Saturday 19 August 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 07/25/17)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Monday his government would keep up a blockade of Qatar by four Arab states over charges it supports terrorism, in defiance of international efforts to end the crisis. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants in the worst crisis among Arab states in years, a charge that Doha denies. "Egypt will stand by its decision and will not backtrack on this matter," Sisi said at a youth conference in Alexandria. "Our persistence on its own, our stance, and this block, is pressure in itself." Qatar's ruling emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said on Friday he...
(AL Jazeera 07/25/17)
Foreign Minister tells EU's Mogherini that Qatar must accept in full demands by Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Egypt has said that the four Arab states will accept no compromise in their dispute with Qatar over allegations that Doha supports "terrorism". Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, speaking after talks with the European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels on Tuesday, said Qatar must accept in full the demands by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). "It is not an issue of compromise. We cannot compromise with any form of terrorism, we cannot compromise or enter into any form of negotiations," Shoukry told a news conference. "It is only once the necessary measures are undertaken by...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(Agence Ecofin 07/24/17)
Africa’s biggest military base can hold up to 20,000 soldiers. The infrastructure was inaugurated last Saturday by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi at El-Hammam, near Alexandria. The base which has numerous tanks, helicopters, anti-aerial defense systems and other war equipment, is named after the country’s first President, Mohamed Neguib. The leader was at the top of Egypt from 1952 to 1954. Protect Egypt against terrorist threats, make boarders with Libya and Sudan safe, protect the huge gas deposits recently discovered in the Mediterranean and insure security for traffic on the Red Sea. These are the goals of the base. According to the Russian media Sputnik, the base was also built to protect in the near future the nuclear plant which...
(AFP (eng) 07/22/17)
Egyptian forces have killed 30 extremists during several days of security operations in the Sinai Peninsula involving the army, air force and police, the military said Saturday. The Egyptian authorities are battling an insurgency by the Islamic State (IS) group in North Sinai that has killed hundreds of members of the security forces. The military did not specify to which group the 30 extremists belonged but described them as "extremely dangerous". Five others were arrested as Egyptian forces imposed a "tight siege" on the North Sinai provincial capital El-Arish and the cities of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
Egyptian forces shot dead two militants from the Hasam group, the government said Friday, after the Islamist group claimed to have carried a deadly attack on police. The militants were killed in a shootout in Fayoum province, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Cairo, as the security forces tried to arrest them at a hideout, the interior ministry said in a statement. Hasam, an extremist movement the government accuses of links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, said it targeted a police convoy in the province on Thursday, killing one officer and wounding three others. In its statement, the ministry did not say when the shootout took place, but Hasam appears to be describing the same incident only with different...
(Xinhuanet 07/21/17)
Moody's Investors Service maintains "stable outlook" on Egypt due to economic reforms with B3 rating. The B3 rating is at number 16 out of the 21 ratings-tier followed by global rating agencies. In its ranking report published on Thursday, Moody's said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) review of Egypt's economic reform program is "credit positive indicating the current account deficit to shrink gradually to 3 percent of GDP by the end of 2020." Last week, IMF's Executive Board completed the first review of Egypt's economic reform program and approved the second tranche worth 1.25 billion U.S. dollars
(Xinhuanet 07/21/17)
Egypt admonished Thursday the U.S. for warning its citizens against travel to the Middle Eastern country because of the threats from terrorists and violent political groups. In a press statement, Spokesman for Egypt's Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zaid said the Egyptian embassy in Washington has handed over a letter of dissatisfaction to the U.S. State Department over the phrasing of its travel warning issued on Wednesday. The travel warning referred to terrorist acts that occurred years ago, but it did not mention the dates of these incidents, giving a false impression to those who read the warning, said Abu Zaid. On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department warned U.S. citizens to consider the risks of travelling to Egypt given threats from...
