An Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson has described his US counterpart as “ignorant” of Egyptian affairs, while the foreign ministry has ordered its embassy in Washington to file a complaint to the US State Department regarding recent remarks by its deputy spokeswoman.


Popular Current denies that detained member belongs to the Brotherhood
The Egyptian Popular Current – the political movement of former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi – denied accusations that one of its members, Amr Saleh, belongs to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Saleh, a senior commerce student at Damanhour University in the Nile Delta, was recently detained on charges of belonging to the Brotherhood. A statement from the Egyptian Popular Current said that prosecutors had ordered Saleh to be detained for 15 days, pending investigations. The statement also denounced all cases of arbitrary arrest and the Ministry of Interior’s “haphazard fabrication of charges.” The group called the accusations false and demanded his immediate release. [Ahram Online, DNE, 8/3/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Three big projects to be carried out in Egypt | DNE, SIS
  • Sisi discusses challenges facing supply ministry | SIS
  • A new minister, a different environment | Mada Masr


Former Ahram head under Morsi ordered detained over corruption charges
Prosecutors on Sunday ordered the head of Egypt’s oldest news organization Al-Ahram under deposed president Mohamed Morsi to be detained pending investigation into corruption allegations. Mamdouh al-Wali, who was accused of having links to the Muslim Brotherhood while in office, was ordered detained for 15 days on charges including squandering public funds and facilitating their seizure by giving up EGP 92 million worth of Al-Ahram‘s money to a businessman. Wali was removed from office shortly after Morsi’s ouster, amid the dissolution of the organization’s board of directors by its general assembly for allegedly causing the institution to sustain huge losses. [Ahram Online, 8/4/2014]

Mubarak retrial adjourned, defense lawyer argues autocrat not accountable for killings
The trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and former interior minister Habib al-Adly, along with six of his aides, on charges of complicity in the killing of about 850 unarmed protesters during the 2011 revolution, resumes Monday. The judge overseeing the trial said the defense’s argument will continue through Monday and Tuesday. Mubarak’s lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, argued on Saturday that the revolution was a US-funded conspiracy against the Mubarak regime. Deeb told the judge that all the heads of security directorates nationwide were acquitted, and thus Mubarak and his aides should be acquitted too. He also cited an Egyptian law from 1952 that states that if the armed forces intervene, then responsibility is transferred to them. Meanwhile, Egyptian activists on Sunday launched a campaign on Twitter denouncing Deeb, in response to his claim that the revolution was a foreign plot. [Ahram Online, 8/3/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • ‘Raba’a Control Room’ trial adjourned to August 16 | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Cabinet clashes trial adjourned until August 13 | Ahram Online
  • Douma trial postponed | DNE
  • Case against Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide adjourned to August 7 | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Beltagy, Hegazy torture trial postponed to August 10 | DNE


Egypt finance ministry says it is preparing a new economic stimulus package
Egypt’s government is currently working on the launch of a new economic stimulus package to boost the sectors that are necessary to economic development such as the industrial, housing and construction, communication and tourism sectors, the Ministry of Finance’s July bulletin stated. The report noted that the second half of FY 2014/2015 is expected to witness a “development surge” as a result for implementing the projects of the two stimuli packages announced in 2013. [DNE, 8/2/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt stocks kick off the trading week in red | Ahram Online
  • Egyptian pound steady at central bank sale and on black market | Reuters
  • Egypt seeking $1.5 billion loan to repay oil debts: Oil Minister | Reuters
  • Egyptian government to raise sugar production | Ahram Online
  • Group vows to post blacklist of businessmen not donating to Long Live Egypt Fund | DNE
  • State Council requests ministry of petroleum to amend mineral resources law | DNE
  • EGAS says it is owed EGP16 billion by industrial sector | DNE
  • NBE and Egyptian Gulf Bank to provide EGP500 million and EGP120 million to Mobinil | DNE
  • NIB funds EGP270 million in public housing projects this year: Board Member | DNE
  • EGP30 million allocated to construct Assiut axis road | DNE
  • Talks on applying VAT ongoing: finance ministry | DNE
  • Egypt awards Suez hub project to consortium that includes army: sources | Reuters
  • Finance Ministry auctions T-bills at EGP6 billion | SIS
  • Tax evasion in Egypt reaches EGP6 billion in one month | DNE
  • S&P banking industry country risk assessment on Egypt | Zawya DJ


Egyptian journalists, writers call for stronger solidarity with Palestine
A number of Egyptian journalists and writers released a statement on Saturday expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and calling on all national factions to provide all possible assistance to the besieged enclave. In the statement, titled “In Defense of the Freedom of Gaza and Ours,” the undersigned praised all the Palestinian resistance factions. They called for “a united Arab stand that will obtain the rights of Gaza from the war crimes it has suffered and defend its right to end the siege and release prisoners”. The undersigned include the journalists, writers and intellectuals Bahaa Taher, Abdallah al-Senawy, Mohamed Faieq, Gala Aref, Abdel-Rahman al-Abnoudy, Gamal Fahmy Mohamed al-Makhazengy, Yasser Rizq, Hussein Abdel-Ghany, Emad al-Din Hussein, Mohamed Abdel-Hady Allam, Yehia al-Qallash and George Isaac as well as head of the press syndicate Diaa Rashwan and Al-Ahram’s chairman Ahmed Sayed al-Naggar. [Ahram Online, 8/2/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Video of man beating kids at Egyptian orphanage sparks outrage | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
  • Giza governor dissolves board at orphanage accused of beating children | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Belly dancer Safinaz summoned for ‘insulting’ Egyptian flag with outfit | Ahram Online
  • Strict precautionary measures in Egyptian airports to combat Ebola | DNE
  • Health ministry says Egypt free of deadly Ebola virus | Egypt Independent, Mada Masr
  • Egypt UNESCO Ambassador: international delegation in Cairo to restore Museum of Islamic Art | SIS
  • Law to hush up NGOs | Mada Masr


