European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is scheduled to meet with a wide range of high-ranking government and public officials during this week, according to a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


FJP welcomes international efforts to resolve crisis; MB will not backtrack on Morsi reinstatement
Khaled Hanafy, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, has welcomed international efforts to resolve Egypt’s ongoing political crisis. Hanafy, also a member of the pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, was responding to news of the latest visit of EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton. The Freedom and Justice Party website quoted Hanafy as saying that legitimacy could not be compromised in order to be honest with the country. The Muslim Brotherhood has also said it will not step back from its demand to end the “fascist military coup” and reinstate Mohamed Morsi as Egyptian president. The group’s secretary general, Mahmoud Hussein, referred to a call by presidential adviser Ahmed al-Muslimany for Brotherhood defectors to enter dialogue with the new government “dubious,” claiming it was timed to fit in with a visit from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. He also disassociated the Brotherhood from the youth that met with al-Muslimany earlier this week. [Egypt Independent, EGYNews (Arabic), 10/2/2013]

Egypt army chief calls for quick transition to elections; NSF undecided on candidate
Egypt’s army chief called on Tuesday for a quick transition to elections in order to restore stability to the country. Meanwhile, a leftist faction in the National Salvation Front (NSF) has proposed supporting a presidential bid by Hamdeen Sabbahi, but the front as a whole has not yet decided on a candidate. At a meeting on Tuesday, NSF members prioritized discussing constitutional amendments and parliamentary elections, which are scheduled to take place before presidential polls. Initially, members agreed the front would file two parliamentary election lists, one for the national leftist camp and one for liberals, but is now studying how a unified list may improve their chances in the polls. [Reuters, Ahram Online, 10/1/2013]

Also of Interest:
Government denies intention to reshuffle cabinet after Eid al-Adha | Shorouk (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic)


Constituent Assembly finalize articles on Shura Council; Warns against using mosques to mobilize voters
A number of committees within the Constituent Assembly have finished drafting new articles, in particular the Freedoms and Rights Committee which has presented a new article regarding physically disabled citizens, according to Mohamed Salmawy, spokesman for the assembly. In a press conference held regarding the amendment of Article 64, which allows citizens to participate in public life, a sentence was added forbidding the use of places of worship for the purpose of political mobilization, and granting every citizen the right to campaign in elections. Text was further added holding the state accountable for protecting the rights and freedoms of Egyptians living abroad, and encouraging them to take part in state development. The committee also announced on Tuesday that the Senate Council – replacing the Shura Council as the upper chamber of Parliament – would have a separate electoral law to wider parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, a source revealed to Shorouk that committee head, Amr Moussa is exploring options for cancelling the farmer and worker quotas in the parliament.  A forum assembled by private-owned daily Tahrir drafted and submitted recommendations to the fifty member constituent assembly tasked with amending the 2012 constitution. On the topic of military trials, Tamarod representative Mohamed Abdel Aziz said that preventing military trials for civilians should not come at the expense of the army’s prestige. Kamal al-Helbawy told Shorouk that the final draft should be ready within two weeks. [Ahram Online, SIS, DNE, Shorouk (Arabic), 10/2/2013]

Egypt’s ex-information minister to be arrested
A Cairo prosecution office on Wednesday ordered the arrest of former information minister Salah Abdel-Maqsoud. He is accused of involvement in the theft of two TV broadcast vehicles during the pro-Morsi Rab’aa al-Adawiya sit-in in Cairo’s Nasr City that took place between June 28 and August 14. Abdel-Maqsoud is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood from which former president Mohamed Morsi hails. He was appointed information minister in Prime Minister Hisham Qandil’s cabinet in August 2012. [Ahram Online, EGYNews (Arabic), 10/2/2013]
Also of Interest:
Brotherhood to file new lawsuit fighting court ban | Ahram Online
Activists arrested during Khaled Said retrial released | EGYNews (Arabic)  

Egypt’s economy to miss government growth forecasts
Egypt’s economy will only grow 2.6 percent in the fiscal year ending June 2014, well below the 3.5 percent the government expects to achieve, according to a Reuters poll that saw economists cutting forecasts again. It was the second lowering of expectations in five months and portends growth much slower than needed to generate jobs for Egypt’s disaffected youth. [Reuters, 10/1/2013]

Egypt halts tourism with Iran, cites security concerns
Egypt halted tourism activities with Iran on Tuesday citing security concerns, a Tourism Ministry spokeswoman said, further distancing itself from Tehran after former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi tried to improve ties. “At the moment the security situation does not allow the ministry to support travel with Iran, including flights and tourist visits,” spokeswoman Rasha Azaizi said, without giving details. Tourism Minister Hesham Zaazou gave similar statements on satellite channel, Dream TV on Tuesday. [Reuters, Mada Masr, SIS, 10/2/2013]

Also of Interest:
Developmental projects to be carried out in Upper Egypt: Abdel Nour | EGYNews (Arabic)
ETUF denies responsibility for unemployment benefits | DNE
New mandatory pricing list: a merchant’s nightmare | Egypt Independent
Stock market earns EGP 2.4 billion in day’s trading | Egypt Independent,
Petroleum Minister: Twenty-one agreements with investments of $700 million | SIS
Amendments in Egypt’s general budget | DNE
Ministers of Finance, Planning and Investment develop economic road map | DNE
Ministry of Investment discusses establishment of Italian industrial zone in Egypt | Ahram Gate (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic)


