for a safe and stable environment that would help displaced people return to their cities, according to the final statement of the meeting.

The statement also reported that the meeting took up means of making use of robust ties between the three Arab nations at the political, economic, cultural and social levels.

Underlining the need for an urgent meeting in Baghdad between the ministers of energy, industry, trade and housing of the three countries, the ministers agreed to organize workshops for investors and business owners in each country on the sidelines of their ministerial meetings.

They also highlighted the need to coordinate their positions at international and regional forums to overcome the challenges facing the Arab world and the entire region.

Moreover, the ministers reviewed the latest developments in Palestine, laying an emphasis on the centrality of the Palestinian cause for the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Furthermore, they asserted the need for further efforts to calm current tensions in the Gulf region through constructive dialogue and establishing regional relations based on the principles of good neighborliness and non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. The ministers’ next meeting will be held in Jordan.
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Additional Report with MENA]]>
8/5/2019 12:54:12 PM
<![CDATA[Strike grips Hong Kong as leader warns protests challenge China's sovereignty]]>
Beijing-backed leader Carrie Lam addressed the media for the first time in two weeks and warned again that the protests gripping the city are a challenge to China’s sovereignty and pushing it to the verge of an “extremely dangerous situation”.

Embattled Lam remained defiant as she rejected calls from protesters for her to resign and said the government would be resolute in maintaining law and order.

She warned the protests were putting the Asian financial center on a path of no return and had hurt the city’s economy.

“They claim they want a revolution and to restore Hong Kong, these actions have far exceeded their original political demands,” said a stern-faced Lam, who was flanked by senior members of her administration.

“These illegal acts that challenge our country’s sovereignty, and jeopardize ‘one country two systems’, will destroy the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong,” she said, referring to Hong Kong’s administrative system since 1997 when the former British colony was handed back to China.

In her first news conference since July 22, Lam said the protests are “pushing our city, the city we all love and many of us helped to build, to the verge of a very dangerous situation”.

Some protesters accused Lam of again fuelling the crisis by ignoring public sentiment, and they pledged to continue with their movement.

“It is totally a waste of time to hear” her speak, said Jay Leung, 20, a university student.
“I don’t think the government is doing anything to heal society,” he added. “They provide no solution to solve the political problem brought on by themselves. Why doesn’t the government reflect its performance?”

The Chinese-controlled city has been rocked by months of protests that began against an extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial and have since evolved into a broader backlash against the government.

Commuters struggled to get to work in the Monday morning rush hour before Lam spoke, with many rail and bus services suspended, while some activists blocked trains from leaving stations, some by sitting between train doors, in the latest anti-government campaign.

Long lines of traffic could be seen across Hong Kong island leading into the heart of the business center and hundreds of people were stranded at the airport. Roads into the main arteries of Hong Kong were paralyzed.

The Airport Express train service was temporarily suspended.

“(The government) are making police the scapegoat and creating a situation that is becoming unbearable for everyone who lives here. So that’s one of the reasons we have joined the strike,” said Mark Schmidt, 49, who closed his business on Monday.

“Losing a bit of money now is not such a problem,(compared) with losing everything that the freedom of Hong Kong used to stand for,” he added.

More protests are planned in seven districts across the former British colony on Monday.
Lam focused mainly on the violence at the protests, which have galvanized people from all walks of life and led to support rallies by civil servants, teachers, lawyers, religious groups, among other groups.

FLASH MOB

Police arrested 44 people after sometimes violent clashes overnight when police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators who moved swiftly across the city in flash mob-style actions.

Demonstrators besieged police stations across the city over the weekend, spray-painting walls with graffiti and breaking windows. Some set fire to a trolley of rubbish bins and wooden planks and pushed it towards a police cordon line.

Police said in a statement the violence was escalating rapidly and the situation was spiraling out of control.

The protests have at times shut government offices, blocked roads and disrupted business, posing the greatest political challenge to the former British colony since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Millions of people have taken to the streets to vent anger and frustration at the city’s government, presenting the biggest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

The government has so far refused to accede to any of the protesters’ main demands, which include a complete withdrawal of the extradition bill and an independent inquiry into government handling of the snowballing crisis.

Hong Kong tourism numbers are already falling and hotel occupancy rates are slumping as the protests take a toll, adding pressure to Hong Kong’s already struggling economy.
“I know the whole thing and I support the resistance very much. But this is not the way to win friends and influence people. It is (hurting) innocent bystanders,” said Canadian retiree Edward Tunis, 66.

IHS Markit’s latest Purchasing Managers’ Index for Hong Kong showed private sector business activity dropped to its lowest level in a decade, weighed down by the protests and the Sino-U.S. trade war.

New orders also contracted the most since March 2009, the data showed.
Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Monday the city’s economy was facing large downward pressure.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 3 percent, outpacing losses in other Asian markets.

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8/5/2019 11:19:05 AM
<![CDATA[LNA Air Force targets troop southern Misrata ]]>
The LNA made the announcement on August 4 revealing that its fighter jets attacked the troop encompassing a number of armed groups, and militants affiliated to the Shura Councils of Benghazi, Derna, and Agdabia allied with the Islamic State while they were leaving Misrata.

The General Command of the Libyan National Army (LNA) launched on April 4 the “Dignity Flood” operation to free Tripoli.

On July 22, units of the Libyan National Armed Forces started moving towards combat zones to liberate the capital Tripoli from militias and extremist groups, a military source told Egypt Today on condition of anonymity.
]]>
8/4/2019 3:22:21 PM
<![CDATA[Wafd Party drops membership of ex-leader over misconduct]]>
Sources said the party decided to remove Badawi's name from all its records, as he failed to settle his disputes with a number of companies within a certain time limit, after he had been handed final imprisonment sentences, according to a memorandum submitted by Fouad al-Badrawi, the party's general secretary.

"The decision deprives Al-Sayed Al-Badawi from running again to head the Wafd Party, as dropping his membership was based on the loss of one of the conditions of membership, which is good reputation and conduct, which was denied [due to] the issuance of criminal provisions against him."

In May 2018, Badawi announced his resignation from the party's consultative council, without disclosing the reasons behind his decision. He affirmed later that his resignation from the council does not include leaving the party.

In December, he announced freezing his activity inside the party, only a week after Abu Shoka, who took office in April 2018 as the new leader of the party ordered referring Badawy to investigation over disseminating rumors against the party.

35-year activity

Badawy joined the party in 1983 and froze his activity in late 2019.

He became secretary general of the party in 2000. He was elected as the party’s leader in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.

In May 2015, the party was hit by strife, sparking a feud between factions. By the end of the month, new elections were held; Badawi remained and his supporters won most of the new spots on the council.

The party includes high-profile members, such as FouadBadrawi, grandson of the man who reconstituted Wafd in the 1970s; Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, former minister of industry, trade, and investment; as well as Ahmed Al-Arab, Safir Nour, Ahmed Auda and Noaman Gomaa, all of whom have served in the party leadership.

The New Wafd is believed to be Egypt’s oldest national liberal party and always played a significant role in the Egyptian political scene. It is linked to the original Wafd Party which was dismantled after the 1952 Revolution. The New Wafd Party was established in 1978.

Wafd has a powerful and coherent internal structure. The party is run by a supreme council that includes 50 members, all elected by the general assembly, and is said to be the highest decision-making body in the party.

Since its re-launch, Wafd has emerged as an influential player in the political arena. The party has the largest network of branches and representatives, covering major cities in all Egyptian governorates.

Wafd has a large membership base, consisting of various social segments – notably a number of political and cultural figures making the party stand out as one of the few established parties that truly represent the Egyptian street. The party also enjoys a very strong presence in the media, thanks to its famous daily newspaper and website.
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8/4/2019 3:13:08 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt welcomes Mozambique's peace accord ]]>
The deal was signed on August 1 with the aim of eliminating military hostilities between the opposition group Renamo and the ruling party Frelimo headed by the president. It is part of a broader deal that is set to pledge fair elections in October.

The Foreign Ministry commendedin a statement the efforts made by President Nyusi during the past period toachieve a lasting peace.

It also expressed the hope that these efforts will result in more prosperity for the southern African nation.

Violence between Renamo and Frelimo had continued for almost three decades following the end of a 15-year civil war that started in 1977 and ended in 1992 after a ceasefire was reached.

The fight between the two groups hasreportedly resulted in the death of over 1million people.

Nyusi's visit

President Nyusi made a two-day official visit to Egypt in June 2019, where he met with Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Thepresidents discussed means of boosting bilateral relations at various levels, as well as activating existing mechanisms of cooperation between the two countries, topped by the joint committee, according to an official statement.

The talks took up promoting economic relations and trade exchange between Egypt and Mozambique, Egypt-based Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.

Backing the economic development efforts of Mozambique in the domain of upgrading the infrastructure through benefiting from the Egyptian know-how in this sphere figured high during the talks.

Also, developing cooperation in the sectors of agriculture, fish farming, health, communication and transport was tackled during the talks.

The two sides addressed the latest regional and African developments in light of Egypt's chairmanship of the African Union.

They agreed on continuing the cooperation to execute developmental goals in various fields in line with the AU’s Agenda 2063, along with focusing on continental projects of priority to African countries.

They also agreed on boosting African mechanisms for reconstruction and development following conflicts, intensifying efforts in fighting terrorism and extremism, as well as supporting peace and security in the continent.

Both leaders signed a number of memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on political consultations, exemption of diplomatic passports from entry requirements, and agricultural cooperation and food security.

The Mozambican president also attended the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at Cairo International Stadium.
]]>
8/4/2019 1:42:50 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt welcomes consensus on Sudan constitutional declaration]]>
The military council and the opposition coalition will put their final signatures on a constitutional declaration on Aug. 17.

The parties are expected to initial the declaration, which was agreed on Saturday, later on Sunday.

According to sources, the formation of a sovereign council, which will run the country during a three-year transitional period leading up to elections, will be announced on Aug. 18.

A new prime minister will be named on Aug. 20 and a cabinet on Aug. 28.
]]>
8/4/2019 1:33:34 PM
<![CDATA[UAE FM says Sudan turns over Muslim Brotherhood page]]>



“Sudan is turning the page of the rule of Al-Bashir and the Muslim Brotherhood into a new era in its political history by turning to civil rule,” Gargash tweeted.

“The path to a state of institutions, stability and prosperity will not be filled with roses, but our confidence is in the brotherly Sudan and its people,” he added.

Sudan's ruling military council and main opposition coalition have agreed on a constitutional declaration which will pave the way for a new period of transitional government.

African Union mediator Mohamed Hassan Lebatt made the announcement early on Saturday, without giving any details.

Sudan has been in turmoil since the military ousted President Omar al-Bashir in April.

Protests first broke out in December after Bashir's government imposed emergency austerity measures. He was then overthrown by the military in April after prolonged protests outside the defense ministry in Khartoum.
]]>
8/4/2019 1:13:56 PM
<![CDATA[Parliament can stop a no-deal Brexit in September: UK Labour's Ashworth]]>
Earlier, the Sunday Telegraph reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, had said lawmakers will not be able to stop a so-called no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31 by bringing a vote of no confidence.

“There will be opportunities for us when parliament returns in September to stop no deal,” Labour’s Jon Ashworth told Sky News.

“The government will have to bring forward appropriate legislation to prepare for this Brexit no-deal exit that they want. And we will use all the means available to us in parliament ... and we will work to stop no deal.”]]>
8/4/2019 12:58:46 PM
<![CDATA[INTERVIEW: US president's former aide George Sorial reveals secrets, untold details about Trump administration]]>
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(ROSS JOHNSTON/NEWSLINE SCOTLAND PRESS AGENCY)


Egypt Today was able to interview one of these prominent figures, namely George A. Sorial, who since 2007 has served as the Trump Organization's top compliance official and adviser to President Donald Trump prior to his election in 2016.




What are the reasons for you to leave Trump after you ‎have been working since 2007‎‏?‏

After working for the Trump Organization for almost 13 years, it was simply time to do something else. I also could not promote my book and remain as EVP and Chief Compliance Counsel. I also wanted to get involved with President Trump's 2020 election efforts so I need more time to focus on these matters, which I could not do with a full-time position. I have set up my own consulting company, Sorial Consulting (www.sorialconsulting.com) and will handle a wide variety of other matters. I will always remain close to the President and his family - they were very good to me and I believe that President Trump is doing great things for the United States.


After you leave the Trump Foundation what advice do ‎you give to who will come after you, is it expected to be ‎Gil Martin‏?‏
Jill Martin is incredible - she will do a great job. I think she needs to follow the simple rule of being honest and diligent, a little bit of patience always helps as well! I have no doubt she is up to the challenge and will manage whatever the Democrats throw at her.


Your book "The Real Deal: My Battles in Fighting Battles ‎and Winning Wars with Trump" .. How did his idea begin? ‎And for those who have not read the book, what are the ‎main themes that it addresses‏?‏

I was tired of seeing the daily attacks by the biased main stream media, who do not know the President. I remember well the day I was sitting in the Oval Office and he was berating all those so-called biographers and experts who spent little more than 30 minutes with him and then claimed to know him intimately. I chimed in, half in jest, that maybe I should write a book on him, and he said, "Yeah, I think that's a great idea; you can be my biographer!" And so, The Real Deal was born.
It is simply a compilation of stories about my experiences, and that of many others, with DJT and the Organization. He is an unconventional, diligent, creative, focused and passionate person who brings that same level of intensity to the White House. He has only one goal - to make the United States a global powerhouse, which I appreciate.
The book has many details of how Trump's opponents are trying hard to destroy his organization with new ways and tactics, including cutting telephone lines
Making fake hotel reservations and canceling them, in addition to threats to employees because of their work in the organization, and there is a chapter about lawyer Michael Cohen.


Through your work at the Trump Foundation since 2007, ‎given your proximity to Trump? How do you evaluate his ‎personality‏?‏

I worked very closely with him every day - in one word, he is driven and focused on success. He was very down to earth and easy to work with. He was full of "old world" charm and always made people around him feel good. He brings a businessperson's unique approach to problem-solving to the government, which really needs that type of thinking.


How do you see him as President of the ‎United States of America? What are the most important ‎advantages and disadvantages in his administration‏?‏

As a private citizen, I can honestly say that he has done a tremendous job with the economy, the judiciary, the military and is making huge progress on global trade. The United States is once again a top global superpower and it will only get better. I see no disadvantages with anything he has done and feel that is it’s about time we have a President that puts America first - period.
Terrorism, rocketing illegal immigration, economic conflict with China and others: these are the existential issues that leave America in a perilous position in a very dangerous world. Globalism is under attack on every continent as a consequence, and it's about time that the United States had a president that put the nation first. This is what these times demand and this man has our back.
He's fighting our corner against China, NATO, Europe, our southern neighbors and their porous borders. How long can we continue to be the world's banker and its peacekeeper? It is time that we concentrated on our own issues, not because we should not play a leading role in the world but because we need to look after our own first and help others next. Some of the global decisions that tie us into trade deals, agreements and protocols were approved decades ago and, in some cases, in the aftermath of the Second World War-time has moved on and we need to focus on our own issues. I want a guy who gives me a strong economy, record-low unemployment, and fights for America in the world, not sophisticated vocabulary.


To what extent do you see Trump's success as president ‎if he is again nominated for the US presidency‏?‏
He will get re-elected in 2020 based upon his record. When Damian - Co-author of the real deal book- and I were in The White House having dinner with him-yes, just the three of us-he told us that he was ready for the battle ahead as he seeks re-election.

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There are many reservations from different countries in ‎the use of Trump for his account in twitter, where used ‎to respond to political opponents or media or even ‎explain the international point of view, what is your ‎personal assessment of the use of Twitter in response to ‎opponents‏?‏

I think his twitter use is one of the reasons he was elected, it allows him to communicate directly with the people, without filters. He may say some unconventional things but people love that and relate to his everyday message. Twitter is one of the things that make him unique.

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George Sorial, Managing Director for International Development of the Trump Organisation, on the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)




Through your close-up business with Trump, How he thinks and how he makes his decisions?

He's intense, he's demanding, but it's all driven by his passion to deliver an end product that people love. And yes, I've been in his firing line once or twice in my career! But his approach is quite simple, really. Early on in my Trump Organization career, after a long, hard day on a construction project, the two of us were walking alone across the site, and he reflected upon a question that he was often asked: "How did you achieve your success?"
He gave a simple response, but it was one that I still think about often. "I look around, I see what people want and I give it to them."
That's the Donald J. Trump mantra: give the people what they want.
Too many politicians think that they know best, that they don't need to listen to the people and acknowledge that things aren't how they should be. President Trump does listen and is prepared to talk about-and tackle-some fairly contentious issues and change his position if need be to make sure the best outcome is achieved. Yes, he's a brawler and is not interested in wrapping the answers in sophisticated language that appeals to the legislators. He's focused on giving you the results you want.
I remember once when a major development project we were involved in got kicked out by politicians, I was shocked. Yes, there was a significant meltdown from head office but then, when the storm had settled, DJT (as we all know him) calmly phoned me and told me to pick myself up, dust myself down, and fight back. Those words of comfort and support were significant and we went on to overturn the decision and get the project built. Never give up, fight on, take each small step at a time and get the job done.
And that's how he gets the job done, that's how he has defied all the odds in business and that's how he became the President of the United States.


The book will talk about Michael Cohen, Former lawyer ‎of President Trump, accused of violating the campaign ‎finance and tax evasion law and paying two women for ‎their silence after they threatened during the US ‎presidential campaign to reveal Trump's sexual ‎relationship with them‏.‏what is your assessment of this issue? What mistakes did ‎Cohen make in your opinion‏?‏

Michael Cohen was my friend, and, in fact, we were pretty close. We socialized together; I knew his family and he knew mine. However, to suggest that he was The Trump Organization's top lawyer and dealmaker is surreal because he was actually neither.
We started at The Trump Organization around the same time and initially worked together on projects close to Donald J.Trump's heart, including at Trump World Tower on First Avenue, where I lived and Michael owned investment properties.
But that's where the similarities ended. Michael came to Mr. Trump's attention because he invested in the brand. He was funny, a showman and a bit of a blunt force - and that caught Mr. Trump's eye. Michael made a role for himself untangling difficult negotiations, smashing through and causing a stink to break the deadlock. He was not a fine negotiator, nor a good lawyer. Just ask those who worked alongside him. In fact, I remember Mr. Trump once telling him: "Michael, you're no diplomat."
Much of his legal work - the little he did do - was of poor quality and had to be redrafted. And Michael would probably admit that himself. He didn't even run his own department and never managed a single project in the decade he worked for The Trump Organization.
To suggest he was some kind of mystical Svengali, or fixer, is so far wide of the mark it is laughable. But he was loyal and if there's one area that is President Trump's Achilles heel, it's his loyalty to the people he employs. Despite his TV persona, he did not fire people at will, quite the contrary; people stay with the organization for decades.
So, for Michael to stand up in front of Congress and claim authority over major decision­ making in the business is ridiculous. He was hired muscle, a bluff-speaking New Yorker who could shock people into action. He was not the negotiator, deal-maker nor right-hand man he portrayed himself as.
Sure, he chased licensing deals and some outlandish opportunities but that's a long way removed from getting them close to fruition. Trump Moscow was more fantasy than anything tangible; another Cohen proposal that no-one in the office took seriously. It was destined to end in failure and disappointment like so many others that Michael worked on.
I know of no occasion that Michael actually secured a real estate deal, closed on a licensing opportunity or concluded any other development. He just wasn't involved with the core of our business. He was a lone wolf constantly seeking the boss's approval and a proverbial pat on the back and forever fearing others would take his credit.
To be perfectly honest, his judgment just wasn't good enough to be let loose on a project in that way. There were always more trusted executives looking over his shoulder to keep him right. And everyone hated mopping up after him.
He was fun to be around and yes, if you were a friend who needed help in the middle of the night, Michael would drop everything. But that doesn't mean he was a consigliere within the company; he was just a cog in the wheel and not a very big one at that. In fact, Don, lvanka and Eric avoided him as much as they could
Everyone knew that he wanted a post in The White House; it was a running joke in the company. He would mention it to many people just about every day during the campaign and transition period, but when the boss handed over the keys and headed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Michael's raison d'etre had gone. He was obsessed with DJT and needed his attention; when that was taken from him, he was crushed.
It was clear that he no longer had a role, it was time for him to move onto pastures new, too. But, instead of walking away, Michael turned and bit the hands that fed him, postulating fictitious and exaggerated accusations that have hurt ordinary, good, honest people just trying to make a living in the company. He's thrown them to a pack of bloodthirsty wolves.
I don’t say any of this to hurt Michael - he's done that to himself - I'm here to fight the corner of all those innocent people who work for The Trump Org, ordinary people like you and me, and the business itself; and yes, to fight for The President.
President Trump has succeeded in real estate development, television and got elected to the most prestigious political post on the planet. He built an empire of dozens of commercial and residential properties that residents love and amassed awards and high ratings galore, alongside 11hotels, and 19 golf courses with thousands of members. Who else can boast that? Whatever you want to say about him very few people have achieved at the highest level in so many different industries. He's no cheat, conman, nor racist; quite the opposite. And Michael knows that.
As I watched Michael give evidence to Congress, I'm sure I saw a look of regret on his face. There's no doubt in my mind that he will regret this for the rest of his life. He's going to be remembered forever for turning on his friends and those who were most loyal to him.
Remember, Michael, you're going to jail because you lied to Congress, didn't pay your taxes and defrauded financial institutions in your personal life - there's no-one to blame for that but yourself, my friend.


There are accusations by Democrats of Trump of a ‎conflict of interest between Trump's ownership of a huge ‎trading empire and he is president of the United States at ‎the same time.‎

The Democrats have yet to make any case and ignore the sacrifices that the company has made. We have halted all new deals going forward and have implemented a very vigorous compliance program.
No President in history has taken a bigger financial hit by occupying the Oval Office than Donald J. Trump.
The cost to him personally, and to his company in general, is astonishing and amounts to hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in lost opportunities both at home and abroad; all of which is down to self-imposed regulation, he doesn't even take a salary. But he does it willingly and happily, because he wants to be the man who gets America back on track. He knows he can make a difference and he knows he can get things done. That's why he gave up his seat in Trump Tower and that's why the people of America put him in the White House.
It was never about personal, financial gain, and the ridiculous allegations of his businesses benefitting from him being president are utter nonsense. The company voluntarily gives up any gain from foreign governments and the company remains in stasis-again voluntarily-while he sits in the White House. The Trump Org will not do any new foreign deals until he leaves office, even though the foreign expansion was the backbone of the firm's ten-year strategic plan.


You have Egyptian roots. We would like to give a brief ‎account of your family's migration to the United States of ‎America. Will you visit Egypt someday‏?‏

I love Egypt! My father left to pursue medical studies in England where he met my mother. I have been to Egypt more than 30 times and will always come back. Once Egypt gets into your heart it never leaves and I am VERY proud of my Egyptian roots.


Egypt is moving steadily towards the future. What is your ‎advice to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to be Egypt a ‎major country in the world‏?‏

President Al-Sisi is a strong leader and represents Egypt very well. He is doing a tremendous job and I know that President Trump has a lot of respect for him. Egypt needs to stay closely aligned with the USA and the west and eradicate fundamentalism, which seems to be an ongoing problem. I am sure that President Al-Sisi will continue to do well and I hope to meet him one day, which would be a great honor.

Additional reporting by Michael Fares
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8/4/2019 9:46:29 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt calls to prevent violations against children affected by armed conflicts]]>
This came during the UN Security Council's open debate held on Friday August 2 in New York, in which the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations participated.

Egypt's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mohamed Idris expressed Egypt's deep concern over the report of the Secretary-General on the increasing number of cases of physical abuse against children, which reached more than 24,000 cases during 2018.

Idris added that children suffer more as a result of armed conflict, which deprives them of their right to life, physical integrity and mental health and deprives them of their social, cultural and educational rights.

He also expressed Egypt's support for all efforts to strengthen the protection of children and to end the violations committed during all conflicts, especially crimes committed by terrorist organizations in this regard.

He noted the great interest that Egypt attaches in conjunction with its current chairmanship of the African Union to enhance the capacity of the African continent in the field of the protection of civilians and the enforcement of international humanitarian law through many training courses and programs organized and hosted by Egypt in this field.

The open debate of the Security Council was held under the chairmanship of the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs in conjunction with the start of the Polish Presidency of the Council in August 2019.

The meeting also witnessed briefings by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Executive Director of UNICEF and representatives of relevant civil society organizations.
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8/3/2019 2:16:18 PM
<![CDATA[Arab League welcomes agreement reached by Sudan's TMC, opposition coalition]]>
An official source at the Arab League said the agreement, to be signed in the coming two days, is set to launch a new and important stage that goes in line with the Sudanese people's aspirations of a civilian democratic rule and comprehensive peace across the country.

The Arab League reiterates its commitment to supporting the transitional authorities that have been agreed upon to achieve the Sudanese people's hopes of peace, democracy, stability and comprehensive development, he added.]]>
8/3/2019 1:49:37 PM
<![CDATA[FMs of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq meet in Baghdad]]>
The meeting will shed light on the means of the economic cooperation among the three countries, besides ways of supporting Iraqi stability and achieving its development, the statement added.

“They [the ministers] will also discuss counter-terrorism issues, investment through a series of agreements and MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding] that include economic coordination, and support Iraq in reconstructing areas that were liberated from terrorist group of Daesh [Islamic State Terrorist Group], the statement read.

The meeting will tackle the outcomes of the tripartite summit held in Cairo between President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Jordanian King Abdullah II, and Prime Minister of Iraq Adil Abdul-Mahdi in March, the statement added.

The Foreign Ministers of the three countries have met in Amman on May 9, discussing the mechanism of enhancing economic integration and cooperation in joint industrial zones.
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8/3/2019 1:35:29 PM
<![CDATA[Protesters march in Hong Kong as rival rally supports police]]>
Protests against a proposed bill allowing people to be extradited to stand trial in mainland China have escalated since June, growing increasingly violent, with police accused of excessive force and failing to protect protesters from suspected gang attacks.

Mong Kok, which includes gritty working class sections and is also a popular shopping destination, was the scene of some of the most violent clashes during pro-democracy protests in 2014.

Many of Saturday’s demonstrators wore yellow or white hard hats, and the crowds chanted “age of revolution!” and “Hongkongers, add oil!” - a popular exhortation in Cantonese.

“I’m a little worried about whether the police force might use violent ways on the demonstrators because the route of the demonstration is a little bit narrow, and if we want to leave it might be difficult to get away from the police,” said a 20-year-old university student named Ivan.

“I think this entire movement will continue until at least the end of 2019,” he said.

Hundreds of marchers held posters with an illustration of protesters in hard hats tending to a young child, with the words “protect the future”.

The crowd was mostly young, but also included families and many older people. Some young couples held hands.

“We are here because we want to stick up for Hong Kong. We don’t need an evil law to take over Hong Kong,” said a woman surnamed Yau who was joined by family members including her 11-year-old daughter.

As the marchers gathered at the starting point, one passed around pre-paid subway cards to young groups, while others gave out chicken wings and McDonalds food. When the march started, volunteers handed out hard hats, face masks and water bottles.

Most of the shops in the upscale Langham Place shopping mall had pulled down their shutters by late afternoon, and many street-facing businesses along the march route had closed.

POLICE SUPPORTERS

Across the harbor, on Hong Kong island, thousands of police supporters, mostly wearing white, gathered for a separate rally amid a carnival-like atmosphere in Victoria Park.

Many waved Hong Kong and Chinese flags and the crowd shouted slogans in support of the police. Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho was greeted with strong applause.

“We are the real Hong Kong people who are not the same as those black-shirted thugs. We don’t need a so-called ‘HK revolution’, we only need to do our best, which is enough,” he told the crowd.

Sylvia Lam, 61, who described herself as a housewife, said she had turned up at the pro-police rally to oppose violence.

“I feel extremely uncomfortable when every time I watch TV, the scenes are so radical,” she said.

“Young people should stop and think, don’t become someone’s political tools, be rational please,” she said.

MORE PROTESTS PLANNED

Further anti-government protests were scheduled for Sunday, with activists calling for a mass strike on Monday.

On Friday evening in central Hong Kong, thousands of civil servants defied a warning from authorities to remain politically neutral and joined anti-government protests for the first time since they started two months ago.

In Washington on Friday, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers called on the Trump administration to halt future sales of munitions and crowd-control equipment to Hong Kong’s police force, which has been accused of using excessive force against protesters.

Under Chinese rule, Hong Kong has been allowed to retain extensive freedoms, such as an independent judiciary, but many residents see the extradition bill as the latest step in a relentless march toward mainland control.

The protests are the most serious political crisis in Hong Kong since it returned to China 22 years ago.

They also pose the greatest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he took office in 2012 and come as Xi grapples with an escalating trade war with the United States and a slowing economy in a politically sensitive year. On Oct. 1, China will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.]]>
8/3/2019 1:31:33 PM
<![CDATA[Putin ratifies ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ with Egypt]]>
The agreement is about developing further cooperation in the sectors of trade, economy, technical military affairs, communications, nuclear energy, transportation, mining, tourism, science, education, cultural affairs, and coordination on mechanisms and measures aimed at combating various challenges and threats on the regional and international scales.

Sisi stresses strength of Egyptian-Russian strategic relations

CAIRO - 17 October 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi told press he reviewed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin the resumption of direct flights from Russia to Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, and others as well as the updates of mega joint projects, mainly the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant and the Russian Economic Zone in SCzone.




The ongoing mega projects between both countries include the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant, and the Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) in Sczone.

Atomic Authority inks deal to import low-enriched uranium fuel

CAIRO - 16 April 2019: The Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA) signed a deal with the Fuel Company of Rosatom TVEL, per which Egypt will import low-enriched uranium fuel for the Delta-based Experimental Training Research Reactor Number 2 (ETRR-2) for material physics and science and stable isotopes production.




In February, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish announced reaching an agreement with the Russian Export Center to establish a company that operates and administers the Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) in Port Said before April.

The project is worth $7 billion and expected to provide 35,000 job opportunities. It stretches over 5.25 million square meters and will be built over three phases. The first will be finished by 2021, according to TASS.

The Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) and Transmashholding has signed a contract to supply 1,300 railcars. The contract states that 650 railcars will be supplied from Hungary, 500 will be delivered by Russia, and 150 will be manufactured by Egypt under the supervision by Transmashholding. An Egyptian locomotive factory will be established as part of a plan to localize the locomotive industry in Egypt and transfer the know-how to workers, technicians, and engineers in the sector. The factory will produce the 150 railcars and also provide maintenance services.
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8/3/2019 11:49:17 AM
<![CDATA[US officials say ISIS still poses global threat]]>
Jeffery further warned about persistent violence by sleeper cells and an expansion of militants into new areas.

He also said ISIS terrorists are scattered around Syria and Iraq, where officials see a “persistent, resilient, rural terrorist level of violence” in that country.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) ousted ISIS militants from the last stronghold of their self-declared caliphate earlier this year.

However, “the ISIS brand lives on around the world,” State Department counterterrorism coordinator Nathan Sales said as he joined Jeffrey to provide an update on the fight against the organization

“ISIS branches and networks now span the African continent from east to west and north to south,” Sales said. “They’ve increased the lethality of their attacks, they’ve expanded into new areas, and they’ve repeatedly targeted US interests.”

“Across the coalition, we need to prosecute Daesh leaders, fighters, financiers, and facilitators for the crimes they’ve committed,” Sales said.
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8/3/2019 10:56:32 AM
<![CDATA[Iran to further reduce commitments to nuclear deal: FM]]>
Iran has repeatedly said it will reduce its commitment to the nuclear accord in stages and may even withdrew from the pact altogether unless the remaining signatories find ways to shield its economy from U.S. sanctions. Washington pulled out of the deal last year.

“The third step in reducing commitments to (the nuclear deal) will be implemented in the current situation,” he said.

“We have said that if (the deal) is not completely implemented by others then we will also implement it in the same incomplete manner. And of course all of our actions have been within the framework of (the deal).”

Last month, Iran threatened to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up enrichment of uranium to 20% purity in a move away from the nuclear deal.

Iranian officials have said that all of Tehran’s moves in reducing its commitments to the nuclear deal are reversible as long as the remaining signatories uphold their commitments.

Fears of a Middle East war with global repercussions have risen since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew last year from the 2015 deal and revived a panoply of sanctions meant to push Tehran into wider security concessions.

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Zarif himself, blocking any property or interests he has in the United States, although Zarif said he had none.

He added at a charity event on Friday night that he is proud to be sanctioned by America for defending the rights of Iranian people, the IRIB news agency reported.]]>
8/3/2019 9:53:00 AM
<![CDATA[Syrian negotiator Jaafari attacks Turkish military presence in northwest Syria]]>
Jaafari attacked the Turkish military presence in the northwest of the country and called Syria’s cease-fire statement on Thursday “a test of Turkey’s intentions.”

Recent report have affirmed Turkey’s involvement in the trafficking of arms and fighters to the armed groups fighting in Syria.

The comments came during the second day of talks brokered by Syria’s allies Russia and Iran, along with rebel-backer Turkey.

