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July 15, 2013

Former director of the UN's nuclear agency Mohamed ElBaradei was sworn in as vice president of international relations on Sunday before Egyptian interim President Adly Mansour at presidency headquarters in Cairo. Egypt's new prime minister is putting the finishing touches on a cabinet that he says will be finalized by mid-week. 



GOVERNMENT & OPPOSITION
 
Egypt government takes shape, ElBaradei sworn in as vice president
Former director of the UN's nuclear agency Mohamed ElBaradei was sworn in as vice president of international relations on Sunday before Egyptian interim President Adly Mansour at presidency headquarters in Cairo. Egypt's new prime minister is putting the finishing touches on a cabinet that he says will be finalized by mid-week. Hazem el-Beblawi said on Saturday that the new administration will be made up of thirty members, as well as two deputies for economic and security affairs, according to MENA state news agency. Some current ministers will maintain their posts in the new cabinet, he said. Hisham Zaazou was appointed as tourism minister, a position he had filled from 2012 to 2013. Beblawi named another liberal economist, Ahmed Galal as finance minister. However, government sources also told Reuters that Beblawi will offer the finance ministry to Hany Kadry Dimian, formerly the official who oversaw Egypt's negotiations for a rescue with the International Monetary Fund. Former ambassador to the United States, Nabil Fahmy, accepted the post of foreign minister, after Egypt's current Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr decided not to continue in his post. Former tourism minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nouraccepted an offer to become Investment Minister. Beblawi also said that the social solidarity ministry — removed in the previous government — will be revived, and that the communications and information ministry will be retained despite suggestions that it be abolished. Although Doria Sharaf al-Din, tipped to become the first woman from Maspero to head the Egyptian information ministry expressed her pride at the offer, she is reportedly still considering it. Former head of the Cairo Opera House Inas Abdel Dayem as accepted an appointment as culture minister. Police general Mohamed Abu Shadi, announced he accepted an appointment as supply minister. He was formerly the senior interior ministry official responsible for investigating supply crimes. Ashraf al-Arabi has been nominated as planning minister. Beblawi also met withMohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, a candidate for minister of endowments, and Amr Shobaki, who was being considered for minister of higher education. Hossam Eissa, legal expert and former prominent member of the Dostour Party, was also being considered for the higher education minister position. Beblawi met with Ahmed al-Boraei, vice-chairman of the Dostour Party and former minister of Manpower, reportedly being considered for minister of social solidarity. Mohamed Amin al-Mahdy, international legal expert and judge is a possible candidate for minister of justice, while Laila Rashed Iskandar is being considered for minister of environment. Former MP and labour expert Kamal Abou Eita is being considered for minister of manpower. However, the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) and trade unions in several governorates staged a protest in front of the union headquarters against Abou Eita’s nomination. Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, candidate for the post of minister of international cooperation, said that the new cabinet will only focus on six main dossiers due to the body's transitional nature. The six areas of focus will be restoring security to the streets, operating factories where work has been suspended, regulating public finance, pushing the political process forward, conducting fair elections and providing resources, without increasing the budget deficit, to supply low income families with services and jobs. Bahaa-Eldin added that this would require legislation for free information. The Nour Party has declined an offer to participate in Egypt's new interim administration, according to party vice-president Bassam al-Zarqa. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Reuters, 7/15/2013]
 
No supplementary declaration: president’s advisor, calls to national reconciliation
The presidency has no intention to issue a supplementary constitutional declaration, said Ali Awad Saleh, the constitutional advisor to interim president Adly Mansour. The constitutional declaration passed last week contains many concerning elements, according to Egyptian civil society organizations. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) criticized the declaration’s approach to freedom of belief, calling on interim president Adly Mansour to amend the second paragraph of Article 7, which only guarantees freedom of belief and worship to followers of the three “divine religions”. Egypt's interim presidency will soon call for a national reconciliation initiative to put an end to the ongoing conflict following former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, according to Ahmed al-Muslimani, media advisor to Interim President Adly Mansour. The National Salvation Front (NSF) has nominated Nasserist figure Hamdeen Sabbahi, Lawyers Syndicate leader Sameh Ashour and Wafd Party boss al-Sayed al-Badawi to enter dialogue with Egypt's new government during the post-Morsi transitional period. The three are also tasked with opening dialogue channels with the presidency to foster cooperation and understanding. [DNE, Ahram Online, 7/14/2013]
 
