Top News: Moussa Acknowledges possible Political Future for Brotherhood

Speaking to Reuters on Tuesday, Amr Moussa expressed his willingness to welcome the Brotherhood back into the political arena under the right circumstances. 


Political powers to discuss upcoming presidential elections
Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has called for an urgent meeting on Wednesday with top political figures to reach a consensus on a newly issued law governing the country’s upcoming presidential elections. Mohamed Anwar Sadat, who will be attending the meeting, applauded the move saying, “I think that if President Mansour finds that there must be a new change for the law to gain consensus, he will not hesitate to adopt it,” Leaders from the Strong Egypt, Egyptian Nationalist Movement, and Ghad Thawra criticized the meeting after they were not invited to attend. In related news, Minister of Local and Administrative Development, Adel Labib, has been quoted by satellite channel Sada al-Balad’s website as saying that the final procedures related to the upcoming presidential elections will be finalized next Sunday maximum. [Ahram Online, 3/12/2014]

Moussa acknowledges possible political future for Brotherhood
Speaking to Reuters on Tuesday, Amr Moussa expressed his willingness to welcome the Brotherhood back into the political arena under the right circumstances. Moussa told Reuters, “As long as they [Brotherhood] are following the rules, playing by the same rules as we are all playing, why should you exclude them? ….The road is open for them, if they so decide. Field candidates, get into the parliament, the ball is in their court.” Moussa is currently supporting Field Marshal Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi for president. [Reuters, 3/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • All Egyptian mosques to be placed under authority of Ministry of Endowments | Ahram Online
  • Interior Ministry: We will publish ‘true’ images of prisons | Egypt Independent


Egypt courts sentence seventy-seven Brotherhood supporters
Abdeen Misdemeanor Court, held at the low-ranking police officers’ institute, sentenced on Tuesday seventy-seven Muslim Brotherhood supporters to three years in prison over charges of rioting, blocking roads and committing violence on August 17, 2013 while protesting the dispersal of the Raba’a al-Adaweya and al-Nahda sit-ins. In a related trial, a criminal court in North Cairo decided to renew the detention of 444 Morsi supporters for forty-five more days in connection to their role in violence that occurred during the clearing of the Raba’a protests. [Egypt Independent, 3/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Criminal court begins trial of former Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mahdi Akef for insulting judiciary | Shorouk
  • Hunger-striking journalist’s detention renewed for forty-five days | DNE
  • Court upholds writer’s five-year prison sentence for insulting religion | DNE


Egypt’s finance minister expects 2-2.5 percent growth this year
Egypt’s finance minister said today he expects growth for fiscal year 2013-14 to be between 2-2.5 percent. The newly appointed minister Hany Qadry Dimian said earlier the state’s budget deficit for this fiscal year will be around 12 percent and expected it to stand at 10-10.5 percent in the next fiscal year.[Reuters, 3/12/2014]

Infrastructure incentive package doubled to EGP 60 billion
Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Mounir Fakhri Abdel Nour told the Swiss Egyptian Businessmen Association on Tuesday that “the government doubled the incentive package for infrastructure projects and rail and metro lines to EGP 60 billion,” he said. He added that the new policies aim to reduce the budget deficit from the 13.8 percent last fiscal year to 10 percent by the end of this fiscal year. [MENA, 3/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Supply Minister discusses stimulating economic and business relations between Egypt and America | Shorouk


Brotherhood students continue demonstrations on campuses
Students across Egypt continued to stage demonstrations on Wednesday protesting a recent decision to return university guards to campuses across Egypt. At Cairo University students blocked streets and chanted slogans against the transitional government. There were similar reports of demonstrations at al-Azhar and Ain Shams Universities. According to Ayman AbdAllah, head of the faculty’s security at Ain Shams, students on Tuesday broke the all the locks of the faculty building, adding that administrative security had locked the doors of different faculties along with the main gates of the main campus. [AMAY, DNE, Aswat Masria (Arabic) 3/12/2014]

Striking workers resist government attempts to regulate them
Following the previous cabinet’s resignation on February 24 amid a massive wave of labor strikes, the new Minister of Manpower Nahed al-Ashry moved to issue a controversial initiative on Sunday banning work stoppages for the next twelve months. In media statements issued Sunday, the minister also claimed that she aspires to reach a deal with employers so as to realize the demands of striking workers, with the aim of containing their anger and limiting unrest. On Tuesday, a host of independent labor unions and workers’ organizations responded to this initiative by denouncing it as being unilateral, and offering striking workers nothing in return. Doctors and pharmacists continue partial strikes at government hospitals for the fifth day demanding reform of the health system as transport workers in Alexandria continued their fourth day of strikes demanding better conditions. [Mada Masr, AMAY (Arabic), Al-Ahram (Arabic), 3/12/2014]


Security forces kill bombing suspect
A suspect from the January bombing of Cairo’s central police headquarters has been shot dead after a standoff with the police, according to a statement from the interior ministry. Mohamed Mansour al-Tokhy, wanted for alleged involvement in the bombing, was hiding in an apartment in the east Cairo district of Ain Shams when police came to arrest him. Al-Tokhy initiated the gunfight, the statement said, and was shot and killed when police returned fire. “All the legal measures were taken and the prosecution office is continuing its investigation,” the statement said. [Reuters, Ahram Online, DNE, 3/12/2014]

Bomb explodes near Israeli embassy
A bomb exploded near the Israeli embassy in Cairo late on Tuesday. There were no injuries reported. The improvised explosive device was planted on the Cairo University Bridge in front of the embassy, which is located on the third floor of an apartment building. Security sources said the explosion targeted a police car, rather than the embassy itself. The office has not been used by Israeli diplomats for at least two years, following a September 2011 attack on the embassy. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Reuters, 3/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Army spokesman: Eighteen terrorists and criminals arrested | Aswat Masriya
  • Armed forces kill seven militants and arrest ninety-four suspects | EGYNews


United States expresses concern over detainee abuse in Egypt
The United States is “deeply concerned” about reports that detained Egyptian political activists have been abused and beaten by Egypt’s security forces, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Tuesday. Activists Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel claimed during their trial on Monday that they had been beaten by security forces while being transferred from Tora Prison in southern Cairo to the courthouse a few kilometres away. “If true, there is no justification for such treatment,” Psaki declared during the State Department’s regular Tuesday press briefing. Psaki also welcomed reports that the Egyptian authorities plan to launch an investigation into the incident. The lawyers representing Douma, Maher and Adel withdrew from the court session in protest and filed a complaint over the incident. [Ahram Online , DNE, US State Dept Briefing, 3/12/2014]

Sisi in UAE promoting military cooperation
Egypt is taking its cooperation with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to a “new dimension,” said the Egyptian army spokesperson. Sisi, accompanied by a cadre of high-ranking military delegation was in the UAE to oversee the final stages of Zayed 1, a two-week long joint military exercise between the two countries. Egyptian army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi arrived in the UAE on Tuesday, where he met his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Army spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali said Wednesday that the Tuesday visit by Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the United Arab Emirates was of “purely military nature.” He said the visit seeks to shift cooperation with the Emirates to military collaboration and the exchange of expertise in that respect. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, SIS, 3/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt recloses Rafah border after three-day opening for Palestinian pilgrims | Ahram Online
  • Foreign minister arrives in Sudan to attend regional conference | DNE
  • Interior Minister discusses his view of strengthening Emirati security cooperation | EGYNews