Top News: Egypt Expecting $9 Billion in Aid From Gulf States: Al-Ahram

Egypt is expecting an aid package worth a total of $9.1 billion from Gulf countries within a few weeks, including $2.9 billion from the UAE, as part of a development assistance agreement.


Sabbahy warns against dangers of military president
Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahy highlighted the danger of having a military president during a television appearance Tuesday, saying that a popular uprising against such a head of state could jeopardize the military institution. The military would take the side of the public in a revolt against a civilian president, but a similar act against a president who hailed from its own ranks would put Egypt’s Armed Forces in a difficult position, Sabbahy said during an interview with private satellite channel Dream TV. In the event that he does not win, he said he will not accept any governmental post or become engaged within the presidential team.  [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 2/19/2014]

Nour Party, Tamarod tear into Anan
Two key members of the alliance that ousted former President Mohamed Morsi took aim at former General Sami Anan ahead of what could be a run for the top office. Mohamed al-Nabawy, a Tamarod spokesperson called Anan a “failed political personality.” Nabawy insinuated to the privately owned daily Al-Masry Al-Youm Tuesday that Anan was running for personal monetary gain, and tied his potential candidacy to the Muslim Brotherhood. He said the former general, who was appointed by Morsi as an adviser after he was forcibly retired by the president, should have resigned. Yasser Borhamy, the head of the Salafi Dawah, the parent organization of the Nour Party, also tore into Anan’s presidential ambitions, attributing Anan’s candidacy to “psychological issues.” Anan was Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s superior until he was forcibly retired by Morsi. He also said that the Nour Party will send a questionnaire to Anan to assess his “qualifications.” [Mada Masr, Egypt Independent, 2/19/2014]

Also of Interest:
Cabinet decrees disputed territory of Halayeb a city | Mada Masr, Egypt Independent, SIS
Army arrests two people organizing conference to nominate Sisi for president | Egypt Independent
Cabinet meeting chaired by Beblawy to discuss security situation after Taba bombing and urgent economic plan | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
Egypt’s PM says militants threaten tourists, aim to undermine political roadmap | Reuters
Review of presidency draft law to be completed within a week | Egypt Independent


Mubarak appears in court; Embezzlement trial adjourned to March 19
A Cairo criminal court adjourned the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak and his aides to March 19. Mubarak, and his sons Alaa and Gamal, as well as four new defendants, are accused of illegally spending over 100 million Egyptian pounds, from public funds, on the renovation of presidential palaces. Mubarak appeared in court and denied charges of stealing public funds, one of four cases against him, state television showed. “I do not agree … It never happened,” he said, sitting behind a wired mesh cage in the courtroom and wearing a suit. [Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters, 2/19/2014]

Prosecution interrogating Saint Catherine hikers, blocks transfer to Cairo
Surviving members of a group of hikers stranded for days in a Saint Catherine blizzard are currently being interrogated by prosecutors, El-Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation and Torture Victims announced Wednesday. Requests for the transfer of the surviving four members of the Saint Catherine hikers, who are currently recovering in Saint Catherine Hospital, have been blocked by prosecutors who are currently questioning the survivors. The names of the four are listed as Yousra Moneer, Mahmoud Abbas, Maha El Aswad, and Ihab Qotb. The body of the final hiker, Mohamed Ramadan, was found midday Wednesday. Four of the original eight members of the party died in a blizzard that kept them trapped in the isolated Bab al-Donya Mountain since Saturday. Meanwhile, state run EgyNews reports that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered on Wednesday an army airplane to transport the bodies of the deceased back to Cairo. The bodies will then be handed over to the families of the victims.  [DNE, EGYNews (Arabic), 2/19/2014]

Prosecution requests delegating ten lawyers to defend Morsi in espionage lawsuit
The Lawyers Syndicate a received letter from supreme state security prosecution delegating ten lawyers to defend toppled President Mohamed Morsi and thirty-five other Muslim Brotherhood members, according to request by the Cairo Criminal Court which reviews the espionage lawsuit. The lawsuit was postponed to February 23 until lawyers are delegated as the defense withdrew during the last session. Sameh Ashour, chief of the syndicate, said they have begun communication with lawyers and that some lawyers rejected to take charge of the defense in the lawsuit, while others accepted. Although some prominent lawyers accepted to defend Morsi and other suspects, the ten-member list hadn’t been completed yet, Ashour said, adding that the names will be declared once the list is completed and will be sent to Court of Appeal to hand it over to the Criminal Court, which reviews the lawsuit. [Egypt Independent, 2/19/2014]

