The United States appreciates Egyptian efforts to reform structural economic imbalances, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in recent talks with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab during the latter’s visit to Washington, DC.


Egyptian Front alliance launches coalition in preparation for parliamentary elections
In a meeting on Tuesday evening, several parties agreed to launch the Egyptian Front alliance in preparation for Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections. A member of Ahmed Shafiq’s Egyptian Patriotic Movement, Yasser Qora, said that the parties, which include the Modern Egypt Party, the Republican People’s Party, and My Homeland Egypt Party (headed by former Interior Minister Major-General Ahmed Gamal al-Din), agreed to work together to form a coalition during the meeting. Meanwhile, Nour Party spokesperson, Nader Bakkar, said that the collapse of Amr Moussa’s Alliance of the Egyptian Nation confirmed the Nour Party’s decision not to rush into any electoral alliances. Bakkar also criticized party alliances based on personal interests rather than the interests of Egypt. [Shorouk (Arabic), 8/6/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Sisi: National security considered while undertaking Suez Canal project | SIS
  • Minister of Communications: EGP 15 billion investment in Suez project | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Nour Party: Suez Canal project will benefit Egypt | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Labib: demarcation of governorates is complex process | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Military source: Suez project to be based on cooperation with civilian companies | AMAY (Arabic)


Egypt court upholds death sentences for 12 Morsi supporters
A Giza court upheld the death sentences against 12 supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, judicial sources said, on charges of killing a senior police officer after storming a police station. The court also sentenced 10 people to life in prison and acquitted one other. Judge Moataz Khafagy passed the sentence against the men in June and referred the case to the country’s highest Sunni Muslim authority for approval, which is required before any execution can be carried out. The men were charged in connection with violence that erupted when police stormed the town of Kerdasa in September and arrested dozens of Morsi supporters. Meanwhile, a Cairo criminal court sentenced three female Morsi supporters to life on Wednesday. They were convicted of using force and possession of weapons in violent events that followed Morsi’s ouster last year, as well as joining the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. [DNE, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, Shorouk (Arabic), 8/6/2014]

Steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz to be released on EGP 100 million bail
Egypt’s steel tycoon under former autocrat Hosni Mubarak, Ahmed Ezz, is expected to be released Wednesday after paying EGP 100 million on bail over money laundering charges, judicial sources told Ahram Online. His lawyer Farid al-Deeb also confirmed that his client, who is standing trial in two separate cases over graft and steel monopoly, is expected to be released “within hours.” “We have paid the required bail…and we are now following the release procedures,” said Deeb. Over the last three years, Ezz has received cumulative sentences of 60 years in prison, but his appeals have all been accepted and he is currently facing retrials. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya, 8/6/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt court adjourns Alaa Abdel-Fattah retrial to September 10 | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Mubarak’s trial postponed due to his deteriorating health conditions | Ahram Online
  • Military trial for civilians postponed to August 28 | DNE
  • Cairo criminal court extends detention of 20 Morsi supporters for 45 days | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt changes food oil import system, payments delayed
Egypt has shifted responsibility for its vegetable oil imports from the state-run General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) to another government entity, the Food Industries Holding Company (FIHC). The change is part of wider reforms being implemented to rein in billions of spending on food subsidies. FIHC supplies subsidized goods to stores that then sell them to the public. GASC will continue handling wheat import tenders. [Reuters, 8/6/2014]

Egyptian suspends investments worth EGP 610 million in Libya
The Arab Contractors company has investments in Libya totaling up to EGP 610 million, according to company chairman Mohamed Mohsen Salah, who added that the projects being implemented by the company include building sewage plants, dams and drinking water projects. [DNE, 8/6/2014]]

Also of Interest:

  • Capital Economics: Egypt’s economy gradually recovering | Amwal Al-Ghad
  • Egypt’s Vodafone hires Ericsson to improve its network quality | Ahram Online
  • Egyptian workers leaving Libya increases unemployment in Egypt: Chambers of Commerce official | DNE
  • EETC to offer international tender to implement Saudi Link project | DNE
  • World Bank: private sector reforms are crucial to reducing unemployment in Egypt | DNE
  • Mahlab welcomes World Bank natural gas project funding | SIS
  • General Electric, Bechtel, and Cerberus Capital plan to increase investments in Egyptian market | DNE
  • Stock market surpasses 9000 points for first time since 2008 | DNE, Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic)
  • UAE energy firm says to recover overdue Egypt payments by 2018 | Reuters
  • Egypt’s bourse indexes up | SIS


