Top News: African Union to Monitor Egypt’s Presidential Elections

The African Union will send a mission of parliamentarians, journalists and civil society representatives to monitor the upcoming presidential elections, Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said on Wednesday.

US asked Egypt to delay Morsi’s ouster says Sisi
In the second part of the first-ever media interview with presidential candidate and former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, aired on Monday, he said former US ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson requested the Egyptian army to delay the removal of Mohamed Morsi from office “for a day or two.” However, the former army chief said Patterson’s request was not heeded. “A very senior American official came and met with me at the ministry and said to me, please what (is) your advice for us because they say that you are aware of the reality, I told him the time is up. I have no advice for you,” Sisi also said. On the economy, the presidential candidate said Egyptians would see living conditions improve within two years. Heaping praise on Saudi’s King Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz, who he called a great and wise Arab, Sisi stressed that part of his plans to finance national projects are through grants from Arab states, who he said understand Egypt’s crisis. He said a lot of work is needed, spelling out Egypt’s external and internal debt at EGP 1.7 trillion ($240 billion). Speaking about the ongoing tension with Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam, Sisi said, “We should admit that we haven’t given enough effort to all our African brothers and Ethiopia, of course. Negotiations and mutual understanding are key to cooperation and solving all these issues.” Watch the second part of the interview here. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, AP, Reuters, 5/6/2014]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims Egypt approved US nominee for ambassador
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman, Badr Abdelatty, in an announcement on Wednesday said that the United States has nominated a new ambassador to Egypt. Speaking at a press conference, Atty said that Egypt approved the US choice for ambassador, state news agency MENA reported. No official announcement has been made by the US government. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 5/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Tallawy calls for 100 seats for women in upcoming parliament | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • June 30 Fact Finding committee calls for meeting to present its finding | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Sisi campaign in the Red Sea denounces shredding Sabbahi banners | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • PEC approves international election observers | DNE
  • Al-Sisi interview part of ‘systematic media campaign’ to promote ‘candidate of the State’ | DNE


Egyptian Ultras sentenced to five years in prison
A Cairo misdemeanors court sentenced in absentia twelve members of football club Ahly’s hardcore supporters, Ultras Ahlawy, to five years in prison on charges of blocking a road in October while protesting against the arrest of other members in earlier clashes with police, Al-Ahram reported. [Ahram Online, 5/6/2014]

Morsi espionage trial adjourned to May 17
The trial of former President Mohamed Morsi and thirty-five others on charges of espionage was adjourned on Tuesday to May 17, and the gag order on the case extended, the Middle East News Agency reported.  Meanwhile, the Shubra al-Kheima Criminal Court resumed on Wednesday the trial of forty-eight suspects, among them Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, over killing two persons, attempting murder of other six persons, damaging public property, attacking policemen and blocking the highway in Qalyub city in June 2013. Badie was also set to face another set of charges related to an attack on a prison in Port Said, however, the hearing has been delayed to June 4. [Mada Masr, Egypt Independent, 5/7/2014]

Court rejects Qatar terror trial on grounds it has no jurisdiction
The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters ruled on Wednesday that it has no jurisdiction over a lawsuit calling on the Egyptian government to label Qatar a “state that sponsors terrorism,” a judicial source said. Lawyer Samir Sabry filed the lawsuit accusing Doha of providing a safe haven to “terrorists” and refusing to extradite them to Egypt. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 5/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Court rejects Ezz appeal to reduce EGP 100 million bail | Egypt Independent
  • Trial of 119 Brotherhood supporters in Sohag adjourned until May 17 | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Forty-one Brotherhood leaders, members referred to trial in Sharqiya | Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian Islamist fighter jailed for insulting court during terrorism trial | Ahram Online
  • Twenty-eight Brotherhood supporters referred to trial over sabotage in Minya | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt court sentence sixteen to three years for violent clashes | Aswat Masriya


