US President Barack Obama on Tuesday released military aid to Egypt that was suspended after the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, in an effort to boost Cairo’s ability to combat the extremist threat in the region. 


‘National dialogue’ between Egypt PM and political forces to begin Thursday
Egypt’s Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Transitional Justice Ibrahim al-Heneidy announced on Tuesday that a series of national dialogue meetings between Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and representatives of mainstream political forces are due to begin on Thursday to pave the way for long-delayed parliamentary elections. Heneidy said that as many as seventy-five political figures are expected to attend the meetings. Heneidy added, “While political forces and public figures on one side will review their proposed amendments, there will be a panel of legislative and constitutional experts who are members of a government-appointed committee in charge of amending these laws and who will reflect on these amendments in terms of whether they are in line with the constitution or not.” The meeting comes after a government-appointed committee has almost finalized amending two election laws to bring them in line with two rulings issued by the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) on the first and seventh of March. [Ahram Online, 4/1/2015]

Sisi lends civil service authorities to cabinet
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree Tuesday delegating Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, as well as the cabinet and governors, for some of the terms of Civil Service Law No. 18/2015. Sisi had issued a decree on March 12, approving a new law to regulate Egypt’s civil service.  The law centralizes the process of recruiting public servants, also providing them with new categorization and a faster promotion system. The first article of the presidential decree lends authorities for provisions concerning excellent and high level positions to Mahlab, while article two lends the Prime Minister provisions concerning general managers’ positions. The third article stipulates that the ministers and governors have authority over the rest of the positions. According to the presidential spokesman, the decree will facilitate necessary decisions for daily and routine actions regarding the staff in the administrative apparatus of the state, local units of administration, and public bodies. The Revolutionary Socialists Movement had rejected the new civil service law, saying that these laws aim for the “liquidation of government employees.” [DNE, 3/31/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Completion of new Suez Canal dry digging in early April | DNE
  • Marketing, legal amendments needed for South Sinai prosperity says Governor | Ahram Online


Egypt’s illicit gains authority to appeal Mubarak-era interior minister release
The Illicit Gains Authority appealed the recent acquittal of former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly on a range of corruption charges, including squandering EGP181 million in public funds, state-owned MENA reported on Tuesday. Youssef Othman, the head of the illicit gains authority, said the body has discovered “legal flaws” in the ruling. He added that the authority has drafted the reasons for its appeal and will hand them over to the prosecutor general. The Giza Criminal Court acquitted Adly of the charges on March 19 and he walked out of prison on March 25. The judge also overturned a freeze on his personal assets, and those of his family. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 3/31/2015]

Prosecution orders probe into prison torture allegations
Egypt’s Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat has ordered an investigation into the recent allegations of torture of prisoners at the Abu Zaabal Prison. A Delegation from the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) reported signs of flogging after a visit it made to the prison on Monday. NCHR member Salah Sallam quoted some prisoners as saying that they had been placed in solitary cells less than a meter wide, with no ventilation or sanitation, adding that their only daily meal was a crust of bread and a piece of cheese. Sallam, who said he had met with four prisoners, including Yaqeen news network photographer Ahmed Zeyada, said the prison’s wardens refused to let him speak to more inmates. [Egypt Independent, 3/31/2015]

Also of Interest

  • More students sentenced to three to five years in prison by military court | DNE
  • Rights group demands revoking of ‘Arab Sharkas cell’ death sentences | DNE
  • Last trial session for photojournalist Gamal Ziada commences | DNE
  • Mobinil’s case against TE rejected by arbitration committee | DNE
  • Belly dancer sentenced to prison for insulting Zamalek club chief | Egypt Independent
  • Court holds closed session in Morsi ‘Qatar espionage’ case | EGYNews (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Government target 4.2 percent growth rate for current fiscal year
The Egyptian government is targeting a 4.2 percent growth rate for the fiscal year 2014/2015, compared to the 2.2 percent rate registered last year, Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman announced Monday. The minister added that the target for foreign investments is $8 billion. The minister highlighted that during the first half of the current fiscal year, the growth rate recorded approximately 5.5 percent. The first half of FY 2014/2015 also saw a 9.9 percent rise in tax revenues, which recorded EGP114 billion. The budget deficit growth decreased in the first half the current fiscal year to register EGP89.4 billion, equivalent to 4.5percent of GDP. This is compared to EGP132 billion, equivalent to 5.7 percent of the GDP during the last fiscal year. [DNE, 3/31/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s Edita says public offering 4.5 times oversubscribed | Reuters
  • PM says US$6 billion in aid from Gulf States to be deposited within days | Egypt Independent
  • Minister says public sector companies may sell part of assets to solve liquidity problem| Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s benchmark index rises by 2.33 percent in first quarter of 2015 | Aswat Masriya


