Top News: Fahmy Continues US Visit; Leahy will not Sign off on Military Aid to Egypt

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy is scheduled to continue meeting high-level US government officials on Wednesday.

Sabbahi officially announces electoral platform
In a press conference on Wednesday, presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi announced his official electoral platform. Sabbahi’s top priorities are eliminating terrorism, achieving Egypt’s self-sufficiency, transitional justice, and achieving retribution for the country’s martyrs. He said the goals of his platform are what the Egyptian people chose as goals in the “squares of the revolution.” [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Ahram (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 4/30/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Cabinet: 62,000 cases of electricity stealing | Egypt Independent
  • Text of interim president’s speech on occasion of labor day | Ahram (Arabic)


Egypt court to rule May 7 on labeling Qatar a pro-terrorist country
The Abdeen Urgent Matters Court in Cairo set May 7 as a date for delivering a verdict in a lawsuit demanding the government to brand Qatar as a pro-terrorism country. Lawyer Samir Sabry, who had brought the case against the Egyptian government and the Arab League’s Secretary General, argued in his petition that the state of Qatar hosts a number of fugitive terrorists, and had declined to hand them in to Egypt. [Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 4/30/2014]

Morsi prison break trial resumes; Defense calls for adding Mubarak, Sisi to defendant list
A Cairo criminal court resumed the trial of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and 131 others in the Wadi al-Natrun prison break case on Wednesday. Defense lawyer Mohamed al-Damaty called on the court to add ousted president Hosni Mubarak, presidential hopeful Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, former army chief Hussein Tantawi and former chief of staff, Sami Anan, to the list of defendants. During the trial, presiding Judge Shaaban al-Shami referred Magdy al-Gallad, editor-in-chief of the independent daily, El Watan to investigation over violating the court’s gag order. According to state run, EGYNews, the newspaper published a leaked recording of a telephone conversation between one of the defendants, Khairat al-Shater and Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh. [Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic), 4/30/2014]

Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement to appeal ban
Representatives from the April 6 Youth Movement and its offshoot the Democratic Font held a press conference on Tuesday in which they announced they would appeal Monday’s court ruling banning the group and ordering the closure of its offices. We will appeal the verdict before the administrative court,” said Sherif al-Hosary, head of the legal department of the Democratic Front, which split from the April 6 Youth Movement in 2011 after a dispute between the group’s leaders. Al-Hosary accused the verdict of being “politicized” and from a court that lacks subject matter jurisdiction. [Ahram Online, DNE, 4/29/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Safwat Hegazy sentenced one year with labor for insulting judiciary | Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online
  • Military trial for border crossers postponed to May 6 | DNE
  • Trial of twenty-three defendants accused of killing police general in Kerdasa resumes | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Safwat al-Sherif trial for illicit gains adjourned | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Trial adjourned for sixty-eight accused of storming Tahrir Square | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt’s debt to foreign oil firms up at $5.7 billion
Egypt’s debts to foreign oil companies operating in the country rose to $5.7 billion by the end of March, the head of the state-run oil company told Reuters, up $800 million from the government’s last reported figure despite recent repayments. [Reuters, 4/30/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • New Cairo Metro line that links Abbasiya with Heliopolis will open in few days | Ahram Online
  • Dubai’s Arabtec to carry out multiple acquisitions by 2018: CEO | Ahram Online
  • Cabinet approves development projects | Egypt Independent


Clashes in Damietta leave one dead, five injured
A student was killed on Tuesday in clashes between alleged Muslim Brotherhood members and locals in the Nile Delta town of Khayata in Damietta governorate. The clashes erupted during the funeral of Abdo Farahat, a 22-year old Brotherhood member who was killed with birdshot earlier on Tuesday in similar clashes, according to state run Al-Ahram. At least five people were wounded and a house was torched during the clashes. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/29/2014]

Policemen protest colleague’s detention
Dozens of low-ranking police officers staged strikes and protested Wednesday in some governorates in solidarity with Abdel Hamid Darwish, secretary of the police personnel general club in Cairo, who was referred to interrogation for instigating protests. Darwish was arrested and detained pending interrogation Tuesday at Cairo International Airport for allegedly leading protests condemning the transfer of a police officer who had been accused by a tourist of harassing her. Police forces fired tear gas to disperse the protesting officers at the airport. [Egypt Independent, 4/30/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Workers’ strike halts train movement in Nile Delta | Aswat Masriya
  • Prominent Egyptian pro-democracy voice Bassem Sabry dies at 31 | AP, Ahram Online, DNE
  • Security claims MB wants to leak exams | Mada Masr
  • Labor groups condemn crackdown on strikes in Port Said and Ain Sokhna | Mada Masr
  • Six suspected MERS cases in Egypt: Health Minister | Ahram Online


Security sources say three “extremists” killed in Sinai
Three “extremists” were killed in a security operation by the Egyptian army in Northern Sinai on Tuesday, security sources said.  “Three others were arrested when the forces attacked several terrorist hubs in Sheikh Zuwied, Rafah and Arish within its security campaign to clear the area,” the security sources added.  Weapons and ammunition were found in the possession of the arrested. [Aswat Masriya, 4/29/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Four soldiers injured after students torch police car at Mansoura University | Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)


Fahmy continues US visit; Leahy will not sign off on military aid to Egypt
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy is scheduled to continue meeting high-level US government officials on Wednesday. Fahmy is set to meet with US President Barack Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel after his Tuesday meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry. Following the conclusion of his visit to Washington, DC, Fahmy will travel to New York City and meet with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. During a joint press conference with Fahmy on Tuesday, Kerry said that the interim-government must prove it is serious about bringing democracy to Egypt. He also added that Egypt was undergoing a “difficult transition.” In an interview with National Public Radio Tuesday evening Fahmy described Egypt’s relationship with the United States as “a marriage.” He added, “This is something, if you’re going to invest in it, it’s going to cost you a lot of money, it’s going to take time, and you’re going to have to make a lot of decisions… I think it’s well-founded, but any marriage has its hiccups.” In other news, Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, said on Tuesday he would not approve sending funds to the Egyptian military, denouncing what he called a “sham trial” in which a court sentenced 683 people to death. [DNE, AP, 4/30/2014]

US-based Democracy International to observe Egypt’s presidential election
The US Embassy in Egypt announced on Tuesday that US-based Democracy International (DI) will observe the upcoming presidential election. In an official statement, the embassy said, “The Egyptian Presidential Election Commission recently accredited DI, as well as five other international organizations and seventy-nine Egyptian organizations, to observe the presidential election process in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and international commitments. On Wednesday, the European Union also issued an official statement on its plans to observe the elections. [US Embassy Statement, 4/29/2014]

EU’s Ashton condemns mass death sentences; Germany summons Egyptian ambassador
The European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Tuesday Egypt’s sentencing of 683 people to death breached international law and urged Cairo authorities to ensure defendants’ rights to a fair and timely trial. “These mass trials are clearly in breach of international human rights law,” the EU’s Catherine Ashton said in a statement. Germany summoned the Egyptian ambassador in protest of Monday’s mass death sentences and urged Cairo to allow people a just trial, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday. Egypt’s justice ministry on Tuesday rejected the local and international reaction to the previous day’s mass death sentence, describing the massive public outcry as “inadmissible.” [Ahram Online, Reuters, 4/30/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • PM meets with UAE Minister of State | DNE