Cement firms will not wait for environmental regulations to begin importing coal
The government will allow cement firms to import coal without waiting for Ministry of Environment to devise standards to mitigate pollution, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office said Tuesday. “The decision to use coal as an energy source in the cement industry is final,” said Sherif Shawky, media counsel for interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab. “The cement firms will be committed to environmental standards currently in place until the Ministry of Environment develop the new ones. The ministry is working on it by now and it will be launched in one month.” [DNE, 5/6/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt’s stocks up on Sisi’s iron-fisted promises | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s Suez Canal March revenues rise 8.5 pct year-on-year | Reuters
  • Egypt’s president inaugurates new metro line | Aswat Masriya
  • Investment Law amendments unconstitutional for their protection of corruption: ECESR | DNE
  • Conflict over coal still smoldering | DNE
  • High-speed train shares to be offered at stock market by August | Egypt Independent
  • Finance Ministry names top players in risky bond industry | Mada Masr
  • Presidential decree approving power station loan, credit facility | SIS
  • Government denies reports that it intends to import gas from Israel | AMAY (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


One killed in clashes at pro-Sisi demonstration on Tuesday
A demonstration held by supporters of presidential candidate and former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi came under attack on Tuesday in north eastern city Qalyubia’s Khanka, leaving one dead and another injured. According to the Middle East News Agency, supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi threw Molotov cocktails at the pro-Sisi demonstrators. A nineteen year-old student reportedly passing by died in the violence and another was injured. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 5/6/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Clashes between students and staff at Cairo University | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Clashes between security and students at Al-Azhar University in Nasr City | AMAY (Arabic)


Bombs defused in Mounifeya, Cairo
A bomb squad managed Wednesday morning to defuse a bomb placed at the entrance of al-Khatatba Bridge at the city of al-Sadat, Mounifeya. The bomb was composed of a butane canister connected to a cell phone and a pesticide can. Officers managed to deflate the canister and confiscated the phone’s chip. A Cairo bomb squad defused a similar bomb in front of Barclays Bank in Zamalek on Wednesday. Authorities also swept the area in search of other possible bombs. [Egypt Independent, 5/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Police captains strike continues in Red Sea area | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Militants open fire on police officer in Daqahliya | AMAY (Arabic)


Amr Moussa meets with high-ranking American officials in Washington
Amr Moussa is currently in Washington to visit with a number of high-ranking American officials and “decision-makers” ahead of this month’s presidential elections. Moussa, head of the Constituent Assembly and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, will meet with National Security Adviser Susan Rice, members of Congress and the Senate, as well as Senator John McCain and Secretary of State John Kerry. Moussa gave an address at the Middle East Institute Tuesday in which he focused on the “positive steps taken by Egypt to implement the roadmap.” Following his speech, he met with a delegation from the US Treasury Department, during which Moussa discussed “a number of aspects of economic and trade cooperation between Egypt and the United States.” Moussa is also participating in a number of open discussions and panels with the public, which will focus on the political and economic situation in Egypt. [DNE, Shorouk (Arabic), 5/7/2014]

African Union to monitor presidential elections; Mahlab says Egypt’s AU activities to resume this month
The African Union will send a mission of parliamentarians, journalists and civil society representatives to monitor the upcoming presidential elections, Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said on Wednesday. The mission will include more than fifty observers from various African countries. The announcement came after Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy met with the African Union Peace commissioner on Monday to discuss Egypt’s role in peacekeeping forces throughout the continent as well as the Egyptian roadmap, which is entering its final stages with presidential elections looming on the horizon. In related news, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said that arrangements for resuming Egypt’s activities in the African Union (AU) would be taken during an upcoming summit to be held in Equatorial Guinea later this month. [DNE, Egypt Independent, 5/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Joint Egypt-Palestine committee calls for end of ‘Israeli siege on Gaza’ | DNE
  • Foreign Ministry preparations for Egyptian voting abroad | EGYNews (Arabic)