Jaafari also called on the guarantors of the talks to assume “their responsibilities by putting pressure on Turkey” to fulfil the conditions of an accord struck last year.

“The cease-fire agreement is conditioned on Turkey upholding the Astana and Sochi agreements by disarming terrorists of heavy and medium weapons,” Jaafari said.

Jaafari accused the militant groups of shelling areas under regime control in northwest Syria “from areas Turkey controls in Idlib.”

“Even though we are patient, this time our patience will be limited. We will not be waiting endlessly for Turkey to fulfil its commitments,” he said.

Syria’s state news agency SANA reported Thursday that the government had agreed to a truce in Idlib on condition a Turkish-Russian buffer-zone deal is implemented.

It cited a military source who announced the regime’s “approval for a cease-fire in the de-escalation zone in Idlib starting from tonight” on the condition that jihadists and rebels withdraw forces and weaponry from a buffer zone as per a September accord.
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8/2/2019 3:58:49 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet denies rumors of job losses, treated wastewater drinking]]>
Laying off employees

Contacting the Ministry of Social Solidarity's Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction, the Cabinet's Media Center denied alleged intentions of the state to lay off 25 percent of the employees of the administrative apparatus after drug tests were conducted.

The fund said that the percentage of those who tested positive for banned drugs is not more than 2 percent, adding that they were referred to the administrative prosecution to take legal measures against them.

VAT

The Media Center denied news about the government's intention to increase the value added tax after contacting the Ministry of Finance.

The ministry completely denied the news, stressing that there is not any intention to increase VAT during the coming period.

It also affirmed the ministry's efforts to secure the steadiness of the values of taxes, including the value of VAT that amounts to 14 percent, without any new increase.

The ministry said that a committee was formed to review the VAT law, and solve some of the problems that have emerged during the actual implementation of the law.

A final version of a VAT draft law will be introduced to be discussed in a social dialogue after ending the problems in the original law that have emerged during the actual implementation of the law that was approved by the parliament in 2016.



Drinking treated wastewater?

The Ministry of Irrigation denied reports on the government's tendency to provide treated wastewater for drinking, when the Nile River level declines, stressing that it is completely untrue.

Since the construction of the Aswan Dam, reduction in the Nile River's levels is compensated from the strategic reservoir of Lake Nasser, to reach 55.5 billion cubic meters.

The ministry reassured the citizens that it would meet all their water needs, and appealed to them to rationalize water in light of the current relevant challenges. The ministry said it works very hard to optimize water management and achieve the highest water-use efficiency that reaches over 95% according to international estimates.

The ministry also affirmed the readiness of its emergency units and preparations for the flood season starting in August, to protect lives and properties.

Losing some antiquities?

The Ministry of Antiquities denied news claiming the loss of some artifacts during their transfer to the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The process of transferring artifacts is carried out under strict security procedures, and in accordance with the international safety and security standards, the ministry said.

The Ministry also denied rumors concerning intentions to sell 90 acres of Alexandria's Marina archaeological site to investors who look for establish tourist buildings on this land.



Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July last year warned Egyptians against fake news, clarifying that more than 21,000 rumors have been propagated over a period of three month. The president also asked people to be cautious of calls that inherently aim at the collapse of the Egyptian state.

In June this year, Ali Hosni, undersecretary of the General Directorate of Information and Relations at the Interior Ministry, said that nearly 4-6 million fake accounts and pages on Facebook are aiming at spreading rumors among Egyptians.

Concluding 2018, the Cabinet's media center issued an information report on rumors attempting to fail the state's constructive efforts throughout the year, revealing that education was the most targeted by rumors, obviously due to the radical changes it is undergoing under the new system.

Measures

Soliman Wahdan, deputy Parliament speaker, said in March, 2019, that he is working to introduce a draft to put an end to rumors issued by some people and groups to destabilize the Egyptian state.

He said that these "terrorist" groups assign a number of research centers to study rumors and spread them across the country.

"We need to issue an urgent legislation to face the information warfare the outlawed groups and individuals play with," Wahdan said in a statement.

He added that social media platforms and some media channels are used by terrorist groups with the aim of spreading chaos and inciting strife between the Egyptian people and their government.

The planned draft law will impose heavy penalties on people spreading rumors about the country's economic situation and military institutions, with the aim of destabilizing the state, he said, adding that in case rumors resulted in the death or injury of citizens, the violators will, according to the law, receive tougher punishment.

The draft law also calls for establishing a governmental body that is linked to the Egyptian Cabinet to spot rumors and issue statements to respond to them once they emerge and spread, according to Wahdan.

The new watchdog will also monitor the media channels that spread inaccurate information and contribute to spreading rumors, Wahdan added.

According to article no. 188 of the penal code, those who spread fake news, statements, or rumors, would be sentenced to one year in prison at most, and would have to pay a minimum of LE 5,000 ($286) and a maximum of LE 20,000 ($1,145) as a fine. They can also be punished by only one of these two penalties.]]>
8/2/2019 3:46:32 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Ethiopia talk on filling GERD reservoir with water]]>
During the meeting between Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation held discussion with Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Frehiwot Woldehanna, Egypt discussed its vision on the filling process of the GERD reservoir, especially after Egypt has announced that its annual share of the Nile water decreased by 5 billion cubic meters in 2019. The meeting was also held in preparation for a six-party meeting among Foreign and Water and Irrigation Ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan.

Egypt’s concern over its share was escalated after Ethiopia started building the Dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011. However, a series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan has begun in 2014. One year later, the three countries reached an agreement, per which the downstream countries should not be affected by the construction of the dam.

The remaining problematic point between Egypt and Ethiopia is a technical one related to the period of filling the dam’s reservoir with water. Ethiopia has asked for 5-6 years to fill the reservoir, while Egypt has asked Ethiopia to abide by the Nile water quantity flow in filling the reservoir to “avoid any significant damage on the downstream countries,” former head of the Central Department for Technical Cooperation at the Nile Sector of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation Mamdouh Mohamed Hassan told Egypt today in previous remarks.

Both President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed affirmed their keenness to resume the negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

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8/2/2019 1:46:02 PM
<![CDATA[Nubians' compensation requests to be received until Aug. 20]]>
Omar Marwan, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, announced extending the submission deadline for the compensation requests by people of Nubia, in southern Egypt, until August 20.

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ordered addressing the problems of Nubian people affected by the construction of Aswan's High Dam since 1902, said Marwan in June.

In July, the number of Nubian people who have applied for compensation in Aswan has reportedly reached 1,590 people. This comes as the committee formed to receive compensation requests starting June 25 has announced extending the deadline until the end of July.

The Cabinet formed a committee headed by the Ministry of Justice in 2017 to determine those entitled to be compensated from people in Nubia, Marwan said. It was found that 11,716 people are eligible for compensation.

Those who deserve compensation include 3,851 people affected by the construction of the Aswan reservoir, while 7,865 people were affected by the construction of the Aswan Dam, he said.

Some others had already received compensation. After counting those who deserve the compensation, the government opened the door for appeals and requests in order to compensate the rest of affected Nubians, he added.

Asked about the type of compensation, Marwan said that the affected Nubians will receive lands, houses or cash, adding that agricultural lands and houses will be granted to those affected by the construction of the Aswan Dam.

Concerning the reservoir, the affected people have already built houses on the land of the state, Marwan said, adding that the government will grant them the legal ownership of these lands. Moreover, those who built houses on lands near rivers including islands will be giventhe right to use these lands forever for free.

Marwan said earlier that each of the affected persons has the entitlement to apply for cash compensation of LE 25,000 ($1498) per feddan.

The affected people will be compensated by other lands, as some of them deserve arable lands while others deserve lands for housing units.

The story

Years ago, Egypt's former President Gamal Abdel Nasser instructed to build Egypt’s biggest national project, the High Dam.

The High Dam was built under the name of Aswan Dam. It was mainly meant to generate power and regulate the seasonal flooding of the Nile. Being one of the former leader’s greatest achievements for the Egyptians, especially the farmers, the dam was a dream that came true as people have suffered for years from the loss of their crops due to the seasonal unexpected floods.

The establishment of the Dam started with Aswan Dam/reservoir in 1902. The increasing rate of water flow behind the dam flooded 44 Nubian villages and displaced 18000 Nubian families in the aftermath. The area is known now as “old Nubia”.

Nubians who deserted their houses and saw them sink beneath the rising water had to migrate to Kom Ambo area known as “New Nubia”. The biggest migration took place when the construction of the High Dam occurred in 1963. Nubians witnessed a shift in the way of life around the Nile to a new desert life in villages built for them in Kom Ambo.
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8/2/2019 12:32:45 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi, Kushner discuss Palestinian-Israeli peace process]]>
Accroding to Radi, Kushner praised Egypt’s role in enhancing stability and peace in the Middle East and in combating terrorism. “Kushner reviewed the contacts conducted by the U.S. Delegation with all parties in the region to move forward with reviving the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis, affirming the significance of U.S. talks with Egypt in this regard,” Radi stated.

“President [Sisi] affirmed Egypt’s full support to reach a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue and push forward efforts to revive the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, in accordance with the international references,” he added.

Both leaders discussed the bilateral relations between Cairo and Washington, Radi said, noting that Trump’s top advisor praised Egypt’s efforts to implement the economic reforms.

The meeting was attended by Egyptian Intelligence Chief Abbas Kamel, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Trump’s envoy for the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, and U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State Brian Hook.

The meeting came three days after Sisi’s meeting with Jordanian Monarch Abdullah II, affirming the importance of resuming Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

They asserted that efforts must be intensified to restart the long-stymied peace talks in line with the international resolutions and the Arab peace initiative and on the basis of the two-state solution, with the establishment of a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, Radi reiterated.

The U.S. is working on implementing what is known as “the deal of the century”. Kushner revealed in remarks to Reuters late June that the U.S. administration allocated $50 billion for the Middle East plan; about half of the $50 billion will be allocated for construction projects in Gaza and for building a corridor linking the West Bank and Gaza strip. Meanwhile, the rest of the money will be divided between Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

The money allocated for Egypt will be used to construct business projects in Sinai for Palestinian citizens who live in Gaza strip.

Revealing more details on the economic part of the deal, U.S. led Manama-hosted the summit “Peace to Prosperity,” in which Egypt and Jordan participated.
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8/1/2019 5:01:34 PM
<![CDATA[Closing ceremony: Sisi involves youth in political process, state initiatives]]>
The conference was held in the New Administrative Capital on July 30-31, reportedly with the participation of 1,500 young people representing the Egyptian society.

The President decreed the formation of working groups of the youth of the presidential program and the Egyptian universities, and researchers, to continuously contact the government and the state institutions within the framework of the national work.

He also decided to form youth working groups to assist state institutions to follow up and implement major national projects. The groups shall start working immediately under the supervision of the prime minister and the relevant ministries.

The government should adopt the work on developing the cultural project of Alexandria's Ras al-Tin area, upon a presidential decision, stressing the importance of implementing this project by the real estate developers. The project was proposed by the youth during the conference.

Simulation

Sisi has assigned the cabinet to consider all the recommendations issued by the simulation model of the Egyptian state during the conference.

Concerning the low-income segments of the society, Sisi ordered launching Hayah Karima (Decent Life), a national project for the development of the most needy villages, and achieving integration between the project and the national strategy to eradicate poverty.

Decent Life

The project should be implemented according to the model presented by the youth during the conference, Sisi said, which is based on achieving integration between the government and the civil society to reach the goals of sustainable development.

The president instructed the cabinet to quickly finalize a draft law for local administration and the Shura Council (Senate) to submit them to the parliament during the next session. He also urged starting immediately to train training and rehabilitate young people to practice local and political work.

The youth of the simulation model of the Egyptian state, in coordination with the Cabinet and all relevant authorities in the State, will be assigned to immediately start implementing the government marketing strategy.

Sisi has decided to entrust the government to establish a headquarters for the National Training Academy in the New Administrative Capital, in coordination with the academy. This headquarters should include a training center for the Arab and African youth.

African (2)

The Cabinet were also tasked to launch the national project for digital transformation and to implement the governance system at the state level. The project would start to be experimented in Port Said governorate.

Digital Transformation



All photos are courtesy of Egypt Today]]>
8/1/2019 11:44:39 AM
<![CDATA[Ask the President: Sisi listens to youth concerns, unveils solutions]]>
1
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has launched the Ask the President session as part of the National Youth Conference held on July 30-31 - Egypt Today/Hussein Talal
President Sisi started speaking about the local administration law that has not yet issued in a final form.

Since 2011, Egypt has not conducted elections for local councils, Sisi noted, affirming that the local councils in Egypt and worldwide have the biggest role in monitoring the performance of the government in every governorate.

We are very keen to hold the elections for local councils as soon as possible, based on the 2014 constitution, the president said, expressing hope that the youth are highly represented in the next elections, and that 18,000 young people participate in the vote.

Asked whether the youth will be given the chance to take part in the Shura Council (The Senate), Sisi said that the Senate is always formed from people with cumulative experience that has been gained through the consecutive years, adding that such quality is usually unavailable in the young age. However, the Parliament and Local Councils are available for the youth, Sisi said.

2
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has launched the Ask the President session as part of the National Youth Conference held on July 30-31 - Egypt Today/Hussein Talal
Turning to speak about tensions in the region, the Egyptian leader said that some of the capabilities of Hezbollah in Lebanon have been used in confronting Israel.

"Let's be honest, we speak about tens of hundreds of missiles or even more. In that case ... what would be the response of the Israeli side? ... It would be so huge and so violent," the president said.

Sisi affirmed Egypt's stance toward seeking to find solutions for crises in the region that would rule out the military actions, while preserving the standards of Arab national security and the Gulf national security.

3
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has launched the Ask the President session as part of the National Youth Conference held on July 30-31 - Egypt Today/Hussein Talal
Speaking about economy and changes happening to oil prices in the region, Sisi said that the Egyptian State has set a price for oil barrels, according to the current budget, at $68 per barrel. We have dealt with two banks in order to secure providing a certain amount of fuel at this fixed price, the president revealed.

Now we have almost no problems with the gas sector in terms of self-sufficiency, manufacturing or export, Sisi said, adding that he hopes this can be applied to the petroleum sector in the coming few years.

By the end of this year, the current stage of the economic reform program would be fully implemented, according to the plan Egypt has committed to before the IMF, Sisi said, adding that reform and progress however is a continuous process.

4
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has launched the Ask the President session as part of the National Youth Conference held on July 30-31 - Egypt Today/Hussein Talal
In culture, Sisi said that he expects the the country will be in a better place in terms of culture and thought, within the next two or three years.

5
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has launched the Ask the President session as part of the National Youth Conference held on July 30-31 - Egypt Today/Hussein Talal
Sisi spoke about the Egyptian football in Egypt, saying that the popular sport has faced many obstacles to the progress of this game in the country.

Egypt is showing proper performance in terms of individual sports, Sisi said, adding that Football in particular has witnessed since 2011 a state of instability including the incidents that took place inside the stadiums and how it could affect the presence of football fans.

Concerning the return of football fans to the stadiums, after they have been partially banned due to violent incidents that took place since 2011 inside and around the stadiums, Sisi said that their return has become even more possible now in light of the efforts shown in organizing the AFCON tournament in 2019 and the security system created.

Sisi said that the fans can return to enter to the stadiums when the Sports Ministry and the security authorities think it is the right time.

Egypt will no more hire foreign football trainers; we should give the chance for national trainers, Sisi said, explaining that the decision came after he consulted with Youth and Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi.

Sisi also recommended working to develop the national women's football team.

6
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has launched the Ask the President session as part of the National Youth Conference held on July 30-31 - Egypt Today/Hussein Talal
]]>
7/31/2019 11:05:50 PM
<![CDATA[Greece says Turkey's drilling off Cyprus puts security at risk]]>
This is considered some of the strongest comments on the issue from Athens’ newly elected government.

Cyprus has discovered natural gas in areas off the south of the island, but attempts to explore for more are challenged by Turkey, which claims part of the seas around the island as its own, according to Reuters.

“The illegal actions of Turkey, which defy international law are placing the security of the region at risk. As such, they are absolutely condemnable,” Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told reporters after meeting his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.

Turkey and Cyprus do not have diplomatic relations since a decades-old conflict split the island among its ethnic Turkish and Greek Cypriot populations.

Athens is the closest ally of Cyprus’s Greek Cypriot-led government, a policy which transcends Greece’s otherwise polarized political landscape.

The discovery of oil and gas reserves in the east Mediterranean has put sharper focus on the Cypriot impasse, which has defied mediation efforts of a small army of diplomats.

Peace talks between the two sides collapsed in disarray exactly two years ago. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are due to have a rare meeting in Nicosia on Aug. 9.

The Greek Cypriot side will not discuss potential hydrocarbons finds in peace negotiations, which are held at a community, and not a state level. It considers hydrocarbons a sovereign competency of the internationally recognized government it leads.

Turkey has sent two drill ships either side of the island to explore for gas. One of the ships is in waters Cyprus and the EU consider part of the island’s exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, and the other in Cypriot territorial waters.

“We discussed this flagrant violation of the sovereignty and the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus perpetrated by Turkey,” Dendias said, hours after returning from a trip to Cyprus.

Egyptian minister Shoukry, who did not mention Turkey by name, said through an interpreter: “We discussed the provocations in the area and how there should be respect to international law, for the provocations to stop.”

Egypt, Greece and Cyprus cooperate in a range of areas, including energy.

]]>
7/31/2019 5:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian people's awareness encouraged us to take bold measures: Sisi]]>
The President added that the country was in a state of collapse, and the measures were indispensable to overcome such deadlock.

"The government was reluctant to take these rigorous measure, however, confident of the Egyptian people's awareness, I took those measures to preserve the nation," Sisi said.

"I told the cabinet ministers then that if the people refused these measures, the government would resign and I would call for early presidential elections," he added.

I was betting on the Egyptians who have succeeded in overcoming the difficult situation, the president said.

The president expressed gratitude to Egyptians for enduring the hardships arising from the economic reforms.

During the session, President Sisi added that all ministers did their best over the past period to ease the burden on citizens.

In this regard, the president cited the great efforts exerted by the social solidarity minister to shorten the time needed to implement social protection packages in a year instead of two years, with a view to increasing the number of families benefiting from social protection programs.

The president also lauded the supply minister's efforts to ensure the availability of a sufficient stock of food supplies and basic goods.

President Sisi called for citizens to be aware that turning recommendations into a concrete reality requires the state to secure billions of pounds.

With regard to the state's endeavors to rationalize water usage, the president said a sum of EGP 70 billion was allocated to establish triple-phase waste-water treatment plants to maximize the use of every drop of water.

Responding to what was raised by the simulation's housing minister about development opportunities in Sinai and the law no. 14 of 2014, which prohibits the ownership of property by foreigners, President Sisi said he endorsed this law when he was serving as the defense minister to protect Sinai's land.

The president expressed his admiration for a proposal put forward by the participating young people to develop Ras Al Tin area in Alexandria.

At the end of the simulation, President Sisi thanked the simulation government's members for their efforts.

Nearly 1,500 youth participants from all 27 governorates attended at the conference. The participants will represents university students, political parties, the Presidential Leadership Program (PLP), along with other outstanding youth in different fields, and youth who registered online.

The first conference of “Dignified Life” initiative, aimed at the eradication of poverty, will take place. Before the closing session, “Ask the President”.

The sixth National youth Conference was held on July 28, 2018 in Cairo University, and was attended by up to 3,000 young people. The theme was human development and education reforms.

Additional Report with MENA]]>
7/31/2019 12:16:36 PM
<![CDATA[UN hails Egypt's pioneering efforts to be in touch with youth: Rady ]]>
The youth-oriented event is gradually gaining momentum, Rady told Al Nile News TV channel on the sidelines of the 7th National Youth Conference, which kicked off earlier today in the New Administrative Capital.

Rady underscored the state's commitment to remain in touch with its youth, who constitute 65% of the country's population.

Highlighting the state's leading efforts to organize this kind of youth events, which were acclaimed by the whole world, Rady cited a UN statement commending Egypt's ground-breaking experience in communicating with young people.

He also asserted the importance of the session dubbed “Ask the President” as an effective communication tool with youth.

The agenda of the current edition of the national youth conference include many issues of the utmost importance to the Egyptian people, the spokesman added. ]]>
7/31/2019 12:08:39 PM
<![CDATA[2 Somalis arrested in U.S. before joining IS in North Sinai]]>
The defendants are Ahmed Mahad Mohamed, 21, and Abdi Yemani Hussein, 20, who entered the United States as refugees. The former had been granted a permanent residence status, while the latter was still in the U.S. under refugee status. Both had planned to carry out a terror attack in the U.S., if they failed to travel.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday about the news saying that the case was cracked by an undercover agent who pretended to be a terrorist and that one of them said, “The best wake up call is Islamic State to get victory or another 9/11.”



North Sinai has been experiencing a terrorism wave since February 2011 when a gas exporting pipeline was bombed. The attack took place right after the outbreak of the January 25 Revolution and before the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak. That was also in parallel to the border infiltration by Hamas and Hezbollah elements who stormed into prisons where members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood were jailed. Among those who escaped was former President Mohamed Morsi, who was a member of the Supreme Guide Bureau.

In April 2012, the gas pipelines had been bombed for a 14th time which incurred an arbitration case with Israel. Through a settlement in 2016, the compensation value was reduced to $500 million from $1.7 billion. In May 2012, seven soldiers had been abducted in North Sinai for seven days before they were freed by Egyptian security forces. A month later, 16 soldiers were assassinated in heavy shooting in the border town of Rafah. The attack is dubbed “1st Rafah Massacre.”

The terror attacks reached their peak in Egypt in the aftermath of the ouster of Morsi on July 3, 2013 over mass protests that began on June 30 of the same year. The attacks targeted mainly churches, buildings of security directorates, security checkpoints, ambushes, and patrols causing hundreds of deaths, injuries, and material losses across the country. At present, terrorism is predominantly confined to North Sinai. Many terror attacks have been launched in the name of Ansar Beit Al Maqdes which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in 2014 along with its rise in Syria and Iraq.

The most prominent attack targeted at civilians in was that against Rawda Mosque where 305 were killed, including 27 children, and 128 people were injured. Investigations revealed that gunmen whose number varied between 25 and 25 carrying the IS flag used automatic rifles to kill the worshippers as they took up positions in front of the mosque door and its 12 windows.]]>
7/30/2019 5:15:24 PM
<![CDATA[UK PM Johnson's no-deal Brexit gamble hammers sterling]]>
Sterling crashed through trading barriers, falling to an intraday low of $1.2120 in shallower overnight Asian trade, the lowest since March 2017. The pound has lost 3.6 cents since Johnson was named Britain’s new prime minister a week ago.

Ever since the 2016 EU referendum, the pound has gyrated to the rhetoric of the Brexit divorce: after the result was announced, it had the biggest one-day fall since the era of free-floating exchange rates was introduced in the early 1970s.

Since the 2016 vote, sterling has now lost 28 cents, one of the most significant falls for the currency in recent decades.

“We see more GBP weakness to come,” ING said in a note to clients. “The current sterling meltdown is in line with our view that GBP risks are heavily skewed to the downside given the Brexit uncertainty and rising odds of an early election (our base case).”

Johnson, who was hailed by U.S. President Donald Trump as Britain’s Trump, has promised to strike a new divorce deal with the European Union and to energize the world’s fifth-largest economy after what he casts as the gloom of Theresa May’s premiership.

On entering Downing Street on Wednesday, Johnson set up a showdown with the EU by vowing to negotiate a new deal and threatening that, if the bloc refused, he would take Britain out on Oct. 31 without a deal to limit economic dislocation.

TOUR OF THE UNION
He told reporters in Scotland on Monday that he wanted to get a new deal but that the government had to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

When asked about his remark during the campaign for the party leadership that the odds on a no-deal Brexit were a million to one, he said: “Provided there is sufficient goodwill and common sense on the part of our partners, that is exactly where I would put the odds.”

Many investors say a no-deal Brexit would send shock waves through the world economy, tip Britain’s economy into a recession, roil financial markets and weaken London’s position as the pre-eminent international financial center.

Supporters of Brexit say that while there would be some short-term difficulties, the disruption of a no-deal Brexit has been overplayed and that in the long-term, the United Kingdom would thrive if it left the European Union.

Johnson’s ascent has placed an avowed Brexiteer in charge of the British government for the first time since the 2016 EU Brexit referendum.

Johnson will tell Welsh farmers on Tuesday they will get a better deal after Brexit, part of a countrywide tour to win support for his “do or die” pledge to leave the European Union by Oct. 31.

“I will always back Britain’s great farmers and as we leave the EU we need to make sure that Brexit works for them,” Johnson said before arriving in Wales.

“Once we leave the EU on the 31st of October, we will have a historic opportunity to introduce new schemes to support farming – and we will make sure that farmers get a better deal. Brexit presents enormous opportunities for our country and it’s time we looked to the future with pride and optimism.”]]>
7/30/2019 11:32:05 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's Foreign Minister hails distinguished relations with Spain]]>
Over the phone, Shoukry greeted Borrell on his recent nomination as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, looking forward to continuing efforts exerted by the EU concerning all aspects of foreign affairs, besides ensuring the effective contribution to solving different global issues.

He also hailed the distinguished level of Egyptian-Spanish relations at all levels, highlighting Egypt's keenness to boost Spanish investments in Egypt.

The top diplomat invited Borrell to visit Egypt at the earliest opportunity.

On his part, Borrell expressed his country's pride in its deeply-rooted relations with Egypt, hailing Cairo's regional role. ]]>
7/30/2019 10:59:36 AM
<![CDATA[7th Youth Conference in Administrative Capital: Extraordinary goals]]>
Over 1500 Egyptian youth are set to take part in the conference.

Being held in the Administrative Capital gives the opportunity for the Egyptian youth and people and the whole world to experience Egypt's modern future capital, Abed, also deputy chairman of pro-government Nation's Future Party said.

All issues that concern the Egyptian society will be discussed over two days will be discussed in the presence and participation of the Egyptian youth from nationwide, a number of public figures, media people, businessmen, ambassadors from countries of the African Union and representatives of major institutions and international organizations, Abed said.

The participants will be given the chance to express their vision for the future during the conference, Abed affirmed.

"The big and real keenness of President Sisi to listen and hold direct dialogue with the Egyptian youth will have a positive and great impact [in favor of] overcoming all the problems and challenges facing the Egyptian state," Abed said in a statement.

The presence of President Sisi personally in a platform for dialogue with the Egyptian youth has compelled all the executive state institutions to fully commit to implementing all recommendations and decisions emanating from the ideas of Egypt's youth.

By their ideas and suggestions on all issues of interest to the Egyptian state, the youth have become partners in making the future of the Egyptian state, Abed said, stressing the importance of registration and participation in the event, especially in the "Ask the President" session, which allows the youth to ask questions to the president directly without red lines, in order for them to express their views freely.

MP Mona Mounir said that the upcoming Youth Conference is a great opportunity to discuss national issues, especially those that concern the youth and their future, in the presence of state officials and the president.

Choosing the Administrative Capital to host the conference is a clear message indicating the country's ability to complete this giant project in a short period of time, and is an opportunity to attract investments in the city, Mounir said.

MP Hussein Abu Gad highlighted the importance of "Ask the President" session that will take place as part of the Youth Conference, saying that it will prove the pivotal role played by the youth in building and development, and giving positive suggestions around various issues.

Listening to the youth without red lines confirms the president's keenness to allow Egyptian youth to practice democracy and freedom.]]>
7/29/2019 5:03:51 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi, King Abdullah affirm importance of resuming Palestinian-Israeli peace process talks]]>
They asserted that efforts must be intensified to restart the long-stymied peace talks in line with the international resolutions and the Arab peace initiative and on the basis of the two-state solution, with the establishment of a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, said Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi.

King Abdullah arrived here earlier in the day on an official visit for talks with President Sisi.

The Jordanian monarch will head for Tunisia after Egypt to offer condolences for the death of Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi.]]>
7/29/2019 4:15:53 PM
<![CDATA[Insulting Essebsi, fugitive Ghoneim barred from entering Tunisia]]>
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi passed away at the age of 93 on Thursday, July 25th, announced the Tunisian Presidency in a statement.

Ghoneim, an Egyptian fugitive harbored by Turkey, has described Essebsi as "apostate" who had been fighting against Allah (God) and Islam. He also prayed against him and his supporters.

Egypt Today could no more find Ghoneim's Facebook post, and could not publish the content of the post in full as it contains hate speech.

This is not the first time for Ghoneim to describe Muslim people as disbelievers. He earlier designated the Egyptian incumbent president, late Noble Prize winner Egyptian scientist Ahmed Zuweil, and even those who sang "Teslam al-Ayadi," a national song that praises the Egyptian army personnel, as apostates.

An Egyptian court handed Ghoneim a death sentence in absentia in April, 2017, over inciting to murder security forces and Christians.

The remarks of Ghoneim against Essebsi is considered to be "an extremist behavior that aims at insulting not only the late president but the Tunisian state and Tunisian people," the Tunisian prime minister told Tunis Afrique Presse news agency.

Abdelfattah Mourou, acting speaker of the Tunisian Parliament has apologized to the Tunisian people for the behavior of Ghoneim in an interview with Tunisia's Mosaïque FM, saying that he did not know that how mean is that person and how he does not respect death to this extent.

Mourou said that he will address the Turkish authorities to expel Ghoneim from its territory and end his residence.

What Ghoneim means

Equal inheritance

Swimming against Islamic tides, late Tunisian President Beji Caed Essibsi in August 2017, in his speech during the National Women's day, launched an initiative to grant women and men equal inheritance rights. In November, a relevant bill was approved by the government, but the parliament in June, 2019 has postponed the discussion of the bill.

In Islamic law, a man inherits double the share of a female in some cases, while in some cases, women can take equal share as men or can take more than what men take in other cases.

Islamic scholars throughout the ages have agreed that granting both genders equal inheritance rights regardless the case contradicts with the Islamic instructions.

Abbas Shouman, the deputy chief of Eygpt's Al-Azhar Islamic institution, commented on Essebsi's suggestion in a Facebook post saying that it is unjust and against the provisions of the law of Islam, explaining that the “inheritance is divided in verses of peremptory significance and could not be changed,” affirming that it does not mean to grant lesser rights to women than men.

Homosexuality

In June 2018, a commission established by the country’s president has recommended, as part of many recommendations, repealing article 230, which punished homosexuals with up to three years in prison. According to the recommendation, homosexuals can face a fine of 500 dinars ($173.3) instead of imprisonment.

Islam and Christianity declares PRACTICING homosexuality as sin. Many Islamic scholars think that gays charged with sexual intercourse, if convicted, shall be punished exactly like those convicted of fornication.

]]>
7/29/2019 1:46:01 PM
<![CDATA[AL to host ordinary session of Arab human rights committee Tuesday]]>
The event will be attended by representatives of the relevant member states and national human rights organizations, as well as civil society organizations with an observer status.

In press statements on Monday, AL Assistant Secretary General for Social Affairs Haifa Abu Ghazala said Israeli violations of human rights in the Arab occupied territories will be at the top of the session's agenda.

The meeting is expected to discuss the possibility of developing phased plans for the Arab regional human rights strategy endorsed by Arab leaders during their summit in Tunis in March.]]>
7/29/2019 12:57:58 PM
<![CDATA[British HMS DUNCAN arrives in Gulf]]>
Freedom of navigation is crucial for the global trading system and world economy, the government said in a press statement on Sunday, adding that it has committed to doing all it can to defend it.

Last week, the British government confirmed that the Royal Navy has been tasked to accompany British-flagged ships through the Strait, to provide reassurance to the shipping industry.

The Type 45 Destroyer, HMS DUNCAN, will work with the Type 23 Frigate HMS MONTROSE until it comes off duty in late August, ensuring the continuous availability of ships to accompany merchant vessels.]]>
7/28/2019 5:54:52 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual water share declines by 5 billion cubic meter: Ministry]]>
The Nile flow has been affected by the decreasing rate of annual rainwater, which is coming from the Ethiopian Highlands, said Head of the Planning Sector at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Eman el-Sayed, in the statement.

Egypt’s share (55.5 billion cubic meters) comes from the Highlands through the tributary of the Blue Nile that feeds 80 percent of the Nile’s water to downstream states (Egypt and Sudan).

The Nile's annual rainwater could decrease over the coming few years due to climate change, she added, noting that the sector has advanced devices to measure the annual rainwater along the Nile basin.

According to the ministry’s statement, Egypt announced that it is ready for the 2019-2020 Nile water flow, which starts in September.

The ministry’s Committee of the Nile Water Flow announced a state of emergency nationwide to meet the state’s water needs, particularly drinkable water. The committee also directed to launch campaigns to monitor violations to the rules of rice cultivation.

On May 21, 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ratified new amendments to the Agriculture Law No. 53 of 1966, per which the government will determine the areas to cultivate certain water-intensive crops such as rice and sugarcane, amid the water shortage crisis in order to rationalize water usage.

