The committee of legal experts formed by Minister of Solidarity Ahmed al-Boraei concluded Monday afternoon a new NGO draft law. The committee announced that they will hold a conference on Thursday to put the bill forward for a societal dialogue before being officially approved. The Monday meeting witnessed heated arguments between former presidential hopeful and lawyer Khaled Ali and head of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights Bahey Eddin Hassan on one hand and other committee members, including lawyer Nagad al-Boraei, on the other. [Egypt IndependentMada Masr, 9/25/2013]


Syria rebels reject opposition coalition, call for Islamic leadership
Powerful Syrian insurgent units have rejected the authority of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, badly damaging efforts by Western-backed political exiles to forge a moderate rebel military force on the ground. Thirteen groups, including at least three previously considered part of the coalition’s military wing, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), signed a statement calling for the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad to be reorganised under an Islamic framework and to be run only by groups fighting inside Syria. The signatories range from hardliners such as the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham battalions to more moderate Islamist groups such as the Tawheed Brigade and Islam Brigade. [Reuters, Naharnet, WSJ, 9/25/13]

Fighting among Syrian rebels intensifies
FSA Syrian rebels are engaged in their fiercest fighting to date with al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters on Syria’s northern and eastern borders. The FSA yesterday forced members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to withdraw from the village of Hazano in the Rif Idlib area, following violent clashes which led to the killing of ISIS field commander, Emir Abu Abdullah Al-Libi and twelve of his men, according to activists. [Reuters, Asharq al-Awsat, 9/24/13]
Stance on Peace Talks Suggests Syria and West Differ on Tactics
Syria’s deputy foreign minister, Fayssal Mekdad, said Tuesday that his government aimed to negotiate an end to the country’s civil war by talking with a broad range of Syrians, from religious and community leaders to peaceful opposition groups, dismissing the main Western-backed exile opposition as having little influence on the ground. The statements raised questions about the future of peace talks, because Mr. Mekdad’s concept appeared to differ from the framework of a planned second peace conference, known as Geneva II, sponsored by global powers, for which talks between the government and the exile coalition were envisioned. [NYT, 9/24/13]  
Egypt government postpones dissolution of Brotherhood; Security forces shut down newspaper
Egypt’s interim-government will postpone dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood until all litigation measures against members of the group are finalised, Minister of Social Solidarity Ahmed El-Borai stated Tuesday. A Brotherhood source said that the Islamist group is planning to appeal the dissolution verdict within ten days. In remarks to reporters at the Cabinet headquarters, Borai added that the Ministry of Social Solidarity is forming a committee to manage the property of the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities have shut down the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice newspaper in Cairo, the latest move aimed at crushing the Islamist movement, the Brotherhood said on Wednesday. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Shorouk, Egypt Independent, Reuters, AP, 9/25/2013]  
Egyptian government scheduled to take commodity price control measures
The economic ministerial group headed by Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi agreed in a meeting on Monday to impose mandatory commodities prices which they say merchants overestimate. The cabinet gave a grace period of a week for these prices to return to normal. Mahmoud Ziad, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Supply pointed that the compulsory pricing will include the fruits and vegetables items only. [DNE, 9/24/2013]    
Obama’s UNGA reference to Egypt, and FM Nabil Fahmy’s interpretation
President Barack Obama told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York that the US will continue to offer to support to Egypt in areas such as education, which benefits the Egyptian people. But he says the US has held up the delivery of certain military aid. And he says that future support, in his words, “will depend upon Egypt’s progress in pursuing a democratic path.” Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said that U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech before the UN has shown that the US will respect the will of the people in the region. Fahmy added that Obama’s speech is positive and objectively reflects the situation in Egypt. [AFP, AP, Egypt Independent, 9/25/2013]  
Congress energy committee head denies bribery
Members of the General National Congress (GNC) have called for Naji Mukhtar, head of the GNC energy committee, to be removed after he admitted to giving several signed checks to the brother of Ibrahim Jadhran, who is blockading Libya’s eastern oil terminals. His case has been sent to the attorney-general for investigation. GNC President Nuri Abu Sahmain has set up an internal investigation into the allegations Jadhran made that the government tried to bribe him to end the industrial action by the Petroleum Facilities Guard. While accusations abound, some think the scandal was set-up by Jadhran to pressure the GNC and the government into making political concessions to him and his fellow Cyrenaica Federalists. [Libya Herald, 9/24/13]  
Member of prime minister’s office abducted
A member of Prime Minister Ali Zidan’s staff was kidnapped, according to Libyan news agency LANA. Nasriddeen Amir Suwaisi, chair of the National Center for Decision Support, was abducted in front of a bank in Tripoli. So far there is no news about motive or his whereabouts. The prime minister’s office condemned the “criminal” act, stressing that security forces have begun an immediate search and that the government would work to bring the perpetrators to justice. [Libya Herald, 9/24/13]  
Ministry of education says no to segregation