Sisi claims Morsi overthrow supported legitimacy
Defense Minister and Armed Forces Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has reiterated claims the army's intervention in politics on July 3 sided with popular legitimacy, despite claims by supporters of Mohamed Morsi that the move represented a military coup. Sisi said Sunday that upon nationwide June 30 protests calling for the removal of Mohamed Morsi as president he advised the latter to hold a referendum on whether he should stay or leave, hinting that Morsi's rejection of this advice led to the military removing him from power July 3 and proposing a political roadmap for a new transitional period. Sisi said the military had hoped for reconciliation between the different political powers to avoid any political polarization. The statement stressed that the army “knows its place” in the modern state and “will not cross its limits,” assuring that although “recent events have forced the army to be close to the political scene,” this was not the army’s goal. It would instead focus on its primary role of “protecting the Egyptian people.” The Morale Affairs Department of the Armed Forces presented on Sunday a documentary film entitled “People’s army,” in which it stated that the events of June 30 and afterwards could not be defined as a military coup.  [Egypt Independent, Arabist, Mada Masr, DNE, 7/15/2013]
 
Muslim Brotherhood denies negotiations with army, Shura Council MPs call for support from abroad
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has denied any negotiations with the military leadership as the group and its Islamist allies continue their protests denouncing the removal of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency by the army two weeks ago. “There have been no direct or indirect negotiations until now between group leaders and the army,” MB spokesperson, Gehad al-Haddad, told the pan-Arab, London-based Asharq al-Awsat. Haddad added that “Egyptians will not accept a political role for the army now, or in the future.” Meanwhile, former parliamentarians belonging to the MB Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) held a press conference on Saturday to insist on the legality of the Shura Council. The council was dissolved, along with the suspension of the constitution, following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. "We affirm that Egypt’s constitution is still in effect, and that the military council can’t halt the constitution which the Egyptian people agreed upon in a fair and free referendum," reads the statement made by Shura Council MPs Saturday, where they gathered at the pro-Morsi sit-in in Raba’a al-Adawiya Square in Cairo. Additionally, vice-head of the Muslim Brotherhood's FJP Essam al-Erian has renewed his rejection of the roadmap launched by the armed forces following the overthrow of Morsi. [Egypt Independent, DNE, 7/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Salafi group claims Morsi did not apply Sharia | Egypt Independent
'National Popular Alliance' launched, calls for a new constitution | Ahram Online
Abdel-Moniem Aboul-Fotouh meets Azhar Grand Imam | Ahram Online
Release Morsi to solve Egypt's current strife: Social Democratic Party head | Ahram Online

COURTS & CONSTITUTION
 
Egypt's constitutional experts committee is quickly forming

Egypt's interim executive office is currently forming the legal committee that will amend the 2012 constitution before the end of the week, Judge Ali Awad, advisor of interim President Adly Mansour, said Sunday. The committee is to consist of two members from the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC), two judges, two members of the State Council and four constitutional law professors from Egyptian universities. Awad announced the SCC and State Council have already sent their nominations for the committee. According to Ahram Online they are judges Mohamed al-Shinawy and Essam Abdel-Aziz, while Egypt Independent named Mohamed al-Shinawy and Mohamed Khairy. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 7/14/2013]
 
Remaining 206 detainees on Republican Guard charges released
All remaining detainees arrested following the Republican Guard clashes were released on Sunday. At least 646 were arrested on Tuesday for complicity in clashes outside the Republican Guards headquarter Monday dawn between army forces and pro-Morsi protesters which left fifty-three civilians and four security personnel killed. The detainees were charged with murder, attempted murder, attacking public institutions and possession of weapons, among other charges. Nasr al-Hafy, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) lawyer and member of the legal team defending the detainees, denied any truth to the accusations, describing them as “fabricated.” Human Rights Watch (HRW) called upon interim president Adly Mansour to guarantee “impartial investigations of military officers and police for killings outside the Republican Guards headquarters.” The statement urged Interim President Adly Mansour to ensure that military officers and police are investigated by the civilian judiciary, which is independent both institutionally and practically from the military chain of command. The Front to Defend Egypt’s Protesters announced it will not help detainees accused of taking part in the Republican Guards clashes, refusing to defend “those who take up arms.” Ali Soliman, lawyer and Front member, said the decision was made during a meeting where the majority of the front members agreed they would not aid protesters who resorted to using arms against citizens. [DNE, Ahram Online, 7/15/2013]
 
