Top News: North African Ministers in Cairo for Libya Crisis Talks


Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met early Monday with his Libyan, Algerian, and Tunisian counterparts for talks on the situation in Libya.


Egypt’s electoral alliances leave leftist forces divided, Nour will wait
In a meeting with leftist and liberal political activists on August 19, Egypt’s 2014 presidential candidate and high profile Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabbahi left no doubt that he is firmly against the Egyptian Front electoral alliance that was officially launched August 17 by the diehards of the defunct ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). In reaction, however, several leftist and Nasserist forces announced they reject Sabbahi’s remarks about the Egyptian Front. Joining forces with the Tagammu Party, the Arab Nasserist Democratic Party, issued a statement in support of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, charging Sabbahi’s Karama and Popular Current with slandering the army. Meanwhile, the Salafi Nour Party decided after a meeting of the party’s supreme body that it will not commit to an electoral coalition until district lines are drawn, announced chairman Younis Makhioun on Saturday. [Ahram Online, DNE, 8/25/2014]

Electricity minister to replace alleged Brotherhood members
Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker is moving to replace a number of officials in the sector for their alleged affiliation to the Muslim Brotherhood, state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported.   Among those to be replaced is Mohamed Habib, a board member for planning and research at the Electricity Holding Company, who is being moved to the Cairo Electric Production Company for his affiliations with the Muslim Brotherhood. Hassan Refai, who served as the governor of Ismailia under Mohamed Morsi, was also moved from his position at the East Delta Electricity Production Company to another position in the same company. Two more officials are being replaced, one reportedly for his weak performance. [Mada Masr, 8/24/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Mahlab: Slum growth, electricity and water shortages are ‘enemies’ to fight | DNE


Egypt court sentence five defendants to death for terrorism and church attack
The Giza Criminal Court referred on Saturday five defendants in the “October Cell” case to Egypt’s Grand Mufti to consider sentencing them to death for managing a “terrorist cell” and killing a policeman. The five defendants were arrested for opening fire on the Virgin Mary Church in October 6 City on January 28. The shooting left one policeman, sergeant Mohamed Taha Sayed, dead and another injured. The court said on Saturday that it will issue its final verdict for the case on September 20. The men were accused of establishing and managing a terrorist organization with the purpose of halting state institutions’ activities, forcibly toppling the ruling regime, attacking security forces and endangering society. The prosecutor general also charged them with premeditated murder and attempted murder. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 8/23/2014]

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Foreign partners demand Egypt government repays dues before increasing investments
Foreign companies operating in the oil sector have linked increasing their investments to their payment from the Egyptian government, in light of the government’s failure to keep to the repayment schedule that was previously agreed upon. According to an official at one of these foreign companies, the Egyptian government has no choice but to pay its dues if it wants an increase in investments within the sector, which would lead to an increase in oil and gas production rates. Dues to foreign companies operating in the oil sector have increased by $300 million, while the government’s inability to pay such an amount- even as it repays small portions of its debt- has lead to an accumulation of the total debt to an estimated $6 billion. [DNE, 8/23/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt looks to secure LNG production and supply: OBG | DNE
  • Sisi’s government clings to debt to pull Egypt’s oil and gas from the brink | Forbes
  • Egypt remains an attractive FDI destination | Marcopolis
  • Op-ed: How uncertainty managed to negatively affect the Egyptian economy | DNE
  • New airport city to create 120,000 jobs, at EGP 80 billion cost | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s property owners given 60 days to appeal valuation, taxes | Ahram Online
  • Government reduces gas to plants to solve power crisis | DNE
  • Federation of Egyptian Industries chambers reject monetary donations to ‘Billion EGP Initiative’ | DNE
  • Finance ministry yet to impose property tax on petroleum companies: Adviser | DNE
  • Power crisis threatens industrial sector | DNE
  • Investors associations requests industrial areas be excluded from electricity cuts | DNE
  • Government bodies owe Petroleum Authority EGP 163 billion | DNE
  • Petroleum agreements stipulate interest on the government’s dues to its partners | DNE
  • Egypt Suez Canal revenue at $482.2 million in July | Reuters
  • Egyptian pound holds steady vs dollar at central bank sale | Reuters
  • Oil and gas group Eni starts production at DEKA project in Egypt | Reuters
  • Minister of irrigation warns of water scarcity | Mada Masr


Mahienour al-Masry starts hunger strike
Alexandrian lawyer and activist Mahienour al-Masry started a hunger strike on Sunday in support of all those detained over Egypt’s controversial 2013 Protest Law. Meanwhile, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information issued a statement Monday saying at least a dozen protesters and activists behind bars have gone on hunger strike in the past week. The group said the rise is in reaction to “unfair trials” and “noticeably prolonged detentions” without trial in cases involving freedom of expression. [AP, DNE, 8/25/2014]