Egyptians’ current consumption of drinkable water reaches 11 billion cubic meters, compared to 7 billion cubic meters in previous years, said Head of Irrigation Sector at the ministry Abdel-Latif Khaled in the statement. Meanwhile, 8 billion cubic meters are being consumed for industrial activities, he added.

Despite the government's efforts to save every drop of water as the country faces water scarcity, 98.4 million Egyptians still live under the poverty water line by 50 percent, below the international line of 1,000 cubic meters.

The state suffers from an annual 21 billion cubic meters gap between water consumption and production. The consumption reached 110 billion cubic meters, while Egypt currently has 60 million cubic meters annually, announced Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Atti in October 2018.

Egypt has entered into a diplomatic and political battle with some Nile basin countries over its share of the Nile water. The disagreement started in 2010, when five Nile basin countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda) signed the Entebbe Agreement, per which the two 1929 and 1959 deals conducted during British colonization can be relinquished.

The two deals had allocated 80 billion cubic meters of Nile water to Egypt (55.5 billion), and Sudan (18.5 billion); they also granted Egypt the right to veto against projects that can be established in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Sudan and that may cause harm to its share.

Moreover, Egypt’s concern over its share was escalated after Ethiopia started building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011. However, a series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan has begun in 2014. One year later, the three countries reached an agreement, per which the downstream countries should not be affected by the construction of the dam.

The remaining problematic point between Egypt and Ethiopia is a technical one related to the period of filling the dam’s reservoir with water. Ethiopia has asked for 5-6 years to fill the reservoir, while Egypt has asked Ethiopia to abide by the Nile water quantity flow in filling the reservoir to “avoid any significant damage on the downstream countries.”
]]>
7/28/2019 4:58:56 PM
<![CDATA[Baghdad to establish military base in Gulf bet. Iran, Kuwait: source]]>
Alsumaria TV news channel quoted the source as saying that the planned naval base in the city of Basra would be responsible for securing Iraq's territorial waters and protecting its southern maritime port.

He went on to say that a large budget was allocated to build the base, which will be the first of its kind since 1990, in addition to funding a program for arming Iraqi naval forces.

Earlier, Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al Shammari had announced the establishment of the largest military naval base in the Arabian Gulf's waters to develop Iraqi naval forces' capabilities.]]>
7/28/2019 3:30:16 PM
<![CDATA[Min. of immigration's statements misinterpreted: Egyptian expats]]>
During the meeting, Makram was talking about the strong relations that connect Egyptians with their home country, and that they don’t allow anyone to "cross the lines" and attack Egypt in any way. “We only have one country; it is Egypt,” Makram said in a video that went viral on social media shortly after the meeting.

“Wherever we go, this country [Egypt] will always remain in our hearts, and we cannot allow anyone to say any comment about our country, especially abroad ... If anyone says anything, what happens? We will rip him,” Makram added.

Some reposted the video claiming that Makram used a violent language to threaten the opposition, especially abroad.

Later, Makram replied to these claims affirming that the country “takes care of its communities abroad and never threatens them." Makram said that she is sorry for how her statements were misinterpreted.

Makram explained that she never threatens anyone and that she is keen to communicate with all Egyptians “because simply the ministry’s job is to communicate with all Egyptians everywhere and take care of them.”

Egypt’s Minister for Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates' Affairs Nabila Makram explained that the word “rip or cut them” which was criticized deeply and even “misinterpreted” was not indented or meant “literally”.

In Egypt, the term “I would cut you into parts” is commonly used when someone feels angry towards something or someone and it doesn’t reflect any violent intentions.

Makram visited Canada to celebrate raising the Egyptian flag for the first time in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in light of the decision to allocate the month of July to celebrate the Egyptian civilization.

Makram organized and participated in several conferences to reconnect Egyptians abroad with their country. Many of them hailed her efforts in statements to Egypt Today.

Head of Egypt’s community in France Saleh Farhoud said: “We need to thank Makram for all of her efforts since she came to the office.”

He added that Makram didn’t say anything wrong in her statements. “She expressed how Egyptians feel towards their country."

"However, there are people who intend to explain every word in a way that aligns with their political agendas and goals,” Farhoud added.

In April 2018, Makram organized for the first time what is known as “Roots Revival Week”.

During this week, Egypt, Greece and Cyprus revived their historical relations and memories that have been documented in music, cinema and literature for several decades. For a whole week, the three countries recalled their memories through several events.

A lot of Greeks and Cypriots used to live in Egypt for decades; however, for several political, economic and social reasons, they left the country and headed back to their homes by the end of the 1970s.

The effects and impact that the Greeks left in Cairo and Alexandria in particular are still clearly noticeable in their buildings, architecture, famous stores, music, cinema, literature and unforgettable memories.
]]>
7/28/2019 1:30:04 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey’s S-400 acquisition in middle of massive incentives, grim consequences]]>
Military Affairs Researcher at the Arab Forum for Policies Analysis Mohamed El Kenany explains the reasons behind Turkey’s attempts to acquire both the S-400 and the F-35.

F-35
An F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter takes off on a training sortie at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in this March 6, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/U.S. Air Force photo/Randy Gon/Handout

Military Ambitions

Kenany clarifies that Turkey’s 2023 Vision is aimed at turning the country into a super power so that its main goals are manufacturing a large portion of its arms, and reinvigorating the economy.

“Turkey is working on a local program to produce the fifth generation or the advanced fourth generation of fighter jets. The target is to produce a prototype of that local fighter jet by 2023,” Kenany explains.

Turkey targets to manufacture and develop Turkish Aerospace Industries' (TAI) TF-X national fighter jet in collaboration with UK's BAE Systems. The deal signed in 2017 is worth £100 million. The TF-X is set to make the first flight in 2025 and to enter service in 2029 or 2030.

Tensions

“Turkey expanded in the region by intervening in Syria, Libya, and Iraq, and by establishing military bases in Somalia and Qatar. It has provoked conflicts with many countries and attempted to build a military base in Sudan,” El Kenany highlights.

Turkey’s relations with some NATO countries, particularly Germany, the United States, and France, have been experiencing tensions over human rights violations and democracy breaches. “There is also the problem of natural gas drilling. Turkey is not part of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” Kenany adds.

Turkish Drilling
Turkish drilling vessel Yavuz sets sail in Izmit Bay, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, off the port of Dilovasi, Turkey, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

“(Turkish President Recep Tayyip)Erdogan is a very stubborn person. He wanted to possess the strongest weapons in the world for purposes pertinent to those conflicts. On the other hand, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is one of the smartest people on the planet. He wanted to fulfill the goals of the National Security Strategy amended in 2015 to reinstate Russia’s status in the world,” Kenany says.

Russia’s Motives

“The U.S. naval forces are close to Russia in all directions as they are present in the Black Sea and Dardanelles straits,” Kenany says. The Black Sea is connected to the Sea of Marmara by the Bosphorus Strait, while Dardanelles Strait connects the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean Sea, which is part of the Mediterrenean Sea. “So Turkey is the only path for Russia between the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and Syria,” Kenany explains.

Black_Sea_map
Black Sea - CC via Wikimedia Commons/Norman Einstein

“On November 24, 2015, Turkey brought down an SU-24, and on 19th of December, Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, was assassinated by an off-duty Turkish police officer. However, Russia is pragmatic as Turkey is its first frontline with NATO. Also, Turkey has the second largest military presence in NATO, houses the gas pipeline supplying Russian gas to Europe, and plays the refugees card,” Kenany says.

“Putin wants Turkey to leave NATO on the long-run. That is why he agreed to Turkey's request to acquire the S-400. Russia has already jeopardized NATO since the conflict in Ukraine,” Kenany adds. Ukraine and Russia are among the 20 member states of The Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme aimed at achieving cooperation between NATO and each individual state.

“On the other hand, Turkey’s demand was driven by the United States’ delay to comply with its request to acquire Patriot missiles. Also, France was late to fulfill the country’s request to acquire missile systems,” Kenany says. Turkey wanted larger technology transfers than the U.S. intended to make. Kenany explains that the United States would not approve saying that even Israel receives only the plugin but never the source code of arms it gets.

Patriot missile
FILE PHOTO: U.S. soldiers stand beside a U.S. Patriot missile system at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey, October 10, 2014.. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

“Hence, Turkey resorted to China and Russia. The S-400 is the most threatening to the F-35 that is initially designed to deter the Russian air defense systems, which constitute the base for Chinese air defense systems. F-35 is designed to substitute many fighter jets including the F-16,” Kenany clarifies.

U.S. Concerns

“Turkey was supposed to manufacture seven percent of the F-35. It has also accumulated experience from manufacturing the F-16. If Turkey acquires both, it may carry out experiments on both systems and use them against each other. As a consequence, it may come up with a new weapon that threatens the points of weakness of both,” Kenany says.

Grim Consequences

“The S-400 is not compatible with NATO weapons and Russian fighter jets cannot be easily integrated into Turkey’s weapon system,” Kenany adds. “The UK may stop the technical assistance to the local program as it is a member of the F-35 program," Kenany speculates.

"In December 2018, the U.S. denied Turkey a certificate to export LHTEC helicopter engines as part of a deal with the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) to sell 30 ATAK helicopters to Pakistan, and this can be done again. Turkey will be hit by big crises as it depends on U.S. and Israeli technologies. Israel is likely to stop such cooperation under U.S. pressure as well,” Kenany says. Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC) is a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Honeywell.

F-16
A Turkish F-16 fighter jet takes off from Incirlik airbase in the southern city of Adana, Turkey, July 27, 2015. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

“Turkey stockpiles F-16 parts using the assembly line it has. The F-16 is manufactured in Turkey by a Lockheed Martin license that can be revoked. The country fears that the vital parts may be withheld as well as certain levels of maintenance. F-16 represents the pillar of the Turkish Air Force. It possesses 270 F-16 fighter jets. Meanwhile, the Phantom is about to get out of service,” Kenany says.

However, Kenany estimates that “neither the U.S. nor NATO will impose big sanctions to not lose their interests to Russia.”

Tough Decision

“Erdogan is furious because India and Indonesia got an exception from the (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) CAATSA to procure the S-400. He is stubborn and unpredictable.” Kenany says.

“There are two scenarios. One is that Turkey keeps the S-400, adopt the Russian technology in some uses, gives up the F-35 program and loses the $9 billion it would gain throughout the duration of the program. It will also lose the technology needed for the local program so it would take much longer to be completed and require more costs,” Kenany explains.

"On the long-run, Turkey may leave NATO, although it was among the first states to join the alliance in 1952 three years after its establishment. This a goal that Russia aspires for,” Kenany says.

"The second scenario is that Erdogan simply returns the S-400 to Russia, so his country will then re-join the F-35 program before too much damage is done to its economy and aerospace industry," Kenany adds.

NATO
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Ankara, Turkey, May 6, 2019. Cem Ozdel/Turkish Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

The F-35 program is worth $428 billion. The projected life of the jet extends until 2070. Turkey has already produced 1,000 parts of the F-35 and invested a $1 billion in the program. Since 2018, Turkish pilots and engineering staff have been training on four F-35 jets in Arizona’s Luke Air Base so they would be delivered to Turkey later. As the United States has expelled Turkey from the program, those pilots and engineers will return to their homeland on July 31, which is the deadline the former set for the latter in June to cancel the S-400 deal with Russia.
]]>
7/27/2019 7:36:04 PM
<![CDATA[ Arab League lowers its flag in Cairo to mourn death of Essebsi]]>
Earlier today, Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Abul Gheit participated in the funeral of the late leader in Tunis.

Extending his sincere condolences to the Tunisian government and people, Abul Gheit praised the late president's efforts to serve Arab causes and promote joint Arab work.]]>
7/27/2019 5:11:10 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian, Russian diplomats brief African ambassadors on Sochi summit preparations]]>
The summit will be co-chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

The Egyptian and Russian diplomats hailed the first-ever Sochi summit as a cornerstone for reinforcing cooperation and developmental ties between Russia and Africa.

The summit agenda is expected to include many files, topped by boosting trade, and investments, Nasr said, adding that several deals could be signed to strengthen development efforts in Africa in light of Egypt’s current presidency of the African Union. ]]>
7/27/2019 5:06:59 PM
<![CDATA[Libyan Air Force hit GNA sites in Sirte, Misrata]]>
Seven air strikes targeted GNA military outposts in the northwestern city of Misrata, Al Arabiay channel reported.

It added that the Misrata targets include the control room of the Turkish drones, air defense system of Misrata base as well as the air force academy in the city.]]>
7/27/2019 4:58:28 PM
<![CDATA[UAE renews commitment to UNRWA as one of main contributors]]>
Saud Al Shamsi, the Deputy Permanent Representative and Charge d’Affaires of the UAE's Permanent Mission to the UN, emphasized that the agency contributes to the maintenance of security and stability in the region, UAE News Agency (WAM) reported on Saturday.

He noted that the UAE’s additional contribution to the agency in 2018 amounted to over US$50 million, making the UAE the sixth largest donor to the agency for that year.

This contribution has helped maintain the agency’s educational programs for hundreds of UNRWA schools, as well as the agency’s health and food program.

In addition, the UAE contributed $2 million to finance fuel for power stations which support hospitals in the Gaza Strip and provided $364 million through UAE aid initiatives in humanitarian, development and food assistance to the Palestinians during 2017 and 2018.

Additionally, he noted that the UAE will continue to support the agency including when it assumes the Vice-Chairmanship of the Advisory Committee of UNRWA in July 2019. Al Shamsi also underscored the importance of reaching a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, ending the suffering of Palestinian people and establishing an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.]]>
7/27/2019 4:48:16 PM
<![CDATA[Omani FM arrives in Iran for talks with top officials]]>
"His Excellency Minister Yusuf bin Alawi has arrived in Tehran today on a visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran," the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Saturday.

"During the visit, the minister will meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and other officials in the Iranian Republic, where the latest developments in the region will be discussed," it added. ]]>
7/27/2019 4:44:51 PM
<![CDATA[Saleh praises efforts of army, police to liberate Tripoli]]>
In statements to Al Arabiya news channel, Saleh said what the LNA is doing in Tripoli is a legal and right national mission.

Meanwhile, he condemned the practices of the Government of National Accord accusing it of targeting civilians and seizing the Libyan oil export revenues.

Earlier in the day, the LNA announced that it took control of Naqliya Camp in southern Tripoli.]]>
7/27/2019 4:39:30 PM
<![CDATA[Yemeni army recaptures posts in northern Dhale]]>
In statements broadcast by Al Arabiya news channel, the sources added that the army progress came after clashes with Houthi militias, which they said have left several militants dead and wounded.

Dozens of Houthis have retreated to Damt, the last city in Dhale governorate that is still occupied by the militias, they noted. ]]>
7/27/2019 4:33:20 PM
<![CDATA[Sudan's Military Council deputy chief heads for Juba]]>
During his one-day visit, the commander will discuss with South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit bilateral relations.

Dagalo is also set to meet a delegation of the north's wing of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) for talks on preparation for the transitional period. ]]>
7/27/2019 4:29:21 PM
<![CDATA[Essebsi secured democratic transition, stability in Tunisia: Interim president]]>
“[He] succeeded in securing the democratic transition and stability of the country,” Ennaceur said during a speech at the funeral service of the late Tunisian leader, adding that he “was keen on the success of the choice of democracy and national consensus.”

“Beji Caid Essebsi was the architect of national reconciliation,” he said. “We will continue on the path of Essebsi in building a democratic national state.”

“The loss of Essebsi is a loss to the homeland,” Ennaceur added. ]]>
7/27/2019 4:04:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt denounces Somalia's terror bombing]]>
Cairo expresses its deepest condolences to the victims' families, wishing the injured a speedy recovery, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Egypt's government and people stand by the government and people of Somalia against all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism, it said.

The statement stressed that Egypt supports efforts to reconstruct Somalian state institutions as well as to restore security and stability in the country]]>
7/27/2019 4:01:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt seeks expressing interests of African peoples: Sisi]]>
In his speech at the main session of the Munich Security Conference, president Sisi added that the conference is held this year amid growing challenges and dangers including the continuation of tension and conflict at the international level and the spread of terrorism and extremism along with increasing rates of crime.

These challenges would undermine national institutions and pose danger to the stability and security of peoples, added president Sisi.

President Sisi underlined the necessity of working to enhance international efforts for confronting these challenges. ]]>
7/27/2019 3:56:01 PM
<![CDATA[US willing to hold 3-way talks with Japan, S. Korea next week]]>
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha, among other top diplomats from the region, are set to gather in the Thai capital at a time when Tokyo-Seoul ties have fallen to their lowest point in years due to disputes over wartime history and trade policy.

"I think any time we have the Pompeo , the ROK and Japan in the same place, there's going to be a desire to get together," the senior State Department official told reporters, signaling possible US intervention in helping improve relations between the two US allies.

The official said President Donald Trump's administration is "concerned" about heightened tensions between Japan and South Korea, apparently because soured ties could affect trilateral coordination with the United States in denuclearizing North Korea.

The official expressed hope that Japan and South Korea will find "areas of overlapping interest."]]>
7/27/2019 12:17:49 PM
<![CDATA[Syria rejects Turkey-US talks on buffer zone]]>
Turkey has ramped up its warnings of a possible incursion into northern Syria in recent days, saying it had run “out of patience” with Washington over the safe zone talks and adding that it would launch its operation if an agreement was not reached.

“Those who put their trust in foreign powers in the region will be put under ground,” Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party. “We will find a lasting solution to terror.”

Meanwhile, Damascus said Friday it would reject any agreement between Turkey and the US to establish a "security zone" in northern Syria as tantamount to a violation of the country's sovereignty.

"Syria reiterates its categorical rejection of any American-Turkish agreement," a foreign ministry source told state news agency SANA.

Such a deal would "constitute a blatant attack on the sovereignty and unity of the country", the source added. Turkey and the US began talks on Tuesday to establish a "security zone" in northern Syria aimed at creating a buffer between Kurdish fighters and the Turkish border.

The idea was first mooted by US President Donald Trump in January, in a call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at a moment when Turkey was threatening to launch an offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria.

But Turkey said Wednesday it was not satisfied with the buffer zone solutions offered by the US. "The latest US proposals are not satisfactory," said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

"We should say things clearly: we have the impression that (the United States) is trying to buy time," he added. The US has provided extensive support to the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in Syria.

The YPG has led the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, but Ankara sees it as a terrorist offshoot of Kurdish militants inside Turkey.

Turkey has launched two previous offensives into Syria against IS and the YPG, in 2016 and 2018.
]]>
7/26/2019 5:17:56 PM
<![CDATA[US Energy Secretary lauds Egypt's efforts to develop energy sector]]>
Sisi and Perry met on the sidelines of the second ministerial meeting of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, EMGF. The meeting was also attended by Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla.

"Perry lauded Egypt’s efforts to enhance the energy sector at the regional and national levels. He noted that the sector became a key engine of growth for the Egyptian economy and contributes significantly to supporting Egypt’s economic potential and to achieving its various development plans," the presidential statement read.

"The US Energy Secretary valued the remarkable contribution of the recent discoveries of gas fields in the Mediterranean in increasing Egypt’s productivity of conventional energy. He added that this became a key element in the future energy market and will contribute to supporting Egypt’s strategy to become a regional energy hub."

"President Sisi underscored the interest Egypt accords to strengthening the bilateral strategic relations with the US across the various aspects, including cooperation in the area of energy and renewable energy."

"President Sisi welcomed the US participation as a guest in the 2nd ministerial meeting of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum. The President confirmed that the forum aims to achieve integration and economic gains for its members, either producers, consumers or transitory countries, ensure energy security, and secure energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The President asserted that the forum is open for the membership of other countries and international institutions."

"The meeting tackled boosting US investments in the area of search, exploration, refining and petrochemicals in Egypt so as to benefit from Egypt’s strategic location and the existing infrastructure. The discussions also reviewed Egypt’s ongoing efforts to expand new and renewable energy projects as well as its efforts to become a bridge for the transfer of electricity between the region’s countries and European countries within the framework of the electricity interconnection projects with neighboring countries."]]>
7/26/2019 3:39:45 PM
<![CDATA[Abiy messages Sisi on resumption of Renaissance Dam talks]]>
The message was handed to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi by Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Gedu Andargatchew, during his meeting with President Sisi.

The message affirmed the great importance Ethiopia attaches to Egypt to develop the bilateral relations in various fields, and strengthen friendship with Cairo. It also expressed hope to receive more Egyptian investments in Ethiopia and activate the bilateral agreements the two countries have signed.

It also highlighted the importance of continuing coordination to achieve stability in Africa and the region, including supporting and assisting the Sudanese people to overcome the current challenges.

The message stressed the need to resume the Ethiopian dam negotiations to implement the declaration of the principles between the three countries, in order to agree the rules of filling and operating the dam reservoirs in a way that equally considers the interests of the three countries.

For his part, President Sisi conveyed greetings to the Ethiopian prime minister, expressing his aspiration to improve the various aspects of the bilateral partnership between the two countries.

Concerning the dam, Sisi affirmed the need to reach practical procedures to shape the agreement, within the framework of the declaration of principles, taking into account the importance and vitality of Egypt's water resources for the Egyptian people and their future, as well as the development efforts of the Ethiopian people.

Sisi also affirmed that the agreement has to consider mutual respect and common interest that necessitates optimal use of the energy and resources of the two countries for the benefit of their peoples and future generations.]]>
7/26/2019 3:27:17 PM
<![CDATA[Pompeo says he'd go to Iran if needed]]>
Asked if he would be willing to go to Tehran, Pompeo said in an interview with Bloomberg TV: “Sure. If that’s the call, I’d happily go there... I would welcome the chance to speak directly to the Iranian people.”

Tensions between Iran and the United States have ratcheted up since last year, when President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iranian nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saying it was not strong enough. Washington also reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

Trump and Iranian leaders have both publicly said talks were possible, but the prospect for dialogue appeared to recede on Wednesday when the top military adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran would not negotiate with Washington under any circumstances.

The relationship between the two countries has come under increased strain over the past three months following attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Iran.

In a separate interview broadcast by Fox News, Pompeo said that Washington had already asked Japan, France, Germany, South Korea, Australia and other nations to join a planned maritime security initiative in the Middle East.

“Every country that has an interest in ensuring that those waterways are open and crude oil and other products can flow through the Strait of Hormuz needs to participate,” Pompeo said.

A senior diplomat in Japan, Washington’s key Asian ally, told Reuters that Pompeo had talked with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by telephone on Friday, but that Japan was not in a position to decide if or how it could join any maritime force until the United Sates provided a blueprint of how such an operation would work.

“We don’t know where they want to lead,” he said, asking not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Pompeo’s comments came after Iran on Wednesday tested what appeared to be a medium-range ballistic missile that traveled about 1,000 km (620 miles), said a U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The test did not pose a threat to shipping or any U.S. personnel in the region, the official said.]]>
7/26/2019 12:49:17 PM
<![CDATA[Erdogan says Turkey to turn elsewhere if U.S. will not sell F-35s]]>
The United States said last week it was removing NATO ally Turkey from the F-35 program, as long threatened, after Ankara purchased and received delivery of Russian S-400 missile defenses that Washington sees as a threat.

Washington has also threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey, though Ankara has dismissed the warnings. It has instead put its trust in sympathetic comments from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has said that Turkey was treated “unfairly”. However, Trump has not ruled out sanctions on Turkey.

Erdogan, speaking publicly about the strained U.S. ties for the first time in 11 days, said he hoped U.S. officials would be “reasonable” on the question of sanctions, adding that Turkey may also reconsider its purchase of advanced Boeing aircraft from the United States.

“Are you not giving us the F-35s? Okay, then excuse us but we will once again have to take measures on that matter as well and we will turn elsewhere,” Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party.

“Even if we’re not getting F-35s, we are buying 100 advanced Boeing aircrafts, the agreement is signed... At the moment, one of the Boeing planes has arrived and we are making the payments, we are good customers,” he said. “But, if things continue like this, we will have to reconsider this.”

Russia’s Rostec state conglomerate said Russia would be ready to supply its SU-35 jets to Turkey if Ankara requested them. But, Turkish officials said on Thursday there were no talks with Moscow on alternatives to the F-35 jets for now.

Ties between Ankara and Washington have been strained over a host of issues. Turkey has also been infuriated with U.S. support for the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, a main U.S. ally in the region that Ankara sees as a terrorist organization.

Ankara has warned that it would launch a military operation in northern Syria to wipe out the YPG if it could not agree with Washington on the planned safe zone in the region, saying it had run “out of patience.”

However, Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey is determined to destroy the “terror corridor” east of the Euphrates river in Syria no matter how talks on the safe zone conclude, as Ankara ramped up its threats of an offensive.]]>
7/26/2019 12:28:47 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi decrees 3-day mourning for Essebsi's death]]>
Countries including Algeria and the UAE also declared a three-day mourning, while Tunisia declared a seven-day mourning and cancelled artistic performances and cultural events.

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi passed away at the age of 93. He had been admitted to a military hospital due to an emergency health problem Wednesday, said his son Hafez.

Sisi on Thursday expressed his sincere condolences to the family of Essebsi and the Tunisian people, stressing that the "historic contribution" of the late president in Tunisia's path toward development and stability will be remembered by the history.

Essebsi was the fifth president of Tunisia since the declaration of the Republic in 1957.

He was elected as the President of Tunisia on December 21, 2014 for 5 years. However, he had announced in April 2019 that he will not run for a second term.

In June, rumors were circulated that Essebsi died, after he was moved to the military hospital for "serious illness." However, an official statement denied the news, and Essebsi could reportedly leave the hospital after few days.]]>
7/26/2019 11:01:30 AM
<![CDATA[Turkey has not agreed with US on Syria safe zone]]>
The minister further added that an agreement on the issue needs to reached as soon as possible because Ankara has no patience left.

Turkey has been infuriated by US support for the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization. The NATO allies have agreed to create a safe zone in northern Syria following the withdrawal of US forces from the area, which Turkey wants to be cleared of YPG militants.

The YPG, which spearheads the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, has been the main US ally on the ground in Syria during Washington’s fight against Islamic State.

The US special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey was in Ankara this week for talks on the details of the safe zone.

At a news conference in Ankara on Wednesday, Cavusoglu said that the two allies had failed to agree on how deep the safe zone would be, who would control it and whether the YPG would be completely removed from the area.

“We got the impression that they want to enter a stalling process here as in Manbij,” Cavusoglu said, referring to a roadmap agreed last year to clear a northern Syrian town of YPG fighters. “We need to reach an agreement regarding the safe zone as soon as possible because have no patience left.”

Cavusoglu also said that US military officials meeting with a YPG leader on Monday — the same day as Jeffrey’s talks at the foreign ministry — indicated Washington was not sincere.

He said on Monday that if the safe zone in northern Syria is not established, and if threats continue against Turkey, Ankara would launch a military operation east of the Euphrates river, a move that Ankara has threatened in the past.

Ankara is also working with Russia and Iran, allies of the Syrian government, to establish a constitutional committee — a long-awaited step in stalled effort to resolve the country’s civil war.

Asked about the details of a recent phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Cavusoglu said the establishment of the constitutional committee could be announced in the coming days.
]]>
7/25/2019 3:47:40 PM
<![CDATA[Turkish police arrests 6,000 migrants in Istanbul]]>
There has been concern in recent days over reports that hundreds of Syrian refugees have been sent back to Syria, after being forced to sign consent forms in Turkish that they do not understand.

“We have been carrying out an operation since July 12... We have caught 6,122 people in Istanbul, including 2,600 Afghans,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told TV station NTV.

He said Syrians were part of the group, without giving numbers.

“When we catch Syrians who are not registered, we send them to refugee camps,” he said, citing a camp in the Turkish border province of Hatay.

However, he said some Syrians were choosing to go back to their home country “voluntarily” to areas where fighting has abated.

Turkey has more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees — the highest number in the world.

Most have “temporary protection” permits but these restrict them to the province in which they were registered. The current crackdown is aimed at those who live in Istanbul without a permit to stay in the city.

A coalition of Syrian NGOs said Monday that more than 600 Syrians — mostly with protection permits issued in other provinces — were arrested in Istanbul last week and deported back to Syria, rather than to their assigned provinces.

The crackdown is orchestrated by the Istanbul governor’s office, which is controlled by the central government in Ankara.

It follows the defeat of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP party in the Istanbul party, with some arguing that the large presence of refugees in the city had hurt the ruling party’s popularity.

The governor’s office says there are 547,000 Syrians registered in the city.

A survey published this month by Kadir Has University in Istanbul showed growing hostility toward them, rising from 54.5 percent of respondents in 2017 to 67.7 percent in 2019.
]]>
7/25/2019 3:46:26 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi: Essebsi's efforts to develop Tunisia will be remembered]]>
The Tunisian Presidency announced the death of Essebsi on Thursday.

Sisi expressed his sincere condolences to the family of Essebsi and the Tunisian people, stressing that the "historic contribution" of the late president in Tunisia's path toward development and stability will be remembered by the history.

essebsi sisi
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi welcomes President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Tunisia on Sunday, March 31, 2019- File photo

Essebsi passed away at the age of 93.

He had been admitted to a military hospital due to an emergency health problem Wednesday, said son of the president Hafez.

Essebsi was the fifth president of Tunisia since the declaration of the Republic in 1957.

He was elected as the President of Tunisia on December 21, 2014 for 5 years. However, he had announced in April 2019 that he will not run for a second term.

In June, rumors were circulated that Essebsi died, after he was moved to the military hospital for "serious illness." However, an official statement denied the news, and Essebsi could leave the hospital after few days.]]>
7/25/2019 2:03:07 PM
<![CDATA[Brotherhood member reveals 'embezzlement' among group's fugitives in Turkey]]>
The Muslim Brotherhood group has been designated by the Egyptian state as terrorist since late 2013.

The audio, which was leakedby Omar Hassan, a Muslim Brotherhood member, is believed to belong to Amir Bassam, a former member of the Shura Council during the rule of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated former President Mohamed Morsi who died in June 2019.

Bassam complained in the audio againstthe son of Mahmoud Hussein, the secretary-general of the Muslim Brotherhood group,who bought a car for $100,000 to stroll through the streets of Istanbul, while the rest of the group's youth in Turkey were eager to obtain financial aid of no more than TL 200.

He said that he does not recognize those leaders who embezzle the group's money and donations to buy luxurious apartments, whether in Turkey or elsewhere.

Bassam said that he is loyal to the group's guide Mahmoud Ezzat and Mohamed Badie, the group's supreme guide, refusing to recognize Mahmoud Hussein and Ibrahim Mounir.

According to information that Saudi Al-Arabiya said it could obtain, a dispute started when a Muslim Brotherhood figure donated $2 million, which were then given to three leaders of the group in Turkey. According to the information, the three leaders bought a residential furnished building in Turkey for $1.2 million, while another $700,000 were given to the three individuals.

The remaining $100,000 were spent to buy the son of Mahmoud Hussein a modern car, which was mentioned by Bassam in the recording.]]>
7/25/2019 1:31:00 PM
<![CDATA[Gazette publishes Sisi's approval of economic deal with China]]>
China, under the deal, will grant Egypt a 100 million CNY to implement projects upon which the two sides would agree.

The parliament approved the decree, and the official Gazette published it.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed in September the signing of five cooperation deals inkedin various fields between both countries in Beijing.

This came on the sidelines of the Egyptian leader’s visit to Beijing

The deals tackle several domains, including the industrial quality, a Chinese loan, and cooperation in projects such as the electric train, along with a grant for manufacturing an Egyptian satellite.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, along with Trade and Industry Amr Nassar signed the deals.

Both countries signed an agreement to establish an electric train linking the New Administrative Capital in Egypt and the 10th of Ramadan city.

They also signed an agreement that aims at supporting development projects in Egypt, especially the Suez Canal Axis Development Project.


MENA contributed to the reporting]]>
7/25/2019 1:23:44 PM
<![CDATA[Rwanda Senate president highlights Sisi's efforts in Africa]]>
This came during a meeting with Egyptian Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal .

Makuza greeted the Egyptian delegation on the anniversary of the July 23 revolution, expressing appreciation for this visit meant to boost parliamentary relations between the two African countries.

Abdel Aal lauded Rwanda's success story in terms of good governance, expressing the keenness of Egypt to enhance cooperation with Rwanda in various fields, MENA reported.

Abdel Aal said Egypt has been flying direct flights to Kigali for months, which confirms strong ties between the two countries.

Abdel Aal is leading a parliamentary delegation on an official visit to Kigali.

After the meeting, Abdel Aal visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial and laid a wreath.

Cooperation with Uganda

In January, Rwandan Ambassador Saleh Habimana met with Chairman of the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) Abdel Moneim al-Taras to discuss cooperation on the sidelines of a visit by 40 African ambassadors to the organization.

Taras told press that the Rwandan side has expressed interest to close deals with Egypt related to construction material, infrastructure, and raw material exchange.

The AOI will provide technical support for Rwandan projects in the sectors of renewable energy, infrastructure, water purification, wastewater, railcars, fire trucks, ambulances, and electronics.