Also of Interest:
Trial of Sinai militants for killing of twenty-five police conscripts begins Wednesday | Ahram Online
Trial of Jordanian ‘spy for Israel’ postponed to March 17 | Ahram Online, AMAY (Arabic)
Top Egyptian judge lashes out over corruption claims | Ahram Online
Essam Sultan case adjourned until March 16 | DNE
Travel ban for former Al-Ahram officials under corruption investigation | Ahram Online
Trial of seventeen Brotherhood members begins in Wadi Gedid amid tight security | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt expecting $9 billion in aid from Gulf states: Al-Ahram
Egypt is expecting an aid package worth a total of $9.1 billion from Gulf countries within a few weeks, including $2.9 billion from the UAE, as part of a development assistance agreement. Egypt’s Al-Ahram reported the news on Tuesday quoting an “informed government source”, stating that UAE Minister of State Sultan Ahmad Algaber is due in Egypt to follow up on the $1 billion of the pledged out of the $4.9 billion fuel and gas deal that has already been paid. The source also claimed that Hussein Alnuwais, chairman of UAE’s Khalifah Monetary Fund, is preparing to send a further $200 million fund for small and medium Egyptian enterprises. Additionally, the Saudi Development Fund, the Islamic Bank for Development and the Kuwaiti Fund are expected to discuss loans worth $2 billion for Egypt. [World Bulletin, 2/19/2014]

Also of Interest:
Central Bank of Egypt earmarks $1.44bn for low-cost housing | Reuters
Fitch rates Egypt outlook ‘stable’, but deems quick recovery ‘unlikely’ | DNE


Government promises fail to satisfy Mahalla strikers
An attempt by Investment Minister Osama Saleh to end a strike by textile workers in Mahalla is unlikely to succeed, according to a labor activist. Saleh said he expected strikers to return to work at the state-owned Mahalla Spinning and Weaving Company on Wednesday. The strike entered its tenth day on Wednesday, with around 20,000 workers demanding a minimum wage, back pay of yearly bonuses, the removal of the company’s head and the head of the firm’s holding company. Saleh has promised to appoint a new board that will include “experienced members,” Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported. But implementation of the EGP1,200 minimum wage would have to comply with regulations set by the National Wages Council, he added. Accordingly, a committee will be formed to examine the current wage structure at all public textile companies. Kamal al-Fayoumy, a striking worker and labor activist, told Ahram Online that workers had rejected the minister’s proposals. [Ahram Online, DNE, 2/19/2014]

Also of Interest:
Ensemble Bokra: Egypt’s new formation with big plans | Ahram Online
Alexandria murder case drug-related: investigators | Ahram Online
International media calls for release Australian journalist Peter Greste | Ahram Online
Footballer Salah Amin investigated for flashing political sign during match | Egypt Independent
Train transporting wheat crashes in Damietta, no injuries | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
Thousands of doctors participate in partial strike | AMAY (Arabic)
Doctors: 45 percent participation in strikes at government hospitals | AMAY (Arabic)
The Arab Organization for Human Rights launches guide for legal empowerment of the poor | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
No clear answers from fact-finding committee for post-30 June violence: NGOs | DNE
Eleven demonstrators arrested for protesting without a permit released on bail | DNE
Thirty-seven students sentenced for illegal protests in Alexandria | Ahram Online


Owner of bombed tourist bus says police do not secure tourists
Margret Awad, owner of Craft tourist agency and the Taba tourist bus that was bombed, said that tourist buses are not secured enough by tourism police. The tourist bus was hit on Sunday by a blast near the city Taba in Egypt. Four persons, including three South Koreans and the Egyptian driver, were killed and another fourteen injured. The bombing is believed to have been carried out by a suicide bomber. Awad accused the Interior Ministry of negligence, saying they were reluctant to secure tourist groups in Sinai.  [Egypt Independent, 2/18/2014]

Also of Interest:
Conscript injured in attack on police patrol at Egypt-Israel border | Aswat Masriya
Five arrested, sixty-three terrorist attacks thwarted in military campaigns in Sinai | AMAY (Arabic)
Two arrested over manufacturing bombs in Mohandiseen | Egypt Independent
From desert hideout, shadowy Ansar militants rattle Egypt | Reuters


Kerry to continue conversations with Egypt leaders in ‘coming days’
US Secretary of State John Kerry has said he hopes to meet with Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi soon. During a short visit to Tunisia on Tuesday, while he refused to say publicly what Egypt’s military-appointed leaders could learn from Tunisia, he did say the United States would be continuing those conversations in private in the “coming days and weeks.” At a press conference at the US Embassy in Tunis, Kerry said he would also continue to communicate and “engage” with interim President Adly Mansour, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy and Sisi, saying that constant communication with the Egyptian side was “the appropriate way to deal with lessons or differences between how countries may approach a particular issue.” These comments come after Sisi, met on Tuesday with a United States Congress delegation headed by Mike Rogers, chairman of the House of Intelligence Committee at the Congress, according to an armed forces spokesman Ahmed Mohamed Ali. The meeting included discussions on several issues of joint interest as well as regional and international changes, Ali said.  [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 2/19/14]

Also of Interest:
Prominent Lebanese politician Saad al-Hariri meets Egypt’s leaders in Cairo | Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic)
South Korea to evacuate citizens in Egypt after Taba bus blast | Egypt Independent
Irrigation Minister: Renaissance Dam will drown Khartoum in 20m of water | Egypt Independent
Egyptian ambassador in Moscow: Russia supports Egypt in its war against terrorism | Shorouk (Arabic)
Russian military delegation to visit Egypt | Ahram (Arabic)
Protesters in London demand an end to Egypt’s crackdown | DNE
German foreign ministry condemns Taba attack | Shorouk (Arabic)