Rafah border open to aid Gaza: Foreign ministry
The 72-hour ceasefire deal between Gaza and Israel, which started Tuesday morning, has provided a window for humanitarian aid through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing. The Rafah crossing remains open, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Badr Abdel Atty, and Egypt has facilitated the delivery of humanitarian aid and the crossing of refugees. Up to 1,200 tons of medical aid and food have been delivered to Gaza by the Egyptian government, said Abdelatty, while 3,500 people have crossed from Gaza into Egypt, and 2,000 people have crossed from Egypt into Gaza. Humanitarian aid from any country is welcome to cross into Gaza via Rafah, added Abdel Atty. [DNE, 8/6/2014]


Five police, four alleged militants killed in clashes on Matrouh road
At least five policemen and four alleged smugglers were killed on Tuesday in a shootout after security forces tried to stop a vehicle suspected of carrying weapons and explosives, the interior ministry said on Wednesday. In a statement on its Facebook page, the ministry said the attack took place in the Dabaa area in the coastal province of Matrouh late Tuesday. Security forces deployed at a nearby port rushed to the site and pursued the attackers, which it described as “terrorists.” Major General Mostafa Darwish, Assistant to the Minister of Interior for Central Traffic, said security forces were pursuing a vehicle loaded with weapons and explosives on Matrouh road in response to intelligence it received that armed assailants were in the area. The official added that the situation was under control following the clashes and that explosives experts were on the scene to examine the vehicle’s contents while security forces combed the area. However, former parliamentarian Hesham al-Akary said those killed by police were innocent civilians, including two Libyan citizens, who had a similar car to that of the attackers, Al-Ahram newspaper reported. [Ahram Online, DNE, AP, Reuters, 8/5/2014]

Dozens of rockets, anti-aircraft missiles seized in Aswan
Egyptian security forces have seized a large number of anti-aircraft rockets and missiles in a mountainous area in the southern governorate of Aswan, state news agency MENA reported. Forces found 25 anti-aircraft rockets and 500 missiles early on Monday in Wadi al-Naqra, northeast of Aswan, MENA said without elaborating. Last month, security forces seized 20 Grad rockets along with their launching pads being smuggled in from the Gaza Strip through a tunnel by militants in northern Sinai. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 8/6/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Fresh Sinai raids kill or injure three militants | Ahram Online
  • Army conscript fired at in Rafah | Aswat Masriya
  • Did an Israeli drone strike militants in Egypt? | Al Monitor


Egyptians press Gaza truce talks between Israel, Palestinians
Egyptian officials mediating talks for a durable truce in Gaza met an Israeli delegation during the night and were to relay their demands to Palestinian representatives, Palestinian sources said Wednesday. Palestinian officials in Cairo said they would respond to the Israeli terms through the Egyptian intelligence officials, although a senior Hamas official has already rejected an Israeli demand that Palestinian factions in Gaza disarm. Egypt’s intelligence chief Mohamed Farid al-Tohamy met the Palestinian delegation in Cairo for the second time in one week, a day after he conferred with Israeli representatives. The Israeli delegation has since left for Israel but was to return to Cairo later Wednesday, according to an Egyptian security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Meanwhile Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held talks with international Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair on Wednesday, and is scheduled to meet with UN Middle East peace process coordinator Robert Serry later in the day. [AFP, Reuters, Ahram Online, 8/5/2014]

Kerry says Egypt’s economic reform plans ‘succeeding
The United States appreciates Egyptian efforts to reform structural economic imbalances, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in recent talks with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab during the latter’s visit to Washington, DC. During the meeting, Kerry praised the country’s progress saying that “Egypt’s plans to reform its economy are succeeding.” He said, “The US administration values the successful steps taken by Egypt to reform structural imbalances in Egypt’s economy and proceed down the path to development in a practical and effective way,” adding that the United States was keen to see Egypt’s democratic experience succeed. United States Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew also said that the United States supports economic reform programs in Egypt during his meeting with Mahlab on the sidelines of the US-Africa Summit currently held in Washington. [DNE, 8/5/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • State Department says US contractor, not peacekeeping soldier, was wounded in Sinai | State Department
  • Shoukry: All Egyptians on Libyan-Tunisian border to return within 48 hours | Ahram Online
  • Egyptians exempted from fees to cross into Tunisia | DNE
  • Egypt sends ship to Tunisia to return stranded nationals | Aswat Masriya
  • More Egyptians return home from Libya from Tunisian border | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Egypt ‘cautiously optimistic’ ahead of Ethiopia dam talks in Sudan: Minister | Ahram Online
  • PM holds talks with Kerry in Washington | SIS
  • Talks terminate on creation of gas pipeline between Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt: Petroleum ministry | DNE
  • Egypt fights to preserve billion-dollar ties with US | Al Monitor
  • Finland lifts travel ban to Sharm al-Sheikh | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Venezuelan foreign minister to visit Cairo to discuss regional situation | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Advisor calls for national project to correct Egypt’s international image | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Germany hails Egypt’s role in Gaze ceasefire | Shorouk (Arabic)