Habimana was Rwanda’s former Grand Mufti, and is Rwanda’s first ever ambassador to Egypt. The decision was driven by the need to expand Egyptian - Rwandan relations.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed in Addis Ababa with his Rwandan counterpart Richard Sezibera files related to the institutional reform of the African Union.

That was on the sidelines of the preparatory meetings for the extraordinary AU summit that took place on November 14-18.


MENA contributed to the reporting]]>
7/25/2019 1:09:02 PM
<![CDATA[Tunisian President dies at 93: Presidency]]>
Essebsi had been admitted to a military hospital due to an emergency health problem Wednesday, said son of the president Hafez.

Essebsi was the fifth president of Tunisia since the declaration of the Republic in 1957.
He was elected as the President of Tunisia on December 21, 2014 for 5 years. However, he had announced in April 2019 that he will not run for a second term.

In June, rumors were circulated that Essebsi died, after he was moved to the military hospital for "serious illness." However, an official statement denied the news, and Essebsi could leave the hospital after few days. ]]>
7/25/2019 12:22:15 PM
<![CDATA[Ashtiyeh praises Egypt's support for establishment of independent Palestinian state]]>
"I would also like to laud Egypt's role in defending the cause in all international forums in the United Nations, in the Arab League and in all areas of diplomatic work," the prime minister said.

Furthermore, Ashtiyeh also reviewed the Egyptian effort to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.

During the 30th Arab Summit held earlier this year in Tunisia, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that the Arab-Israeli conflict comes at the top of the challenges faced by the Arab nations, adding that he believes that all Arab countries agree that there is no final way out of it unless a peaceful, comprehensive and just solution is reached to restore the Palestinian rights.

Sisi affirmed that the solution must guarantee the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Later in April, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised Egyptian efforts at various levels to resolve the Palestinian cause and protect the rights of the Palestinian people during his meeting in Cairo with Sisi, presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said.

During the meeting, Abbas stressed the importance he attaches to the coordination with President Sisi concerning the Palestinian situation and ways to deal with the challenges facing the Palestinian people.

He also reviewed the determinants of the Palestinian situation in light of the recent developments.

For his part, Sisi affirmed Egypt's full support for the Palestinian stance to reach a political settlement, highlighting the need to reach a just and comprehensive solution leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The meeting also reviewed the challenges currently faced by the Palestinian Authority, especially following Israel's deduction of the clearing funds, and the negative repercussions of such issue on the status of the authority.

Sisi affirmed Egypt's keenness to exert efforts with the concerned parties in this regard to prevent further escalation.

The Egyptian efforts to stabilize the Gaza Strip were also discussed during the meeting. Sisi pointed out that the Egyptian moves always aim at maintaining the security and stability of the Palestinian people and improving the humanitarian and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip.

]]>
7/24/2019 4:20:05 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s new NGOs law scraps imprisonment, allows foreign funding]]>
The new NGOs law holds several privileges, including allowing NGOs to receive foreign funding and establish new associations through a notifications system.

Previously, criticism was directed towards NGOs law in Egypt, especially with listing imprisonment as a punishment in the law; the new law, however, has scrapped prison sentences imposed on violators of the law.

Egypt Today held several interviews with a number of experts, including Hafez Abu Saada and Hazem Mounir, to come up with the following pros to the new law:


The new law privileges include:



- The law came as a result of a 6-year discussions and community dialogue, which included topics on associations, unions, and the Ministry of Solidarity and Civil Society.

- The new law abolishes imprisonment as a punishment.

- Canceling the supervising over foreign organizations operating in Egypt.

- Allowing NGOs to receive foreign funding, on condition of informing the administrative authorities (as a routine procedure).

- Easing the restrictions that were imposed in previous laws in order to establish new associations.

- Establishment of NGOs only by “notifying”.

- It would also allow up to 25% of organizations’ board of directors to be foreign residents, up from 10% under the old law.

- Foreign communities in Egypt are now allowed to establish their own association, according to the law.

- The law allows associations to establish companies and investment funds.

- Foreign funding of NGOs has been codified into the law with a specific and clear mechanism.

- Facilitating the work of foreign organizations in Egypt.

- The law has approved many benefits and exemptions for NGOs.

- Authorized the right to join foreign organizations and NGOs.

- Allowed the NGOs to open new branches outside Egypt according to specific regulations.

- The law sat a clear mechanism for establishing shelters for children and the elderly, (due to the significance of this matter).

- Facilitating the associations' access to funding within 60 days. The non-response during this period according to the new law is considered as approval, while previously, the non-response within 70 days was usually considered as rejection.

- Prohibition of the combination of the membership of the Board of Directors and working in the NGO administrative body, (to control corruption).

- Creating new chapter in the law to be organizing for the volunteering activity in addition to ensuring the protection of volunteers and beneficiaries.


Earlier on July 14, Egypt's House of Representatives headed by Ali Abdel Aal approved a 107-article draft law on NGOs, and referred it to the State Council for revision.

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The legislative department revised the bill as part of the measures taken before it is passed into law. The draft law cancels the controversial law issued on NGOs in 2017.

The bill includes nine issuance articles, including an article preventing NGOs placed on terrorist lists to legalize its presence.

All NGOs, including regional and foreign organizations, have to operate while committing to their basic regulations, activities and funding, in a way that respects the provisions and principles of the Egyptian Constitution and laws and international conventions ratified by Egypt, according to the law.

All non-governmental organizations and associations, and regional and foreign non-governmental unions, organizations and entities exercising civil work in light of the law shall adjust their conditions in accordance with its provisions within a year since the date of implementing the executive regulations of the law; otherwise, the specialized court will dissolve them.

In order for any of the NGOs to legalize its presence, it has to notify the competent ministry of all the data of the organization or entity, and define its activities, sources of funding, programs, protocols and memoranda of understanding. It also has to amend its regulations to ensure compliance with the provisions of this law.

In case they are dissolved, their funds would be transferred to the national fund tasked with supporting the projects of civil institutions and associations. Also, the activities of the dissolved entities would be stopped by the power of law.

In all cases, civil institutions and entities included on the lists of terrorist entities or those that participated in terrorist crimes cannot legalize their presence in case final rulings against them were issued, according to the law.

The draft law stipulates that the prime minister shall issue the executive regulations of the annexed law within six months from the date of its publication. Until such regulations are issued, the executive regulations and the existing resolutions shall continue to be implemented in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of this law and the annexed law.

This law shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall come into force on the day following the date of its publication.

In June 2017, Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi signed law no. 70/2017 on NGOs and their operation in Egypt, as an annulment to the previous law no. 84/2002, after being passed by two-thirds of the Parliament in November 2016.

However, in November 2018, Sisi agreed to form an official committee to discuss the law issued in the previous year.

During his participation at the second edition of the World Youth Forum, the Egyptian leader said the law might be amended after several studies and discussions took place regarding its articles.


]]>
7/24/2019 3:14:07 PM
<![CDATA[Incoming British PM Johnson picks Brexit's enfant terrible for top team]]>
Johnson enters Downing Street at one of the most perilous junctures in post-World War British history - the United Kingdom is divided over EU divorce and weakened by a three-year political crisis since the Brexit referendum.

His pledge to energize the country and deliver Brexit - do or die - on Oct. 31, sets the United Kingdom up for a showdown with the European Union and thrusts it toward a potential constitutional crisis, or election, at home.

“We are going to get Brexit done on Oct. 31 and we are going to take advantage of all the opportunities it will bring in a new spirit of can do,” Johnson, 55, said on Tuesday after he was elected by Conservative Party members.

To implement Brexit, Johnson will appoint Dominic Cummings, the campaign director of the official Brexit Vote Leave campaign, as a senior adviser in Downing Street.

The appointment of Cummings, known for his campaign skills but also for a combative style that challenges the consensus, indicates Johnson is serious about going in hard on Brexit and wants a first class political campaigner close.

Wednesday will combine arcane British political choreography with the realpolitik of appointing a new government - likely to be heavy on Brexit supporters.

Prime Minister Theresa May will leave Downing Street after a three-year premiership that was mired by crises over Brexit. She will travel to Buckingham Palace to formally tender her resignation to Queen Elizabeth.

Johnson will then have an audience with the queen who will request he form an administration. His formal title will be “Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury”.

He will enter Downing Street in the afternoon and is expected to give a speech before appointing key members of the government - names that will give a hint of how he will handle Brexit, Britain’s most significant decision in decades.

“Boris will build a cabinet showcasing all the talents within the party that truly reflect modern Britain,” a source close to Johnson said.

BREXIT GOVERNMENT?
But ‘Prime Minister Johnson’ - a man known for his ambition, mop of blonde hair, flowery oratory and a cursory command of detail - must solve a series of riddles if he is to succeed where May failed.

The 2016 Brexit referendum showed a United Kingdom divided about much more than the European Union, and has fueled soul-searching about everything from secession and immigration to capitalism, empire and modern Britishness.

The pound is weak, the economy at risk of recession, allies are in despair at the Brexit crisis and foes are testing Britain’s vulnerability.

His party has no majority in parliament so the Conservatives only govern with the support of 10 lawmakers from the Brexit-backing Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland.

While Johnson said he does not want an early election, some lawmakers have vowed to thwart any attempt to leave the EU without a divorce deal. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said he was open to an electoral pact with Johnson.

Investors are braced to see who will be handed the top jobs such as finance minister, foreign secretary and Brexit minister.

Interior minister Sajid Javid is widely tipped to stay in a top job - possibly as finance minister - and was spotted flanking Johnson as he arrived before lawmakers.

There is talk that Johnson will appoint career diplomat David Frost as European Union sherpa and adviser on Europe.

A record number of ethnic minority politicians are expected to serve as ministers including Priti Patel, the former aid minister who resigned in 2017 over undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials, and employment minister Alok Sharma.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Johnson’s rival for the leadership, was offered the job of defense minister, but turned it down, Sky reported.

Johnson has pledged to negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU before Oct. 31 but if the bloc refuses, he has promised to leave without a deal on Halloween.

That, many investors warn, would send shock waves through the world economy and tip the world’s fifth largest economy into recession or even chaos.

Brexit without a divorce deal would roil financial markets and, some bankers warn, weaken London’s position as the pre-eminent international financial center.

Brexit supporters say those fears are overblown and the United Kingdom will thrive if cut loose from the European project which they cast as a German-dominated bloc that is falling far behind its global competitors such as the United States and China.

“If he really wants a no-deal, he will get it. We will never push an EU member out but we can’t stop him. More likely, his own parliament would,” one EU diplomat said.


“Johnson has been such a chameleon, he has reinvented himself so many times that it is hard to know what to expect really,” said the diplomat.

Another diplomatic source had an ominous warning: “My scenario is purgatory.”]]>
7/24/2019 3:00:59 PM
<![CDATA[Explainer: After Mueller, what do U.S. House Judiciary Democrats do about Trump?]]>
The panel, led by New York Representative Jerrold Nadler, has the power to start impeachment proceedings against Trump.

But Nadler is not among the 90 House of Representatives Democrats who have publicly said they favor initiating the impeachment process against the president.

Senior House Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are trying to hold back impeachment demands within the party, fearing a voter backlash in the 2020 election campaigns. If the House were to impeach Trump, it would then be up to the Republican-controlled Senate to hold a trial and potentially remove him from office.

That constraint, barring a major upswing in voter support for impeachment, leaves the committee with several, smaller-bore initiatives to work on, which Nadler has outlined.

PROTECT SPECIAL COUNSELS

The Judiciary Committee is considering measures to protect special counsels, such as Mueller. He and his nearly two-year probe of Trump and Russian meddling in the 2016 election have been repeatedly attacked by Trump.

Mueller’s 448-page report on his probe, released in mid-April, described attempts by Trump to have Mueller removed and to redirect the investigation away from the 2016 Trump campaign.

FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS

Committee Democrats have proposed requiring candidates to refuse offers of help from foreign powers and to report any such offers to the FBI. Mueller discovered numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, although Mueller concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show a conspiracy.

Russians offered the Trump campaign damaging information about his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Trump has since said that he would accept such foreign assistance in 2020.

He initially said he would need to report such contacts to authorities, but later retracted the statement.

STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS

The committee is looking at legislation to prevent a president from eluding future prosecution for alleged criminal acts after leaving office by using his presidential term to run out the clock on the statute of limitations.

Some Democrats contend Trump obstructed justice by trying to impede the Mueller probe and violated campaign finance laws in 2016 by allegedly making hush money payments through his former lawyer to two women who claimed they had affairs with him.

Justice Department policy forbids the prosecution of a sitting president. But nothing would prevent a president from being prosecuted after he leaves office, except that federal criminal charges typically must be brought within five years of the last non-capital criminal offense.

With Trump running for re-election in 2020, Democrats are examining legislation that would prevent him from using a second term to run out the clock on the five-year statute of limitations in place for most federal crimes.

LIMITING PARDONS

The committee could consider limiting the scope of presidential pardons, although this would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a steep uphill effort.

Trump has raised concerns in Congress by suggesting he could pardon himself and by talking about pardons for his former personal lawyer and former campaign manager.

Legislation referred to the committee could impose new disclosure requirements on pardons and prevent any president from pardoning himself, a family member or a former campaign official.

CENSURE

Censure is an official reprimand that could be used to highlight conduct that lawmakers deem inappropriate. It has not been very successful in the past. Since 1800, at least 12 sitting presidents have been targeted by censure resolutions. Nearly all failed to emerge from committee or were defeated in floor votes.

IMPEACHMENT

A big shift in public sentiment could change the political terrain, but at the moment impeachment looks unlikely to get going in the committee. The House voted last week to sideline an impeachment resolution against Trump, killing it for now.

In a Reuters/Ipsos poll in mid-July, about 43 percent of Americans said Trump should be impeached, little changed from May.]]>
7/24/2019 12:20:49 PM
<![CDATA[NAM meeting: Egypt affirms respecting sovereign equality, national independence]]>
During his participation in the Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) concluded on Sunday in Venezuela's Caracas, Idris stressed in an official statement Egypt's respect to sovereign equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of member states.

Idris participated in the NAM ministerial meeting held from July 18 to 21 on behalf of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri.

The Egyptian statement praised the strong support for the historic joint goal of establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and also the UN Conference set to be held later this year to draft a treaty among the states of the region for this purpose.

Idris referred in the statement to Egypt's active contribution in supporting the NAM, developing it to meet the current global challenges and coordinating the positions of developing countries on the various political, economic and social issues on the agenda of the international system.

The statement also highlighted the current regional and international challenges, especially the settlement of the Palestinian cause through finding a just and comprehensive solution that guarantees the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Monday that over 300 delegates participated in the meeting.

The NAM is the second largest grouping of states, consisting of developing countries that are not officially part of other blocs. It is concerned with ensuring sovereignty, national independence, and security of its member states.]]>
7/23/2019 7:39:40 PM
<![CDATA[ET acquires hand-written constitutional declaration of Free Officers ]]>
The declaration was signed by late presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar al-Sadat, late Minister of Defense Abdel Hakim Amer, and late Prime Minister Kamal el-Din Hussein among others. The declaration reads:

Constitutional Declaration
The Revolutionary Command Council


Since the revolution broke out, it has aimed for the elimination of colonization and its partners. On July 23, 1952, the revolution demanded former King Farouk to abdicate the throne as he represented the cornerstone of the colonization.

Nevertheless, since that date and since the ban of political parties, some backward elements have found the chance to survive relying upon the monarchy that the nation agrees to eliminate irreversibly.

The history of Mohamed Ali family in Egypt has been a series of treasons committed against this people. The first of those treasons is [Khedive] Ismail’s immersion in pleasures, and as a result, the country’s immersion in debts that ruined its reputation and finance.

That was a pretext for the colonizing states to infiltrate into the land of this safe valley. Then, Tawfik came to conclude this image of blatant treason in order to preserve his throne, so the armies of the colonization entered the land of Egypt to protect the foreigner sitting on the throne who sought help from the country’s enemies against its people.

That is how the colonization and the throne became partners who exchange interests as one provides the other with power for such mutual interest. Hence, each of them humiliated the people in the name of the other and the throne has become the facade behind which the colonization worked to drain the wealth of the people and sabotage its identity, morals and freedoms.

Farouk has superseded his predecessors from the [same family] tree in greed, arrogance, and injustice to bring his own end. It is time for the country to become liberated from all slavery signs imposed upon it because of such circumstances. Thus, we announce today in the name of the people:

First, the abolishment of the monarchy, the rule of Mohamed Ali family, and all the titles of its members.

Second, the declaration of the republic. Revolution leader Major-General Mohamed Naguib is appointed president while preserving all his current powers granted by the temporary constitution.

Third, this regime persists throughout the transitional period. The people have the final word on the type of the presidency, and the selection of the president when the new constitution is promulgated.

We have to trust God and ourselves, and to feel the pride God has endowed to his faithful worshippers.

Constitutional Declaration 1

Constitutional Declaration 2


Translated by Noha El Tawil

]]>
7/23/2019 2:32:36 PM
<![CDATA[All you need to know about objectives of establishing Egyptian Drug Authority]]>
The establishment of these authorities aims at developing the health system and medical industries, providing medication on a regular basis, countering monopolistic practices in the medical sector,and fighting the phenomenon of counterfeit medicines.

According to the law, the Egyptian Drug Authority is a public service body affiliated to the prime minister. The establishment of a main headquarters is also to be determined the prime minister.

The law states that the Egyptian Drug Authority replaces the National Authority for Drug Control and Research established by the Presidential Decree No. 382 of 1976 and the National Commission for Research and Control of Biologics established by Presidential Decree No. 398 of 1995 and other bodies.

Furthermore, the law stipulates that the Egyptian Medicine Authority replaces the Ministry of Health and Population and the chairman of its board of directors replaces the minister of health and population in the specialties stipulated in Law No. 127 of 1955 regarding practicing the pharmacy profession, regulating the registration, as well as handling and controlling medical preparations and supplies.

et reviews other objectives of the Egyptian Drug Authority

- Establish policies, rules and regulations for all matters related to the organization, implementation and control of the production and circulation of pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and raw materials, and verifying their quality and effectiveness inside and outside Egypt.

- Develop the effectiveness and quality of pharmaceuticals and raw materials in accordance with scientific innovations that should be used in diagnosis, treatment or prevention.

- Establish accurate and permanent rules for all medical preparations and raw materials provided for in the provisions of this law.

- Raise awareness in the community, communicate health messages and documented information about medicine to the professionals and the public.

- Proposal and expression of views on draft laws, regulations and decisions concerning medical preparations, raw materials and related organizational matters.

- Cooperation and coordination with national and international organizations concerned with public health products and services to achieve the objectives of the commission, and participate in and organize local and international conferences where necessary.
]]>
7/23/2019 10:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[UK foreign secretary under pressure to back plan for Gulf force as Iran digs in]]>
As Tehran signalled it would refuse to release the Steno Impero until the UK released an Iranian-flagged ship seized off the coast of Gibraltar a fortnight ago, the British government faced accusations it had failed to sufficiently guard its shipping in the Gulf.

Adding to the tensions, the British defense minister, Tobias Ellwood, said cuts had left the Royal Navy too small to manage Britain’s interests around the globe.

According to the Guardian, Theresa May will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee Cobra at 10.30am BST. As well as receiving the latest updates from ministers and officials, the meeting will discuss the maintenance of the security of shipping in the Gulf, it said, adding that Hunt is due to make a statement to MPs on Monday afternoon.

Hunt is expected to announce limited sanctions directed against members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and to say that the UK is willing to join an international protection force on the right terms. It will also send air assets to the region.

On Sunday evening, the Foreign Office confirmed Hunt had spoken with his French and German counterparts who agreed that a “safe passage for vessels” through the economically significant Strait of Hormuz was “a top priority” for Europe.

The Foreign Office is seeking a diplomatic solution to the conflict but has advised all British-flagged ships not to enter the Strait of Hormuz.

Bob Sanguinetti, the chief executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping, said: “We must restore confidence in the security of ships passing through the strait, and if this necessitates the deployment of more naval vessels from the international community, we would welcome that.”

Senior Tory backbenchers including figures close to Boris Johnson, who is expected to become prime minister this week, are angry at the government’s reluctance to accept an offer from Washington to protect British vessels in the region. The capture of the Stena Impero on Friday was widely seen as an avoidable error for which ministers had ample warning.

Iain Duncan Smith, tipped for a cabinet post in a Johnson administration, said the government needed urgently to answer the charge that it had made an error. He said genuine questions had been raised about the UK’s contingency planning after the UK seized the Iranian tanker, Grace 1, on 4 July. “If something didn’t send an alarm signal that we needed to have serious assets or protection and convoying of our vessels in that area then I want to know why not.”

Duncan Smith said his sources had suggested Washington had invited the UK “to use US assets to support British shipping and they were not taken up at that point.” He said he wanted to know why additional UK assets were not speedily dispatched.]]>
7/23/2019 9:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[SIS denounce HRW director interview with pro-muslim brotherhood channel]]>
In a statement issued Monday, SIS said that Whitson action indicates that Human Rights Watch lacks all of the professional standers and proves its bias tackling everything related to the Egyptian affairs.

The following is SIS full statement:

State Information Service: Whitson’s Interview on “Mekamleen” reveals Human Rights Watch’s collusion with terrorism

The appearance of Sarah Leah Whitson the director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division on televised program with Mohamed Nasser on “Mekamleen” a pro Muslim Brotherhood (A terrorist group) television station that broadcasts from Turkey leaves no doubt about HRW’s absolute lack of the most basic standards of professionalism and objectivity in its coverage of the situation in Egypt.

According to statement posted by SIS on its Human Rights website) http://hrstudies.sis.gov.eg/), Whitson’s interview on “Mekamleen” revealed HRW’s obvious bias to an entity classified in Egypt and a number of nations around the world as a terrorist group, and this in turn proves that HRW is in overt collusion with some terrorist groups.

There are clear indicators that attest to the extent of the terroristic incendiary role of Mekamleen among them:

• Mekamleen is considered a propaganda platform of the Muslim Brotherhood, as its establishment coincided with the fall of the Brotherhood from power in Egypt in Mid-2013. Mekamleen’s main function appears to be the intensive promotion of the agenda of the terrorist group which entails spreading rumors and false information about the Egyptian State and jeopardizing the country’s stability. Mekamleen also carries out campaigns of incitement against Arab governments through hosting elements of the Brotherhood on their programs on a regular basis.

• Mekamleen never disclosed the source from which it acquires funding of its inflammatory activities which in turn raises suspicions that its actually funded by secret accounts belonging to the Brotherhood. This is supported by the fact that Mekamleen never faced any financial difficulties.

• Mohamed Nasser is notorious for his hostile propaganda against the Egyptian State; that in addition to the fact that Nasser is wanted by the authorities on account of his implication in the “vanguards of Hasm” terrorism case in which he was convicted by the judiciary and sentenced to 8 years in prison on account of charges that include “attempting to overthrow the government”, “the incitement to kill police officers” and spreading false rumors. Nasser is know to have openly committed the offense of incitement to murder on more than once occasion. For example in one of his episodes on Mekamleen that was aired in January 2015 Nasser said “Kill his officers, I want to tell the wide of every officer that your husband will get killed, if not today then tomorrow, your husband will get murdered” then he later added “If you see an officer kill him and get it done” “The police will not be able to continue, kill them” “I am telling every officer’s wife and son, you husband will die, your children will be orphans” . Nasser Also called for suicide attacks saying “Instead of committing suicide go throw yourself among them you will die anyway” .

• In another episode where Nasser interviewed “Salama Abdel Kawi” a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group in 2015, Nasser asked Abdel Kawi an incendiary question about permitting the killing of Egyptian State officials, Abdel Kawi responded “Whoever is able to do this, then it will bring him closer to God”.

In light of this Human Rights Watch’s total bias to the Brotherhood terrorist group is proven beyond any doubt. This proof is supported by HRW’s systematic smear campaign on the human rights situation in Egypt that started with biased and false statements and reports that were strongly rebutted by the Human Rights Unit of the State Information Service and proceeds now to new level with Mrs. Whitson’s appearance on a terrorist media platform like Mekamleen. Nasser’s clearly incendiary pro Brotherhood terrorism narrative against the Egyptian people and their government leaves no room for interpretation which makes the appearance of senior HRW official as a guest absolutely unacceptable under any conditions.

Mrs. Whitson focused on her 70-minute interview that aired from Istanbul the beating heart of Turkey on the human rights situation in Egypt, she also discussed the state of human rights in several other countries in the region and the world however she did not even point once to the egregious violations committed by the government of President Recep Teyep Erdogan against the Turkish people on a daily basis. This causes our astonishment and raises question regarding Mrs. Whitson’s selective approach.
Its seems that HRW and Mrs. Whitson should be reminded of some grave Turkish violations of human rights including the following:

• The total number of Turkish citizens purged from their jobs since the incident of 2016 have reached a staggering 170,372 individuals and some of which are distributed as follows:

o 17,844 Army officers
o 16,409 Military cadets
o 5335 governors and administrative staff members
o 33,417 police officers
o 4463 judges and public attorneys
o 55,288 teachers
o 7220 employees in the Ministry of Justice
o 7249 physicians and medical staff
o 3330 Imams and Preachers
• That in addition to sacking 22,474 citizens from their jobs in the private sectors.
• Shutting down 200 media outlets and blocking access to 100,000 websites.
• Shutting down 1719 NGOs
• Shutting down 1284 private schools and 15 private universities.

• Arbitrarily detaining 159,506 individuals under emergency laws since 2016 according to reports released by the Office of the United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights.

• The suicide of 60 individuals after arbitrary measures were taken against them, 8 of them committed suicide in prison.

• Turkey is considered the largest jailer of Journalists; according to international organizations 68 journalists languish in Turkish prisons while Turkish sources put the estimate at a horrifying 319.

The State Information Service strongly condemns human rights watch's unprofessional conduct and deplores its overt support of terrorism. SIS also calls upon international public opinion to pay serious attention to how HRW deviated from its core functions as a human rights organization and to see how it transformed itself into a political actor or rather a political tool that terrorist entities and their State sponsors use in their futile quest to compromise Egypt's unity and stability.


]]>
7/22/2019 12:22:35 PM
<![CDATA[Libyan National Army moves towards combat zones to free Tripoli ]]>
The General Command of the Libyan National Army (LNA) launched on April 4 the “Dignity Flood” operation to free Tripoli.

General Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar appointed Sunday Maj. Gen. Almabruk Alghazawi as Western Operations commander.

Alghazawi, former commander of Sabha Military Region, will replace Maj. Gen. Abdel Salam Al-Hassi.

He formerly held the position of Kufra mayor and head of Kufra Military Region, according to the Libyan media.

Egypt, U.S., France, UK, Italy and UAE issued a joint statement last week calling for immediate de-escalation in the war-torn country, and warning "terrorist" groups from exploiting the political vacuum. The statement read:

“We note our deep concerns about the ongoing attempts by terrorist groups to exploit the security vacuum in the country, call on all parties in the Tripoli conflict to dissociate themselves from all such terrorists and individuals designated by the UN Sanctions Committee and renew our commitment to see those responsible for further instability held accountable.

We fully support the leadership of UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ghassan Salamé as he works to stabilize the situation in Tripoli, to restore confidence in order to achieve a cessation of hostilities, expand his engagement throughout Libya, promote inclusive dialogue, and create the conditions for the resumption of the UN political process. We need to re-energize UN mediation, which aims to promote a transitional government representing all Libyans, prepare for credible parliamentary and presidential elections, enable a fair allocation of resources, and advance the reunification of the Central Bank of Libya and other Libyan sovereign institutions.

We also call on all UN member states to fully respect their obligations to contribute to Libya’s peace and stability, prevent destabilizing arms shipments, and safeguard Libya’s oil resources in accordance with Security Council resolutions 2259 (2015), 2278 (2016), 2362 (2017), and 2473 (2019). Finally, we remind all Libyan parties and institutions of their responsibility to protect civilians, safeguard civilian infrastructure, and facilitate access to humanitarian supplies.”
]]>
7/22/2019 11:21:48 AM
<![CDATA[Mueller report shows evidence Trump committed crimes, House Judiciary chairman says]]>
“The report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crime and misdemeanors, and we have to let Mueller present those facts to the American people and then see where we go from there,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“The administration must be held accountable, and no president can be above the law.”
Nadler’s comments are significant because evidence of such crimes would be required if Democrats pursue impeachment proceedings against the president.

Mueller completed his nearly two-year long probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election in March, and the Justice Department released a redacted copy of his report in April.

In two nationally televised back-to-back hearings on Wednesday before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, Democrats are expected to try and get Mueller to focus his testimony on specific examples of Trump’s misconduct.

By having Mueller lay bare the unflattering details of how Trump tried to stymie the investigation into his campaign, Democrats hope they can build support for their ongoing investigations into the president and potentially, impeachment proceedings.

Some Democrats in Congress support impeaching Trump, but they have not managed to win traction from House Democratic leadership including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has preferred a more cautious approach that entails conducting congressional fact-finding investigations into Trump’s conduct.

Last week, the House voted 332-95 to table an impeachment resolution.
The Mueller report laid out numerous contacts between Russian officials and Trump’s campaign, but found no evidence of a criminal conspiracy

It also gave examples of 10 incidents in which Trump sought to hinder the investigation, but it did not draw any conclusions on whether Trump obstructed justice. Attorney General William Barr later concluded he did not see enough evidence to bring obstruction charges.

Whether Democrats will get Mueller to discuss Trump’s conduct in detail remains to be seen.

Mueller has made it clear he has no desire to appear before Congress, saying the report is his testimony, and he is also notorious for being tight-lipped and for giving one-word answers in hearings.

Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that part of the goal of the hearings is to ensure the American people who have not read the report can hear its findings.

“Most Americans in their busy lives haven’t had the opportunity to read that report, and it is a pretty dry, prosecutorial work product. We want Bob Mueller to bring it to life... It’s a pretty damning set of facts,” he said.

Nadler said on Fox that Democrats plan to ask very specific questions about Trump’s obstructive conduct and ask Mueller to read passages from the report aloud.

“We hope it won’t end up being a dud,” he said of the hearing.

Nadler also said on Sunday he planned to go to court “within a couple of days” after the Mueller hearings to enforce a subpoena, after the White House ordered former White House Counsel Don McGahn not to testify about incidents he witnessed which many say show Trump tried to obstruct justice.

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7/22/2019 9:52:22 AM
<![CDATA['Apologize to America,' Trump tells Democratic congresswomen]]>
“I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said,” Trump said in a Twitter post.

Trump ignited controversy last weekend when he tweeted that the four lawmakers, who are all women of color, should “go back” to where they came from if they do not like the United States.

Three of the lawmakers - U.S. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan - were born in the United States. Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota came as a refugee from Somalia and is a naturalized citizen.

The first-term congresswomen, known as “the squad,” have been highly critical of Trump and have also challenged their own Democratic leadership. Tlaib and Omar have been outspoken critics of Israel’s government.

U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, denounced Trump’s latest attack and said he had “no doubt” that Trump was a racist.

“These are folks and women who love their country and they work very hard and they want to move us towards that more perfect union that our founding fathers talked about,” Cummings, who is African-American, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“So when you disagree with the president, suddenly you’re a bad person. Our allegiance is not to the president. Our allegiance is to the Constitution of the United States of America and to the American people.”

The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed a resolution on Tuesday that said the House “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments.” The symbolic measure was aimed at shaming Trump and the Republicans who stood by him.

Unbowed, Trump launched a blistering critique of Omar during a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday night, pausing when the crowd erupted into chants of “Send her back.”

After some fellow Republicans denounced that language, Trump said the next day he did not agree with the chants. On Friday, however, he defended the North Carolina crowd as “incredible patriots.”

Following Wednesday’s rally, Omar accused Trump of “spewing fascist ideology.” Ocasio-Cortez said he intentionally egged on the vitriol.

“Roll back the tape ... He relished it. He took it in and he’s doing this intentionally,” she said on Saturday at a town hall meeting on immigration in New York.

She retweeted Trump on Sunday with a list of things “we fight to guarantee,” including healthcare, student loan forgiveness, living wages and basic human rights. “You: Jack up drug prices, appoint (Education Secretary) Betsy DeVos to scam student loans, hurt immigrant kids,” she wrote.

Trump has repeatedly tried to tag Democrats as backing policies that he and Republicans in Congress portray as “socialist” and out of step with much of the country.
At the same time, he has relied on racially divisive rhetoric as he girds for a tough re-election battle in November 2020.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said on Sunday Trump was “worse than a racist.”

“He is actually using racist tropes and racial language for political gain,” Booker said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Stephen Miller, Trump’s top immigration adviser, countered that the president had made clear he disagreed with the “Send her back” chants.

“The core issue is that all the people in that audience, and millions of patriotic Americans all across this country are tired of being beat up, condescended to, looked down upon, talked down to by members of Congress on the left in Washington, D.C., and their allies in many quarters of the media,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

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7/22/2019 9:44:50 AM
<![CDATA[Czech PM lauds historical ties with Egypt]]>PRAGUE, 22 July 2019: Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has praised historical ties between his country and Egypt, urging further efforts to boost relations under Prague’s presidency of Visegrád Group.