More Brotherhood leaders arrested, assets frozen
A prosecution judge ordered on Sunday former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mahdi Akef remains in detention for four days pending further investigation in case of insulting judiciary. He, however, set bail at EGP 5,000 ($713) for Saad al-Katatny, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, on similar charges, but Katatny refused to post bail. Egyptian prosecutors froze assets, initially of fourteen senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders and other prominent Islamists as part of investigations into the incitement of violence at protests, with the figure rising to twenty-one on Monday. On Sunday state-run Middle East News Agency reported the order included Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, his deputies Khairat al-Shater and Mahmoud Ezzat, former Supreme Guide Mahdi Akef and Freedom and Justice Party chairman Saad al-Katatny. Other notable Islamists whose bank accounts were seized included Rashad Bayoumi, FJP leaders Essam al-Erian and Mohamed al-Beltagy, preacher Safwat Hegazy, the Islamist Wasat Party Vice President Essam Sultan, leaders in the Jama’a al-Islamiya movement Essam Abdel Meguid and Tarek al-Zomor, Salafi leader Hazem Salah Abu Ismail and former parliament speaker Mohamed al-Omda. On Monday MENA reported that the prosecution also ordered the freezing of the accounts of Ahmed Shousha, Mahmoud Ahmed Abu Zeid, Hossam Abu Bakr al-Seddiq, MB lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, FJP member Helmy al-Gazzar, Wasat Party President Abul Ela Mady and Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan. Egyptian banks began acting on the order on Monday morning. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, Mada Masr, DNE, 7/15/2013]
 
Morsi to be interrogated shortly
The Supreme State Security Prosecution has not yet interrogated ousted President Mohamed Morsi on charges of espionage and incitement to kill demonstrators or in the Wadi al-Natrun prisoners escape case. Prosecutors are still investigating complaints filed against Morsi and are yet to question him, a source at the prosecution office has told Ahram Online. Investigators are examining whether foreign groups such as Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah were involved in the jailbreak. Egypt's public prosecutor's office said on Saturday it had received complaints accusing Morsi and other senior leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood of spying, inciting killings of protesters and damaging the economy. Complaints such as those against Morsi are a first step in the criminal process, allowing prosecutors to begin an investigation that can lead to charges. Announcing the step was unusual: typically prosecutors wait until charges are filed. The prosecutors did not say who had made the complaints. Egyptian law allows them to investigate complaints from police or any member of the public. Heba Morayef, the Human Rights Watch Egypt director, said that Morsi’s is a very straightforward situation. “He’s being detained incommunicado, because neither he nor the ten members of his presidential team who are also detained have been allowed to communicate with their families or with a lawyer/to appoint a lawyer,” she explained. She added that Morsi has not been formally charged or brought before a prosecutor, and that his detention itself is without legal basis. Meanwhile, some political groups have also demanded former president Mohamed Morsi’s release from detention, while others have rebuked the United States for “interfering” in what they say is a sovereign issue. [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Ahram Online, DNE, 7/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
April 6 files libel charges against infamous lawyer Mansour | Ahram Online
Abu Islam imprisoned for three years for insulting Christianity | Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya

ECONOMY
 
New Egypt minister says no need for IMF aid now

Aid from Arab states will carry Egypt through its transition period, and it does not need to restart negotiations with the IMF now, the man named planning minister in the interim government said on Monday. Ashraf al-Arabi, a US-educated economist who served in the same post under deposed President Mohamed Morsi until May, joins a government led by liberal economist Hazem el-Beblawi. Beblawi has named economists to several senior posts so far. "The time is not appropriate to begin new negotiations with the IMF," al-Arabi told reporters, announcing that he had accepted the post of minister of planning. "Arab aid will enable Egypt to get through the transitional stage in a good way." [Reuters, 7/15/2013]
 
