Egypt’s interior minister has warned that his forces can use deadly force to counter any assault against public facilities in a message coming just ahead of a planned protest by Islamist group, the Salafi Front, on November 28. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said Tuesday, forces will use “all means,” including the use of firearms, in the face of “incitement … by terrorist factions.”


Egypt’s secular opposition closes ‎in on Salafist Nour Party
Egypt’s secular political forces are doing their ‎best to eliminate a major rival from their way: the ‎ultraconservative Salafist Nour Party.‎ Political analyst Osama ‎al-Ghazali Harb claims that ‎all secular political forces agree that the Nour Party is ‎not just an obstacle on their way to a ‎sweeping success in the coming parliamentary ‎polls: “It is also a big threat to Egypt’s political ‎life, which should be based on the constitutional ‎principle of separating religion from politics,” ‎said Harb. ‎Joining the fray, Ahmed al-Zind, Judges Club chairman, has also publicly ‎called upon President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to ‎move against Islamist parties. Egypt’s private media has also done its best to ‎tarnish Nour’s image and accusing its leaders of ‎fomenting dissent and chaos. Tawfik Okasha, the owner of the private ‎television channel of Faraeen, accused Nour ‎of funding terrorist acts in Egypt. In response to the above campaign, Nour has ‎surprisingly opted to be on the defensive. The ‎only offensive action, said Nour’s leading ‎official Ashraf Thabet, was that the party decided ‎to file lawsuits against some media personalities who ‎led the campaign against it, using false ‎information.‎ [Ahram Online, 11/25/2014]


Court revokes decision confiscating assets of allegedly Brotherhood-affiliated schools
An administrative court in Cairo revoked on Tuesday a decision by the minister of justice ordering the confiscation of the assets of nine schools and firms allegedly affiliated with Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood. School representatives argued that the schools are not affiliated with the Brotherhood and therefore do not fall under the court order’s mandate. The schools are owned by businessmen who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood. [Aswat Masriya, 11/25/2014]

Mubarak-era Ezz’s fine for steel monopoly reduced
The Court of Cassation reduced on Tuesday a fine Mubarak-era’s steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz was ordered to pay for steel monopoly from 100 million Egyptian pounds to 10 million Egyptian pounds. The same fine was also reduced, in the same amount, to Alaa Abul Kheir, from the Ezz Dekheila Steel Company, said Ezz’s lawyer Farid al-Deeb. Ezz has already paid 40 million Egyptian pounds, Deeb said, adding that his client will take the necessary measures to reclaim the 30 million Egyptian pounds he is now owed following Tuesday’s sentence. [Aswat Masriya, 11/25/2014]

Also of Interest
Court lifts travel ban on Mubarak grandchildren | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Court cancels cabinet decision to ban Halawet Rouh movie | Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Lawyers of Al Jazeera reporter urge his release | AP
Court to decide ruling on February 21 over the case of exporting gas to Israel | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Espionage trial of four, including two Mossad officers, postponed to December 2 | EGYNews (Arabic)
Court rejects five visitation requests by wives of Brotherhood prisoners | EGYNews (Arabic)
Forty-five Brotherhood members detained fifteen days pending investigation in Sharqiya | EGYNews (Arabic)
Thirteen “extremists” transferred to Cairo criminal court from Tanta for targeting state institutions | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Trial calling for postponement of parliamentary elections adjourned to December 2 | EGYNews (Arabic)


Free trade area to be launched in Egypt
Africa’s largest free trade area is set to be launched next month during a heads of states summit in Cairo. The tripartite free trade area would bring together the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and aims to boost intra–regional trade, increase foreign investment and promote the development of cross-regional infrastructure. The free trade area also known as Grand Free Trade Area will have a combined population of 625 million people and gross domestic product of $1.2 trillion. [KBC, Bernama, 11/24/2014]

Large share of foreign aid goes to private sector, government, says international cooperation minister
A large percentage of the amounts agreed upon with international funding agencies will go to the private sector according to Minister of International Cooperation Naglaa al-Ahwany. She added that grants and loans obtained by the government were not for government projects funded by the state.  “The loans and grants come in through the Ministry of International Cooperation and most are directed toward the private sector,” al-Ahwany said. The ministry is currently working to provide technical and financial support to private sector companies “and it is not limited to financial support,” she explained. Al-Ahwany said that most funding organizations work with the private sector in Egypt, as US aid programs were valued at $140 million last year. [DNE, 11/24/2014]

Also of Interest
Unified investment law’s fate in the hands of legislative reform committee | DNE
Sudan to invest in Damietta logistics project | DNE
Egypt in talks to import Cypriot natural gas | AP, Egypt Independent, Reuters
PM: Egypt to offer forty investment projects in economic conference | SIS
Al-Futtaim to invest $700 million in Egypt after dispute settled | Reuters
UAE fund to provide $200 million in loans to microfinance projects in Egypt | Reuters
National road project to be completed in one year, says transport minister | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Suez Canal project plans to be finalized in six months, will provide 1 million jobs | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Sisi says Egypt adopts market economy, and welcomes private investment | Allafrica


