Top News: Salafi Party to Reconsider Roadmap if Egypt’s Islamic Identity is Compromised

Salafist Nour Party spokesperson Nader Bakkar said in a televised interview with CNN on Thursday that his party will reconsider the new political roadmap if the “Islamic identity of the state” in Egypt’s constitution is amended. 


Salafi party to reconsider roadmap if Egypt’s Islamic identity is compromised

Salafist Nour Party spokesperson Nader Bakkar said in a televised interview with CNN on Thursday that his party will reconsider the new political roadmap if the “Islamic identity of the state” in Egypt’s constitution is amended. Bakkar confirmed during the interview that all those participating in setting the new roadmap have agreed that the Islamic identity of the state will be preserved. Meanwhile, leading Nour member Sherif Taha said that the party has no interest in fielding a presidential candidate, adding that the party wants to be a part of the current political scene, but does not want to bear the weight of the Islamist legacy alone. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), 8/9/2013]
Beblawi: We’re close to the point I did not want to reach
Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said that Pro-Morsi sit-ins in Raba’a al-Adaweya and Nahda are close to the point “he did not want to reach” insisting that the government still wants to give them a chance, during an interview with national TV on Thursday. The prime minister dismissed the idea of international intervention in Egyptian internal issues, saying that Egypt’s relationships with western countries are based on mutual respect, insisting that it is not acceptable for any country to intervene in Egypt’s internal affairs. During a visit to Central Security headquarters on Thursday, Beblawi said that security is a top priority for the government. He praised the “great” and “continuing” role of the security forces, especially the Central Security Forces, to fulfill their mission in “maintaining security, and protecting the nation and people.” [DNE, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 8/8/2013]

Also of Interest:
Mansour calls on Egyptian people to renounce dispute (Text of speech) | SIS
NSF in Upper Egypt calls on June 30 government to not ignore chronic problems | Shorouk (Arabic)
Beltagy: Events at Maspero, Mohamed Mahmoud, and the Council of Ministries is a part of the military’s scheme | Shorouk (Arabic)
Egypt’s foreign ministry says keen on explaining revolution | Aswat Masriya
April 6 Youth Movement calls for firm stance against foreign interference in Egyptian affairs | Egypt Independent
Morsi supporters reject Mansour’s address, vow to continue demonstrations | DNE
Transitional Justice Minister: Lack of reconciliation will lead to further revolutions | Egypt Independent


Two Tamarod founders part of Constitutional Committee
Tamarod spokesperson Hassan Shahin on Thursday said that the presidency chose Mahmoud Badr and Mohamed Abdel Aziz, founders of the campaign, to represent it in the Constitutional Committee. He added that negotiations are underway to choose another eight young men and women from other political forces. The Popular Current praised the inclusion of youth representatives in the committee, saying it was a positive step. Meanwhile, Pope Tawadros II, the Pope of Alexandria, and the Patriarch of Saint Mark Episcopate have chosen Bishop Paula of Tanta to represent the Coptic Orthodox Church in the fifty person constitutional assembly formed to amend the constitution, said a source within the church. The three main Egyptian churches, the Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Churches, will collectively nominate three representatives to the assembly. [Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), 8/9/2013]


New head of Egypt’s largest public bank appointed

Egyptian Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi appointed Wednesday Hesham Ahmed Okasha as chairman Egypt’s largest public bank, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE). Okasha, former deputy chairman of NBE, will remain head of the bank until the end of the term of the current board of directors, which ends in three years. A full term of the bank’s chairman lasts four years. [Ahram Online, 8/8/2013]

Also of Interest:
Over 11,000 tourists arrive to Egypt’s Hurghada | Ahram Online


Uneasy Eid holiday keeps Egyptian factions apart
Thousands of supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Friday defied warnings from the army-installed government to end their protests, heightening international concern that a violent confrontation was imminent. Crowds rallied at a protest camp around the Raba’a al-Adaweya mosque in northeast Cairo after Friday prayers. No police or troops could be seen in the immediate vicinity of Raba’a on Friday afternoon. The National Coalition to Support Legitimacy called on Egyptians to rally in the streets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to celebrate what it called victory. In a statement released by the Muslim Brotherhood’s English language website Ikhwanweb on Friday, the Alliance congratulated the “tens of millions of Egyptians” who took to the streets on Thursday to participate in “Victory Day activities.” Thursday’s turnout, the statement continued, confirmed that “the coup has failed.” Marches on Friday were planned to depart from twenty-eight  locations across Cairo to converge on the ongoing sit-ins at Raba’a al-Adaweya in Nasr City and Nahda Square in Giza. Meanwhile, small clashes broke out among Morsi’s supporters and opponents, in Mahalla and Gharbeya. [Reuters, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, EGYNews (Arabic), 8/9/2013]


Israel shuts airport at Egypt border, citing security
Israel took the rare step of shutting its southernmost Eilat airport near Egypt’s Sinai peninsula for two hours on Thursday citing security concerns, military officials said. A military spokeswoman said the airfield in the Red Sea city was shut “due to security assessments”. Two hours later a military official and Israel Radio said it had been reopened. [Reuters, Ahram (Arabic), 8/8/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egyptian invents new mine detector | Egypt Independent
Egypt closes Rafah crossing for Eid holiday | Ahram Online


United States messaging mess in Egypt complicates diplomacy
President Barack Obama administration’s efforts to promote democracy in Egypt are being complicated by what many Egyptians see as mixed and confusing messages coming from Washington, exacerbating already high anti-American sentiment and threatening broader US goals in the region. Any administration might find it difficult to safely navigate the intricacies of Egypt’s current political tumult, but some US officials concede they have been unable to communicate a coherent policy. Meanwhile, fresh off a contentious meeting in Cairo, Senator John McCain expressed concern Thursday that Egypt may be headed toward a period of prolonged violence if the Arab country’s military and the Muslim Brotherhood cannot start a political dialogue. [AP, Ahram (Arabic), 8/8/2013]

Turkish president urges restraint in Egyptian crisis
Turkish President Abdullah Gul appealed to Egypt’s army-installed government on Friday to return the country swiftly to democratic rule and allow all parties to take part in the political process. In an article published in the Financial Times, Gul urged the Egyptian authorities to release the detained former president, Islamist Mohamed Morsi. The Turkish head of state, a member of the moderate Islamist AK party, also called on all sides to act with restraint and avoid violence. Speaking about Egypt, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again criticized those unwilling to label Morsi’s ouster a coup, as well as criticizing Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei for accepting a role in the interim government. [Reuters, EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram (Arabic), 8/8/2013]
Iran leader warns of major power’s interference in Egypt’s affairs
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, voiced his concern about the situation in Egypt on Friday and warned of the consequences of having major powers interfere to solve the crisis. He warned that the political crisis in Egypt after the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi could spark a civil war. Khamenei’s comments came a day after Egypt’s interim presidency said Western and Arab initiatives to resolve its political deadlock had failed. [Aswat Masriya, DNE, EGYNews (Arabic), 8/9/2013]

Also of Interest:
US embassy in Cairo evacuates more staff amid ‘terrorism’ threats | Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic)
France offers assistance to Egypt | DNE, EGYNews (Arabic)
Hamas PM denies group’s interference in Egyptian affairs | Ahram Online/MENA
EU resumes mediation between government and Morsi supporters | Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, EGYNews (Arabic)
Israel shuts Eilat airport temporarily at Egypt border, citing security | Reuters, Reuters, AP, Ahram Online/AFP, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online/AFP
Italy foreign minister concerned over situation in Egypt | EGYNews (Arabic)

Image: Nour Party