Arab aid inbound
Recent financial aid received from Arab countries will begin to be converted and sent to Egypt next week, according to Marwan Badr, aide to the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation. This includes $5bn from Saudi Arabia, $3bn from the United Arab Emirates and $4bn from Kuwait, in addition to a Bahraini aid package which is expected to be put forward soon. Kuwait has sent two oil tankers carrying crude and diesel worth $200 million to Egypt, a Kuwaiti newspaper said on Sunday, part of a $4 billion aid package pledged to Egypt. Egypt could convert part of the $12 billion of loans and grants pledged by Gulf nations this week into tradable bond securities, a lawyer working with the Egyptian government said. The lenders in question will then have the flexibility to sell the bonds to other investors, should they wish to. Qatar already has that option: Egypt recently converted $3.5 billion of Qatari loans into bonds through a newly established $12 billion Euro Medium-Term Note programme. The loans made by the other three Gulf nations might be given similar treatment. Since Morsi’s election in 2012, the Egyptian public has been very critical of Qatari aid, worrying that support of Egypt’s Islamist government was an attempt by the small gulf state to gain influence in the region. Doha agreed last month to donate five LNG tankers to help Cairo cover obligations to foreign firms. Qatar's gift of five natural gas cargoes to fuel-short Egypt will likely be signed over to the foreign partners in Egyptian export plants, GDF Suez and BG Group, as compensation for declining exports. Following a recent credit downgrade given to Egyptian banks by the Fitch Group, economic analysts said last week that the credit rating agency fails to take into account positive economic developments, particularly the country’s recent securing of $12bn in financial aid from Gulf countries. [DNE, Reuters, 7/14/2013]

Also of Interest:
Gulf aids bolsters value of local currency | DNE
Stock exchange gains LE1 billion in Sunday trading | Egypt Independent, Mada Masr
Egypt upheaval mars hopes of end to economic woes | AFP/Egypt Independent
Egyptian tourist haunts rejoice at Islamists downfall | Reuters
Egypt billionaire Sawiris family to invest "like never before" | Reuters
Egypt's total domestic debts rose to LE1.4 trillion in Q3 of 2012/13: CBE | Ahram Online
Costs of future government borrowing bogged down by uncertainty | DNE
Conflicting Reports regarding Egypt’s wheat supply | DNE
Russia urges debate on wheat aid for Egypt | Reuters
Budget transparency essential to economic recovery: report | DNE

SOCIETY & MEDIA
 
Pro-Morsi protesters plan to paralyze traffic in Cairo on Monday, threaten escalation  

The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements vowed to paralyze traffic in Cairo on Monday by organizing marches to several spots, including the Defense Ministry, the Republican Guard headquarters, and the Presidential Palace. They also said they would block several vital roads to demand the return of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. The Freedom and Justice Party’s (FJP) Facebook page urged residents of these areas to mobilize and prevent any cars from going through, except “in the case of an emergency.” Morsi’s supporters at Nahda Square also threatened on Monday to escalate protests to demand that the toppled leader be reinstated after the army overthrew him to appease demonstrators demanding early elections. On the main stage at the sit-in, speakers threatened to storm the embassies of Israel, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates for their "support of the military coup." They also threatened to "occupy Tahrir Square and clear it from perpetrators of the coup."  On Saturday, armed forces helicopters dropped printed flyers on demonstrators gathered at the Raba’a al-Adawiya sit-in assuring they will not be harmed, urging protesters to remain peaceful and avoid state institutions and security headquarters. The National Coalition to Support Legitimacy (NCSL) however alleged in a Monday statement that the army leaflets threatened protesters. In a Saturday statement, the Muslim Brotherhood said its followers are exercising their legitimate and constitutional right to protest peacefully to "restore legitimacy" and reverse what they see as a military coup. Clashes broke out in Mahalla on Sunday night between supporters and opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, resulting in minor injuries from birdshot and other weapons, leaving three injured. Governorates around the country on Friday saw demonstrations both in support and against Egypt's ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, who was removed by the army last week amid massive protests against his administration. Meanwhile, the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) said on Saturday that the Raba’a protesters tried to launch an illegal radio channel but the ERTU has stopped them. [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Ahram Online, DNE Photo Essay, 7/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt’s media embrace military after Morsi ouster | AP
Doctors’ syndicate to aid families of those killed in Republican Guards clashes | DNE
Al-Azhar condemns militants' attacks and bloodshed in Egypt's Sinai |  Ahram Online
Opposition movements call for Friday rally, says no “terrorism” in new rallies | DNE, Egypt Independent
FDEP calls for urgent investigation into violence committed since June 30 | DNE
Sectarian incitement and attacks, June 30 to July 9 | EIPR

