Top News: Egypt’s Army Sometimes Operates Beyond Border to ‘Chase Smugglers’ Says Libyan Foreign Minister

Egypt’s army sometimes operates in Libya when pursuing illegal smugglers, Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed al-Dairi has revealed. In an interview published on Friday by London-based publication Al-Hayat, Dairi said, “Egyptian forces have no presence on Libyan soil, except for when they cross the border to pursue smugglers, something which happens in collaboration with Libya.” The border covers some 1,000 kilometers and has represented a serious threat to Egyptian security in recent years, with smugglers exploiting it to get weapons and militants in and out of Egypt. During his visit to New York, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi discussed the challenge that the influx of weapons and fighters from Libya presents to Egyptian national security. [Ahram Online, 10/2/2015]      


Egypt dismisses 186 appeals against parliamentary candidates
Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court rejected 186 appeals aiming to disqualify candidates from contesting the coming elections for the House of Representatives. The court will hold a hearing session for six appeals Friday, and has referred forty-four appeals to specialized circuits also to be reviewed on the same day. These include an appeal by Mubarak-era politician and steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz who is challenging the Supreme Elections Committee’s decision to reject his candidacy applications. This is the second time Ezz is excluded from the initial list. He was rejected last February before the elections were postponed by court order. Meanwhile, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Magdy al-Agaty told privately owned news site Al-Bawaba on Thursday that the House of Representatives (formerly known as the People’s Assembly) is undergoing renovations in order to accommodate the increased number of members of parliament from 508 to 596. [Aswat Masriya, 10/2/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Conflicting statements reveal further divisions within Brotherhood | Mada Masr


Final ruling on Adel Habbara’s death sentence expected November 14
An Egyptian criminal court referred on Thursday the case of jihadist Adel Habara and thirty-four others to the Grand Mufti after sentencing him for his involvement in the killing of twenty-five Egyptian soldiers in Rafah in August 2013. Referral to the Mufti is a procedural step when death sentences are issued. Although the Mufti’s rulings are not binding, it is customary for the court to adopt them. The final verdict will be pronounced on November 14. Habara was sentenced to death last December in this case. On Tuesday, another court upheld the death sentence against Habara on charges of starting a terrorist group, contacting the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), and engaging in violent acts targeting the police and army. [Aswat Masriya, AMAY, 10/1/2015]


Egypt to sign EUR 240 million deal with Siemens to establish electricity transmission stations
Egypt will sign an agreement with the German industrial company Siemens to establish six new electricity transmission stations for EUR 240 million ($268 million), Ministry of Electricity Spokesperson Mohamed al-Yammany told Ahram Online on Thursday. Siemens will establish transmission stations at a capacity of 500/220 Kilovolt in eighteen months, he said. Yammany said the transmission stations will serve power plants located in Burullus on the north coast, Upper Egypt’s Beni Suef, and the planned administrative capital. Siemens signed a $9 billion deal in June with the Egyptian government to establish three high efficiency natural gas power plants and wind power installations. [Ahram Online, 10/1/2015]

Jordan, Egypt discuss energy cooperation, engage Iraq
Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek al-Molla met on Thursday to discuss bilateral relations and energy cooperation. Jordanian Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif and Egyptian Ambassador to Jordan Khaled Tharwat were also present. Jordan hopes to increase cooperation in the recently discovered Zohr gas field. Ensour stressed Jordan’s interest in importing gas from Egypt. Molla said that development of the Zohr natural gas field would bring benefits to both countries. The discussion also highlighted the importance of the Iraqi oil pipeline, planned to be built between Basra and Aqaba. A Jordanian-Egyptian delegation is due to visit Baghdad to examine plans for the pipeline and the possibility of extending it to Egypt. [Jordan Times, SIS, 10/1/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt to include new Suez Canal logo on the half pound coin | Ahram Online
  • Mercosur agreement opens outlets for Egyptian products in Latin America, says Trade Minister | SIS
  • More Indian investments to come to Egyptian market says diplomat | SIS


Six human rights organizations demand release of pardoned activist
Six human rights organizations called for the release of activist Nahed Sherif, known as Nahed Bibo, who was among the 100 detainees pardoned by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Eight days after the pardon was issued, Sherif has yet to be released. Nazra for Feminist Studies and five other human rights organizations issued a statement on Thursday demanding Sherif’s release. In the statement, the rights groups said they hold the Interior Ministry responsible for her physical and psychological condition. [AMAY, 10/1/2015]

Parents protest in several governorates for better school conditions
Parents are protesting poor school conditions as their kids return to the classroom. Some parents have blocked roads, while others are threatening hunger strikes if the government doesn’t intervene to improve the situation. Protests have taken place in Aswan, Sohag, Alexandria, and Sharqiya. Among the parents’ grievances are teacher absenteeism, overcrowded classrooms, and costly private tuition. The protesting parents demanded that local education authorities enforce the teachers’ professional obligations by ensuring that they are present in their classrooms and providing students with their daily lessons. The chronic overcrowding issue has led to cases at some Alexandria public schools where classrooms “are packed far beyond capacity, with up to 120 students per class,” with some schools resorting to splitting the school day into two separate shifts, one in the morning, and one at night. [Mada Masr, 10/1/2015]       

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian space scientist criticizes media | AMAY


Smugglers kill Egyptian policeman near border with Israel
Smugglers killed an Egyptian Central Security Forces conscript in North Sinai near the border with Israel as he foiled a cross-border smuggling attempt, Egypt’s Interior Ministry announced in a statement on Friday. Security forces have since cordoned off the area and are searching for the perpetrators, the Ministry added. [AP, Aswat Masriya, Cairo Post, 10/2/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Attempt to smuggle 320,000 Saudi Riyals foiled at Borg al-Arab airport | Cairo Post
  • Police relocate 3,000 street vendors in Helwan | Cairo Post


Top British military officials in Cairo to discuss counter-terrorism
A British military delegation arrived in Cairo on Friday for a two-day visit to discuss counter-terrorism efforts with Egyptian military officials. The delegation is headed by Lieutenant General John Lorimer, who as Chief of Joint Operations has a brief to oversee and control Britain’s overseas operations. Egypt’s Chief of Defense Staff, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy, visited London two weeks ago where he and senior British military officials discussed the role the UK can play in supporting Egypt in effective counter-terrorism work, and how to cooperate to secure a stable future for Libya. A British parliamentary delegation, also visiting Egypt, met with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who said that Egypt looks forward to developing ties with the United Kingdom in all fields. According to a presidential statement, members of the delegation said they look to Sis’s visit to the UK. The presidency has not announced when the visit will take place, but the UK-based Egypt Solidarity Initiative called for a protest outside the Tory Party conference in Manchester on October 4, against Sisi’s anticipated visit before the end of 2015. [Ahram Online, SIS, 10/2/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian fatalities in Mecca stampede rises to 124 | Ahram Online, DNE, AMAY, AP, Aswat Masriya, Cairo Post
  • United Nations Envoy to Libya meets Egyptian Foreign Minister | Aswat Masriya, SIS
  • Egyptian-European relations on right track says EU Ambassador | SIS
  • Egypt, Belarus discuss cooperation in metro, train carriage manufacture | Cairo Post
  • French Prime Minister to make Egypt visit with ‘strong economic dimension’ | Cairo Post