The ministry of education issued a statement declaring that it will not segregate male and female students in schools and universities, arguing that that it would damage people’s education because the vast majority of teachers are female and because many parents have written to the ministry opposing the idea. Islamists are demanding gender segregation; Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadid al-Ghariani issued a public letter in April 2013 saying that free mixing of the sexes was immoral. [Libya Herald, 9/24/13]  
Turks dominate at Big4 Rebuild Libya and Energy Show
Turkish companies have dominated the Big4 Rebuild Libya and Energy Show, targeting Libya’s construction and energy sectors. Organized by the Istanbul-based Senexpo, the event drew in companies specializing in construction equipment and services from water pipes to metal building structures. A handful of German and Italian companies were represented as well. [Libya Herald, 9/25/13]   
Finance minister announces new austerity measures
The Tunisian Finance Minister Elyes Fakhafakh announced new austerity plans yesterday on the state radio and Express FM to lower the public deficit, which is expected to reach 7.4 percent of the national GDP. According to Fakhafakh, public spending will be curbed by 5 percent to bring the deficit closer to the planned limit, 3.5 percent of GDP. [Tunis Times, Reuters, 9/25/2013]  
Tunisia unions call anti-government protests for Wednesday  
Tunisia’s main trade union confederation, the UGTT, said it would launch a protest campaign Wednesday to pressure the ruling Islamist party into accepting mediators’ proposals for ending two months of political deadlock. The UGTT, which has been leading the mediation efforts, said in a post on its Facebook page that gatherings would take place in the Ariana suburb of Tunis on Wednesday, and in different locations outside the capital on Thursday. [AFP/Ahram Online, 9/25/2013]  
Lotfi Ben Jeddou: Leaked document about Brahmi’s assassination is evidence of my innocence
Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou told Mosaique FM on Wednesday that the leaked document about Mohamed Brahmi’s assassination does not contain any evidence to be used against him and does not have a seal of a signature from the interior minister’s office, which confirms that it never went through Ben Jeddou’s office. The minister confirmed that he is investigating the national security office to find out why the document was never reported to a higher post within the ministry. [Mosaique FM (Arabic), 9/25/2013]  
President Marzouki at NYU: Egypt will not be repeated in Tunisia  
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki confirmed his confidence in the success of the transitional path in Tunisia despite the challenges the country faces, coming from a part of society that does not believe in democracy and is encouraging fear and confusion among Tunisians. In a lecture at New York University (NYU), Marzouki discussed the fundamental differences between Egypt and Tunisia, like its civil society and neutral army, and stressed his optimism for the future of Tunisian democracy. [Assabah News (Arabic), 9/25/2013]  
Yemeni military officer killed in bombing in south
A Yemeni military official says an army officer was killed by a bomb planted in his car by suspected al-Qaeda militants. The official says the bomb went off on Wednesday as the officer was driving from work in the southern city of Ataq in Shabwa province, once an al-Qaeda stronghold. [AP, 9/25/2013]  
Yemen hopes donors will fulfill aid pledges  
Yemen hopes that donor countries that meet this week will honor their pledges of $7.8 billion to the country, of which nearly a quarter has been paid, International Cooperation Minister Mohammed Saadi said Tuesday. The country’s delegation to a meeting of the “Friends of Yemen,” scheduled on the margin of the UN General Assembly meeting Wednesday, “will ask for the support of donors for the stage that follows the national dialogue,” Saadi said. [Gulf News, 9/25/2013]  
US hails successes of political settlement, NDC in Yemen  
The United States has hailed the political successes that the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) has achieved so far in Yemen. US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Uzra Zeya, renewed US support for Yemeni efforts to achieve stability and security during her meeting with Foreign Minister al-Qirbi. [Saba Net, 9/25/2013]  
Source: The final version of the federal state in Yemen will see the light of day
Sources in the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) reported that the participants from the North and South are nearing approval of a formula for a federal state in two stages. The formula begins with a division of Yemen into two regions and leads eventually to a split into five regions. It gives the southerners the right to self-determination if the northerners do not commit to the application of the new constitution. [Al Tagheer (Arabic), 9/25/2013]  
Lawyer: Bahrain convicts American-born protester
A defense lawyer in Bahrain says an American-born man has been convicted of attacking the police during anti-government protests in the Gulf country and sentenced to ten years in prison. The case could further strain Washington’s relations with the strategic Gulf kingdom, home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet. The US has previously criticized measures such as Bahrain restricting political groups from meeting foreign diplomats. [AP, Reuters, 9/25/2013]  
Morocco journalist accused of ‘terrorism’  
Moroccan journalist Ali Anouzla was arraigned on Tuesday on terrorism-related charges in a case that has drawn widespread condemnation from human rights organisations and press freedom groups who say the charges are meant to stifle critical reporting. [Al Jazeera, 9/25/2013]  
Jordan’s King Abdullah: Regional developments to shape future global security
His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday said that global security will long be shaped by what is happening now in the Middle East. In his remarks at the plenary session of the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, His Majesty said that this region “can be, must be, a house of peace and prosperity: with strong pillars of good governance, and wide-open doors to opportunity, especially for our young people.” [Jordan Times, 9/25/2013]