Top News: Egypt-US Ties Have ‘Become Stronger’ Says Sisi

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in an interview that the last two years have been “a real test that showed the strength of the strategic relations between Egypt and the US.” Speaking late on Tuesday to the American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in New York, Sisi stressed the importance of the US not abandoning Egypt during what Sisi called turbulent times. Egypt’s president also highlighted that relations between Cairo and Washington have become stronger. During the interview, Sisi also discussed the current state of affairs in Syria, Egypt’s protest law, Egypt’s fight against terror, and his recent pardon of 100 prisoners on the occasion of Eid al-Adha. Sisi left New York on Tuesday, following meetings with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam. [Ahram Online, SIS, 9/30/2015]


Political coalition questions election committee’s neutrality towards candidates
The Egyptian Front Coalition has reiterated its accusations that the High Elections Committee (HEC) is biased against them. The coalition accused the HEC of favoring the For the Love of Egypt electoral list, operated by Sameh Seif al-Yazal. In a Tuesday statement, the coalition said the HEC was “intentionally abstaining” from executing court orders which allow the coalition’s members to run for parliamentary seats elected through closed-list systems. Egypt’s Wafd Party also said Tuesday that the HEC lost its credibility after failing to deal with violations by some parliamentary candidates against electoral campaign regulations, according to a statement by deputy chairman Hussein Mansour released on Tuesday. [DNE, Ahram Online, 9/29/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Citizens to participate in government decision-making says Finance Minister | DNE
  • Five questions for a parliamentary candidate: Mohamed al-Oraby | Mada Masr
  • Five questions for a parliamentary candidate: Fatima Naoot | Mada Masr


Convicted Al Jazeera journalists appeal to Egypt for pardons
Seven journalists convicted of aiding a terrorist organization while covering Egyptian unrest for Al Jazeera publicly appealed to Egypt’s president on Tuesday to pardon them. All seven defendants are part of the same case, in which Canadian Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were recently pardoned. Australian Peter Greste said they also were seeking support from world leaders attending the UN General Assembly. He said the remaining conviction had placed him under a “form of glorified house arrest” by limiting his ability to travel. Greste was sentenced in absentia, along with Dominic Kane, an Al Jazeera producer, Sue Turton, a former Al Jazeera correspondent, and four Egyptians Mohamed Fawzy, Alaa Bayoumy, Khalil Bahnasy, and Anas Abdel Wahab. [AP, Mada Masr, The Guardian, 9/29/2015]

Three Brotherhood members sentenced to death; Court upholds death sentence for militants
An Alexandria criminal court sentenced three Muslim Brotherhood members to death for their involvement in the murder of an officer and a conscript near the Alexandria Library during the aftermath of the violent dispersals of the Raba’a and Nahda sit-ins in August 2013. One of the three defendants was sentenced in absentia. In the same case, the court also sentenced twenty-five defendants to twenty-five years in jail, twenty-one to fifteen years in jail, and twenty-two to ten years. Those convicted were found guilty of a variety of charges including murder, terrorist activity, resisting authority, damaging property, and attempting to occupy government buildings by force. Meanwhile, an Egyptian criminal court upheld the death sentence ruling for Sinai-based militant Adel Babara and five others who were charged with being members of a jihadi group. One other member of the group was ordered to be released. [Ahram Online, DNE, Anadolu Agency, Cairo Post, 9/29/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Muslim Brotherhood absent from Lawyers’ Syndicate candidacies | AMAY
  • Thousands ‘languish’ in Egyptian prisons under Sisi’s rule says Amnesty International | Aswat Masriya