Child dies, four severely injured as mortar shell hits North Sinai home
A six-year-old child died and four others were wounded early Sunday when a mortar shell hit a house in the village of Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai. The shell fell in Sheikh Zuweid’s Shalak village after confrontations between the army and “extremists,” a security source told Aswat Masriya. Eyewitnesses said two Apache helicopters heavily bombed a number of villages in Sheikh Zuweid. The incident occurred after Egypt’s armed forces blocked roads leading to the border strip in Rafah on Saturday, following heavy Israeli shelling of neighboring Gaza strip. Security sources said that the army vacated residential areas near the border after flying shrapnel from the Israeli shelling of Gaza shattered windows and damaged houses.  Meanwhile, Egyptian troops on Sunday killed 11 militant fighters in shoot-outs in North Sinai, the army said Monday in a statement published on the Armed Forces official Facebook page.  [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 8/4/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Civilian referred to military prosecution over skirmishes at military-run gas station | DNE
  • Explosions reported in Sheikh Zuweid, North Sinai | Egypt Independent
  • North Sinai tribal leader kills four Islamist militants | Mada Masr


Egypt holds Gaza truce talks with Palestinian factions; Israel declines to send envoys
Palestinian groups, including representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, held their first formal meeting in Cairo on Monday with Egyptian mediators hoping to pave the way towards a durable ceasefire agreement with Israel. Talks focused on a list of demands agreed by the Palestinian factions on Sunday, including an appeal to Egypt to ease movement across its own border crossing with blockaded Gaza. It was not clear how far the talks would progress, however, after Israel declined to send its envoys. Speaking to Reuters, an Israeli official accused enemy Palestinian Islamists of misleading international mediators. Ziyad Nakhala of Islamic Jihad said on Sunday, “Our brothers in Egypt showed understanding,” and that the Palestinian factions managed to agree on a unified paper of demands. Prior to talks, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday that there is “no alternative” to the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire talks to curb the violence in Gaza. Egypt, meanwhile, has increased the amount of electricity it provides to Gaza and urged Israel to repair power lines damaged during Israeli bombardment that has left at least one million people without electricity. Egypt’s foreign ministry also condemned indiscriminate targeting of Gaza civilians after tens were killed following Israeli shelling of the southern Gaza town of Rafah, in a statement released on Friday. Many local residents on the Egyptian side of Rafah have fled their homes to escape Israel’s aerial bombardment of the adjacent Gaza Strip. On Friday, Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah crossing following “intensive” Israeli shelling of Gaza, a security source said. [Reuters, 8/4/2014]

Around 2,500 Egyptians evacuated from Libya – minister
Around 2,500 Egyptians have been evacuated from conflict-torn Libya to Tunisia in order to be flown back to Egypt, Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said in a press conference during his visit to Tunisia. Shoukry, with Tunisian Prime Minister Mahdy Gomaa, discussed facilitating and speeding up the evacuation of Egyptian nationals from Tunisia. Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kama told Al-Ahram Arabic that the number of Egyptians being transported home on government-organized planes should reach 1,800 passengers a day, although this number could be increased if necessary. A plane transporting 261 Egyptians fleeing Libya arrived in Cairo early Sunday, MENA state news agency reported. Further planes have also been sent to Djerba to transport Egyptian workers who have fled Libya. Meanwhile, Amr Moussa, Egypt’s former foreign minister and former secretary-general of the Arab League, said in a statement on Sunday that the current upheaval in Libya has major implications for Egyptian national security. Egypt should consider the possibility of a military response to the unrest in neighbouring Libya, Moussa argued, prompting speculation in Egyptian media that Cairo is mulling an armed intervention. On Friday, official spokesperson of the Libyan joint security force, Zawara abi Kamash, denied the killing of seven Egyptians at the borders with Tunisia as a result of stampede. [Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, SIS, DNE, AFP, 8/4/2014]

Egypt rejects US military aid comments, Sisi to miss US-Africa Leaders Summit
An Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson has described his US counterpart as “ignorant” of Egyptian affairs, while the foreign ministry has ordered its embassy in Washington to file a complaint to the US State Department regarding recent remarks by its deputy spokeswoman. US deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said US military aid to Egypt was temporarily suspended last year because Egypt was using weapons “against their own people.” Harf, in a state department press briefing on Thursday, made a comparison between Israel and Egypt when a reporter asked her why the United States did not suspend its military aid to Israel, for killing civilians in Gaza, while aid was suspended to Egypt following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July of last year. Egyptian spokesperson Badr Abdel-Atty said Harf’s comparison between Egypt and Israel was “unacceptable” and “unjustifiable.” Meanwhile, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will not attend an unprecedented gathering of African leaders in the United States after he was given a belated invitation. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab will head an Egyptian delegation to a three-day US-Africa Leaders Summit taking place in Washington, August 4-6. He arrived in Washington Sunday alongside Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian and the Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour. [Ahram Online, AP, AFP, DNE, 8/3/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt ceases supplying gas to Jordan indefinitely | DNE
  • Trade exchange with Libya falls in wake of violence | DNE, Al-Bawaba
  • EgyptAir resumes flights to Tel Aviv | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi, Italian PM hold joint press conference | Egypt Independent