SECURITY
 
In Egypt’s Sinai, militants intensify attacks

Militant groups in Sinai have grown bolder, striking security forces almost daily and also turning on local Christians. Some are now openly vowing to drive the military out of the peninsula on the borders with Israel and Gaza and establish an "Islamic emirate." Further fueling the turmoil is the longtime resentment among many in the Bedouin population over decades of neglect and harsh security crackdowns by the state. On Friday unknown armed assailants attacked security checkpoints in Northern Sinai, inflicting injuries among checkpoint personnel and prompting the armed forces to tighten security on the Peninsula. The militants also opened heavy fire at Rafah city council building. None of the militants have been arrested. The exact number of injured military personnel is still unknown and no deaths have been reported. “[Everyone should] connect what’s happening in Sinai with the statements released by al-Beltagy,” a military spokesperson said. Mohamed al-Beltagy, a member of the Freedom and Justice Party Executive Bureau, said in an interview last Monday that the violence in Sinai comes in response to the “military coup” and will end once former president Mohamed Morsi is reinstated. Five armed elements were killed on Friday in an ongoing military operation in Sinai, an Egyptian security source said, bringing the total number of dead to thirty-seven in the last two weeks. The same source added that another fourty-two people have been injured since June 30, state-owned news agency MENA reported Sunday.

Calm returned to the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday following a night of clashes between gunmen and the armed forces. On Saturday, news broke of a relative of Zersenay Tadese, Eritrea's first-ever Olympic medalist, being held captive in Egypt's Sinai by traffickers who are seeking a $44,000 ransom. However, a bomb exploded late Sunday in the restive region of North Sinai meters away from a military vehicle, eyewitnesses told Ahram’s Arabic-language news website. An Egyptian military source told state-owned news agency MENA that a member of a “terrorist group” was killed on Sunday as he was attempting to plant an explosive device on El-Sheikh Zuweid road in north Sinai. The source further denied media reports that the explosion happened in the vicinity of a vehicle owned by security forces.

A security source said that unknown armed assailants opened fire on an under-constitution security office in North Sinai on Monday. The source added that the assailants used RPGs in their attack, reported the state news agency MENA. A young man was killed, Selim Salem Madaan, and another twelve year-old boy was injured as attackers opened fire at a police facility under construction in central Sinai early Monday, security sources said. Also, early Monday at least three people were killed and seventeen wounded when suspected militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at a bus carrying workers in Egypt's North Sinai province, security and medical sources said. According to eyewitnesses, the attackers shouted "Allahu akbar!" (God is great) after the bus was hit. Military spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali claimed that a police truck was the actual target of the deadly assault, but the attackers had bombed the factory bus by mistake. Al-Arish residents rushed to Arish General Hospital to donate blood as several cases were severely injured and the death toll is expected to rise, according to Nasser al-Azzazy, the Daily News Egypt correspondent in Sinai. "Tightening the security measures in Sinai left tangible results, which were displayed in the confusion of the terrorist groups, who targeted the workers' bus," the military source told the Middle East News Agency.  [Reuters, 7/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Gunmen open fire on a checkpoint in Aswan | DNE
Army uncovers fuel smuggling in Sinai tunnels | DNE