Egypt to search for oil in Iraq in first foreign venture
Egypt will search for oil outside its own borders for the first time after signing an agreement with Kuwait Energy for part of a concession in Iraq, Oil Minister Tarek al-Mullah said on Wednesday. Kuwait Energy will give up 10 percent of a concession in Basra, southern Iraq, for exploration by Egypt’s state oil company. “The agreement opens up the space for the oil sector to find sources of oil outside Egypt for the first time, following the example of many other countries,” Mullah said. “This is an important step for securing energy supplies from outside Egypt in order to partially meet the demands of the local market,” he added. Production in the concession area’s first well is expected to begin in October with an initial return of 5,000 barrels per day (bpd) with the number expected to reach 150,000 bpd by 2020-2021. [Reuters, 9/30/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt Global Competitiveness Index ranking is first improvement since 2011 | DNE, Aswat Masriya
  • Egypt expects $12.58 billion in additional revenue for 2015/16 | Ahram Online, DNE, Reuters
  • Telecommunications are a market of missed investment opportunities | DNE
  • Public services mechanization, Internet are foremost investment opportunities | DNE
  • Ministry of International Cooperation, AfDB sign $650,000 grant agreement | DNE
  • Funding of real estate projects increased by eighty-two percent in 2015 says EFSA head | AMAY
  • Egypt M2 money supply up 16.8 percent in August says Central Bank of Egypt | Reuters
  • Egypt to reach financial settlements with waste management companies | Aswat Masriya
  • Kellogg buys Egyptian cereal producer Mass Food Group | Mada Masr


Number of Egyptian minor migrants is alarmingly high says IOM
The Head of the International Organization for Migration Egypt office, Amr Taha, said that Egypt has an alarmingly high percentage of minors irregularly migrating to Europe. In an interview with Aswat Masriya, Taha added that Italy received 4,000 Egyptian migrants in 2014, 2,000 of which were minors without their parents or relatives. He went on to explain that the percentage slightly increased during the first six months of 2015, with the number of irregular child migrants rising to 62 percent. Some European countries’ laws allow minor migrants residency until they reach the age of eighteen, and Taha seeks to speed up the return of unaccompanied minors back to Egypt. He has called for the establishment of shelters, health care, and education centers in Egypt to receive the migrants upon their arrival back to the country. [Ahram Online, AMAY, Aswat Masriya, 9/29/2015]

Egypt officially complains against Brotherhood assault on Sisi’s media team in NY
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry announced that an official complaint was made on Tuesday against offenses made by Muslim Brotherhood members’ in New York to the media team accompanying Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Videos circulated on social media on Monday showing a group of Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers organizing a protest wearing yellow Raba’a signs while verbally and physically assaulting a group of media persons from Egypt. The Egyptian consulate in New York sent an official complaint to the US State Department demanding an urgent arrest of all those who insulted the media team accompanying the president. Among the media personnel were well-known TV anchor Youssef al-Housseiny, Mostafa Sherdy, and Ramy Radwan.  “The memo sent to the state department explained that the protest organized by the Muslim Brotherhood group violated all laws defining peaceful protests in the US,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry said. [Ahram Online, 9/29/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Pardoned activist Salwa Mehrez expresses solidarity with Esraa Tawil | AMAY
  • Work on church honoring murdered Egyptian Copts to begin in days | DNE, AMAY
  • Scathing attack on controversial Egyptian TV host leads to public spat | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
  • Saudi Arabia friendliest country to Egypt, Israel most hostile according to poll | DNE, Aswat Masriya
  • Textile workers continue strike over bonuses | AMAY
  • Cairo University bans professors from wearing niqab in classroom | Cairo Post


Egypt pledges to compensate Mexican families
Egypt’s Ambassador to Mexico will soon be in direct contact with the families of the Mexican tourists killed in Egypt regarding compensation, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said. Shoukry told his Mexican counterpart Claudia Ruiz Massieu that Egypt is committed to proceeding with an investigation into the killings and to “providing the appropriate reparations,” the Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Massieu “requested information on how the Egyptian government would proceed to fully compensate and provide reparations.” She also reiterated Mexico’s demands for an “immediate, in-depth and thorough” investigation. [Aswat Masriya, 9/29/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s Health Minister to head to Saudi Arabia following Mecca hajj stampede | Ahram Online, SIS
  • Tunisia detains eleven Egyptian fishermen for breaching territorial waters | Ahram Online, AMAY
  • Egypt opens Rafah border crossing for return of Palestinian pilgrims | Cairo Post