He made his statements on Sunday at a reception held by Egypt’s embassy in the Czech Republic to mark the 67th anniversary of the Egyptian July 23rd Revolution.

The event hosted by Egypt’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic Said Hendam, was attended by president of the Czech Senate Jaroslav Kubera and a raft of senior Czech officials alongside a number of Arab and foreign diplomats and key members of the Egyptian community, among others.

In his word to mark the occasion, ambassador Hendam said the July 23rd Revolution has helped in achieving Arab and African unity and supported the liberation movements of African countries, hailing the strong diplomatic ties between Cairo and Prague.

Kubera lauded Egypt’s pivotal role in the Middle East , expressing appreciation of its vital efforts and important contributions to ensure the stability and security of the region.
]]>
7/22/2019 9:36:33 AM
<![CDATA[Court upholds sentence against Turkish singer for insulting Erdoğan]]>
The revised lyrics said, “Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it’s all empty, it’s all a lie. Life will end one day and you’ll say ‘I had a dream’.” Olcay said she had changed the lyrics only because the president’s name fitted the rhyme.

The court confirmed a sentence originally imposed last year, which had been suspended. The singer is expected to spend up to three days in prison, before being released on probation.

The prosecutors later asked a four-year sentence for Olcay. A court in Istanbul sentenced Olcay last year to 11 months ane 20 days in prison, but suspended it. Erdoğan’s lawyers appealed the decision, demanding the suspension be overruled.
]]>
7/21/2019 3:13:48 PM
<![CDATA[House Speaker praises fruitful talks with Ugandan counterpart]]>
Kadaga also had talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Egyptian key officials.

Kadaga hailed Egypt’s warm hospitality, noting that Egypt and Uganda have historic ties and are keen on enhancing relations in all fields to serve the interests of their peoples. ]]>
7/21/2019 11:06:11 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. lawmakers demand Puerto Rico governor resign as protests roil island]]>
Banging pots and pans and chanting “Ricky Resign!,” Puerto Ricans streamed into San Juan’s old city on Friday night and called on Ricardo Rossello to quit over the misogynistic and homophobic messages.

The chats, from a Telegram message group and referring mainly to politicians and officials, were published on Saturday.

The leak, running to 889 pages, added to Rossello’s woes after two former officials were arrested by the FBI last week as part of a federal corruption probe in the U.S. territory.

The protests have also tapped into simmering resentment over Rossello’s handling of devastating hurricanes in 2017 and alleged corruption as Puerto Rico’s fragile economy struggles to recover from the island’s bankruptcy.

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard joined the protests in San Juan, saying she wanted to “stand up to corruption,” as other Democratic presidential candidates including Julian Castro and Elizabeth Warren also called for Rossello to quit.

“We must stand with la isla. Rossello must resign,” tweeted U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, whose mother was born in Puerto Rico.

The island’s nonvoting representative in the U.S. Congress, Jenniffer Gonzalez, earlier called for his resignation, while Rossello’s press secretary Dennise Perez resigned, saying she could no longer hold the position after she was called corrupt in front of her son.

“It’s your turn, Ricky,” protesters chanted on the street after word spread that Perez had stepped aside.

Rossello, who is affiliated with the U.S. Democratic Party, has refused to step down but said he would hold an emergency meeting with leaders of Puerto Rico’s New Progressive Party, which he leads.

Puerto Rico House Speaker Carlos Mendez on Friday announced the creation of an independent committee to determine whether the center-right politician engaged in illegal activity in the chats. The group has ten days to deliver its findings.

The island’s bar association published a report citing clear grounds to impeach the 40-year-old former scientist, based on the “depravity” of his messages.

The chats, revealed by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism, showed how Rossello and allies exchanged vulgar memes and comments as well as privileged information.

While opposition legislators back impeachment, the process has yet to gain critical support from lawmakers in Rossello’s ruling party.

But politicians like Gonzalez are increasingly concerned about Puerto Rico’s “anarchic” image after clashes in San Juan this week and allegations the two administration officials arrested by the FBI stole government funds.

The violence and political turmoil comes at a critical stage in the U.S. territory’s bankruptcy process. It has also raised concerns with U.S. lawmakers who are weighing the island’s requests for billions of federal dollars for healthcare and hurricane recovery efforts.

“The island cannot afford to lose already approved federal resources, nor the ones we are working to obtain,” Gonzalez said in her letter to Rossello urging him to step aside.]]>
7/20/2019 11:38:13 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt, US sign judicial cooperation MoU]]>
The cooperation memorandum was signed based on “the desire of the two sides to work for the interest of justice and the establishment of the state of law,” a statement by the Egyptian side said.

It also aims at “enhancing cooperation between the two countries, and emphasizing the fruitful outcome of judicial cooperation, the statement said, expecting the MoU to strengthen the capacities of prosecutors in the two countries through the exchange of experiences between the two sides in the mutual legal fields and the introduction of modern technologies.”

Further information about the MoU signed between the two sides was not provided by the Egyptian statement.

However, the United States Department of Justice said that the MoU promotes further cooperation in the “fight against transnational crime”.

“The MoU reflects the importance of the continued law enforcement cooperation of Egypt and the United States. It will strengthen the partnership of the US and Egypt to fight against terrorism, transnational crime and other criminal activity,” the US statement read.

“In particular, this MoU allows the US and Egypt to increase consultation on mutual legal assistance. It also will allow for the broader exchange of ideas and practices to enhance the capabilities and experience of our prosecutors,” the statement added.

Egypt also has a judicial cooperation agreement with Libya, under which Egyptian terrorist Hesham Ashmawy who was arrested in Libya was handed to the Egyptian authorities in May this year.

The agreement was signed in 1992, and comprises 93 articles. Article 49 provides, “Both parties shall extradite to each other individuals facing charges by entitled entities and convicts sentenced by the judicial authorities of the party requesting the extradition in accordance with the rules and conditions in this section.”]]>
7/19/2019 4:45:21 PM
<![CDATA[Bahrain welcomes Argentina's designation of Hezbollah as terrorist]]>
The ministry highlighted the decision as a new step towards the international community's recognition of the danger of this terrorist group to international peace and security, state news agency BNA reported Friday.

The ministry expressed appreciation for the efforts of the friendly Republic of Argentina to combat terrorism. It called for concerted regional and international efforts to eradicate all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism and taking the necessary measures to deter its sponsors.]]>
7/19/2019 12:42:35 PM
<![CDATA[Ugandan speaker lauds Egypt’s role in keeping peace in Africa]]>
Meeting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday, Kadaga stressed Uganda's keenness to boost its relations with Egypt and enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields, presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said in a statement.

Egypt’s Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal attended the meeting in Cairo.

Kadaga conveyed the greetings of President Yoweri Museveni, affirming that the Ugandan people highly appreciate and respect Egypt. She also referred to the historic and extended relationship between the two countries and their peoples.

The meeting reviewed the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, according to the statement.

President Sisi affirmed the importance of supporting Uganda's development efforts and the cooperation in capacity building through various programs organized by the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development, referring also to the role of the Egyptian companies in contribution to the development of Uganda, the statement read.

The president stressed Egypt's keenness to strengthen its relations with Uganda at all levels, including the parliamentary and public dimension, taking into account the important role played by parliaments of African countries in strengthening the bonds of African brotherhood and solidarity that unite the peoples of the continent.

Sisi requested conveying his greetings to his brother Ugandan President Museveni, the statement said, stressing the strength of historical relations between the two countries and their peoples.

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7/19/2019 11:48:47 AM
<![CDATA[US lawmakers urge sanctions on Turkey for purchasing Russian missiles]]>
The lawmakers affirmed that President Trump should follow a law mandating penalties for doing business with Russia’s military.

A resolution was introduced on imposing sanctions after Ankara began accepting delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system last week.

The resolution, submitted by Republican Senators Rick Scott and Todd Young, prompted the White House to announce it was removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program.

Separately, Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said removing Turkey from the jet program was not enough.

But Trump’s administration has stopped short of imposing sanctions on Turkey, despite the sweeping 2017 sanctions law, known as CAATSA.

If approved, the resolution from Scott and Young would call for “full implementation of sanctions under CAATSA,” describing Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 air and missile defence system as a “direct and dire threat” to U.S. security interests.

CAATSA mandates that the president choose five among a range of 12 sanctions, from banning visas and denying access to the U.S.-based Export-Import Bank to harsher options such as barring transactions with the U.S. financial system and denying export licenses.

However, CAATSA does not set any timeline for imposing sanctions or issuing a waiver, so Trump could delay indefinitely.

The resolution calls for the administration to convene talks at NATO to discuss threats posed by Russia and mull Turkey’s continued inclusion in NATO.

While the non-binding resolution would have no force of law, passage of such a measure in the Republican-controlled Senate could amp up pressure on Trump to crack down on Ankara.

Menendez said he would introduce legislation that would force the administration to sanction Turkey if Trump refuses to do so under CAATSA.

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7/19/2019 11:44:04 AM
<![CDATA[Algerian president lauds Egypt’s organization of AFCON 2019 ]]>
During his meeting in Cairo with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday, Bensalah expressed his appreciation to the Egyptian authorities for facilitating all necessary procedures for the entry of Algerian fans to Egypt to attend the tournament, especially the final, presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said in a statement.

Bensalah has arrived in Cairo on Thursday where he is set attend the AFCON final on Friday. The national teams of Algeria and Senegal will face each other in the Cairo International Stadium.

President Sisi lauded the special levels reached by the brotherly bilateral relations between the two countries, affirming Egypt's keenness to push forward bilateral cooperation at various levels.

Bensalah reviewed the developments of the internal situation in Algeria, noting that things are going in the right way according to the constitutional process.

Sisi stressed his full confidence in the Algerian state institutions and the brotherly Algerian people to deal with their own current challenges without the need for the interference in their internal affairs by any foreign parties. He wished Algeria all the security, stability and prosperity, according to the statement.

The Algerian interim president praised Egypt’s role in the African Union and the Arab region, affirming the importance of the role played by Egypt in the region, Radi said.

reviewed the current situation in Algeria and that things are moving in the right direction," Radi said. "The Algerian president praised the role of Egypt in the African Union and the Arab region in general and the importance of Egypt in the region.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed his wishes for the stability, security, peace and prosperity of the brotherly country of Algeria and the Algerian people and the full confidence in the institutions of the Algerian state in dealing with the current situation and overcoming any challenge.

Cairo International Airport arrived here today, the interim president of Algeria, Abdelkader Ben Saleh, for a visit to the country where he will attend the final of the African Cup of Nations, which brings together his country Algeria and Senegal, which is set for Friday at the Cairo Stadium.

interim2

interim3
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7/19/2019 9:55:03 AM
<![CDATA[Iranian Shoura Council assistant in surprise visit to Lebanon]]>
“We say at the top of our voice that Iran and its allies will not allow the Zionist entity and the US to damage the region’s security.”

Following his meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Abdollahian said that Tehran “is convinced that the security of Lebanon is the security of the region and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Abdollahian added that “some of the threats made by the Zionist enemy are not in favor of the region’s security.”

He described his talks with Berri as “good and constructive.”

Abdollahian said, “We have come today to reaffirm that Iran fully supports the people, army, resistance and government of Lebanon, and we look forward to developing relations between our two countries until they reach the highest levels.”

Observers found Abdollahian’s remarks to be rather untrue, as Iran has been supporting Hezbollah that has been responsible for the instability and lack of security in Lebanon, as well as an arm to meddle in the internal affairs of Beirut.

He said he believes that the statements of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are for “domestic consumption,” accusing him of “making some moves in the region that are not in his favor.”

Netanyahu responded to a message from Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday by threatening Hezbollah during Israel’s Cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu said: “Let me be clear that if Hezbollah dares to commit an act of stupidity and attack Israel, we will deal a crushing military blow on Lebanon. But unlike Nasrallah, I do not intend to detail our plans. It would be enough to recall that, for years, Nasrallah dug terror tunnels, and we demolished them within a few days.”



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7/18/2019 4:30:55 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey's main opposition leader slams Erdogan for supporting Muslim Brotherhood]]>
Speaking at the CHP’s parliamentary group meeting in Ankara, Kılıçdaroğlu said the Muslim Brotherhood, Erdoğan’s traditional ally in Libya and other regional countries, should be abandoned.

The Brotherhood is a designated terrorist organization in many countries. It supports Islamist militias in Libya, Egypt, Syria and elsewhere.

Erdoğan’s own Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) has strong ties to members of the Brotherhood worldwide.

Kılıçdaroğlu also called on Erdoğan to “stop sending arms to Libya”, which violates the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations since 2011.

For peace in the region, relationships with Egypt must be ameliorated, according to Kılıçdaoğlu.

“Turkey’s interests are above anything else. Peace with Egypt must be made. We should not be in quarrel with any nation. Why don’t we have an ambassador [in Egypt]?” he said.

“A peace and cooperation organization in the Middle East must be established,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“Turkey will have to bear heavy consequences if it follows an ‘adventurous’ foreign policy,” he added.

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7/18/2019 4:18:58 PM
<![CDATA[3 former Lebanese PMs to tour Arab capitals to clarify adherence to Taef Accord ]]>
Lebanon has lately witnessed more calls for safeguarding the Taef Accord and for protecting the country from attempts to insert Lebanon in the “resistance axis” amid already complicated regional developments.

Those calls were mainly discussed during Monday’s meeting in Jeddah of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz with Mikati, Saniora and Salam.

King Salman stressed this week that Saudi Arabia is keen on Lebanon’s security and stability and the need to keep it within the Arab fold.

Discussions highlighted the importance of bolstering the historic fraternal relations between Riyadh and Beirut and the Saudi and Lebanese people, said a statement released by the three former PMs.

King Salman underscored the Kingdom’s “strong and firm keenness on Lebanon, its independence and sovereignty.”

He also stressed the need to preserve and uphold the Taef accord that helped end Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war. He emphasized the importance of maintaining coexistence among all Lebanese people of different sects and affiliations under the authority of the constitution, rule of law and respect of Arab and international agreements.

“Saudi Arabia will not spare an effort to protect Lebanon’s unity, sovereignty and independence,” said the statement. King Salman called for restoring the authority of the Lebanese state and its control over all its territories, voicing a desire to visit Lebanon.

Mikati described to Asharq Al-Awsat the meeting with King Salman as “excellent.”

“King Salman’s interest in the country can only stem from sincerity and he stressed that the Kingdom addresses all Lebanese factions without discrimination,” he added, revealing that he views Lebanon as an “oasis of democracy and freedoms.”

Lebanon must remain an open ground for dialogue, he stated.

Earlier this week, Hezbollah leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah says Israel would not be 'neutral' if a war starts between the US and Iran.

The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah has warned that Iran "is able to bombard Israel with ferocity and force" if a war breaks out with the United States.

Sayed Hassan Nasrallah's remarks were broadcast on the movement's Al-Manar television on Friday, following weeks of increasing tensions between the United States and Iran.

"When the Americans understand that this war could wipe out Israel, they will reconsider," Nasrallah said.

"Our collective responsibility in the region is to work towards preventing an American war on Iran."

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7/18/2019 3:51:31 PM
<![CDATA[Kemet Boutros Ghali Foundation lauds establishment of 1st 'Knowledge Hub' in Egypt]]>
In a statement on Thursday, the foundation said that this international academic institution will help in developing the education system in Egypt.

On Tuesday, the cabinet, under Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, approved the "Knowledge Hub" project within the framework of the Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030.

The Knowledge Hub will house branches of different multinational universities located within the same campus.

It offers students an education which meets international standards, through techniques that are being used for the first time in Egypt.

In their Egyptian campus, the internationally accredited universities will offer students the chance of being taught the same curriculum students are taught in their native countries.

Coventry UK has reportedly been the first university to sign a partnership agreement to set up its branch in the new hub in the administrative capital.]]>
7/18/2019 3:06:26 PM
<![CDATA[AL holds Israel responsible for killing Palestinian prisoner]]>
Reports said Qataqta was held in solitary confinement a matter that harmed him psychologically and physically.

Arab League assistant secretary general for Palestine affairs and occupied Arab territories Saeed Abu Ali warned that such cruel Israeli measures lead to the "slow killing" of the Palestinians, pointing out that a number of prisoners died in similar circumstances.

He called on human rights organizations to play a humanitarian and legal role in protecting the Palestinians in line with international treaties concerning prisoners of wars and the principles of human rights mentioned in the Global Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the Geneva convention]]>
7/18/2019 2:55:20 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi congratulates Sudanese people as political accord initialed]]>
The accord reached earlier in July and initialed on Wednesday is believed to pave the way for democracy and smooth power transition in Sudan, following the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir in April.

President Sisi received on Wednesday Colonel General Hashem Abdel Muttalib Ahmed Babakr, Sudan's army chief of staff, who was appointed by the military council few days after the ousting of Bashir.

Babakr reviewed the developments in Sudan, and the steps taken by the military council to deal with the current situation and the development of negotiations with the FCC, as well as the political agreement signed on Wednesday in Khartoum, presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said.

The Sudanese military leader also met with Egyptian Army Chief-of-Staff Mohamed Farid.

military

Babakr and his accompanying delegation have been in Cairo to attend the sixth meeting of the Egyptian-Sudanese Joint Military Committee hosted by Cairo from July 14 to 18.

The meeting between the two military leaders discussed means of supporting military cooperation and joint exercises, and highlighted the necessity of transferring and exchanging experiences between the armed forces of both countries, according to a press release.

They also discussed continuing efforts to work together to secure borders, combat terrorism and counter infiltration and smuggling operations.

Babakr and Farid have chaired the Joint Military Committee meeting, during which they discussed a number of issues and topics of common interest and prospects for cooperation in defense and security fields.

The Sudanese military leader underlined the depth of the historical relations between Egypt and Sudan, praising the efforts exerted by the Egyptian political leadership to support the efforts of security, stability and development in all African countries in light of Egypt's presidency of the African Union for 2019.

Farid affirmed the convergence of views and perspectives between the two sides on the challenges and security threats facing the region. He expressed the hope that the next phase will see further cooperation in all military and security issues in the framework of the strong strategic relations between the two countries.]]>
7/17/2019 8:40:56 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Intelligence chief hands Kiir message from Sisi]]>
Kamel met with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir during his visit, and also held talks with his South Sudanese counterpart on means to enhance bilateral relations in the security field.

Official statements have not revealed any details regarding the content of the message.

In June this year, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with South Sudan Presidential Envoy in Cairo.

During the meeting, Sisi stressed Egypt's keenness to provide constant support to South Sudan and back its peace process, promising commitment to shoring up efforts exerted at the regional and international levels to help the African country restore stability and security and improve economic conditions for its people.

The meeting was attended by head of the General Intelligence Directorate Abbas Kamel along with South Sudan's Minister of Presidential Affairs Mike Ding and Minister of Energy Dhieu Mathok.

Galwak handed a message to President Sisi from Kiir that addressed aspects of bilateral relations and the latest regional developments, according to Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi.

The South Sudan envoy reviewed the latest developments in South Sudan and praised Egypt's efforts to support stability in his country and the region, as part of its leading role at the regional level and within the framework of its current chair of the African Union, he said.

Sisi expressed his greetings to the South Sudanese president and asked the envoy to convey them, asserting the strong relations binding the two countries, according to the spokesman.

He quoted Sisi as saying that Egypt will continue to boost bilateral cooperation and offer aid and technical support to South Sudan to push forward development and meet the aspirations of its people for a better future.


Additional reporting by MENA]]>
7/17/2019 7:40:13 PM
<![CDATA[Adelkhah’s arrest risks increasing tension between Paris and Tehran]]>
The detention of Fariba Adelkhah, 60, risks increasing tension between Paris and Tehran.

Adelkhah is a well-known expert on Iran at France’s prestigious Sciences Po university.

“She is among suspects that have been recently arrested,” Iran’s judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said, without specifying the accusations against her.

“Now is not an appropriate time to give more information on this case,” Esmaili told reporters at a news conference broadcast by the judiciary’s news website Mizan Online.

Sciences Po said the arrest of the researcher was “unacceptable and shocking.”

“We will do our utmost to ensure our colleague Fariba is released as soon as possible and under the best conditions,” it said in a statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed concern for her welfare on Monday after his government said the dual national was arrested but had been denied contact with consular staff.

“What has happened worries me a great deal,” Macron said. “We have been aware of this for some days.”

“I have expressed my disagreement and asked President (Hassan) Rouhani for clarification,” he said, adding that France had so far received no meaningful explanation.

Adelkhah is the latest Iranian national with a Western passport to be arrested in Iran.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian project manager with Thomson Reuters Foundation, has been detained in Tehran since 2016 on sedition charges, a case that has caused major tensions with the UK.

Other Iranian dual nationals jailed in Iran include Iranian-American Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer, who are serving 10-year sentences for espionage in a case that has outraged Washington.

Chinese-American Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University researcher, is serving a 10-year sentence for espionage, and US national Michael White, 46, was this year also sentenced to 10 years.]]>
7/17/2019 11:24:19 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt, UAE, US, France, UK, Italy urge de-escalation, warn terrorists]]>
We note our deep concerns about the ongoing attempts by terrorist groups to exploit the security vacuum in the country, call on all parties to the Tripoli conflict to dissociate themselves from all such terrorists and individuals designated by the UN Sanctions Committee and renew our commitment to see those responsible for further instability held accountable, the statement published by the UK government read.

We fully support the leadership of UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ghassan Salamé as he works to stabilize the situation in Tripoli, to restore confidence in order to achieve a cessation of hostilities, expand his engagement throughout Libya, promote inclusive dialogue, and create the conditions for the resumption of the UN political process. We need to re-energize UN mediation, which aims to promote a transitional government representing all Libyans, prepare for credible parliamentary and presidential elections, enable a fair allocation of resources, and advance the reunification of the Central Bank of Libya and other Libyan sovereign institutions.

We also call on all UN member states to fully respect their obligations to contribute to Libya’s peace and stability, prevent destabilizing arms shipments, and safeguard Libya’s oil resources in accordance with Security Council resolutions 2259 (2015), 2278 (2016), 2362 (2017), and 2473 (2019). Finally, we remind all Libyan parties and institutions of their responsibility to protect civilians, safeguard civilian infrastructure, and facilitate access to humanitarian supplies.
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7/16/2019 7:37:29 PM
<![CDATA[How Turkish police violated human rights, beat mothers, kill 7-week-old baby]]>
One of these violations, as announced by Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Kocaeli MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, is the mistreat of prisoners, especially females and pregnant inmates.

Gergerlioğlu is also a member to the Human Rights Investigation Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM).

A press statement by Gergerlioğlu has stressed that pregnant and ill inmates do not receive proper treatment as prison authorities do not transfer them to hospitals or at least less crowded prisons.

HDP Hakkari MP Leyla Güven, who went on a hunger strike for more than 90 days, demanding an end to the isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan, also stated that by February 301 inmates as well as 19 other politicians and activists have been on an irreversible hunger strike.

Despite being cut off from the outside world, Ocalan, the jailed Kurdish militant leader labelled the “nemesis” of the Turkish state, remained a highly influential figure.

Turkey captured Ocalan on February 15, 1999 after a relentless hunt. In 1978, Ocalan and a group of fellow students founded the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to struggle for Kurdish autonomy.

But apparently, even going on a hunger strike is not a right to protest, however, Güven stressed that inmates who are on a hunger strike are being systematically violated.

According to Güven, a disciplinary investigation has been launched against all inmates who have started hunger strikes in Bandırma No. 2 Type T Prison in Çanakkale.

Also, director of the Gebze Women's Closed Prison threatened hunger strikers with interfering in their strikes in case they continued their protests.

Özlem Söyler, one of the prisoners on hunger strike in Gebze Women's Prison for 98 days said in a letter to the press that it is hard even to talk among prisoners, as an ‘objectionable’ sentence could lead to a disciplinary punishment.

“Instead of living under the threat of death imposed on us, we are knowingly and deliberately going towards death. This is a matter of honor,” Söyler’s letter added.

Ocalan’s image can be widely seen in areas controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria. Turkey says the US-backed YPG militia is a “terrorist” offshoot of the PKK.

Syria’s permission for Ocalan to seek refuge there caused major friction between Damascus and Ankara, and political pressure forced him out in 1998.

He tried to seek political asylum across Europe, including in Greece, but in 1999 Turkish secret agents nabbed him in the Kenyan capital Nairobi outside the Greek embassy.

He was swiftly sentenced to death for treason, which was commuted to life imprisonment when Turkey abolished capital punishment in 2002.

With Ocalan in custody, Turkey believed the head of the PKK had been cut.

But even behind bars, he continued to exert control over the movement by issuing instructions to his lawyers and the Kurdish MPs who visited him.

Following Ocalan’s arrest, the PKK had said it would strive only for cultural rights rather than an independent Kurdish state.

Families of prisoners decided to organize a sit-in in front of the Gebze Prison, but were quickly stopped by the police.

According to press reports, the police issued fines for the vehicles parked outside the prison and forced the families to leave the area. They also confiscated footage from the journalists, but this did not stop the families from resisting,

As after two weeks of a sit-in that aimed at drawing attention to the hunger strike of thousands of prisoners against the isolation of Ocalan; families of prisoners were attacked brutally by the police.

The people gathered in the Kiziltepe Freedom Square to protest the police’s attack were also attacked by the police and 2 unidentified young men were detained there.

Peace Mothers Assembly members were to hold a press statement and sit-in before the police surrounded them and argued that they would not let the statement be made. During the talks, the police forcibly confiscated the signs the Peace Mothers were holding.

When the mothers protested the confiscation, the police tried to drown out their voice by playing police sirens.

Peace Mother Hevlet Oncu started to read the statement despite the police intervention and said they have no patience for another body to come out of a prison.

Oncu was still speaking when the police attacked the group with sticks, pepper spray and water cannons.

The police also dragged Hevlet Oncu on the ground after she fell. HDP District Co-chair Sirin Obek was lightly wounded by a blow to her face.




In his speech, Gergerlioğlu also pointed out to female prisoner Gülden Aşık in Bandırma Prison who suffered a delays in transfers to the prison’s medical facility, leading to having abortion of her 7-week old fetus.




“The blood of this child is on the hands of the Justice and Development Party,” he added.]]>
7/16/2019 1:27:59 PM
<![CDATA[Q&A on case of 2011 prison break]]>
How many sessions have been held for the case?

The court has held 85 sessions, starting from Feb. 26, 2017 until July 13, 2019, where presiding judge Mohamed Sherin Fahmy announced Aug. 10 as the date for his decision on the case.

Who deliberates the high-profile case?

District 11 of the terrorism section at South Cairo Criminal Court deliberates the case, presided by Fahmy and assisted by judges Essam Aboul Ela, Hassan al-Sayes and judicial secretary Hamdy al-Shennawy.

Who are the most prominent witnesses who testified in the case?

Former President Hosni Mubarak, his Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, his former head of the State Security department Hassan Abdel Rahman, former Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy, who took control of the ministry after Adly in 2011, former head of Prison 430 in Natrun Valley, Major General Essam Lotfy, former assistant to the interior minister for the Central Security department in Sinai, Major General Maged Nouh.

What are the most important events witnessed during the long trial?

- General-Secretary of the Freedom and Justic Party Mohamed Beltagy requested changing the judges, but the Appeal Court refused.

- Videos were shown to the court, showing the sabotage of Natrun and Marg prisons.
Mubarak testified before the court.

- The prosecution demanded a billion pounds as temporary compensation from the defendants.

- The prosecution presented the names of convicts who escaped from prisons in 2011.

- The prosecution demanded the maximum penalty against the defendants.

- The prosecution delivered the death certificate of former President Mohamed Morsi, a defendant in the case, after he passed away during another trial.

The defendants are charged with storming the Egyptian borders, attacking security institution, plotting with Hamas and the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah to create chaos in Egypt to bring down the authorities, as well as having the Iranian Revolutionary Guards train groups in Egypt to sabotage military targets in the country, including prisons.

The first trial resulted in sentencing Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, his deputy Rashad al-Bayoumi, member of the Guidance Bureau of the Islamist Group Mohyee Hamed, former parliamentary speaker Saad al-Katatni, and vice chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party Essam al-Erian to death. Twenty others were sentenced to life in prison.

The new judgment may also be appealed, and if the appeal is accepted, the Cassation Court will deliberate the case and issue the final verdict.

Prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah escaped during the 2011 prison break, including Morsi. Many believe they escaped with assistance from Iranian and Palestinian elements who infiltrated into the Egyptian borders with Gaza.

]]>
7/16/2019 12:37:44 PM
<![CDATA[After taking it to Egypt, a look on ‘Tokkatsu’ in Japan]]>
Moreover, we talked about the Tokkatsu activity which has been recently applied by Egypt in the Japanese schools.

“Normally we have five to six classes per day; each class lasts for 20minutes followed by a short period of rest. Our classes include math, art, music, social studies and history. We only take one English class per week starting from the fourth grade,” the students said.

Enjoying their lunch which was previously prepared by the school chefs, they added that they normally take one to two Tokkatsu activity classes during the week. In case one of them forgot to do the homework or showed any kind of aggressive behavior, teachers normally direct the students to apologize.

3
Asakawa elementary school, July 2019- Egypt Today Aya Samir


The grades system in the Japanese schools usually depends on regular tests, and music and arts are taken seriously.

What is Tokkatsu?

As identified byAsakawa elementary school Principal, Ms. Hiromi Shimizu, Tokkatsu is a kind of student activity which builds the students’ characters to make them more independent and positive.She said that studies have been conducted on students’ behavior before and after applying the Tokkatsu activities, and showed significant transformation in students’ behaviors. Students turn into more engaging and open individuals who are willing to participate in discussions without fear.

IMG_20190704_114457
Asakawa elementary school Principal, Ms. Hiromi Shimizu during a presentation about Tokkatsu activity, July 2019- Egypt Today Aya Samir


The Japanese schools have strict rules regarding the students'looks and attitude. For example,female students are not allowed to wear artificial nails or hair. They are also highly selective about the food cooked in schools as they attach great importance tostudents’ nutrition and health.

Ms. Shimizu said that her experience at this school which started nearly a year ago was not her first. Basically, she participated in applying Tokkatsuin other Japanese schools, along with other Asian schools and recently the Egyptian schools.

Tokkatsu has no specialized books that can be taught to teachers or students, it is more like an inherited legacy and culture that senior teachers pass to new ones to apply on students. “Tokkatsu is a spoken science,”according to Shimizu.

1
Asakawa elementary school, July 2019- Egypt Today Aya Samir

She believes that Tokkatsu,which was discovered and applied more than 60 years ago, can be applied in any country and with any culture.It is a heritage of no boundaries.

However, Tokkatsu can be given the right way or the wrong way, as there is no text book tobe used as a reference. We have to make sure that teachers understand Tokkatsu. By implementing Tokkatsu and enhancing the students’ personality, they become effective members of the society, and feel the value they can add to it.

2
Asakawa elementary school, July 2019- Egypt Today Aya Samir


Replying to Egypt Today's question about training the Egyptian teachers in the current version of the Japanese schools in Egypt, Shimizu said that many Egyptian teachers came to Japan to take the Tokkatsu training, and that she met and trained some of them, and that some of them became her friends.

“We understand that we have an education system different from the on
e in Egypt, or any other country; however, Tokkatsu is not just about learning, it is also about building personalities,”Shimizu said.

By the end of the academicyear, teachers will have to fill a form to check if all of the Tokkatsu goals have been achieved during the year. This is the only aspect throughwhich they can check if Tokkatsu was successful or not.

“Tokkatsu can be applied anywhere around the world. Eventually,Tokkatsu is about changing people’s mind sets to be more motivated to participate in the society even more,” Shimizu said.

Nearly 35 schools have opened their doors and received Egyptian students for the academic year 2018/2019. Five more schools are expected to open during the next year, according to JICA's Egypt Office Chief Representative, Yoshifumi Omura, during an interview with Egypt Today inJune 2019.

“In 2018, we opened 35 and next year we are planning to open five more, which means that the total number will reach 40 schools,” Omura said.

“And of course we expected to face some difficulties and problems in the beginning because the whole idea is new. But so far, I can say that the experience is pretty much successful, despite everything that happened during setting up the process last year,” Omura added during his statements.

He pointed out that the Japanese schools in Egypt will be just about changing the educational system not the materials, because materials “are based on the country itself”.

“For example, what president Sisi admired when he visited the elementary schools in Tokyo was how the students were very clean and organized, and so he said, 'this is a walking Quran'.. Which means this is exactly what the Quran told us to do. Then he asked us to coordinate with the Egyptian government on this regard,” Omurarecounted.


IMG_20190704_130658_1
Egypt Today reporter with Asakawa Elementary school students at their fifth grade class, July 2019/Egypt Today

]]>
7/16/2019 10:40:33 AM
<![CDATA[Italian farmers oppose EU-Mercosur trade deal: Italy's agriculture minister]]>
“We express a strong concern,” Centinaio told reporters in Brussels. He said he believed the Italian government would oppose the deal, which requires a majority vote from EU states to be approved.