Morsi supporters stage over 400 protests in September as unrest continues
Egypt saw at least 969 demonstrations during September, 80 percent of which were staged for political reasons, according to a Democracy Index report issued on Wednesday. The report cited that around 42 percent of the protests were arranged by the Muslim Brotherhood, who staged 408 demonstrations in September. The latest protest in Cairo erupted into clashes between supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and opponents of the deposed Islamist leader in Tahrir Square on Tuesday were quickly subdued. Shortly after arriving in Tahrir, shop owners, vendors and passersby attacked the approximately 100 protesters with rocks. Riot police then moved in and dispersed the crowd. Al-Ahram reported that police arrested several protesters in the aftermath. Clashes have also erupted between Morsi supporters and residents in Suez and Beni Suef. A security source told Shorouk that the police will not allow rallies staged by pro-Morsi protesters because the protests are causing “chaos.” [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Reuters, AMAY (Arabic), EGYNews  (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 10/1/2013]        

Protests continues at Egyptian universities as Mansoura students clash
Students at Mansoura University clashed on Tuesday in arguments over the current political crisis. The disputes led to violent conflict between students who support the military and others who support ousted former president Mohamed Morsi. The two groups hurled stones against each other due to conflicts over an exhibition on the October 6 war. Sources from the university said the student hospital received fourteen injured students. Meanwhile, in Cairo, hundreds of students rallied at Cairo University on Tuesday afternoon to protest against Egypt’s interim government. Demonstrating under the banner of Students Against the Coup, over 500 people participated in a march from the university’s Faculty of Commerce toward Nahda Square—the scene of a mass sit-in for weeks after Morsi’s July 3 ouster. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, DNE, 10/1/2013]

Also of Interest:
Armed forces distributes food in Assiut | EGYNews (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic)
Tamarod’s Mahmoud Badr not opposed to Sisi’s candidacy for presidency | Shorouk (Arabic)
Jama’a al-Islamiya praises ElBaradie’s standpoint | AMAY (Arabic)  
Jama’a al-Islamiya participates in Muslim Brotherhood’s protests in October 6 | AMAY (Arabic)
Tamrod calls for mass protests on Sunday | Ahram Gate (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic)


Egypt releases schoolchildren arrested for Morsi protest
Egyptian authorities have released without charge a group of school pupils who had been arrested a day earlier for protesting at their school, security sources told Ahram Online. Seven pro-Muslim Brotherhood pupils were arrested on Monday as they arranged a protest at a preparatory school east of Cairo and refused to attend their classes.  Egyptian children attend preparatory school between the ages of twelve and fourteen. [Ahram Online, 10/1/2013]

Also of Interest:
Suez Canal is secured: Second Army’s commander-in-chief | EGYNews (Arabic)
Security forces arrest twenty-two in Northern Sinai | EGYNews (Arabic)
Security forces hunt down gunmen in Minya | DNE
Army removes some concrete barriers around Tahrir Square | Shorouk (Arabic)
Jama’a al-Islamiya member arrested in Minya | Egypt Independent


Ashton in Cairo to press for Brotherhood reconciliation
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is scheduled to meet with a wide range of high-ranking government and public officials during this week, according to a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The visit aims at exploring the possibilities for a return to reconciliation in which all sides can participate. While Ashton and Amr Moussa discussed the constitution writing process, he denied that they discussed the release of Muslim Brotherhood leaders from prison. Moussa highlighted the fact that the European position toward Egypt is now positive and demonstrates more understanding of the latest political developments. Ashton also met with al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb. Al-Tayyeb affirmed the fact that al-Azhar is a religious institution not a political one. In addition, Ashton met with foreign minister Nabil Fahmy. According to a statement distributed by the Foreign Ministry after the meeting, Fahmy and Ashton discussed bilateral relations between Egypt and the EU, particularly the EU’s assistance to Egypt, trade, ways to attract investments and recommendations proposed by the joint Egypt-EU Task Force which took place in November 2012. Meanwhile, Ashton aims at promoting reconciliation between Egypt’s interim administration and the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Ahram reported. She plans to meet representatives from al-Nour Party and Freedom and Justice Party to discuss reconciliation efforts. [Ahram Gate (Arabic) , Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Mada Masr, SIS, Shorouk (Arabic), Egypt Independent, DNE, 2/10/2013]

United States banks $584 million in Egypt aid for safe-keeping
The United States is depositing $584 million in remaining 2013 military aid for Egypt into a federal bank account as the US administration reviews whether to release the funds, an official said Tuesday. The final tranche of some $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt has not yet been disbursed amid political upheavals in the North African nation. With the end of the fiscal year looming, the State Department decided to protect the funds by depositing them in an account it controls in order to stop them being gobbled up when the books were closed on Monday, September 30. “The end of the fiscal year was yesterday, so we did recently obligate the remaining FY 2013, which would expire on September 30th unless obligated,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. But she insisted “the president still has flexibility here. We still have the ability to control kind of how this is used.” [AFP, 10/1/2013]

Also of Interest:
Detention of two in Egypt mars relations: Canada | Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Online
Tunisian ambassador to return to Cairo Tuesday after two-month absence | Egypt Independent