Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for increased US military aid and creation of a regional coalition to fight Islamic State in an interview with Fox News that aired on Monday. He addressed the need for what he called a religious “revolution,” urging moderate Muslims around the world to “stand up” against terrorists twisting their religion.  


Egyptian president pushes US for military aid in Fox News interview
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for increased US military aid and creation of a regional coalition to fight Islamic State in an interview with Fox News that aired on Monday. He addressed the need for what he called a religious “revolution,” urging moderate Muslims around the world to “stand up” against terrorists twisting their religion. But in the short term, he said more military might and funding will be needed to confront the extremist threat and questioned whether the United States was doing enough for Egypt. He said the suspension of US equipment and arms to his country has sent a “negative indication to the public opinion that the United States is not standing by the Egyptians.” Sisi said the need for weapons and equipment remains “dire,” and Egyptians “would like to feel that the United States is standing by them.” [Reuters, 3/9/2015]

Egypt agrees to 80 percent of UN Human Rights Council recommendations
Egypt’s Minister of Transitional Justice Ibrahim al-Heneidy announced on Monday that Egypt agreed to 80 percent of the recommendations in the UN Human Rights Council’s 2014 Universal Periodic Review for Egypt. Over the past three years, Egypt has implemented nearly 219 of the 314 recommendations presented by 122 countries during the Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Egypt last November, the minister told the press. The recommendations include those regarding freedom of expression and the media, and the rights of the disabled, women and children, such as criminalizing sexual harassment and domestic violence, he said. Heneidy added that the rest of the recommendations were rejected because they oppose sharia and Egyptian values. [Ahram Online, 3/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Sisi assures US Congressmen he doesn’t fear assassination | Ahram Online


Hunger-striking Soltan tells court strike was to protest “lost rights”
American-Egyptian hunger striker Mohamed Soltan told the court during a trial session on Monday that he started his strike over a year ago to protest his “lost rights” during detention. “I started a hunger strike as a reaction,” Soltan told the court, adding that he was “humiliated and tortured” during his detention. Soltan added, “I started the hunger strike so that my voice would be heard.” He is facing trial alongside his father, Salah Soltan, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Mohamed Badie, and forty-eight others for managing an “operations room” following the dispersal of the two pro-Mohamed Morsi camps in August 2013. The trial was adjourned until March 16. [Aswat Masriya, 3/9/2015]

Egypt says recent execution of convict was “in complete adherence” to law
The Egyptian government said “much of the coverage” on the execution of a convicted man earlier this week, “seemed to focus on unrelated factors.” The interior ministry said it executed by hanging a man after he was handed a final death sentence for an incident involving throwing “children” off a rooftop. Egypt’s foreign ministry cited video footage in a statement today and said that the executed man “is one of the men clearly seen pursuing and assaulting the young men; video evidence verifies his identity, and he later confessed to stabbing one of the young men with a knife.” The ministry added that the case was carried out in complete adherence to the law. [Aswat Masriya, 3/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Defense questions Penal Code legality in ‘Raba’a Operations Room’ trial | DNE
  • Another extremist group faces trial | DNE
  • Retrial of 291 Brotherhood affiliates over storming Matay police station adjourned to May 2 | EGYNews(Arabic)
  • Verdict date set to March 24 for designating Turkey as pro-terrorism country | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Retrial of seventy-three in Port Said massacre case postponed to April 5 | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt urban consumer inflation to 10.6 percent in February
According to the official statistics agency CAPMAS, Egypt’s urban consumer inflation rose to 10.6 percent in February from 9.7 percent in January. Egypt has seen a hike in inflation following fuel subsidy cuts in July that triggered up to a 78 percent rise in prices at the pump. Inflation increased to 11.5 percent in October before slowing in November. The inflation rate for food and beverages, which contributed almost 40 percent of the consumer prices index basket, increased by 8.2 percent in February year on year. [Reuters, Ahram Online, 3/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • World Bank delegation to participate at Egypt’s economic conference | Ahram Online
  • Telecom Egypt’s 2014 net profit drops 31.4 percent | Ahram Online
  • Official says Egypt to sign US$4 billion loan facilities agreements with Arabian financing institution during EEDC | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s SODIC acquires land on Mediterranean North Coast | Reuters