He said the deal was like a “gun aimed at the head” of Italy’s farm sector, as it offered no guarantees. “There will be an invasion of products,” said Centinaio, who is a close ally to the far-right deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini.]]>
7/16/2019 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Parl't approves NGOs law canceling 2017 bill]]>
The legislative department will revise the bill as part of measures taken before it is passed into law. The draft law cancels the controversial law issued on NGOs in 2017.

The bill includes nine issuance articles, including an article preventing NGOs placed on terrorist lists to legalize its presence.

All NGOs, including regional and foreign organizations, have to operate while committing to their basic regulations, activities and funding, in a way that respects the provisions and principles of the Egyptian Constitution and laws and international conventions ratified by Egypt, according to the law.

All non-governmental organizations and associations, and regional and foreign non-governmental unions, organizations and entities exercising civil work in light of the law shall adjust their conditions in accordance with its provisions within a year since the date of implementing the executive regulations of the law; otherwise, the specialized court will dissolve them.

In order for any of the NGOs to legalize its presence, it has to notify the competent ministry of all the data of the organization or entity, and define its activities, sources of funding, programs, protocols and memoranda of understanding. It also has to amend its regulations to ensure compliance with the provisions of this law.

In case they are dissolved, their funds would be transferred to the national fund tasked with supporting the projects of civil institutions and associations. Also, the activities of the dissolved entities would be stopped by the power of law.

In all cases, civil institutions and entities included on the lists of terrorist entities or those that participated in terrorist crimes cannot legalize their presence in case final rulings against them were issued, according to the law.

The draft law stipulates that the prime minister shall issue the executive regulations of the annexed law within six months from the date of its publication. Until such regulations are issued, the executive regulations and the existing resolutions shall continue to be implemented in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of this law and the annexed law.

This law shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall come into force on the day following the date of its publication.

In June 2017, Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi signed law no. 70/2017 on NGOs and their operation in Egypt, as an annulment to the previous law no. 84/2002, after being passed by two-thirds of the Parliament in November 2016.

However, in November 2018, Sisi agreed to form an official committee to discuss the law issued in the previous year.

During his participation at the second edition of the World Youth Forum, the Egyptian leader said the law might be amended after several studies and discussions took place regarding its articles. ]]>
7/16/2019 9:41:42 AM
<![CDATA[Libyan MPs vow to resolve current crisis]]>
The members of the delegation- more than 70 members of parliament- stressed that the Libyan parliament must have a key role in solving the country’s crisis since its members were elected to represent the people’s will.

The delegation members vowed to preserve the unity of the Libyan state, the civil ruling, the democratic course and the peaceful transition of authority as per the constitution.

The delegation called the rest of the parliament members to participate in the discussions to peacefully solve the current crisis.

The delegation members visited the Egyptian parliament and met with the national committee responsible for following up the Libyan issue.

The meeting tackled how to enable the Libyan parliament to play its respective role and solve the current Libyan crisis.

The delegation stressed that the Libyan crisis should be solved through the Libyan House of Representatives in its capacity as the only legitimate authority elected by people, reiterating that Libya is a civil state.

The delegation members thanked Egypt’s president, parliament, government and people for the warm hospitality.
]]>
7/16/2019 8:42:41 AM
<![CDATA[Libyan lawmakers emphasize Libya's civilian status, democratic transition]]>
According to the concluding statement of their meetings, led by the Egyptian National Committee on Libyan affairs, the delegation reiterated maintaining the civility of the Libyan state, and its democratic path.

“We affirm Libya’s unity, and sovereignty over all its territories,” read the statement.

Cairo talks highlight Libyan Parliament's role in achieving stability

CAIRO - 14 July 2019: More than 80 Libyan lawmakers have gathered in Cairo, where discussions kicked off Saturday to reach a solution to deter foreign interference in the Libyan affairs. The meetings, led by the Egyptian National Committee on Libya, is part of a series of talks hosted in Cairo to bring together different Libyan parties for the sake of achieving stability and security in the war-torn state.




The statement further praised the important role played by Egypt, represented in its president, Parliament, government and people inthe Libyan crisis.

Egypt is a leading a mediator in the Libyan crisis, seeking to achieve stability and unify the military of its western neighbor, which represents a strategic depth of Egypt’s national security.

Libyan hopes pinned on Egypt to combat Turkish intervention: lawmakers

CAIRO - 13 July 2019: A number of Libyan lawmakers meeting in Cairo have praised Egypt's "wise leadership" in mediating talks between various Libyan factions, pinning their hopes on Egyptian role to combat Turkish intervention in Tripoli.




Thus, Egypt has mediated talks between the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar and controls most of Eastern Libya, and the Libyan troops of the internationally-recognized government led by Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj.

In August 2016, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi decided to create the National committee on Libyan affairs, led by the armed forces’ chief of staff Mahmoud Hijazi, aiming to hold talks between all Libyan sides.

Libya has been inundated with civil war since the 2011 uprising that overthrew former Libyan longtime ruler Moammer el-Ghaddafi. The country has been at the center of the world’s attention for its importance as a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe.
]]>
7/15/2019 6:35:30 PM
<![CDATA[Security delegation arrives in Kuwait to escort 8 fugitives back to Egypt]]>
The detection of the cell affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood - which is outlawed in Egypt - is a result of the interrogation of terrorist Hisham Ashmawi carried out by the Libyan and Egyptian authorities, who was handed over to Egypt earlier this year, a source revealed.

The Kuwaiti authorities are still conducting investigations to unveil the accomplices of the cell members and if they are foreigners or natives.

Collective escape of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members in Kuwait
Around 300 Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members fled from Kuwait in the last period, sources stated to “Al-Qabas” Kuwaiti newspaper.

The fugitive members headed to Turkey, Australia, Britain, and another Arab country in fear of extradition due to their conviction in several cases in their homeland.

The collective escape occurred before the Kuwaiti’s Ministry of Interior’s announcement on Friday 12th of July that it had arrested eight members of a Muslim Brotherhood cell. Those were sentenced to prison terms in Egypt for committing terror attacks, including the assassination of the Egyptian Attorney General, Advisor Hisham Barakat in 2015.

Ibrahim Rabie, a former brotherhood leader, affirmed that there is a state of fear and anxiety among the group members abroad, due to the great anticipation in handovers to leaders internationally, which consecutively leads to a confusion within the terrorist group externally.

The Muslim Brotherhood, also known as the Society of Muslim Brothers, are a transnational Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar and school teacher, Hassan Al Banna in 1928. In April, 2018, Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail issued a law to regulate the procedures of custody, administration and disposal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s funds as a means of control due to its terrorist operations in Egypt.
]]>
7/15/2019 6:23:59 PM
<![CDATA[No-deal Brexit will leave UK at mercy of France, Hammond warns]]>
The warning came as a senior member of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet said Labour is “likely” to go into the next general election as a Remain party offering a second referendum on EU membership, The Independent reported.

Hammond said there would be a limit to the amount of influence the government could exert in the event of no deal, despite having spent more than £4bn on preparations.

Many of the levers are held by others – the EU27 or private business,” he said. “We can seek to persuade them but we can’t control it.

"For example, we can make sure that goods flow inwards through the port of Dover without any friction but we can’t control the outward flow into the port of Calais," he said.

“The French can dial that up or dial it down, just the same as the Spanish for years have dialled up or dialled down the length of the queues at the border going into Gibraltar.”

Hammond – who said earlier this month that a disorderly Brexit could cost the Exchequer up to £90bn – has long warned against the dangers of leaving without a deal with Brussels.]]>
7/15/2019 1:41:49 PM
<![CDATA[RT Arabic's bias towards Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood unveiled]]>
On Friday, the Kuwaiti security forces announced capturing eight Egyptian nationals, who are facing sentences of up to 15 years in prison for joining a terrorist cell and plotting terrorist attacks in Egypt, according to a statement from the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry.

RT Kuwait

The cell is believed to be linked to Muslim Brotherhood group. RT Arabic has republished a statement by the Muslim Brotherhood who has defended their arrested members, while claiming that the group never sought to destabilize Kuwait, and calling on the Kuwaiti authorities not to extradite the arrestees to Egypt.

RT Arabic has also published a statement regarding internal affairs of the Muslim Brotherhood group, which has been designated by the Egyptian authorities as a terrorist group since 2013. The statement claimed that the group has changed some of its priorities based on internal review.

RT Internal

The Russian news website has been obviously active in publishing the Muslim Brotherhood statements, including a statement that it copied from the group's Facebook website.

Moreover, RT Arabic has published some news about an Iranian oil tanker that was allegedly stopped in Egypt's Suez Canal. RT Arabic referenced to the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Al-Araby Al-Jadeed (The New Arab) media outlet, while citing Egyptian sources as saying. A high-level official in the Suez Canal Authority later denied the news.

RT tanker

The New Arab was founded by Palestinian Azmi Bishara, a former Knesset member, and an alleged adviser to the Qatari emir. Bishara has denied in 2017 being an adviser to the emir in an interview with the London-based Al-Araby TV network.

Russia Today has also referenced to rights groups and international organizations known for publishing reports that are hostile to the Egyptian regime, and are believed to be politicized and funded by hostile governments, including the Amnesty International.

RT Amnesty

The reason behind the Russian news website's recent bias toward the Muslim Brotherhood group against the Egyptian state has been unknown so far. However, the possibility that it expresses the Russian government's opinion about the updates in Egypt is still ruled out.

RT s1

RT s2 ]]>
7/15/2019 1:41:10 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: Benghazi residents protest Turkish interference in Libya ]]>
Pictures of protesters carrying pro-Libyan National Army (LNA) banners, and calling for the unity of their country spread in several media outlets.

Protesters demanded Turkey to stop supporting the forces affiliated with the Government National Accord (GNA) with weapons, arguing it “helps militias strengthen their control on Tripoli.”


123888-الوجه-الحقيقى-للإرهاب
In pics: Benghazi residents protest Turkish interference in Libya


A number of Libyan lawmakers, currently meeting in Egypt as part of the Cairo-sponsored discussions between Libyan factions, have called for Egypt to combat the Turkish intervention in Tripoli.

During a Cairo-hosted conference for Libyan powers last month, former Libyan Interior Minister Saleh Ragab accused Turkey and Qatar of smuggling weapons to terrorist groups and militia in Libya to keep fighting against the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Tripoli.

The evolution of the Turkish logistic support of militias in Libya has been discussed in a press statement by the Libyan National Army, referring to the “[Turkish] use of military aircrafts to transport mercenaries, as well as ships carrying weapons, armored vehicles and ammunition to support terrorism in Libya.”

Aguila Saleh, the president of the Libyan House of Representatives since 2014, has recently announced a state of mobilization and alert across the Libyan territories in response to the Turkish threats to Libya.

Libyan hopes pinned on Egypt to combat Turkish intervention: lawmakers

CAIRO - 13 July 2019: A number of Libyan lawmakers meeting in Cairo have praised Egypt's "wise leadership" in mediating talks between various Libyan factions, pinning their hopes on Egyptian role to combat Turkish intervention in Tripoli.




Libya has been inundated with civil war since the 2011 uprising that overthrew former Libyan longtime ruler Moammer el-Ghaddafi. The country has been at the center of the world’s attention for its importance as a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe.

There have been several international and regional attempts to achieve stability and peace in the country that has witnessed prolonged conflict among rivals controlling different parts of it.

Based in Tobruk is the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which controls the east and much of the south of Libya, and is spearheading a campaign towards Tripoli.

In 2015, a UN-brokered agreement has installed the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez el-Sarraj in Tripoli.


74831-مظاهرات-فى-ليبيا-ضد-تركيا
In pics: Benghazi residents protest Turkish interference in Libya

]]>
7/15/2019 1:27:06 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian, Iraqi FMs discuss bilateral ties]]>
Both ministers affirmed that the solution to regional issues should be sought by peaceful means and via dialogue between disputed parts to maintain stability in the whole region, the statement added.

In April 2019, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received a phone call from Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and affirmed Egypt’s full support to the Iraqi government and people.

Sisi and Abdul-Mahdi tackled ways of boosting bilateral relations and other regional issues.

On the sidelines of the Arab-European Summit in Sharm El Sheikh late February 2019, President Sisi received his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih in Cairo as they discussed Arab and regional affairs of mutual interest and agreed to intensify coordination.


Additional reporting by Noha el-Tawil
]]>
7/15/2019 1:24:30 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi urges working to reduce public debt, budget deficit]]>
The budget deficit is a financial loss that takes a place when expenses exceed revenues in a certain period of time.

During a meeting with a number of ministers and the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, Sisi urged carrying out such reforms in order to enhance confidence in the Egyptian economy, maximize its ability to face regional and international challenges, and attract local and foreign investments.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Minister of Planning Hala al-Saeed, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maeet, Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar, Minister of Public Business sector Hisham Tawfik, and Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Tarek Amer.

The meeting reviewed the indicators of economic and social performance during the year 2018/2019. In this regard, President Sisi urged keeping on promoting production sectors, especially industry, export and investment, which maximize the sustainability of economic growth rates and employment, and attract more foreign exchange, which will improve the balance of payments.

Sisi referred to the given positive indicators, saying that they have been achieved due to the patience and awareness of the great Egyptian people, a statement read.

Egypt achieved the world’s third largest economic growth rate at 5.6%, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said.

The indicators showed a decrease in the annual inflation rate to 8.9% for June 2019 compared to 13.8% for the same month last year, Radi said, adding that this indicates a steady positive evolution of the credit rating of the Egyptian economy by specialized international institutions.

IRADA
On Sunday, Prime Minister Madbouli issued a decision to form the board of trustees of the central unit tasked with simplifying the procedures of the Egyptian Initiative for the Reform of the Business Environment (IRADA).

The board will be chaired by the prime minister and will include the ministers of investment and international cooperation, planning, finance and trade and industry as members.

The board will also include the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, head of the Financial Regulatory Authority, head of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries.

The central unit is tasked with re-considering all laws and decisions related to the Egyptian Initiative for the Reform of the Business Environment (IRADA) to filter them and annul whatever contradicts with government plans to improve the business atmosphere.


Additional reporting by MENA]]>
7/15/2019 1:01:09 PM
<![CDATA[South Africa's Zuma to face corruption inquiry]]>
Zuma, ousted by the governing African National Congress (ANC) in February 2018, will be asked to respond to allegations that he allowed cronies to plunder state resources and influence senior government appointments during his nine years in power.

He has consistently denied wrongdoing, saying the allegations against him are politically motivated. His lawyer said in a letter to the inquiry last month that Zuma believed it was prejudiced against him.

Zuma is expected to give evidence from Monday to Friday, testimony that will be broadcast live on South African television to millions of viewers.

It is a rare example of an African leader being brought to book soon after losing power.

Zuma, 77, has also been in court on several occasions over the past year to answer corruption charges linked to a deal to buy military hardware for the armed forces in the 1990s.

He set up the corruption inquiry in his final weeks in office under pressure from rivals in the ANC, including his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, who feared scandals surrounding Zuma could tarnish the party’s reputation indelibly.

Zuma had avoided establishing the inquiry since a 2016 report by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, the public protector, instructed him to do so to investigate allegations that three Gupta brothers had been able to influence ministerial appointments and had won state contracts improperly.

The Gupta family, business friends of Zuma, denied the accusations and left South Africa around the time that Zuma was ousted.

Ramaphosa, Zuma’s former deputy, has made sweeping personnel changes in government and state-owned companies as part of an effort to curb corruption and revive the stagnant economy.

However, he has been hampered by the lingering influence that Zuma and his allies exert over the ANC’s top decision-making bodies, as well as by the scale of the problems he inherited.

The inquiry, headed by South Africa’s deputy chief justice, Raymond Zondo, held its first hearing in August and is due to finish next year.]]>
7/15/2019 12:11:09 PM
<![CDATA[State Council legislative department to revise NGOs bill after House approval]]>
The legislative department will revise the bill as part of measures taken before it is passed into law.

A committee will be formed to do the job, said deputy chairman of the State Council Abdel Razeq Mahran in a statement.

The bill consists of 97 articles that need to be revised, Mahran noted.]]>
7/15/2019 11:09:11 AM
<![CDATA[Japanese women are running for parliament in record numbers, but face many obstacles]]>
“I was asked to pour sake, make flattering conversation and act in a way men wouldn’t dislike,” Isogai, 45, a mother of two teenage girls, told Reuters. “It was like being a bar hostess.”

Such traditional campaign practices - heavy on face-to-face interaction and personal ties - are among many barriers women face when trying to enter Japan’s male-dominated politics, candidates and experts say.

Other hurdles include a lack of role models, social norms discouraging women from speaking out, and the burden of an intense, full-time job in a society where women are expected to be responsible for housework, child rearing and elder care.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made bringing more women into the workforce a policy pillar. But politics remains male-dominated.

Since Abe took office in December 2012, Japan’s global ranking of women in parliament has fallen to 164th from 122nd among 193 countries. His Liberal Democratic Party has a smaller percentage of female lawmakers than its main opposition party.

A July 21 upper-house election will be the first national poll since passage of a gender parity law that set non-binding targets for parties to field equal numbers of male and female candidates. A record 28% of candidates are women.

But only 15% of LDP candidates are women, compared with 45% for its main opposition, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ).

Sakura Uchikoshi, a Tokyo-based lawyer making her first foray into politics in the rural district of Niigata, is among the opposition candidates.

Niigata has a tradition of strong female politicians, including outspoken former foreign minister Makiko Tanaka. And it currently has three female opposition MPs.

NETWORKS AND NAMES

Uchikoshi, who unlike many men in the party, did not rise through the ranks, suffers from an image as an outsider. She was born in Hokkaido and pursued her career in Tokyo.

That’s a stark contrast with her LDP rival Ichiro Tsukada, a Niigata-born incumbent whose father was also an MP.

“My lack of name recognition is the bottleneck,” Uchikoshi told Reuters in an interview before a rally.

“Male candidates have networks and ... the lack of that for rookie female candidates makes it difficult,” she said, adding she was grateful for support from the three incumbent women.

Politicians, especially in the LDP, typically rise through the ranks from local assemblies to parliament, creating their base along the way. That path can be tough for women, who are expected to raise families rather than shake hands.

“Individuals have to cultivate networks themselves,” said Sophia University professor Mari Miura. “Many women, who have to interrupt their careers for child-rearing and struggle with work-life balance, can’t afford such energy.”

Uchikoshi’s backers hope she stands out as a fresh alternative to Tsukada, said Hiroshi Sasaki, a university professor and civic activist advising her campaign.

Tsukada’s reputation was dented when he bragged about securing a highway project in southern Japan as an unsolicited favor for Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso. He resigned as deputy cabinet minister over the fuss.

“Usually, I vote for the LDP, but this time I think they are making fools of us and I’m angry,” said 63-year-old Niigata retiree Susumu, who declined to give his last name.
Uchikoshi’s husband, a lawyer, and their teenage son are living in Tokyo for the duration of the campaign, which officially kicked off on July 4.

“My son didn’t seem to realize I’d have to stay in Niigata,” she said.

By contrast, experts and politicians say, men don’t tend to see family duties as a barrier to entering politics.

“If a woman is a full-time housewife and her husband runs for office, she can take care of the home,” CDPJ leader Yukio Edano told Reuters. “Unfortunately, the burden of child-rearing is heavier for women so the cost of running is bigger.”

Isogai, who lost her bid for Niigata’s prefectural assembly and is supporting Uchikoshi, said she often felt guilty for leaving her teenage daughters to campaign.

“When I saw them with a button missing, I felt sorry,” said Isogai, who moved to Niigata from Fukushima after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Her husband, often away for work, wasn’t used to household chores, she said.

“When it comes to campaigning, it is overwhelmingly easier for men,” she said.
Proponents say more female lawmakers would help Japan focus on key policies such as child care, education and welfare.

“I’m a working mother myself and the issues of child care and elderly care are very personal,” Uchikoshi said. “To prioritize such issues, we need more women legislators.”
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7/15/2019 10:55:30 AM
<![CDATA[Trump tells Democratic congresswomen to 'go back' to 'fix' countries they came from]]>WASHINGTON 15 July 2019: U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told a group of mostly American-born Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” a comment that was condemned by Democrats as racist.

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe... viciously telling the people of the United States... how our government is to be run,” Trump said in a series of three comments on Twitter.

While he did not mention names, Trump appeared to be referring to first-year Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan - a group known as “the squad” that has been very critical of Trump and also of the current Democratic leadership of the House.

Only Omar, whose family left Somalia as refugees and arrived in Minneapolis in 1997, was born outside the United States.

“Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ and the country we all swear to, is the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez, like Trump a native of New York City, responded on Twitter. “You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has feuded with the group in an increasingly bitter intra-party fight, but came to their defense Sunday along with other Democratic colleagues. She called Trump’s comments “xenophobic.”

“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again,” she said on Twitter.

“Do I fit into the President’s category?” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin on Illinois, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” mentioning his family’s Lithuanian heritage.

“Thanks goodness,” he said of Omar’s journey from refugee to one of only two Muslim women elected to Congress, along with Tlaib, a native of Detroit. “That is what America holds as a dream. The president should not diminish it.”

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7/15/2019 10:02:54 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt takes great interest in Libyan crisis: expert]]>
Addressing a forum held under rubric "Libya's future: opportunities and challenges of building national state", Okasha pointed out that Egypt's vision is based on a conviction that building the Libyan national state should be the main option to get out of such quagmire, adding that there is no viable or real solution could be imposed from foreign or regional parties.

All what the regional and international parties could do is merely providing the suitable context or situation to bridge the gap among the inter-Libyan factions in order to overcome their disputes, he added.

A Libyan delegation of lawmakers, currently on a visit to Cairo, was present during the forum.
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7/15/2019 9:51:49 AM
<![CDATA[Muslim Brotherhood revives political survival strategy]]>
The brotherhood has been following the same strategy throughout its history since it was founded by Hassan al-Banna in order to evade bans.

A video posted recently on a Facebook page run by Muslim Brotherhood elements has supported that fact. The video is titled “Documentary on Haj Farag al-Naggar from the Brotherhood First Generation.”



The video indicated that Naggar was the personal bodyguard of Hassan al-Banna, and an elite member of the brotherhood. The group commanded him to join the Egyptian Communist Party so he did and climbed the ladder until he became second to the party’s leader. It’s worthy to mention that the Egyptian Communist Party was one of the main parties that ideologically had no congruence with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The group stood behind many terror attacks that targeted civilians, police and military personnel and properties following the overthrow of former President Mohamed Morsi over mass protests on July 3, 2013. Morsi was a member of the Guidance Bureau, which is the brotherhood’s top entity.

The terror wave struck many governorates across the country. However, it is now confined to North Sinai. Since 2013, terrorism took the lifes of hundreds of martyrs and destroyed hundreds of security vehicles.

MB leader Morsi dies in court after trial session

CAIRO - 17 June 2019: Leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Morsi died on Monday in court after the conclusion of a trial session as he was charged of espionage for Hamas. Morsi had asked to talk and the judge gave him the permission, as reported by Extra News.



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7/14/2019 6:28:02 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo talks highlight Libyan Parliament’s role in achieving stability ]]>
The meetings, led by the Egyptian National Committee on Libya, is part of a series of talks hosted in Cairo to bring together different Libyan parties for the sake of achieving stability and security in the war-torn state. The committee invited around 80 Libyan lawmakers representing the west, south and east parts of the North African state.

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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today

Set to conclude Monday, the committee's discussions aim to unify Libyan powers, and consolidate the Libyan Parliament’s role in restructuring the oil-rich country. A final statement will be released by the committee by the end of the meetings on Monday.

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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today

“Libyan parliamentarians are coming to Cairo to listen to the advice of their Egyptian peers, who have experience in parliamentary work and democracy, as Libya is still at the beginning of its democratic path. I am optimistic about the discussions held in Cairo,” Libyan Member of Parliament Ali el-Saeedy told Egypt Today on the sidelines of Saturday's meeting.

Deteriorating conditions in South Libya

Speaking about the situation in south Libya, Saeedy described the living conditions as “deteriorating”, blaming the militias controlling parts of the south for what he explained as “the failure of the Libyan Presidency Council to improve services in Libya amid the control of the Muslim Brotherhood and Libyan militias that seize the Libyans’ wealth.”

Member of the Defense and National Security Committee at the Libyan Parliament, Tareq el-Goroushy, underscored the importance of the current meetings in Cairo “to discuss the role of the Libyan Parliament in building a modern state, and to combat foreign interference in Libyan affairs.”

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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today

Eissa el-Erieby, head of the Energy Committee at the Libyan Parliament, said that Egypt is a prominent country in the region, and plays a vital and leading role, expecting major contributions from the Egyptian side in the Libyan crisis, especially after the Egyptian chairmanship of the African Union.

During Sunday’s morning session at the Egyptian Parliament, Spokesperson Ali Abdel Aal reiterated Egypt’s supportive stance to the Libyan issue, saying “we will never allow Libya’s security to be tampered with.”

The Egyptian Parliament speaker added that some countries in the region have agendas regarding Libya, saying that “they must wake up and drop their ambitions because Egypt will not allow any infringement on Libya's security.”

In a TV statement Saturday, LNA spokesperson Ahmed el-Mesmary accused Turkish President Ragab Tayyib Erdogan of tampering with Libyan security “by sending explosives, weapons and funds to terrorist groups in Libya.”

On Thursday, at least three car explosions went off in Benghazi’s Al-Hawari cemetery, killing at least four soldiers of the east-based army and injuring 32 others.

Libya turmoil

Libya has been inundated with civil war since the 2011 uprising that overthrew former Libyan longtime ruler Moammer el-Ghaddafi. The country has been at the center of the world’s attention for its importance as a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe.

There have been several international and regional attempts to achieve stability and peace in the country that has witnessed prolonged conflict among rivals controlling different parts of it.

Based in Tobruk is the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which controls the east and much of the south of Libya, and is spearheading a campaign towards Tripoli.

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LNA forces started military attacks on internationally-recognized government in Tripoli since April. (File/AFP)


In 2015, a UN-brokered agreement has installed the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez el-Sarraj in Tripoli. Although the UN has been working hard for several years to reinforce the GNA’s legitimacy, it could not achieve national consensus, with the Libyan House of Representatives considering it with no mandate, arguing that the Libyan court did not grant the GNA any legitimacy, as per the Libyan constitution.

The Libyan House of Representatives is considered the sole legislative authority in the country, with Aguila Saleh as its spokesperson, rendering Libyan lawmakers’ participation in the reconciliation talks in Cairo important to unify Libyan powers.

Additional reporting by Nourhan Magdi and Ahmed Gomaa ]]>
7/14/2019 4:18:05 PM
<![CDATA[PM to form board of trustees to simplify business environment]]>
The board will be chaired by the prime minister and will include the ministers of investment and international cooperation, planning, finance and trade and industry as members.

The board will also include the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, head of the Financial Regulatory Authority, head of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries.

The central unit is tasked with re-considering all laws and decisions related to the Egyptian Initiative for the Reform of the Business Environment (IRADA) to filter them and annul whatever contradicts with government plans to improve the business atmosphere. ]]>
7/14/2019 1:19:35 PM
<![CDATA[Draft bill to end debt conflict between Treasury, Social Insurance ]]>
The key features pertinent to conflict resolution are:

The Treasury Authority pays to the National Social Insurance Authority a sum that increases annually by 5.7 percent for 50 years and that starts with LE 160.5 billion.

The sum paid monthly will start with LE 13 billion and will increase by 5.7 percent.

That is to pay back the debt worth LE 642 billion owed by the Treasury Authority to the National Social Insurance Authority. The breakdown includes LE 367.4 worth of bonds, and LE 216 worth of debts.

On the other hand, the National Social Insurance Authority fulfills the Treasury Authority’s present and future duties owed to pensioners, and covers the annual pension increase.
If the Treasury Authority fails to pay the due amount by the end of each month, it will have to pay interest. In case of default for three consecutive months, the matter is raised to the Cabinet.

Also, the Ministry of Finance has to declare its commitment to pay back the overdue amount in a report submitted with the annual draft budget to the House of Representatives. Otherwise, it would not be possible to pass the draft.

The Social Insurance Fund has to conduct a new actuarial study that determines if the value of the aforementioned installments over 30 years will be sufficient to pay back the debt.

In case the National Social Insurance Authority fails to pay the amounts due to pensioners, the Treasury Authority has to fulfill its duties instead as long as the former institution pays back later. That should be upon an agreement among the chairpersons of each authority, the minister of finance, and the prime minister.
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7/14/2019 1:02:55 PM
<![CDATA[Libyan hopes pinned on Egypt to combat Turkish intervention: lawmakers ]]>
This comes on the sidelines of the one-week meetings sponsored by Cairo to bring different parties from east, west and south of Libya for talks held the Egyptian National Committee on Libyan Affairs. The talks are part of a series of meetings held by the committee to achieve stability and unity of the Libyan army.

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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today


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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today


The Libyan parliamentarian delegation has arrived in Cairo for the reconciliation meetings, and embarked their trip with a visit to the Egyptian House of Representatives.

“Egyptian people have historical stances with its Libyan counterpart…both countries are geographical partners…and when the [Libyan] crisis ends, we will return the favor,” said Libyan lawmaker Abdel Moteleb Thabet.

Thabet went on saying that “he looks up for Egypt to play a role against Turkish expansion in the region as it reaches its final station in Tripoli,” adding that Turkey’s attempts to interfere in the region were foiled several times, “with the collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood group in both Egypt and Syria.”

Libyan PM Thabet further said that “Erdogan is supporting all terrorist groups with weapons and logistic equipment.”

In 2013, Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, and Libyan followed suit along with other Arab countries.

“The Libyan parliamentarian designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror organization, and whoever deals with it [the Brotherhood] will know that it serves foreign agenda,” Thabet added.

He explained that the delegation’s visit aims to support the road map in Libya, assuring that the talks tackle Libya’s stability, support for military institution led by Maj. Gen. Khalifa Haftar, and enhancing the role of the Libyan Parliament, which is the sole legislative body in the North African state.

In the same context, Libyan lawmaker Ebtesam el-Rabeiy said that “the shady role of Turkey in Libya, as it supports militias with weapons and funds, has become familiar to everyone, as it causes deaths, and negatively affects Libya’s security and stability.”

She continued, “Our priority lies in eradicating terrorism in Libya. We, as parliamentarians, look up for Egypt’s role in supporting us [Libyans] on the international and African levels."

Turkish interference

During a Cairo-hosted conference for Libyan powers last month, former Libyan Interior Minister Saleh Ragab accused Turkey and Qatar of smuggling weapons to terrorist groups and militia in Libya to keep fighting against the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Tripoli.

The evolution of the Turkish logistic support of militias in Libya has been discussed in a press statement by the Libyan National Army, referring to “[Turkish] use of military aircrafts to transport mercenaries, as well as ships carrying weapons, armored vehicles and ammunition to support terrorism in Libya.”

As a result, the Libyan Army has released instructions to air forces to target Turkish ships and boats inside regional waters.

On the 1st of July, Libyan National Army has announced that Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) targeted the Libyan town of Tarhuna, southeast of Tripoli, in conjunction with Libya’s warnings to Turkey against acts threatening Libyan nationals.

Tarhuna is a prominent city hosting the Libyan armed forces east the country. The unmanned aircrafts are said to be operated remotely by Turkish officers in Tripoli.

Aguila Saleh, the president of the Libyan House of Representatives since 2014, has recently announced a state of mobilization and alert across the Libyan territories in response to the Turkish threats to Libya.

Egypt’s role in Libya

Egypt is a leading a mediator in the Libyan crisis, seeking to achieve stability and unify the military of its western neighbor, which represents a strategic depth of Egypt’s national security.

Thus, Egypt has mediated talks between the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar and controls most of the Eastern Libya, and the Libyan troops of the internationally-recognized government led by Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj.

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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today


In August 2016, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi decided to create the National committee on Libyan affairs, led by the armed forces’ chief of staff Mahmoud Hijazi, aiming to hold talks between all Libyan sides.

Egypt aims its concerted efforts to unify the Libyan army would prompt the UN to lift the seven-year long UN arms embargo on the Libyan army.

Egypt has participated actively in all international and regional forums on Libyan affairs, stressing on the need to adhere to a set of principles to reach a solution, namely to respect unity, independence, territorial integrity and to reject any interference in the internal affairs of Libya.

With the aim to restore state authority and build Libyan institutions, Egypt is leading an international endeavour to put the issue of the reconstruction of Libya on the top of the international interest and work on effectively involving the international community and contributing positively to building the future of Libya.]]>
7/13/2019 4:39:44 PM
<![CDATA[Hong Kong protesters, police clash as demonstrations target Chinese traders]]>
The demonstration in the Hong Kong territorial town of Sheung Shui, not far from the Chinese city of Shenzhen, began peacefully but devolved into skirmishes and shouting. Protesters threw umbrellas and hardhats at police, who retaliated by swinging batons and firing pepper spray.

Later in the day Hong Kong police urged protesters to refrain from violence and leave the area.

The protest was the latest in a series that have roiled the former British colony for more than a month, giving rise to its worst political crisis since its 1997 handover to China.