Egypt, Nigeria top world death sentences in 2014 says Amnesty
Egypt and Nigeria make up well over a third of the world’s total death sentences in 2014, with over 1,000 death sentences recorded in both states last year, Amnesty International said in a report Tuesday. The London-based rights watchdog said that the number of death sentences handed down in 55 countries rose by over a quarter during 2014 from the year before, at least 2,466 compared to 1,925, which is largely linked to crackdowns on terrorism or internal security. Egypt announced at least 509 death sentences during 2014, many of them handed down in hurried trials following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, drawing international condemnation. [Ahram Online, AP, DNE, 3/31/2015]

Also of Interest


Policeman shot dead Wednesday in northern Egypt
A national security policeman was shot dead by unknown assailants in Mounifeya, north of Cairo, on Wednesday. Armed men on a motorbike opened fire on the 43-year-old policeman as he was leaving a mosque at dawn on Wednesday, then fled the scene, a security source said. He later died in hospital from twelve bullet wounds. Thousands of mourners marched in the funeral of the policeman in his village in Shebin al-Kom. In a separate incident, three soldiers were injured Wednesday when unknown assailants opened fire at a military train in central Egypt’s Beni Suef governorate. First Assistant Ahmed Rizq, 40, Sergeant Mohamed Saeed, 25, and conscript Mahmoud Mohamed, 21, were transferred to hospital with shotgun injuries. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 4/1/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Gunmen abduct three Sinai residents | Egypt Independent
  • Unknown assailants detonate electricity pylon in Sharqiya  | EGYNews (Arabic)


US releases military aid to Egypt suspended since 2013, ends cash flow financing   
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday released military aid to Egypt that was suspended after the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, in an effort to boost Cairo’s ability to combat the extremist threat in the region. The White House said Obama notified Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in a phone call Tuesday that the United States would be sending twelve F-16 fighter jets, twenty missiles and up to 125 tank kits, while continuing to request $1.3 billion in military assistance for Egypt. The White House said that would make Egypt will remain the second-largest recipient of US foreign military financing worldwide. Future military aid will also be channeled into to four categories — counterterrorism, border security, maritime security and Sinai security. The United States is also putting an end to cash flow financing, meaning it will halt Egypt’s ability to draw credit from future foreign aid, barring it from drawing advance money expected in the 2018 fiscal year and beyond. Sisi welcomed the restoration of US military aid, and in a statement said “the continuation of US military assistance to Egypt and the resumption of military transactions contributes to the common strategic objectives of both countries, notably in the fields of combating terrorism and extremism, and maintaining security, particularly in (the) Sinai (Peninsula).” [AP, Reuters, The Guardian, SIS, 4/1/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Meetings on forming join-Arab force to start Sunday: Sources | Ahram Online
  • Sisi calls on Houthi rebels to retreat for ‘sake of Yemen’ | Ahram Online
  • Arab parliaments thwart Turkish attempt to freeze Egypt’s IPU membership | Egypt Independent
  • Foreign minister says Egypt to host meeting for ‘Syrian national groups’ soon | Aswat Masriya
  • Housing ministry discusses cooperation with Ethiopia in construction | DNE
  • Egyptian-Ethiopian Committee promotes trade, industrial cooperation | DNE
  • Egypt seeks new era with Ethiopia says Sisi | DNE
  • Chinese president’s visit to Cairo postponed | MENA
  • Egypt, Libya consider reopening Salloum crossing | Egypt Independent
  • Yemenis in Egypt demand return to homeland | DNE
  • Four Yemenis denied access to Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Restrictions on money transactions anger Yemenis in Egypt | DNE
  • Egyptian killed in Yemen | Egypt Independent
  • ‘Urgent recommendations’ issued on Egyptian nationals in Yemen says Foreign Ministry | Aswat Masriya
  • Al-Azhar Grand Imam tells Congressional delegation threatening Gulf security will be met with resistance | EGYNews (Arabic)