Qatar said Thursday it has recalled its ambassador to Cairo to protest comments made by Egyptian delegate to the Arab League, Tarek Adel, over his country’s decision to carry out air strikes in neighboring Libya. While the Arab League issued a statement saying it “understands” Egypt’s position, Qatar had expressed reservations over the attack and the arming of Libya’s government. 


More than 5,000 candidates apply for parliamentary elections as registration ends
Leading officials of Egypt’s political parties have said they were ‎doing their best to finalize the registration papers of ‎their candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections after the Higher Elections Committee (HEC) ‎extended the window for parliamentary candidate ‎registration by two days. The extension came as a result of bad weather, in an attempt to allow political parties greater time to complete their ‎lists of candidates and successfully submit the required ‎registration papers. The window for registration closed on Thursday evening. According to HEC statistics, of the ‎‎5,053 who successfully registered, ‎‎3,514 plan to run as independents, with only ‎‎1,539 running on party lists. Most of those who ‎registered range between the age of forty-one and fifty, while the ‎number of female candidates is at least 212. [Ahram Online, DNE, 2/19/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Cabinet approves penal code draft amendments code allowing dismissal of employees for ‘adopting extremism’ | SIS
  • Conference Party fails to join ‘For the Love of Egypt’ electoral list | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • 230 candidates registered for parliamentary elections in Minya | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • NCW trains 300 to monitor female candidates’ constituencies in March elections| EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Nour Party submits fourth electoral list in Greater Cairo | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Long Live Egypt alliance to run for individual seats only | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Wafd party threatens to withdraw from ‘For the Love of Egypt’ list | Shorouk (Arabic)


In final verdict, four sentenced to death for 2006 rape
Egypt’s Court of Cassation has upheld the death sentence on four defendants to death, five others to life in prison, and a minor to fifteen years in prison after they were convicted of raping a woman in Egypt’s Nile Delta governorate of Kafr al-Sheikh in 2006. A criminal court issued a preliminary death sentence for the four defendants in November 2014. The defendants had already appealed their sentences before, which makes Thursday’s death sentences final. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 2/19/2015]

Eighty arrested on fourth anniversary of Egypt’s revolution referred to misdemeanor court
Egypt’s general prosecutor Hisham Barakat referred eighty Egyptians arrested near Tahrir Square on the fourth anniversary of the January 25 revolution to the court of misdemeanors. The defendants are accused of breaching the widely criticized protest law, inciting riots, illegal assembly, blocking roads and resisting authorities. The prosecution’s investigations showed that the defendants are from different political parties who organized protests on the fourth anniversary of the revolution that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.  The court has scheduled the first session of the trial for February 24. [Ahram Online, 2/18/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Supreme Judicial Council appoints female judges | Egypt independent
  • Pre-trial detention renewed for 177 suspects in Brotherhood sit-in dispersal | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Trial of fifty-one over storming Helwan police station adjourned to February 26 | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt’s cabinet approves law privatizing electricity production
Egypt’s cabinet approved Wednesday a law privatizing electricity production, distribution and transmission. The law limits the state role in the electricity sector to regulation and supervision and separates activities of production, transmission and distribution to ensure competitiveness in the private sector. According to a cabinet statement, the new law calls for the creation of an independent entity to “ensure the preservation of the interests of consumers and providers of the service, and balanced relationship between them.” The cabinet also approved more than doubling subsidies for the country’s health insurance system, to EGP2.5 billion from EGP811 million originally allocated in the current fiscal year, to benefit some 50 million citizens. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, Egypt Independent, 2/18/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s GASC cancels tender to buy US wheat due to high prices | Reuters
  • Egypt bourse approves CIB $300 million capital increase | Reuters
  • Noble to supply Egypt with seven LNG cargoes -ministry | Reuters
  • Egyptian pound steady at both official and black market exchange rates | Reuters
  • Cabinet approves 344 million euros in French aid to Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Unemployment at lowest level since 2012 | Mada Masr
  • December tourism better than last year, worst since May | Mada Masr
  • Newspaper: Egypt may borrow from IMF after EEDC | Egypt Independent
  • Recession hits Saloum City following Egypt-Libya border closure |Egypt Independent
  • Orascom Construction to raise up to $241 million in Egypt share offer | Reuters