REGIONAL & INTERNATIONAL
 
US official on two day visit to Cairo as United States calls for Morsi’s release

United States Deputy Secretary of State William Burns began a two-day visit to Cairo on Sunday. He met with Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and is expected to meet with interim government officials and civil society and business leaders. Burns, the first US official to visit since the overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi, will push for "an end to all violence and a transition leading to an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government" at meetings in Cairo with various parties, the US State Department said. Burns also met with interim president Adly Mansour and prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi. Spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood Gehad al-Haddad said that the group was not approached to meet with Burns. Nader Bakkar, spokesman for the Salafi Nour Party said that his party received a meeting request, denying that the party rejected the invitation but instead “apologized for not attending.” Tamarod announced that it had rejected an invitation to meet with Burns in a press conference on Monday. Meanwhile, the United States on Friday called on the Egyptian military and interim leaders to free deposed president Mohamed Morsi for the first time since he was detained over a week ago. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States agreed with Germany's earlier appeal for Morsi to be released and was "publicly" making the same request. Kefaya Movement spokesperson, Abdel Rahman al-Gohary said the request by the United States to immediately release Morsi represents an undue intervention in local affairs. Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Cairo released a statement on Saturday denying any intention to invade Egypt. “We deny false claims in Egyptian press that US naval ships are in the vicinity of the Arabian Peninsula and the Suez Canal to militarily invade Egypt,” the statement read. After having been intermittently closed over the past two weeks the US embassy in Cairo will reopen Monday. [DNE, AFP, AP, Ahram Online, Reuters, 7/15/2013]
 
Hamas leader lambasts new Egyptian regime, denies involvement
A senior Hamas official says the new Egyptian government's crackdown on militants in the Sinai Peninsula is part of an anti-Hamas campaign, the first criticism by the group of Egypt's new leadership. The Hamas leader emphasized that the movement is not in a crisis because of the situation in Egypt: “Hamas was not affected by side situations, it is an axis of its own, and it is biased to its principles.” Al-Bardawil also claimed that figures of the security department of Fatah movement, led by Maged Farag, were involved in the incitement of Hamas and the distortion of its positions through ‘fabricated accusations’, in cooperation with Egyptian media elements. Hamas member and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Mushir al-Masry said after the phone call, Hamas received a promise from the Egyptian side that Egypt will put pressure on Israel regarding its Palestinian political prisoners. According to the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Addameer, there are 4979 Palestinian political prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, and twelve of them are on hunger strikes. One of them, Ayman Hamdan, has been on hunger strike for over seventy-eight days. [AP, DNE, 7/15/2013]
 
Syrian Refugees in Egypt swept up in turmoil
Authorities at Cairo International Airport have deported a number of Syrian citizens to Beirut, after they arrived in Suez without prior security approval. Officials from Suez security directorate reportedly arrived at the airport to deport the unknown number of Syrians, putting them on an Egyptian aircraft bound for the Lebanese capital. Fourteen Palestinians were meanwhile referred to a Palestinian embassy representative after they arrived at Cairo airport on board several different flights. They will be deported to the Rafah border crossing en route to Gaza. Mohamed ElBaradei, Vice President of Foreign Affairs, Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, Deputy Prime Minister of Economic Affairs and Hamdeen Sabbahy, founder of Popular Current, commented on Arabs seeking refuge in Egypt on Saturday, expressing support for Syrian and Palestinian refugees. Nine human rights organisations also issued a statement on Saturday condemning “hate speech” from local media outlets against Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Egypt, describing it as “irresponsible” and as an “incitement that threatens more than 200,000 Syrian refugees living in Egypt under unenviable circumstances.” Meanwhile, The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, released a statement on Friday expressing its concern about new visa requirements for Syrians seeking refuge in Egypt. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in the statement: “I appeal to the Egyptian authorities, as I have to all other governments in the world, to admit and protect all Syrians seeking refuge in their country.” [AP, Egypt Independent, DNE, 7/14/2013]

Also of Interest:
United Arab Emirates pardons thirty-five Egyptians | DNE
Egypt opens Rafah border crossing for four hours | Egypt Independent,DNE
Sudan backs Ethiopian dam project | Egypt Independent
Egypt's future should include Brotherhood: Merkel | Ahram Online
Netanyahu worries about Egypt’s peace treaty | DNE
Israelis near Egypt advised to stay indoors | AP
EU's Ashton 'deeply concerned' about Egypt unrest | Ahram Online
Egyptians must exercise restraint and promote dialogue: Ethiopia | DNE
Egypt ignoring Ethiopia dam issue due to turmoil: Minister | Ahram Online
Turkey's Erdogan says Morsi 'my president' in Egypt | Ahram Online
Secretary-General of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrates in Turkey | DNE

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