Sometimes violent street protests have drawn in millions of people, with hundreds even storming the legislature on July 1 to oppose a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face trial in courts under ruling Communist Party control.

Critics see the bill as a threat to Hong Kong’s rule of law. Chief Executive Carrie Lam this week said the bill was “dead” after having suspended it last month, but opponents vow to settle for nothing short of its formal withdrawal.

Protests against the bill had largely taken place in Hong Kong’s main business district, but demonstrators have recently begun to look elsewhere to widen support by taking up narrower, more domestic issues.

In Sheung Shui, protesters rallied to oppose small-time Chinese traders who make short trips into the territory to buy goods that they then haul back to China to sell.

The demonstrators chanted demands in Mandarin, China’s official language, for the Chinese traders to go home. Many street-level shops were shuttered during the march.

The traders have long been a source of anger among those in Hong Kong who say they have fueled inflation, driven up property prices, dodged taxes and diluted Sheung Shui’s identity.

“Our lovely town has become chaos,” said Ryan Lai, 50, a resident of Sheung Shui, where so-called “parallel traders” buy bulk quantities of duty-free goods to be carried into mainland China and sold.

“We don’t want to stop travel and buying, but please, just make it orderly and legal. The extradition bill was the tipping point for us to come out. We want Sheung Shui back.”

When Britain returned Hong Kong to China 22 years ago, Chinese Communist leaders promised the city a high degree of autonomy for 50 years. But many say China has progressively tightened its grip, putting Hong Kong’s freedoms under threat through a range of measures such as the extradition bill.

DEMOCRACY DEFICIT
Hong Kong’s lack of full democracy was behind the recent unrest, said Jimmy Sham of the Civil Human Rights Front, which organized protests against the extradition bill.

“The government, Carrie Lam, some legislators in functional constituencies are not elected by the people, so there are many escalating actions in different districts to reflect different social issues,” he said. “If political problems are not solved, social well-being issues will continue to emerge endlessly.”

One protester said Saturday’s scuffles started when demonstrators charged the police after the latter came to the assiatcne of mainland traders who had assaulted demonstrators.

“Some people were attacked and got injured in a stampede. I tried to save some girls so I was also attacked by pepper spray by police. Now I feel so bad. The cops are dogs,” said the man, who would only give the name Ragnar.

Protesters ripped up median barriers and fences to set up roadblocks and defenses.

A young man was treated for a bloody head wound meters from where surrounded police were hitting activists armed with umbrellas. A baton charge by police in riot gear cleared the street minutes later to free trapped officers.

“We have no weapons and we were peaceful. When we saw them taking photos of us in the crowd we had to react,” said another protester, surnamed Chan, who declined to give his full name.

“We are all scared now. How can they hit us with batons?” he said, staring at a pool of blood where one of his peers was treated.

Last week nearly 2,000 people marched in the Tuen Mun residential district to protest against what they saw as the nuisance of brash singing and dancing to Mandarin pop songs by middle-aged mainland women.

On Sunday, tens of thousands marched in one of Kowloon’s most popular tourist shopping areas, trying to persuade mainland Chinese tourists to back opposition to the extradition bill.

“We want to raise awareness in Washington that the United States has to do more now to help Hong Kong become fully democratic,” said a resident of the nearby town of Fanling, who was one of five people in Saturday’s crowd carrying U.S. flags.

“They are the most important power left that can stand up to China,” added the 30-year-old man, who gave his name only as David.

Anti-extradition protesters plan another demonstration on Sunday in the town of Sha Tin, in the so-called New Territories between Hong Kong island and the border with China.]]>
7/13/2019 2:11:37 PM
<![CDATA[Pics: Libyan lawmakers visit Egypt’s House of Representatives]]>
The delegation met with Egyptian parliamentarians, visited the parliament's museum and stood for a group photo outside the Egyptian House of Representatives.

Since late Thursday, flocks of Libyan parliamentarians began to arrive for the Cairo-sponsored talks that aim to unify Libyan parliamentarians’ visions towards a political solution that will be adopted by the Libyan parliament.

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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today


The committee meeting will be led by the head of the Arab Affairs committee in the Egyptian parliament Ahmed Raslan, member of the committee Saad el-Gamal, and member of Foreign Affairs committee Mohamed el-Oraby, who is also former Egyptian foreign minister.

The Libyan attendees represent geographically different political currents from east, south and west Libya.

The talks are set to last for one week, where the Libyan parliamentarians are scheduled to meet with Egyptian political leaders to reach a solution to exit the current political standoff in Libya, achieve stability and support Libyan institutions, atop of them the parliament and the Libyan National Army (LNA).

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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today


Egypt is a leading a mediator in the Libyan crisis, seeking to achieve stability and unify the military of its western neighbor, which represents a strategic depth of Egypt’s national security.

Thus, Egypt has mediated talks between the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar and controls most of the Eastern Libya, and the Libyan troops of the internationally-recognized government led by Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj.

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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today


In August 2016, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi decided to create the National committee on Libyan affairs, led by the armed forces’ chief of staff Mahmoud Hijazi, aiming to hold talks between all Libyan sides.

Egypt aims its concerted efforts to unify the Libyan army would prompt the UN to lift the seven-year long UN arms embargo on the Libyan army.

Egypt has participated actively in all international and regional forums on Libyan affairs, stressing on the need to adhere to a set of principles to reach a solution, namely to respect unity, independence, territorial integrity and to reject any interference in the internal affairs of Libya.

With the aim to restore state authority and build Libyan institutions, Egypt is leading an international endeavour to put the issue of the reconstruction of Libya on the top of the international interest and work on effectively involving the international community and contributing positively to building the future of Libya.]]>
7/13/2019 11:25:45 AM
<![CDATA[Putin, Abbas highlight Egypt’s role in Palestinian reconciliation]]>
This came in a phone call between both leaders. During the phone conversation, Abbas hailed the Russian stance, supporting the international legitimacy, WAFA reported.

Abbas also briefed Putin on the the latest political developments in the Middle East, including the position towards the two-state solution, and the routinely Israeli violations, especially those in Al Quds, as well as the continuous expansions in settlements, and freezing Palestinian funds.

Putin told Abbas that economic support may not come as an alternative to a political solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Putin was referring to the recent US-sponsored Manama Workshop and the Donald Trump peace initiative, better known as the "deal of the century".

He added that a solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can only be achieved through the resolutions of the international community, but said he was keen to continue working with the United States and Israel to reach a two-state solution]]>
7/12/2019 5:39:04 PM
<![CDATA[US envoy: Iran enemy of peace, security in region]]>WASHINGTON - 12 July 2019: US President Donald Trump's Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblat said on Friday Iran is the enemy of peace, security and stability in the region.

He raised the alarm over risks posed by Tehran that jeopardize Gulf countries.

"Iran become the main enemy of the region, not the Palestinian-Israeli conflict solely," Greenblat said during an interview with Alhurra news channel.

The envoy called for seizing that timing to reach a settlement for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

As for the White House Middle East peace plan, the envoy voiced trust that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would appreciate it and eventually seek negotiations in order to put it into effect shortly.]]>
7/12/2019 2:22:57 PM
<![CDATA[UN urges Yemen Houthi court to review 30 death sentences]]>
It urged the Appellate Court in the Houthi-held capital of Sanaa, which is due to review the ruling, to take into account the serious allegations and violations of their right to a fair trial.

The specialized first instance criminal court handed down the death sentences on Tuesday, UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said.

Most of the 30 men are academics, students and politicians “affiliated with the Islah party that has been critical of the Houthis”, she told a news briefing. She was referring to an Islamist party that is part of the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

“At no point were they given a proper chance to present a defense,” Shamdasani said.

Houthi officials did not respond immediately to a Reuters request for comment.

The men were arrested in 2016 and charged in April 2017 with allegedly participating in an organized armed group intending to carry out attacks on or assassinations of security personnel and popular committees affiliated with the Houthis, and providing intelligence to other parties, Shamdasani said.

“There is a high likelihood that many of these charges are politically-motivated. There are very credible allegations of torture and mistreatment, our teams have been able to speak to families,” Shamdasani said.

“Any politically-motivated charges should be dismissed and international fair trial standards fully complied with,” she said.

Amnesty International, in a statement this week, denounced what it called a “sham trial” where the 30 men faced “trump-up charges including espionage for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition.”

Detainees include Youssef Al-Bawab, a linguistics professor and political figure who was held in incommunicado detention amid allegations of torture and lack of access to legal counsel and medical care, the London-based group said.

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7/12/2019 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Parliament passes law granting citizenship to foreigners]]>
The amended Article No. 2 stipulates that the prime minister has the right to grant the Egyptian citizenship for any foreigner who bought a state-owned property or a private property, or established an investment project in accordance with the Egyptian Investment Law, or deposited money in hard currency.

As per the new amendments, the Cabinet shall form a unit tasked with considering the applications of granting the citizenship. The unit consists of representatives of ministries of foreign affairs and interior, investments and international cooperation.

The applicants shall submit their forms online and pay $10,000 in fees or its equivalence in Egyptian pound. Then, the unit shall consider the application within only 3 months.

The latest amendments conducted to the Egyptian Nationality Law were approved on September 21, 2017 by the Parliament, stating that “The Egyptian citizenship will be withdrawn from individuals found guilty of participating in a terrorist act, communicating with terrorists or gathering information for terrorists.”

On June 10, 2019, the Defense and National Security Committee of the House of Representatives approved new amendments.

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7/11/2019 4:59:08 PM
<![CDATA[Cassation Court says MB members to be judged even if joined before official designation]]>
The statement said that lawyers of imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood members cannot rely in their defenses on the fact that these members joined the group before an official degree to designate the group as a terrorist organization.

In May, the state committee tasked with confiscating and managing the funds and assets of terrorist groups blacklisted 600 persons, including Muslim Brotherhood figures and sons, high-level sources revealed.

Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood group as a terrorist organization in December 2013.

The committee received information proving the involvement of the recently blacklisted persons in funding terrorist attacks against army and police personnel and civilians, the sources explained.

The statement further stressed that the group sought to disrupt the provisions of law and the constitution, prevent state authorities and institutions from carrying out their duties, attack personal freedoms and rights and damage national unity and social peace by plotting terrorist operations

The sons of the imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood figures cooperated with fugitives of the group who fled to other countries to provide logistic support and financial assistance on monthly basis required to fund the group's terrorist attacks, according to the sources.

According to law, the committee has to submit an official request to Cairo Court of Urgent Matters before the former can seize and manage the assets of the blacklisted persons and transfer the ownership of these assets to the state's public treasury.

The committee then would inform the state's concerned parties including the Central Bank of Egypt and the Real Estate Registration Office.

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7/11/2019 2:47:31 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi appoints Saeed Marie as head of Constitutional Court]]>
Marie was one of the ten vice-presidents of the court and is the second oldest judge appointed at the court.

The decree was published in the official gazette, Al-Waqa'i' al-Misriyya, to be effective as of July 14, 2019.

The newly-appointed judge was born on August 30, 1954 in Giza. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at Cairo University in 1976. He also obtained a diploma in public law and a diploma in administrative sciences in 1978 and 1979, respectively.

After graduation, he was appointed at the State Council in 1977; since then, he has been promoted until he occupied the position of judge assistant at the State council.

In 1990, he was officially mandated as a judge to the Authority of Commissioners of the Constitutional Court. He was appointed chairman of the authority in 1999 and was appointed vice-president of the Constitutional Court in 2002.

Recently, the House of Representatives (the lower house of the parliament) has passed new amendments to judicial laws regulating the highest judicial authorities to constitutionalize President Sisi’s 2017 move that broadened his power over the judiciary authority.

In 2017, President Sisi issued a decree to have the right to appoint the heads of the highest judicial bodies. At that time, his move was protested by Egypt’s supreme judicial bodies as it was thought to violate the judicial power independence, which was guaranteed by the constitution. However, the recently-approved amendments to the constitution gave the president this constitutionalized right.

As per the debatable amendments, the president is set to choose one out of the seven oldest judges to be the chairperson of any highest judicial body for a four-year term; the chosen judge shall be a deputy of the outgoing president of the judicial body.
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7/11/2019 1:43:32 PM
<![CDATA[EU signals sanctions on Turkey over 'illegal' Cyprus drilling: draft]]>
A draft EU statement stressed that the union would be ready to introduce more restrictive measures against Turkey should Ankara continue drilling.

The joint EU decision, which may still be changed, is to be discussed among national envoys in Brussels on Thursday with the aim of adopting it when the bloc’s foreign ministers meet on Monday.

“In light of Turkey’s continued and new illegal drilling activities, the (EU) decides to suspend negotiations on the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and agrees not to hold further meetings of the high-level dialogues for the time being,” the draft said.

Ankara on Wednesday rejected Greek and EU criticism that Turkish drilling off Cyprus was illegitimate. On the divided island, an internationally recognized government is part of the EU but Turkey backs a breakaway area.

Last month, EU leaders warned Turkey to end its gas drilling in disputed waters or face action from the bloc, after Greece and Cyprus pressed other EU states to speak out.

In May, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry warned Turkey against any attempt to destabilize the security and stability of the Middle East.

The Egyptian minister said the ministry has been following up with great concern the recent developments regarding Turkish plans to start exploratory drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus.

"We express grave concern over Turkey's announced intention to carry out drilling activities within the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus," EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini has said in a statement.

"In this context, we urgently call on Turkey to show restraint," she added, warning that the EU would "respond appropriately to any illegal action that violated Cyprus's rights".

Turkey already has a ship off Cyprus and Cyprus issued arrest warrants for its crew in June.  ]]>
7/11/2019 12:07:24 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi, Tanzanian PM highlight developed bilateral relations ]]>
During the discussions, President Sisi assured commitment to enhancing joint cooperation in different fields, increasing joint investments and exchanging expertise in major national projects, in a way that meets both countries’ interests.

For his part, Tanzanian Prime Minister Majaliwa hailed Egypt’s achievements on the economic reform level, and the country’s establishment of big national projects.

Majaliwa expressed his country’s keenness to increase the bilateral trade volume with Egypt to maximize the utilization of potentials and capabilities possessed by both states. He further stressed that Tanzania seeks to support Egyptian companies and businessmen interested in investing in different sectors.

The Tanzanian prime minister also said that his country is looking forward to benefiting from the Egyptian expertise in establishing a new capital for Tanzania, in light of Egypt’s achievement in building the New Administrative Capital.

In this context, Sisi explained that “the New Administrative Capital is not only a smart and developed city that meets the international standards, but also is considered a model to shape a better reality that contributes to the government’s transformation to digital economy, and smart administration, which will create a boost in the quality of services, and citizens’ lives.”

Majaliwa also congratulated President Sisi for his effective leadership of the African Union during the current term, which was marked by the launch of the African Free Trade Area agreement in Niger.

]]>
7/10/2019 6:09:33 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt always supportive of Iraq: Abdel Aal]]>
Abdel Aal's speech came during his Wednesday meeting with the newly appointed Iraqi Ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Naief al-Delmy to discuss bilateral relation between the two countries especially at the parliamentary level.

Abdel Aal welcomed the Iraqi ambassador, wishing him success. He also expressed his readiness to provide all the assistance necessary for the success of his mission.

For his part, the ambassador pointed out the good relations between Egypt and Iraq as well as Egypt's historical role in the Arab region.He called for benefiting from the Egyptian experience in the reconstruction projects of Iraq.

The Iraqi ambassador handed over a massage to Abdel Aal from the Iraqi parliament speaker, inviting him to visit Iraq to discuss issues of common concern.

a
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7/10/2019 4:08:15 PM
<![CDATA[MP Salah Eisa stripped of immunity for bribery charge investigation]]>
MP Salah Eisa is accused of facilitating and finishing procedures to issue permits allowing owners of a land to build on it in exchange of LE 1 million ($60,097) besides LE 2 million ($120,194) as a bribe, according to the public prosecution's investigations.

This comes under the request of the Public Prosecutor to lift the MP's immunity so legal measures can be taken.

The legislative committee of the House of Representatives approved in a meeting on Tuesday the request to lift the immunity of Eisa. The committee could rule out the possibility that accusations facing the MP are malicious, head of the committee Bahaa Abu Shoka said.

In June, lawyer Ayman Mahfouz submitted a request to the Public Prosecution to lift the parliamentary immunity of Member of the House of Representatives Ahmed Tantawy after the director of his office had been arrested for allegedly being part of a terrorist cell.

Mahfouz justified his request, saying that the incident is an “undoubted proof” of Tantawy’s involvement in the charges pressed against his aide.]]>
7/10/2019 3:29:41 PM
<![CDATA[Parliamentary committee to assess Football Association's recent actions]]>
The new committee will hold a meeting in the coming days with Youth Minister Ashraf Sobhy to assess the actions made by the Football Association from the World Cup in 2018, where the national team miserably failed to make it to the second round before the third group game was played,to the 2019 AFCON's loss.

The deputy head of the Parliament's youth and sports committee explained that the meeting will include assessing the performance of the associationand holding them accountable for alleged favoritism, adding that the committee will not tolerate the humiliating knock out of the national team in the tournament held in Egypt.

Favoritism

He said that the association had adopted favoritism in choosing the players and handling the administration.

"We lost the tournament. We lost the values we promoteby the return of AmrWarda," he said, referring to cancelling the decision to banattacking midfielder Warda from playing in the national team overcomplaints of sexual harassment.

"There was a miscarriage besidesthe administrative error; the same carelessness and negligence that occurred in the World Cup occurred in the African Cup of Nations and we did not learn from the mistakes," he stated.

He also referred to the technical staff, which excluded talented and special players and favoredsome players "seen byall experts asunqualified for representing the team compared to others."

Egypt lost at their home in the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 33 years against South Africa in the round of 16.

Egyptian Football Association President Hany Abo Rida sacked the Egyptian national team coaching staff in the early hours of Sunday.

Abo Rida, as well as many board members, resigned from their position.The Egyptian players let down the fans who packed the Cairo Stadium to support the team.

Recently, General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered referring the complaints filed against officials of the Egyptian Football Association to the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Public Funds Crime Investigation Unit.

The complaints accuse the officials of charges including squandering public money. Sadek scheduled the session to open extensive investigation into the complaints and recall those who have submitted them.


]]>
7/10/2019 1:01:55 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey criticizes EU for backing Cyprus in drilling dispute]]>
Turkey’s energy minister said Sunday that a second Turkish drillship will begin drilling for oil and natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean within a week, in a move which that could strain ties with Cyprus over jurisdiction rights for exploration.

Last month, EU leaders warned Turkey to end its gas drilling in disputed waters or face action from the bloc, after Greece and Cyprus pressed other EU states to speak out.

In May, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry warned Turkey against any attempt to destabilize the security and stability of the Middle East.

The Egyptian minister said the ministry has been following up with great concern the recent developments regarding Turkish plans to start exploratory drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus.

"We express grave concern over Turkey's announced intention to carry out drilling activities within the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus," EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini has said in a statement.

"In this context, we urgently call on Turkey to show restraint," she added, warning that the EU would "respond appropriately to any illegal action that violated Cyprus's rights".

Turkey already has a ship off Cyprus and Cyprus issued arrest warrants for its crew in June. 
]]>
7/10/2019 12:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[Prosecution renews detention of Al-Amal Cell's defendants]]>
The defendants, including economic figures, are accused of forming a terrorist cell dubbed Al-Amal to target the state institutions in the anniversary of the June 30 revolution this year.

The defendants in custody in the case include Ziad Al-Elemy, Hossam Mo'nis, Osama Al-Aqbawi, Hesham Fouad, Ahmed Tammam, Mostafa Abdel Moez, Omar Al-Shenety, Khaled Abu Shadi, Hassan Barbari, Ahmed Al-Ghannam, and Qasem Abdel Kafi.

Al-Amal Cell is believed to be formed by the Muslim Brotherhood group designated by the Egyptian state as terrorist since 2013, following violent clashes between their supporters and the police forces earlier in the same year.

In July, legal sources revealed that the number of defendants in the case increased to 18 people, including five runaways. This comes after Taqwa Abdel Rady and Lo’ya Sabry, two female defendants, were detained for 15 days pending investigation, over probable links to the cell.

The defendants are accused of joining and funding a terrorist group that was unlawfully established, and also using social media platforms to disseminate fake news.

The State Security Prosecution ordered seizing the funds of a number of defendants including politicians and economy figures in the case. It also ordered banning the defendants from travelling outside the country.

The runaways are Ayman Nour, owner and manager of pro-Muslim Brotherhood Al-Sharq TV; pro-Muslim Brotherhood TV presenters Mo'taz Matar and Mohamed Nasser; and Muslim-Brotherhood-affiliated figures Mahmoud Hussein and Ali Bateekh.

Security authorities also ordered moving the defendants to Cairo's Tura Prison, after the prosecution had ordered detaining the defendants for 15 days pending investigations.

Al-Amal Cell

Hope Cell (Plan), according to a security statement, is a terrorist plot by Muslim Brotherhood leaders to target the state facilities institutions. The arrested figures are believed to be Muslim Brotherhood operatives.

According to a statement by the Interior Ministry, the scheme worked on uniting the Brotherhood group members, funding them from the revenues of some economic entities as they sought to topple the state and its institutions on the June 30 Uprising anniversary.

Information received by the National Security Service revealed that the plan is focused on establishing routes for the financial funds sent illegally from abroad by some hostile countries to work on carrying out violent acts across the country to disrupt celebrations of the revolution's anniversary, the statement said.

The statement also noted that the scheme aimed at launching "inciting" campaigns in the media and on the social media and satellite TV channels that are broadcast from outside the country.

Acting on such information, security forces, in coordination with the High State Security Prosecution, targeted 19 economic entities which are secretly run by the MB leaders and seized documents, amounts of money and electronic devices that were in their possession, the statement added.]]>
7/10/2019 11:38:32 AM
<![CDATA[Parl't approves controversial lawyers' law amendments ]]>
The amendments are setting further restrictions for joining the syndicate, and also guaranteeing lawyers additional rights.

The draft bill introduces new provisions that officially aim to facilitate litigation procedures and protect the rights and freedom of individuals in accordance with Egypt's new phase which highlights the concept of the sovereignty of law. It also aims at preparing the legal university graduates before working as lawyers.

It also expands the base of social services and health care provided to lawyers to ensure them a standard of living that befits such profession through raising the lawyer fees in the cases pending before the courts of all levels.

Among the provisions introduced by the bill is reducing the formation of a number of the General Syndicate board to 29 members instead of 57, officially to facilitate the rapid issuance of decisions in accordance with easy procedures without conflicting views.

The draft law also orders conducting elections to choose the head of the syndicate as well as its members, and counting votes under judicial supervision. It enables establishing an academy for law and legal and judicial studies, where considering joining it as one of the conditions to register for the syndicate.

The draft law also included increasing guarantees to the independence of the legal profession and the immunity of the lawyer before the sessions and the parties of investigation.

According to the amendments, a lawyer's office must be inspected by the permission of the public prosecutor or the investigating judge. They also prevent lawyers from getting detained or arrested except in flagrante delicto, in case he faces accusations while performing his work.

The draft law deprives open education students from registering for the syndicate. The amendments require lawyers to be Egyptian nationals who have permanent residence in Egypt, and have obtained the certificate of the national high school Thanaweya Amma or equivalent foreign certificates. They are also required to get a law authorization from one of the faculties of law in Egypt or foreign faculties that have branches in the country.

Submission, controversy

Deputy Speaker Soliman Wahdan submitted on May 7, 2017, a proposal suggesting some amendments to Law No. 17 of 1983 that attempts at regulating the legal profession. The submission was reportedly made without consulting the Lawyers' Syndicate.

Parliamentarian Ahmed Helmy al-Sherif, the deputy of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, said that the aforementioned draft law aims at restructuring the Lawyers Syndicate and setting new conditions for membership of the syndicate board. He added that the current law has loopholes which required urgent amendments to protect the lawyers.

The bill obligates those who seek to renew their membership of the syndicate to attend a number of consecutive sessions to ensure that all the members are actually practicing the profession, Sherif stressed. He noted that the Legislative Committee of the Parliament has held several meetings with lawyers for consultancy over the new bill.

Several parliamentarians argued that the current law was issued more than 25 years ago and that it should be amended to cope with the development of the community.

On the other hand, President of the Lawyers Syndicate, Sameh Ashour, disapproved of the new amendments, refuting the Parliament’s claims about consulting with the syndicate in this regard.


Additional reporting by Mohamed Abdel Maguid
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7/9/2019 2:32:26 PM
<![CDATA[Parliament's Social Solidary committee discusses new NGO law Tuesday]]>
The Ministry of Social Solidarity has previously reworded the draft law and sent it to the Parliament, Head of the Social Solidary Committee Abdel Hadi al-Qasabi said in press remarks.

The rewritten draft law, set to be discussed in two meetings on Monday and Tuesday, can be discussed and passed by the Parliament on Wednesday and Thursday, Qasabi said.

In November 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi agreed to form an official committee to discuss a law issued in 2017, governing the operation of foreign NGOs in Egypt, as a prelude to possible amending.

Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali said in April 2019 that the committee charged with amending the 2017 NGO's law will issue a new draft law instead of just amending it.

Talaat Abdel Qawi, president of the General Federation of NGOs, said in January that the federation held four conferences on the level of Egyptian governorates to hear the comments of non-governmental organizations on the draft law.

In an interview with Egypt Today, Abdel Qawi said that the amended law will stipulate that NGOs can be established only through notifying without additional procedures. The administrative body can then resort to the judiciary to stop the registration of an NGO within 30 days.

The amendments will also include exemptions of 50 percent of utility bills for the NGOs, Abdel Qawi said. They will also have the right, according to the law, to conduct scientific research after the approval of Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.

Concerning funding, Abdel Qawi revealed that a new funding mechanism will be followed to ensure transparent access to funding. He added that the fund will be accepted within 30 days instead of 60 after the NGO explains where the fund comes from, where it goes to, and how it is spent.

In case the NGO does not receive official response after answering the three questions, it means the fund is accepted, according to Abdel Qawi. However, the Ministry of Social Solidarity and concerned authorities will supervise the funds.

Abdel Qawi also revealed that penalties of violating administrative laws will be limited to paying a fine instead of imprisonment in the amended law.
]]>
7/9/2019 2:31:05 PM
<![CDATA[Draft law to combat illegal export of genetic resources ]]>
The draft law comes in line with “The Nagoya Protocol” joined by Egypt in 2012. The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its tenth meeting on October 29, 2010 in Nagoya, Japan.

The draft law affirms the state controls genetic resources possessed by local communities whose members maintain their individual and collective rights. Those have the right to exchange such resources for non-commercial purposes in accordance with their norms.

“‘Genetic material’ refers to any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity. ‘Genetic resources’ refer to genetic material of actual or potential value,” The Convention on Biological Diversity states.

The draft should be discussed and voted upon in a plenary session. The dates have not been set yet.
]]>
7/9/2019 1:46:33 PM
<![CDATA[Palestinian report: Israel bans fishing in 85% of allocated zone in Gaza]]>
Palestinian fishermen have been struggling due to the constantly diminishing fishing zone since October 2000, when they were prohibited from reaching the 20 nautical miles limit - agreed upon under the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993.

Israeli authorities imposed a new limit of 12 nautical miles, then lowered it to six and even three nautical miles at times.

Nevertheless, Israeli authorities kept targeting Palestinian fishermen and hindering their fishing activities even inside the Israeli-imposed fishing zone.

The Israeli authorities are practically prohibiting Palestinian fishermen from entering 85% of the fishing zone granted under the Oslo Accords and its annexes.

In addition, the IOF regularly open fire at fishermen, forcing them to undress and swim in cold seawater before arresting them, and destroy or confiscate their fishing boats and equipment.

Furthermore, the IOF uses heavy water canon to damage and partially submerge small fishing boats that are left unattended at night in the sea to catch
fish.

These violations occur, most of the time, within the allocated fishing zone, i.e.
within three or six nautical miles.

Due to such practices, Palestinian fishermen became one of the poorest
communities in society, while other industries that are dependent on fishing
such as constructing boats and fishing equipment, and fish merchants have suffered massively as well.]]>
7/9/2019 10:54:45 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi asserts keenness on boosting historical fraternal relations with South Africa]]>
According to presidential spokesman Bassam Radi talks between the two leaders tackled cooperation in numerous fields at the bilateral, continental and international levels and Sisi congratulated Ramaphosa on his re-election for a second term in office, wishing him good luck and underlining the need to use the two nations’ influence in serving the benefit and interests of the entire continent.

Expressing deep appreciation of Egypt and its leadership and people and praising the good relationship which the two countries enjoy, Ramaphosa noted their strong future cooperation prospects and called for enhancing relations to a higher level especially in the economic, trade and investment fields, the spokesman said.

He stressed the need to consolidate the Cairo-Cape Town road project and to encourage other infrastructure projects to serve Africa’s development process, Radi added.

Talks between the two sides took up many regional issues and African Union files, Egypt’s current presidency of the AU and African economic integration and development and interAfrican trade movement, he said.

He pointed out that they also discussed a number of pressing political topics, including the Libyan crisis and Egypt’s support to Libya’s unity and stability and to efforts aiming at reaching a political settlement to its conflict and the counterterrorism efforts exerted by the Libyan National Army.

According to him, the two presidents agreed on the need to beef up bilateral political consultations as regards peace, security, economic development and strategic dialogue issues connected with the African continent, given the important role both countries are playing as the current and coming presidents of the AU.]]>
7/9/2019 10:50:46 AM
<![CDATA[Granting citizenship to foreigners has no link with ‘deal of the century’: Egypt]]>
The House of Representatives (the lower house of the parliament) approved on Sunday new amendments to the law of Entry and Residence of Foreigners in Egypt that grant citizenship to foreigners who inject their investments into the country.


“The state, [Egypt] with its known boundaries, is not subject to any change," said Abdel Alaa during Sunday session on the amended law.

The amended Article No. 2 stipulates that the prime minister has the right to grant the Egyptian citizenship for any foreigner who bought a state-owned property or a private property, or established an investment project in accordance with the Egyptian Investment Law, or deposited money in hard currency.

As per the new amendments, the Cabinet shall form a unit tasked with considering the applications of granting the citizenship. The unit consists of representatives of ministries of foreign affairs and interior, investments and international cooperation.

The applicants shall submit their forms online and pay $10,000 in fees or its equivalence in Egyptian pound. Then, the unit shall consider the application within only 3 months.

The latest amendments conducted to the Egyptian Nationality Law were approved on September 21, 2017 by the Parliament, stating that “The Egyptian citizenship will be withdrawn from individuals found guilty of participating in a terrorist act, communicating with terrorists or gathering information for terrorists.”

On June 10, 2019, the Defense and National Security Committee of the House of Representatives approved new amendments.

]]>
7/8/2019 6:56:57 PM
<![CDATA[Prosecution interrogates Ola al-Qaradawi, orders 15-day detention]]>
Ola is the daughter of Islamic cleric Yousef al-Qaradawi who backs the Muslim Brotherhood that is designated as a terrorist group in Egypt. Qaradawi, who carries the Egyptian and Qatari nationalities, is wanted for prosecution in Egypt because of incitement to terrorism.

Yoused al-Qaradawi
FILE - Yousef al-Qaradawi


The arraignment states that Ola al-Qaradawi was executing a “hostile plot” prepared by the fugitive leaders of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The plot is aimed at creating illegal channels for suspicious transactions. The funds would be used in financing violence and vandalism activities that would target the state institutions concurrently.

The defendant is also accused of being involved in facilitating communication between the brotherhood’s jailed leaders and loose members so that the former would give the latter orders pertinent to financial support for hostile activities. That was during her imprisonment as she was being prosecuted in custody for joining a terror group that is the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The prosecution ordered her detention for 15 days pending investigation. Ola al-Qaradawi was working at Qatar’s Embassy in Cairo as she carries the Qatari nationality.
]]>
7/8/2019 5:08:32 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi call for developing economic African projects, facing regional challenges]]>
The president called on the international community to offer support for Africa.

"The summit is an opportunity for developing economic and trade projects in our continent," Sisi said while chairing a mini coordinating summit between the African Union (AU) and the regional economic groups in Niger.

He thanked President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou and the head of the African Union committee for rendering the summit a success.

"The African Union is one of the major sovereign institutions that addresses multiple key files, projects and future plans," president Sisi added.

"The eight regional economic blocks play an indispensable role in upholding cohesion among African countries, making them the main pillars of boosting joint African action," President Sisi said.

We have to appreciate the effective role played by these blocks - which possess varied capabilities - in giving impetus for regional integration across the continent," he added while addressing the mini coordinating summit between the African Union (AU) and the regional economic groups in Niger.

He added that the summit the proper opportunity for enhancing coherence between the African Union and the eight regional economic blocks, voicing support for investors showing eagerness to back Africa's economic and trade projects.

The African countries have mutual interests of pursuing further cooperation and integration, Sisi added.

"African countries have a political strategic view and launch many initiatives to render further projects a success alongside creating more job opportunities for African youth aiming to achieve higher dreams and aspirations," Sisi said.