Ministry of Interior relocates street vendors causing outrage
The ministry of interior launched a government project on Sunday aimed at shifting downtown Cairo street vendors to the parking lot at Torgoman bus station. Cairo Governor Galal Saeed had announced last July that street vendors would be temporarily moved there before being eventually moved to an abandoned piece of land in Abdel Moneim Riyad Square. According to Major General Mohamed Ayman Abdel-Tawab, Cairo’s deputy governor, the project is aimed at enforcing “the sovereignty of the law” in the Egyptian streets. The project also aims to tackle several problems including traffic congestion, electricity theft, and violation of public property. Street vendors expressed their anger claiming that the project will simply cut off the daily income they receive from street vending. On Monday, the security campaign to evacuate Cairo street vendors faced complications, as tens of street vendors protested. Security efforts to relocate vendors also faced initial opposition on Sunday when many vendors attempted to return to their previous locations. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 8/24/2014]

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Fourteen militants killed in North Sinai
Egyptian armed forces killed 14 militants and destroyed 32 structures during raids in North Sinai over the past two days, army spokesperson Mohamed Samir announced via Facebook on Monday. “They were killed in a fire exchange with the armed forces,” the statement said, adding that they arrested “an extremely dangerous terrorist called Souwailem Mohamed Salem” on Monday. Four wanted individuals from Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah were also arrested Sunday. Meanwhile, an Egyptian army conscript suffered a gunshot wound to the head on Sunday during a security operation against militants in Sheikh Zuweid. In addition, a resident of Zohour district in Arish was shot dead by unidentified assailants Sunday morning on his way to work. Eyewitnesses said the gunmen showered Ayman Abu Mesh, an employee at the Arish electricity company, with bullets as he was getting into his car in front of his house, before they fled the scene. A man from the Remeila Tribe was also reportedly shot dead on Sunday in Rafah by unidentified gunmen. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 8/25/2014]

‘Final’ reconciliation reached between feuding Aswan tribes
The Arab tribe of Beni Hilal and the Nubian clan Daboudiya struck a “final” reconciliation under the mediation of Egypt’s Islamic al-Azhar institution on Sunday, ending months of clashes and reconciliation attempts since bloody confrontations erupted between them in April. Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb announced the settlement, which involves the payment of blood money and mutual promises not to revive the violence which killed 28 people. The governor of Aswan, Mostafa Yousri, attended the reconciliation conference along with many officials from the police and al-Azhar. [Ahram Online, 8/24/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Confrontation in Sinai is not enough, say local leaders | Ahram Online
  • Central Security Forces go on strike in Ismailia | DNE


Egypt to seek new Palestinian-Israeli ceasefire amid military confrontations
Media reports said on Monday that Egypt is currently exerting diplomatic efforts to reach a new ceasefire agreement between the Palestinians and Israel. On Saturday, Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians to accept an indefinite ceasefire and resume indirect talks in Cairo to end the Gaza crisis, Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement, as both sides kept up attacks. On Sunday, Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said that no response had been received and stressed that Egyptian officials are “still in contact with all sides” in an attempt to resume the stalled indirect talks. Egyptian efforts to secure a ceasefire in Gaza are ongoing, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry added in comments reported by state news agency MENA. Meanwhile, following a meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that Egypt is key to ongoing negotiations on the crisis in Gaza. Abbas reaffirmed the need for a ceasefire, stating, “After the ceasefire takes place, all parties can sit together for negotiations.” In addition, during a meeting with newspaper chief editors on Sunday, Sisi said that Egypt will not give up on supporting the Palestinian cause  and that large-scale efforts are being made to meet the humanitarian demands of the people of Gaza through the Rafah border. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya, Reuters, 8/25/2014]

North African ministers in Cairo for Libya crisis talks
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met early Monday with his Libyan, Algerian, and Tunisian counterparts for talks on the situation in Libya. Shoukry’s fourth meeting with the ministers, which took place in Cairo, was called to help find ways to calm the current turmoil in Libya and discuss the formation of a new government. Shoukry said the escalation of violence in Libya threatens the entire region with spillover effects such as weapons trafficking and cross-border infiltration by extremists. Egypt’s foreign ministry also strongly condemned the execution of an Egyptian citizen, Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed, by a Libyan militia in Derna, a ministry statement read. Foreign ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel-Atty said Mohamed was not afforded his right to a fair trial. Meanwhile, a Libyan militant group, Fajr Libya, which reportedly seized Tripoli International Airport on Saturday, accused Egypt and the UAE of launching two air raids against the group’s forces over the past week. Egypt’s foreign ministry on Sunday denied the allegations, while President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in a meeting with newspapers’ chief editors, denied that Egypt has conducted any military operations outside its borders “as of yet.” [Ahram Online, AP, The Guardian, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 8/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt’s involvement in Libyan conflict a threat to national security: MB | DNE
  • Tripartite talks on Ethiopia dam begin in Khartoum | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Sisi ready to visit Ethiopia, ‘if it is in Egypt’s interest’ | Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s FM to travel Ethiopia before Renaissance dam talks | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Britain wants safe, prosperous Egypt: New UK Ambassador | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Sisi: Egypt does not support the Syrian regime or opposition | DNE
  • Sisi meets Algerian foreign minister | Aswat Masriya
  • Sisi: Egypt does not import or export gas from Israel | Aswat Masriya