Cabinet approves 100,000 EGP compensation for families of victims killed in Libya
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said on Wednesday that the cabinet has approved compensation for the families of twenty Egyptian victims killed in Libya. Each of the families will be given a 1,500 Egyptian pound monthly pension, in addition to 100,000 Egyptian pounds in compensation. Social care services will also be made available to the families in the Minya cities of Salamut and Matai. The families of another seven Egyptians kidnapped in Libya met with Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty to discuss their release. [SIS, 2/19/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Antiquities Minister denies using a laser in the restoration of the Tutankhamun mask | Egypt Independent
  • ISIS Egyptian member threatens member of al-Qahera wal-Nas channel | Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian director slams columnist over Brotherhood assassination call | Egypt Independent
  • Citing Western experience, columnist suggests extermination of Brotherhood leadership | Egypt Independent
  • Presenter reportedly arrested over filming in school without permit | Egypt Independent
  • Social Solidarity Ministry: 2,519 catastrophes in six months | Egypt Independent


Policeman killed, another injured in Suez attack
A policeman has been killed and another wounded in a drive-by shooting east of Cairo, state news agency MENA reported. Unknown assailants in the canal city of Suez opened fire at a police patrol on a highway late on Wednesday, killing a 25-year-old police recruit who was driving the vehicle and injuring a lieutenant. The patrol was securing the Suez-Ismailia road. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 2/19/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Thirty-six terror suspects arrested in North Sinai | EGYNews (Arabic)


Qatar recalls ambassador to Egypt over accusations of supporting terrorism
Qatar said Thursday it has recalled its ambassador to Cairo to protest comments made by Egyptian delegate to the Arab League, Tarek Adel, over his country’s decision to carry out air strikes in neighboring Libya. While the Arab League issued a statement saying it “understands” Egypt’s position, Qatar had expressed reservations over the attack and the arming of Libya’s government. Adel said Egypt won the support of all Arab League members except for Qatar, which he accused of “supporting terrorism.” Qatar’s Foreign Ministry condemned Adel’s statement. The GCC secretary general, Bahrain’s Abdullatif al-Zayani, also criticized Cairo’s accusations, describing them in a statement as “utterly false” and “not conducive to Arab solidarity at this critical moment.” In separate statements, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah said his country does not support the Muslim Brotherhood, and denied objection to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. [AP, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, The Guardian, Ahram Online, 2/19/2015]

Egypt Foreign Minister calls for lifting Libya arms embargo, naval blockade
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry presented recommendations for supporting Libya’s elected officials and confronting the Islamic State to the United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC) in New York on Wednesday. The foreign minister proposed a three-point plan: Lifting the embargo on arms sales to Libya, so as to confront terror; imposing a naval blockade on arms in areas outside the control of Libya’s elected authorities; and assisting the Libyan state by coordination with its government against terrorists, seeking its approval or involvement in such actions. Ahead of the UNSC meeting, the Foreign Ministry said there is “no contradiction” between backing a political solution in Libya and empowering the “Libyan government” by lifting the ban on arms sales to the government. Meanwhile, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said an Egyptian air force pilot denied accusations that seven civilian targets were hit in the air strikes. Libyan Militias, reportedly Libya Dawn, retaliated with airstrikes on the Libyan city of Zintan, which is allied with the internationally-recognized Libyan government and its airport. A plane carrying Egyptians and Libyans from the western region was scheduled to take off from the airport at the time of the attack, but was cancelled as a result. [Mada Masr, AFP, 2/19/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Twenty Egyptian Copts, one of African nationality in IS beheading video | Ahram Online
  • European ambassadors meet top Egyptian clerics | DNE
  • Egyptian, Tunisian, Libyan labor unions coordinate to evacuate workers in Libya | Mada Masr
  • Intervention against ISIS in Libya fraught with risks | AFP