He asserted the necessity of firmly facing all challenges and finding solutions to them, noting the importance of efforts meant to enhance cohesion among African countries.

Though the summit is due to conclude today, ongoing cooperation and integration among African countries will never come to an end, thanks to potential projects and future plans of action that predict a promising future for the continent, Sisi asserted.

The president expressed pride for chairing the mini summit and thanked the attendees

Earlier in the day, a mini coordinating summit between the African Union (AU) and the regional economic groups kicked off in Niger .

The summit was attended by a number of African leaders]]>
7/8/2019 2:29:21 PM
<![CDATA[Libyan Parl't speaker says meeting with Sisi fruitful]]>
He addedin an interview with CBC eXtra News that President Sisi understood the situation in Libya, and followed up on the latest events and developments.

Saleh said that the Libyan capital had been kidnapped by the militias for three years, affirming it was the duty of the army to protect the state from destruction and fall.

The Libyan National Army has had the duty of taking action to save the capital from these militias, said Saleh.


The Libyan army is a national army that includes all groups of people and tribes and has played its national role to save the state's sovereignty and components from destruction, Saleh said.

The history of the Libyan army confirms the prominence and patriotism of the army in the region, Salih said, affirming confidence in the ability of the army to liberate the country from terrorists and prevent them from carrying out hostile attacks in theLibyan territory.

Central Bank

Saleh, who is also the commander of the Libyan Armed Forces,said that the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya is controlled by terrorist mercenary groups that are hostile to the state. Thus, most of the state's income reaches terrorist groups and armed militias. He noted that this is the most important cause for the failure of Libyan reconciliation.


He explained that he talked with the UN envoy to form a neutral committee to distribute the Libyan income among the people because it is unacceptable that these groups remain in control of the money.

There was a conspiracy that aimed at enabling the political Islam group and other groups linked to them to control the state, Saleh said, affirming that the Central Bank of Libya became under the control of these groups.

Sarraj's initiatives fail

Chairman of Presidential Council Fayez Sarraj cannot implement the initiatives he announced and called for, because he falls under the mercy of the armed militias, Saleh said, adding that Sarraj cannot release prisoners and detainees under the control of armed militias.

The Libyan House of Representatives welcome all Initiatives as long as they are proposed by a party that is able to implement their provisions and is not subordinate to the armed groups.

Skhirat Agreement

Saleh referred, during the interview, to the Skhirat Agreement signed in 2015 in Morocco, saying that it did not lead to any result. He added that resorting to the legitimacy represented by the Libyan House of Representatives is the only way to achieve a result.

In December 2015, the Skhirat Agreement was signed by major parties in the Libyan conflict under the supervision of then UN envoy Martin Kobler in the city of Skhirat, Morocco. The agreement recommends a peaceful transition of power and the establishment of a national unity government. However, the agreement failed to achieve the desired stability on the ground because it lacked consensus.

Saleh stressed the solution of the Libyan crisis must come in accordance with the articles of the constitution. He pointed out that the government of the National Accord in Libya has no mandate, as the Libyan court did not grant that government any legitimacy.

The Skhirat Agreement is a political agreement rejected by the Libyan Parliament, Saleh said.The person in charge of this government must have been changed after the agreement was rejected twice.However, there is determination to make this certain person remain in charge, he added.

Libyan-Egyptian ties

Terrorism has no religion and no homeland; it does not know the meaning of the state, Saleh said, adding that terrorism only depends on controlling and black mailing countries, as well as damaging neighboring countries.

He affirmed that the security of both the Egyptian and Libyan states is inseparable, adding that harms caused to Libya also affect the neighboring countries.

Cooperation and concerted efforts among neighboring countries have been necessary to counter terrorism, Saleh said, adding that the threat of terrorism transcends borders.

Sisi, Aguila's meeting



Sisi's confirmation that theHouse of Representatives is the only legitimate institution in Libya and his support to the national armed forces is a message to communities affirm the necessity to combat armed militias, he said.

The whole world listened to the message of President Sisi, and this message will have a great positive impact on the internal situation, Saleh affirmed.


Concerning the Muslim Brotherhood group, Saleh explained that the Libyan constitution clarified the legitimacy of each individual in the state and how to elect them. He said that the decision to ban the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group was irreversible, and that he would not allow the group's members to run in the upcoming elections.

Meeting Saleh in Cairo last June, President Sisi reaffirmed Egypt's support to efforts exerted by Libya's national army to eliminate terrorist groups in the war-hit Arab African country.

Presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said the president affirmed the importance of respecting the will of the Libyan people and supporting Libya's legitimacy represented in the House of Representatives which had been elected by the Libyans.

The Libyan House of Representatives voted in May on banning the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood and classifying it as a terrorist group during a Parliament's session held in Tabruk city.
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7/8/2019 1:47:16 PM
<![CDATA[Africa is one of the richest continents: Sisi]]>
Sisi pointed out the importance of supporting investors in the public and private sectors, who are doing everything in their power to strengthen economic and trade projects in the continent.

The summit was attended by leaders of African countries, blocs and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), among others.

Sisi stressed the importance of dealing with the challenges faced by African societies, pointing out that the African continent has made great strides in the development of economic and trade projects.

The president also added that the African people are among the best people in the world and that they have many strategic and logistic projects under way. “We have a common interest and a lot of enthusiasm and optimism,” the president affirmed.

For his side, President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou expressed support of the African free trade area that was created in March of 2019, adding that the area will facilitate the exchange of goods among African countries.

Issoufou hoped the African Development Bank would back the AU and offer all necessary assistance to African states.

He underlined the importance of materializing the aspirations of African youths and creating more jobs to fight unemployment and poverty, added that African youths have many aspirations and should be supported.

He said there are many projects on the 2019 agenda of the AU that will be carried out with the support and tireless efforts of African brothers.

He also added that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement is the most important event for the African continent that will help increase trade among African states and attract more investors to the continent.

The summit seeks to develop AfCFTA-related frameworks and foundations for integration with tools for common action in the coming period.

The extraordinary African summit kicked off on Sunday, July 7, under the chairmanship of President Sisi, the current president of the African Union.

Additional Report with MENA
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7/8/2019 1:22:49 PM
<![CDATA[We appreciate Egypt's leadership for AU: Japan’s MOFA]]>
"We strongly appreciate Egypt's leadership for the African union. We think their leadership is wonderful and we greatly appreciate their support," Ushio said

When asked about the discussions held between Egypt and Japan's government ahead of 2019's Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), set to be held on August 28 in Yokohoma city, he affirmed that both parties held a number of senior officials’ meetings during the past time.

He added that Japan has huge commitments with Egypt. "The Egyptian government always sends high level seniors to Japan to follow up on updates of our agreements and discussions and we respect their views and leadership," Ushio added.

He pointed out during a limited press conference held in the attendance of the African media representatives that Egypt and Japan held a lot of discussions, especially regarding human development aspects where Japan has a number of successful experiences in cooperation with other countries.

"We believe development is the key to do anything, as we have done this with many countries, especially in Asia, and believe that the time has come to do it with Africa now," Ushio stated

He said that TICAD was first held in 1993, and since then, Africa has achieved so many goals. For the meantime, Ushio explained that Japan considers Africa "partners in growing".

He added that "Many African countries have achieved great success on the economic and society levels; however, other are still facing specific problems, we will support them."

During TICAD7, Japan's government has advised private companies to focus more on Africa, and the potential in the African countries as partners, especially in the information and innovation sector.

"We talked with our business partners, and have sat this concept amid them," Ushio said.

The main pillars set to be tackled during TICAD7 according to the Japanese high rank official are: business, society, health, disaster prevention and preserving peace in Africa.

"In business, we are going to discuss both of the private and public sectors. And on the social level, our discussions will be more focused on human development. We aim at helping the African countries to be independent, and we already have seen some countries which have improved, while others are still struggling. We aim to help them," Ushio stressed.

How African, Japanese relations evolved since TICAD 1993

CAIRO - 26 June 2019: During the Cold war, most of the powerful countries were interested to invest in Africa to increase their influence and enhance their authority in the region which was an indirect war area same as the whole world back then.




Over 50 participants took part at TICAD6 which was held on August 28, 2016 in Kenya. This year, the number of participants will exceed this figure, according to Ushio. Also, a number of the side events are scheduled to be held during the conference, including the African-Japanese expo, and a number of seminars and symposiums.

"As a side event, we will be organizing the African-Japanese expo, where African star- ups will be introduced to Japanese companies," Ushio explained. He also added that up to 250 experts will be attending different seminars and symposiums.

"When you look on Africa's problems, it is mostly related to agriculture and poverty. We think that without agriculture, the countries' business will never grow, and so we aim at helping them," he reiterated.

Ushio also affirmed that the public sector is one of the main aspects that TICAD7 will be shedding light on during its meetings and events.

TICAD was held for the first time in Tokyo on October 5 and 6, 1993, aiming to enhance dialogue between African- Japanese leaders; promote Africa’s development, peace and security; strengthen relations between the countries; and establish strong partnerships between Tokyo and Africa.

The international conference, which has been held regularly since then, is not just led by Japan, despite being a Japanese initiative.

Co-sponsored by the United Nations, TICAD is also organized by several international partners alongside the Japanese government. The partners include: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the World Bank.

TICAD 1 was just the beginning that opened the door for more Japanese investments and cooperation between the two sides. The first conference resulted in “Tokyo Declaration on African Development”, according to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The 48 African nations participating in the conference agreed on the declaration that included goals on developing these countries, and supporting the private sector, as well as international and regional cooperation.

Other TICADs followed and continued to be held inside Japan, until it was held for the first time in Africa in 2016.

Could developing agriculture in Egypt's Delta be part of TICAD's agenda?

TOKYO - 5 July 2019: With a tendency to start conducting research on Egypt's Delta and contribute to preserving food security and raising its quality, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Science (JIRACAS) explained that several challenges have prevented it from expanding its research in Africa, including the limited budget allocated for research and lack of Human Resources.




TICAD 6, which was held at Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya on August 27-28, 2016, adopted the theme “Advancing Africa’s Sustainable Development Agenda”. This conference focused on three new aspects defined as new emerging challenges facing Africa, namely “Promoting structural economic transformation through economic diversification and industrialization, promoting resilient health system for quality of life, and promoting social stability for shared prosperity.”

This Year Egypt will be participating in TICAD7 as the leader of the African Union.

In February 2019, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi headed to Addis Ababa where he received the presidency of the UN from his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame at the inauguration of the 32nd summit of the AU.

With Egypt’s presidency of the AU, several key challenges were announced to be addressed, including enhancing investments in various sectors in the continent, discussing the peace and security issue and working on developing the AU capabilities to meet the African people's demands.
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7/8/2019 12:52:26 PM
<![CDATA[Rock star seeks to upstage comedian president in Ukraine vote]]>
“How many of us want real change ... How many of us are tired of old politics?”, he shouts out, holding his microphone in the air as the crowd cheers back in response.

The 44-year-old front man of the band Okean Elzy lays out his plans to run in July 21 parliamentary elections on a platform that includes cutting oligarchs down to size, overhauling the justice system and helping innovators. Then the band launches into its set.

Vakarchuk is trying to tap into a growing anti-establishment mood in Ukraine - the same mood that brought TV comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy into the presidency in April with a landslide.

The singer launched his own party, called Golos or Voice, in May and is touring the country ahead of the snap vote. Like Zelenskiy, he has cast himself as a change from traditional politics and an enemy of corruption and low living standards.

At stake is the chance to form the government of a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. War between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatist forces in the eastern Donbass region has killed 13,000 people.

President Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People party - named after the TV comedy series where he plays a fictional president - is on course to win the July vote. A recent poll suggested Vakarchuk could come as high as third, making him a potential coalition ally if Zelenskiy fails to win a majority.

Both sides say it is premature to discuss a tie-up but there is common ground. The two have an informal style and are comfortable on social media – Zelenskiy posts his runs and gym workouts on Instagram; Vakarchuk has shared snaps of his yoga poses and eight-pack abs.

IMF ANTIBIOTICS
Both have eschewed the normal left/right/center political labels and have a relative lack of political baggage.

Both men have said want to stick to an aid-for-reforms program with the International Monetary Fund - pledges that may reassure investors.

“For me, the IMF is like antibiotics. You don’t like it, and you want to stop using as soon as possible, but if you have a real bacterial infection you take it because otherwise you’ll get worse,” Vakarchuk told Reuters.

Both have also said they want to keep up Ukraine’s progress toward the West.

Vakarchuk proved his credentials by staging concerts in Kiev’s Independence Square during the 2013-2014 Maidan revolt against Ukraine’s then pro-Russian ruler. The refrain of one of his best known love songs “I won’t give up without a fight” became a chant for the protesters.

He says the promises made by the Western-backed politicians who came to power after that revolt remain unfulfilled. If Ukraine becomes an economic success story, he tells Reuters, it will help convince people in Donbass and Crimea they are better off as part of Ukraine.

“They see corruption, they see a lack of justice,” he said. If that changes, “it will be much easier for us to win the hearts and minds of these people.”

Vakarchuk wraps up his concert in Freedom Square in the eastern city of Kharkiv, close to the Russian border. Earlier in the day he had spoken to a smaller crowd in front of a statue of another Ukrainian artist: 19th century poet Taras Shevchenko.

“I really like the way he speaks and the changes ... he wants to bring,” said Roman Kaverzin, a member of the crowd. “What really matters is that he is a famous figure in Ukraine. People listen to him.”]]>
7/8/2019 12:01:14 PM
<![CDATA[African leaders to launch 'historic' free trade deal]]>
The deal, which African leaders hope will create the world's largest free trade area, was given a boost when Nigeria and Benin's presidents signed on to rapturous applause on Sunday at the two-day summit in Niger's capital Niamey.

After 17 years of tough negotiations, the AU is expected to launch the "operational phase" of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) later in the day in what AU commission chairman Moussa Faki said would be a "historic" moment.

"An old dream is coming true, the founding fathers must be proud," said Faki, adding that AfCFTA would create "the greatest trading area in the world".

Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou hailed it as "the greatest historical event for the African continent since the creation of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963," referring to the AU's predecessor.

With Nigeria and Benin's signatures, 54 of the 55 AU member countries have now signed onto the deal, with Eritrea the only holdout.

Around 4,500 delegates and guests -- including 32 heads of state and more than 100 ministers -- attended the AU summit in Niamey, which has been revamped and boasts a brand-new airport, upgraded roads, and new hotels for the occasion.

- 'Opening Africa up' -
The agreement was formalised at the end of April when the agreement crossed the launch threshold, which required ratification by at least 22 countries.

The deal was buoyed when Nigeria, Africa's most populous country and largest economy, announced this week it would join the pact alongside Benin after having unexpectedly pulled back from the agreement last year.

Nigeria's chief trade negotiator Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe said President Muhammadu Buhari would sign the landmark agreement the deal, "opening Africa up to abundant opportunities".

"We weren't dragged into this, we are a leading advocate," Osakwe told AFP. "But it is about assessing how to make it work for Nigeria and indeed the continent."

State trade ministers have agreed the zone should be operational from July 2020, AU Trade and Industry Commissioner Albert Muchanga told AFP, as countries needed time to adapt to the agreed changes.

An official start date was expected to be agreed by heads of state on Sunday.

However there are still key issues that need to be ironed out, such as setting common criteria to determine rules of origin for traded products.

Amaka Anku, Africa analyst at Eurasia group, described the deal as a positive step but said implementing the AfCFTA was still "a long way from taking off".

The AU estimates that the deal will lead to a 60-percent boost in intra-African trade by 2022.

At the moment, African countries trade only about 16 percent of their goods and services among one another, compared to 65 percent with European countries.

- Security on the continent -
Also on the summit agenda is security -- an issue afflicting the Sahel in particular.

Summit host Niger has faced constant attacks by jihadist groups.

Its fellow members in the G5-Sahel security pact -- Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania -- will seek backing at the AU summit to push for a greater UN security force to address the terror threat.

The countries hope to activate Chapter VII of the UN Charter, a Nigerien security source told AFP. The chapter allows for the UN Security Council to determine a threat to peace and propose measures, including military deployment, to deal with it.

"No prosperity, no integration is possible without peace," said Faki, who stressed the importance of an AU Peace Fund launched in 2018 to finance security activities and called on member states to fulfil their financial promises.

So far, only $116 million has been received for the envisaged $400-million fund.

Niamey was under high surveillance, with summit facilities subjected to strict access controls and a heavy security presence.

"We have a special unit of several thousand men" on duty, said Defence Minister Mohamed Bazoum.

The leaders were also set to discuss boosting intelligence cooperation and the global migration crisis.
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7/8/2019 9:27:32 AM
<![CDATA[Here's how to obtain a license for media outlets]]>
According to the law, no license or permit may be obtained if media outlets are based on religious or doctrinal discrimination or discrimination on grounds of sex or origin, or on a sectarian or ethnic basis, or call for an activity hostile to the principles of democracy,or an activity of a confidential nature or call for incitement to pornography, hatred or violence.

It is also prohibited to establish websites in Egypt operating from abroad without obtaining a license from the Supreme Council in accordance with the rules and conditions set by the Council.

In the same context, in August 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ratified law No. 179 of 2018 to regulate the National Press Authority (NPA); the law was previously approved by the Parliament.

The executive regulations of the law are expected to be issued by the cabinet within the three coming months. The decree was published in the official gazette.

Shortly after being ratified by parliament, the journalism law caused a huge state of controversy among journalists and raised several questions on whether it will preserve their rights or impose more restrains over media in Egypt.

The new law consists of seven sections and specifies the administrative construction of newspapers' high board, owners and defines exactly what it means to be a journalist.

According to the new law, a journalist is “anyone listed as a member of the Journalists Syndicate.” The new law also lists the National Media Authority and the National Press Authority rights to interfere, manage and direct all of the Egyptian media outlets.

Several concerns were raised by a number of members of the Journalists Syndicate regarding the new law. A debate was launched on the ground and on social media between supporters and opponents of the new law.

In the opposing statement, which was signed by hundreds of journalists, the Journalists Syndicate members listed several points referring to the new law as “standing against the freedom of media and journalists.”

However, other officials described the new law as “balanced.” Head of Parliament’s Media, Culture and Antiquities Committee, Osama Heikal, said in statements to media outlets that the new law sets a number of the needed principles to regulate media work inside the country, adding that the law is balanced and protects journalists and their rights.

Some administrative regulations were among the criticized points in the new law, including: reducing the representation of journalists in the board of directors to the minimum and appointing half of the board members from outside the media institution, as well as allowing the National Press Authority to directly manage the newspapers board of directors and public associations.

“The new law doesn’t allow the newspapers' board to make any important decisions without getting the authority's permission,” the statement read.

According to the statement, the new law also stipulates that the journalists have the right to reach for all the information they need; however, the law didn’t impose any punishment on anyone who hinders their access to information.

The statement signers also criticized the National Media Authority's capability to impose sanctions over journalists and the Journalists Syndicate.

Moreover, the media draft law included several terms and words which could be described as elastic and incomprehensible, according to the statement, such as “spreading hatred, incitement, threat of democracy", and many others. Several other notes were listed in the statement, commenting on some of the privileges granted to journalists by the draft law, including criminalizing any attack on journalists while on duty.

Article 100 of the new law states that: “Any person who transgresses a journalist during or because of his work shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine of not less than LE 10,000 and not more than LE 20,000 or one of these penalties.”

During the Parliament's plenary session on Sunday, MP Heikal, said that the draft law covers all aspects of media and press activities in Egypt, and does not include any articles that could send journalists to jail in publication offences.

The Supreme Council for Media Regulation has issued a statement in April 2019, warning TV channels against airing from outside the Media Production City headquarters.
Below is the statement:

The Supreme Council for Media Regulations warns channels of broadcasting from outside the media production city.

The Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) has sent several letters to a number of broadcasters and television channels that own Satellite news gathering “SNG” units, stating that they should broadcast from within the media production city and to [that they are] limited to studios available within the city.

An official source in the council said that these letters come as part of the regulation of the media scenes, in accordance with the law and authorities it provides for the council in this regard. It also comes after the council spotted some companies broadcasting from outside the city, and violating the law 180 of 2018.

The law states in Article 59 that no broadcasting or re-broadcasting is allowed outside the locations approved by the Supreme Council. In addition to this, it is permissible to broadcast from outside these areas, provided that the office or company has a studio from which it can operate within the Egyptian Company for Media Production City, and to have a permission issued by the Council in prior.

The source pointed out that the council had granted the channels a period of three months to reconcile their status, noting that the permits obtained by those channels will expire within days and will not be renewed unless they settle their status.]]>
7/7/2019 2:27:12 PM
<![CDATA[MP calls for establishing medical committees for people with disabilities ]]>
Amery clarified that there are some governorates that do not have a medical committee which is a hardship for people with disabilities.

He pointed out that the state is keen to meet the needs of people with disabilities and the political leadership pays significant attention to this segment of society; hence the government is working toremove all obstacles facing them.

In May, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi approved the issuance of law No. 11 of 2019 of the National Council of People with Disabilities, according to the Egyptian Gazette.

In January 2019, the Parliament gave thefinal approval on a draft law submitted by the government to establish the National Council for People with Disabilities.

According to the law, the Disabilities Council is an independent body that aims to promote, develop and protect the rights of persons with disabilities and their constitutional dignity. The council shall enjoy technical, financial and administrative independence in performing its activities, functions and competences.

Concerning administration, the council shall consist of a president, a vice-president and 17 members with disabilities in addition to public figures with experience.

The council's president, his deputy and other members are required to be Egyptians, who enjoy civil and political rights. They are also required to have already performed military service, or have been legally exempted. All members shall be enjoying clear criminal records.

The council proposes the general policy of the state in the field of development, rehabilitation, integration and empowerment of persons with disabilities. It should also coordinate with all ministries and concerned authorities in the state to implement the provisions of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The council has to represent persons with disabilities, and it should be registered in the membership of forums, conferences and international organizations concerned with disability issues.

It is also in charge of receiving complaints about persons with disabilities and of adopting the policies, strategies, programs and projects necessary for community and health awareness to avoid disability.

The council shall hold a meeting at least every two months.

The council shall have an independent budget that includes its revenues and activities. The council's fiscal year shall begin and end in conjunction with the start and end of the state's fiscal year.

The disabilities independent body will be exempted from judicial fees for proceedings before courts of all types and degrees.

The council shall prepare an annual report on the situation of the rights of persons with disabilities, and submit this report to the Egyptian president, the Parliament, and the Cabinet.

The president of the council, his deputy, members and employees shall be subject to Law No. 62 of 1975 in caseof illicit gains.

In December, President Sisi allocated LE 80 million ($4.46 million) of the TahyaMisr Fund in support of people with special needs.

The president made the announcement while attending a celebration marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. "People with special needs in Egypt represent 9-10 percent of the total population,"Sisi said.]]>
7/7/2019 12:37:04 PM
<![CDATA[Country hosting AfCFTA HQ to be selected in Niamey summit ]]>
Seven members states, which are Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar and Senegal, have submitted bids to host the secretariat. The decision will be made during the general assembly encompassing the heads of state and government.

In his speech at the opening ceremony of the 35th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council on Thursday in Niamey, African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said that the idea of creating an “African Economic Community” dates back to 1963.

AfCFTA came into force on May 30 after 22 AU member states had ratified it. Afterwards, three other states submitted their instruments of ratification so that the total number of ratifying states became 25.

In the aftermath of the launch of the operational phase, traders across Africa will be able to benefit from preferential trade arrangements offered by the AfCFTA. Nevertheless, traders have to bear in mind that the transactions must be among “the Member States that have deposited the instruments of ratification and those that conform to the provisions on rules of origin governing trade in the AfCFTA,” the AU website indicates.

A series of statutory and technical meetings are taking place in Niamey on July 4-8. On Monday, a meeting including the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) will be held.

Throughout the summit, matters pertinent to the institutional reform programme that should contribute in the achievement of the vision and goals of Agenda 2063 are discussed.

Faki had underlined the AUC’s commitment to work closely with the Permanent Representatives Committee to adequately implement different programmes, and shortly execute and enforce the recommendations of the internal and external auditors.
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7/7/2019 12:27:40 PM
<![CDATA[Iran says it will enrich uranium 'at any level', challenging U.S.]]>
In a news conference broadcast live, senior Iranian officials said Tehran would keep reducing its commitments every 60 days unless signatories of the pact moved to protect it from U.S. sanctions.

“In a few hours the technical process will come to an end and the enrichment beyond 3.67% will begin,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.

“And tomorrow early in the morning, when the IAEA (U.N. nuclear watchdog) takes the sample we would have gone beyond 3.67%.”

Under the pact, Iran can enrich uranium to 3.67% fissile material, well below the 20% it was reaching before the deal and the roughly 90% suitable for a nuclear weapon.

Kamalvandi said Iran would enrich uranium for use in fuelling its Bushehr power plant, to the level of 5%, confirming what Reuters reported on Saturday.

“We are fully prepared to enrich uranium at any level and with any amount,” he said.

Iran shows no sign of caving in to pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump in a confrontation that has taken on a military dimension, with Washington blaming Tehran for attacks on oil tankers, and Iran shooting down a U.S. drone, prompting aborted U.S. air strikes.

Long-tense relations between Tehran and Washington took a turn for the worse in May 2018 when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal reached before he took office, and reimposed sanctions.

Trump argues that the deal is too weak because some of its terms are not permanent, and because it does not cover non-nuclear issues such as Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional aspirations.

TEHRAN PRESSURES EUROPEAN POWERS
Iran’s announcement challenging Washington is a test of European diplomacy. The Europeans, who opposed last year’s decision by Trump to abandon the agreement, had pleaded with Iran to keep within its parameters.

Tehran has expressed frustration over what it says is the failure of European parties to the agreement to salvage the pact by protecting Iran’s economic interests from U.S. sanctions.

“European countries have failed to uphold their commitments and they are also responsible,” Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator, told the news conference in Tehran.

“The doors of diplomacy are open but what matters are new initiatives which are required.”

In a sign of heightening Western concern, French President Emmanuel Macron said he and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had agreed to seek conditions for a resumption of dialogue on the Iranian nuclear question by July 15.

Under the 2015 deal between Iran and six powers, most international sanctions against Tehran were lifted in return for limitations on its nuclear work.

Those restrictions were aimed at extending the time Iran would need to produce a nuclear bomb, if it chose to, to a year from roughly two to three months.

Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, such as power generation, and not to make bombs.

Iran’s main demand - in talks with the European parties to the deal and as a precondition to any talks with the United States - is to be allowed to sell its oil at the levels before Washington pulled out of the agreement and restored sanctions.

Iranian crude exports were around 300,000 barrels per day or less in late June, industry sources said, a fraction of the more than 2.5 million bpd Iran shipped in April 2018, the month before Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal.

Israel’s energy minister described as moderate on Sunday the announced increase of Iranian uranium enrichment but accused Tehran of breaking internationally agreed limitations on its nuclear projects and moving towards a potential bomb.

“It means ... that it is brushing off the red lines that were agreed (and) that it has begun its march, a march that is not simple, towards nuclear weaponry,” Yuval Steinitz, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, told Israel’s Ynet TV.]]>
7/7/2019 11:35:04 AM
<![CDATA[Why Iran’s nuclear blackmail gambit will fail]]>
The Islamic republic also threatened to abandon more commitments unless a solution is found with parties to the 2015 agreement.

The move to start enriching uranium above the agreed maximum purification level of 3.67 percent comes despite opposition from the European Union and the United States, which has quit the deal, the AFP reported.

President Hassan Rouhani’s order to exceed the threshold would be implemented “in a few hours” after the last technical details were sorted, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said live on state television.

In his article, Dr. John C. Hulsman said international relations so often amount to a dialogue of the deaf, with the contending powers knowing next to nothing about each other.

“After my decade in Washington, I fully accept foreign criticisms regarding America’s breezy insularity from the rest of the world. But this dangerous ignorance works both ways.

“In the decades I have lived away from the US, I must admit to finding the leaders of the rest of world equally (and often proudly) ignorant of the history, culture and way of life of the most powerful country in the world.

Dr. Hulsman added in his article that t his ignorance about America can presently be seen in the Iranian government’s ham-fisted efforts at nuclear blackmail. It is abundantly clear that Iran’s recent abrogation of its nuclear deal is at base a power play designed to leverage terrified Europeans into open defiance of the Trump administration’s policy of “maximum pressure,” and the surprisingly effective sanctions that have disrupted the already-creaking Iranian economy.

On Monday, in announcing its abrogation of the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran has heaped enormous pressure on a Europe desperate, at almost all costs, to salvage the nuclear deal after the Trump administration walked away from it. Tehran has allowed stocks of low-enriched uranium to exceed the 300-kilogram limit previously agreed. This move amounts to diplomatic signaling, letting London, Paris and Berlin know in no uncertain terms of Tehran’s flagging patience with the tattered agreement, which has yet to deliver it the hoped-for economic benefits that were the reason for the deal (from Iran’s point of view) in the first place.

More ominously, Iran has threatened — around or on July 7 — to increase the level at which it enriches uranium above the 3.7 percent limit agreed in the JCPOA to about 20 percent. While the lower figure is only enough to fuel a commercial nuclear power plant, the higher number halves the time it would take Iran to produce weapons-grade uranium, and amounts to a clear and present danger to the rest of the world.

Ideally, Iran may hope that sustained and severe European pressure will force the US to lessen its draconian sanctions on Tehran, or at the very least force Washington into allowing the EU-3 to trade in a far greater volume with Iran than has been possible, without risking devastating American secondary sanctions. It is not too much to say that Tehran’s ultimate geostrategic goal is to use its efforts at nuclear brinkmanship to prod the Europeans into directly challenging the Trump administration’s Iran policy.

The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), the European-created investment vehicle, allows goods to be bartered between Iran and European companies without involving direct financial transactions, thereby avoiding American secondary banking sanctions. But, at present, INSTEX simply does not help Iran all that much, as it is not capable of allowing for trade in the key sectors of Iran’s economy that are suffering the greatest pain, particularly the oil industry. Iran’s UN envoy Majid Takht-Ravanchi rightly describes INSTEX as “a very lovely car but without any gasoline.”

Tehran has been pressing the EU-3 to use INSTEX to establish credit lines so Iranian oil exports to Europe can be financed through it. Iran’s vital energy industry has been decimated by new US sanctions, with oil exports tumbling to a mere 400,000 barrels per day. However, at present, INSTEX only allows for trade in humanitarian goods.

However, for all Tehran’s diplomatic subtlety, this is a gambit doomed to failure due to a fundamental lack of understanding of how the present transatlantic relationship, Trump’s America, and even modern capitalism, actually work.

It is certainly an understatement to say that the Trump administration would win no popularity contests in any European capital. Saying that, for all the friction, very few European leaders see any real alternative — given their obvious relative decline — to a continued alliance with the US.

Even in the highly unlikely event the Europeans managed to create a unified stance to challenge Trump over his Iran policy, it is astronomically unlikely that the White House would blink. Trump’s fervent Jacksonian posture places a premium on retaining America’s right to independent diplomatic action above all else.

Finally, Tehran is pressuring the wrong people. European governments do not determine the rate of trade with Iran, European businesses do. The mere threat of American secondary sanctions if they dare to do business with Iran, and the fear that they might be excluded from the vital American market, has deterred almost all large European companies, including banks, from trading with the relatively unimportant Iranian market.

So Iran’s nuclear blackmail plan is surely doomed to fail, as the country’s leaders do not begin to understand the workings of the transatlantic relationship, the Trump White House, or modern capitalism itself. The only question is whether, in its brinkmanship, Tehran will go ahead with enriching to the 20 percent level. Far from breaking up the transatlantic alliance, such a move will unify it, as the EU-3 will then find it almost impossible to sustain the JCPOA. As ever, cultural ignorance has its price.]]>
7/7/2019 11:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Greeks cast their votes in parliamentary elections]]>
The vote was called three months earlier than originally planned after left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras suffered a stinging defeat in European and local elections in May and early June.

Opinion polls have suggested Greeks are set to defy the recent European trend of increasing support for populist parties, with conservative opposition party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis a clear favorite to win. ]]>
7/7/2019 10:51:01 AM
<![CDATA[Despite Egypt, EU warning, Turkey set to drill off Cyprus]]>
Last month, EU leaders warned Turkey to end its gas drilling in disputed waters or face action from the bloc, after Greece and Cyprus pressed other EU states to speak out.

In May, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry warned Turkey against any attempt to destabilize the security and stability of the Middle East.

The Egyptian minister said the ministry has been following up with great concern the recent developments regarding Turkish plans to start exploratory drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus.

"We express grave concern over Turkey's announced intention to carry out drilling activities within the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus," EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini has said in a statement.

"In this context, we urgently call on Turkey to show restraint," she added, warning that the EU would "respond appropriately to any illegal action that violated Cyprus's rights".

Turkey already has a ship off Cyprus and Cyprus issued arrest warrants for its crew in June.

The second drilling ship, Yavuz, is currently at the port of Mersin doing final tests and taking on supplies, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez was quoted as saying by Turkish state news agency Anadolu.
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7/7/2019 10:30:00 AM