Egypt minister warns of lethal force ahead of November 28 protests
Egypt’s interior minister has warned that his forces can use deadly force to counter any assault against public facilities in a message coming just ahead of a planned protest by Islamist group, the Salafi Front, on November 28. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said Tuesday, forces will use “all means,” including the use of firearms, in the face of “incitement … by terrorist factions.” The interior ministry also announced on Monday the arrest of five members of the Salafi Front, on charges of inciting violence and plotting to organize protests. Meanwhile, Egypt’s centrist Strong Egypt party issued a statement confirming it will not participate in the demonstrations. The April 6 Youth Movement is also due to hold a press conference on Wednesday to explain the reasons behind its “final decision” for not taking part in the protests. Meanwhile, the Salafi Call, which has rejected the call to protest, issued instructions to stop all its conferences and religious lessons for fear of attacks. [AP, Egypt Independent, DNE, 11/25/2014]

Also of Interest
Christian pro-Morsi campaigner arrested at Cairo airport | Ahram Online
Students Against the Coup threatens more road blocks | DNE
At least seventeen killed in Egypt by building collapse | AP, Mada Masr, DNE, The Guardian, Ahram Online
Interior Minister: Right of peaceful expression is guaranteed | SIS
Campaign urges Egyptians to help draft healthcare bill | Mada Masr, Al-Monitor


Controversial preacher Mahmoud Shaaban arrested
Security forces arrested late Monday Mahmoud Shaaban, a recently suspended preacher at al-Azhar University, accusing him of “inciting violence,” a security source said. Shaaban was arrested after performing the evening prayer at a mosque in the Zeitoun neighborhood in eastern Cairo, the source added. He was reportedly transferred to the prosecution right away to begin its investigation. Azhar University suspended Shaaban earlier in November over allegations that he incited violence. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 11/25/2014]

Evacuation of North Sinai buffer zone complete
Egypt’s security forces have cleared 500 meters on the eastern border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip of houses, concluding the first phase of a “buffer zone” it is creating in Sinai, the North Sinai governor said on Tuesday. Governor Abdel Fattah Harhour said all 802 houses previously existing in the area have been demolished, including 122 which were already destroyed before the evacuation operation started. Brigadier General Mohamed Abdel Moneim, head of the North Sinai Governorate Office, said that so far more than 100 million Egyptian pounds have been disbursed to compensate the families that have been displaced from their homes. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 11/25/2014]

Also of Interest
Suez national security arrests “extremist” affiliated to ISIS | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Sound bomb detonates in Cairo’s Zeitoun | Ahram Online
Legislative reform panel approves bill for blacklisting terrorist entities | SIS
Nine Muslim Brotherhood members arrested in Alexandria | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egyptian leader meets pope, Italian premier
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi on Monday, with the two leaders affirming their commitment to fighting terrorism and establishing stability in the Mediterranean region. Renzi identified Libya, mired in conflict, as key to tackling both issues, as well as immigration as the point of departure for the vast majority of smugglers’ boats bringing migrants to Italy. Sisi also held a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, in which they discussed means of boosting relations between the two countries, cooperation in the economic, investment, transport, industry and tourism fields, as well as discussing the Mideast peace process, developments in Libya and Syria and combating terrorism. Pope Francis and Sisi exchanged warm greetings during a private meeting in which the pontiff emphasized Egypt’s role in establishing peace in the Middle East. Pope Francis also urged Sisi to ensure peace during his country’s political transition. Sisi left Rome on Tuesday afternoon, heading to Paris, where he will meet with French President Francois Hollande, as well as the French heads of parliament and senate. [AP, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), DNE, Ahram (Arabic), 11/25/2014]

Sisi approves amendment to aid deal between Egypt, US
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi approved a new amendment to an assistance deal between Egypt and the United States over providing support for Egyptian utilities, Presidential Spokesman Alaa Youssef said. The amendment of the deal, which was originally inked in 1997, is meant to add $2.893 million to complete water and sewage services in a number of towns nationwide. In addition, antiquities minister Mamdouh al-Damati said the US Department of State has agreed to curb any bid to import smuggled Egyptian artifacts into the United States. Damati said his ministry is working on fine-tuning legal measures to sign a memorandum of understanding in that regard. [SIS, 11/25/2014]

Also of Interest
Libya, economy likely to top Egypt’s visit to Italy, France, says experts | Ahram Online
Egypt welcomes ‘great success’ of Bahrain elections | DNE
Influential countries support Egypt’s membership in UN Security Council, says foreign ministry | Egypt Independent, SIS, Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
Egypt to take part in African-Polish forum next week | Egypt Independent
FM: Egypt attaches great importance to cooperation with Africans | SIS