(Xinhuanet 07/21/17)
Necessity is always the mother of invention. Constructions in general and housing in specific were still a crisis in Egypt, especially due to price hikes in building materials. Now,two young men were able to take a step towards the problem by setting up a small company Qubix, which is for transforming shipping containers into constructions: homes, shops, and restaurants, all at a lower cost and in a faster period of time than their usual, traditional buildings. Having the challenge spirit, Youssef and Kareem launched their business about one year ago. They believe that container architecture can solve many problems in Egypt. "The idea came to my co-founder's mind, Kareem, who saw its application in London in Container City while he...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/21/17)
For Egypt's Special Olympics athletes, a lack of snow in their homeland did not stop them winning medals at this year's Winter Games. They trained on a surface that Egypt has plenty of: sand. The four-member snowshoe team of two men and two women with learning disabilities had never seen snow before arriving in Austria for the tournament in March, but they were prepared: winning gold in the relay as well as individual medals. They trained for two months by strapping on snowshoes and running across the sandy beaches of Alexandria, on Egypt's Mediterranean coast. They have kept up the training regime since the 2017 World Winter Games, which brought together 2,700 competitors from 107 nations to venues in Graz,...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, the Cairo-based investment bank expanding into frontier markets, plans to begin operations in Kenya early next week after the country’s market regulators awarded it brokerage and trading licenses. The company targets a market share of 5 percent in its first year of operation and up to 15 percent by the third year, Ali Khalpey, the chief executive officer of EFG-Hermes Frontier, said by phone from London. EFG-Hermes will begin offering research for Kenyan and sub-Saharan African banks and consumer stocks by September and plans to expand its research coverage afterward. Slow growth in many developed and emerging markets spurred EFG-Hermes to hire Khalpey in January and build a unit focused on frontier markets. In six months, Khalpey’s...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(Xinhuanet 07/20/17)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday for an official visit to Iraq to discuss counterterrorism cooperation. Shoukry arrived in Baghdad airport before noon and was received by his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari. The two officials held a meeting in Jaafari's office, where they discussed bilateral ties, intelligence and security coordination and fighting IS group in the region. After announcing victory against IS group in Mosul, "the intelligence and security coordination must continue because we are not confronting a traditional army. They are terrorist suicide groups that can appear here and there," Jaafari said at a joint press conference with Shoukry after
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
Egypt's agricultural exports rose 12.1 percent during the first half of 2017, reaching 3.5 million tonnes compared to 3.1 million last year, agriculture ministry spokesman Hamid Abdel Dayim said on Wednesday. Egypt's agricultural exporters have seen a surge in demand since the country floated its currency last November, allowing it to roughly halve in value as part of reforms tied to a three-year $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan agreement. Exports increased in citrus, potatoes, grapes, and strawberries, and fell only for onions, Dayim said. The export growth comes after a turbulent year for Egyptian produce, with a Hepatitis A scare in North America linked to Egyptian strawberries and a temporary ban of Egyptian fruits and vegetables in Russia, one of Cairo's major buyers.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
In a bare room with nothing but a small pillow, a few pots, and a sheet to cover the dusty floor, Youssef Abdullah's family was living in an impoverished Upper Egyptian village when they were told he died in the Libyan desert. Abdullah was one of at least 22 Egyptians found dead this month, perishing from heat and starvation after trekking through the Libyan desert by foot in search of jobs they could not secure at home."Youssef's circumstances were very bad. If he found work here he wouldn't have traveled. I wish I had stopped him but I wasn't able to ... he traveled without me knowing," his father, Abdullah Mahmoud, told Reuters. The Libyan Red Crescent said the bodies...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
Argentina said Wednesday that it has sent the regional bloc Mercosur its ratification of the group's 2010 trade agreement with Egypt, and the pact will go into force within a month. The trade deal, which covers food, cars, auto parts and industrial supplies, was signed by Egypt and Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay in 2010, but it did not go into effect because Argentina's Congress had not approved it. Argentina's Congress signed off on the deal in May and Argentina has sent Mercosur its formal ratification, the last step needed for implementation, Argentina's production ministry said. "In 30 days the agreement will be in full force," the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The deal will eliminate...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/19/17)
Some of the people who helped propel Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to power are calling for his replacement in an election next year, a sign of a shift in the still widespread view that he is a force for stability. Although the former military commander has yet to declare he will run in the June election, only two people have aired the idea of challenging him and even they say Sisi is likely to win, aided by a crackdown on his opponents that is gathering pace. But the criticism in recent months from several of Sisi's staunchest former allies of his handling of the economy, security and a territorial dispute is striking in a country where fear of turmoil...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/19/17)
Egyptian security forces killed a prominent Islamic State militant on Tuesday suspected of being involved in recent attacks in North Sinai, an Interior Ministry statement said. Egypt faces an Islamist insurgency led by the Islamic State group in the Sinai Peninsula, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since 2013. The statement said security forces conducted a raid on a building under construction in Arish, a city in North Sinai, where militants had set up a base of operations. An ensuing firefight led to the death of one of the group's leaders, Ahmed Hassan Ahmed Al-Nashu, who is known as Ghandur Al-Masri, and the escape of another, the statement said. It said Masri was responsible for carrying out...
(Daily News Egypt 07/19/17)
The remittances stood at $1.7 billion against $1.5 billion a year earlier. Remittances from expatriate Egyptians rose 11.1% in May on an annual basis, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said on Tuesday. The CBE said in a statement that remittances had stood at $1.7 billion in May 2017, up from $1.5 billion in May 2016. Total remittances amounted to $11billion in the period from November to May , up from $9.9 billion in the same period a year earlier. Egyptians working abroad send back billions of dollars a year in remittances, an important source of hard currency for a country that has seen tourism, foreign investments, and exports dwindle in the political turmoil that followed the 2011 revolt. The...

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