Violations, activities decreased in second academic semester says AFTE report
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) issued its periodical report on violations against university students in Egypt, highlighting a decrease in violations and in student activities. The report focuses on the first month of this academic year’s second semester and cites cases of storming student houses atAin Shams, Al-Azhar, Fayoum and Port Said universities by the police forces, in addition to mass arrests from different universities. AFTE also called for an end to interference and pressure on university staff and the academic community at large. It said that universities in Egypt, along with Al-Azhar University, were subject to political pressure by the media as well as the state during the past academic year. University administrations also imposed limitations on academic research and teaching, AFTE said. Meanwhile, hardcore fans of the Zamalek Sports Club protested at a number of universities on Monday, condemning the deaths of nineteen colleagues outside a Cairo football stadium earlier in February. Dozens of Ultras White Knights (UWK) protested at Cairo, Helwan, and Fayoum universities over the deaths of their friends outside the Air Defense Stadium. The protests come only one day after head of Cairo University Gaber Nassar announced the expulsion of fifteen students. In Fayoum, police clashed with protesters on campus, firing tear gas to disperse them. [DNE, Mada Masr, 3/9/2015]

International press freedom organization expresses concern on Egypt media climate
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said it would like to discuss with Egypt’s presidency “the use of pretrial detention, anti-terrorism laws, and the protest law against journalists,” on Monday. CPJ said it would also like to discuss the “increasing efforts to censor and surveil the Internet,” in a letter it posted on its website addressed to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. During a mission to Egypt last month, CPJ staff discussed concerns on the media climate with top officials, including the prosecutor general, the transitional justice minister and several assistant ministers for human rights. No comment on the CPJ letter was immediately available from the Egyptian government. [Aswat Masriya, 3/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Photojournalist Gamal Ziada writes from inside prison | DNE
  • Security arrests pro-Morsi students in Menoufiya | Egypt Independent
  • Relatives of abducted Egyptians’ in Libya meet with Foreign Ministry| Egypt Independent
  • Minister says 27 percent of Egyptian children suffer from malnutrition| Egypt Independent
  • Mumps, chickenpox appear in Sohag, Red Sea | Egypt Independent
  • Vodafone asks NTRA to block WhatsApp voice application | Egypt Independent, Ahram Online
  • Cairo’s Mother Theresa serves children of Egypt’s slums | AP


Five killed, fifty-two wounded in three separate Sinai attacks
A suicide bomber killed a civilian and wounded forty-six police officers when he tried to ram a water tanker into a police barracks in the Egyptian city of al-Arish on Tuesday, security sources said. The suicide bomber drove a stolen water tanker packed with explosives to the police compound in al-Arish. His refusal to slow down at the gate prompted police to fire at the vehicle, setting off the explosives inside. In a second assault, a roadside bomb exploded near a security checkpoint in southern Arish, killing one army officer and wounding three others. In an earlier attack on Monday, a roadside bomb killed three Egyptian soldiers and wounded three others in Sheikh Zuweid. [Ahram Online, AP, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, The Guardian, DNE, 3/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Explosion in Giza terrifies residents | Egypt Independent
  • Security sources say two killed in blast after attempting to plant bomb in Fayoum | Aswat Masriya
  • Two killed while making Molotov cocktails in greater Cairo | Ahram Online
  • Two banks attacked in Egypt’s Alexandria| Ahram Online


Kerry to meet Sisi on margins of Egypt’s economic conference
US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi when he travels to Sharm al-Sheikh on March 12 for the Economic Development Conference. He is expected to hold talks with Sisi and senior Egyptian officials on bilateral and global relations, including coalition efforts against Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) militants and developments in Libya and in Syria, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement on Monday. “The United States is committed to strengthening its long-term strategic and economic partnership with Egypt,” she said. Kerry has met with Sisi twice since his election in June 2014. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 3/9/2015]

Egypt supports UN political solution in Libya, says foreign minister
Egypt supports the political solution proposed by the United Nations to eradicate “the forces of terrorism” in Libya and form a new national unity government, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said on Monday. Shoukri stressed that the latest developments in Libya affect Egypt’s national security. The UN has been pushing for a political solution, sponsoring a dialogue among different Libyan parties headed by the UN special envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon. [Aswat Masriya, 3/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Urgent need for joint Arab military force: al-Araby | DNE, Ahram Online
  • Saudi Arabia blocks Swedish FM from speech at Arab League in Cairo | DNE
  • Shoukry reviews Arab conflict zones at Arab League meeting | DNE
  • Foreign ministry condemns Boko Haram ‘terrorist attacks’ | DNE
  • UN Security Council to meet on ‘persecution’ of Mideast Christians | AFP
  • Under new king, Saudi interests may diverge from Egypt | AP
  • France in contacts with Egypt on Libya crisis – Ambassador | SIS
  • Announcement of consultancy firm to study Ethiopia dam postponed – state agency | Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, SIS