Sunday 25 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
An Egyptian real estate tycoon jailed for the murder of a Lebanese pop diva was freed Friday as part of a presidential pardon for hundreds of detainees, security officials said. State television said President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pardoned a total of 502 prisoners to mark Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Hisham Talaat Moustafa, who was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2010 for the murder of Suzanne Tamim, was among those pardoned on health grounds, an interior ministry official told AFP.
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi extended a state of emergency declared after twin church bombings in April by jihadists, in a decree issued in the official gazette on Thursday. The renewed three-month state of emergency will start on July 10, according to the decree. Parliament approved the initial state of emergency in April after the two church bombings claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group that killed at least 45 people. The jihadist group said it was behind the bombings in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria, and it threatened further attacks against Egypt's Coptic Christian minority. Jihadists also claimed a Cairo church bombing in December that killed 29 people. The emergency law expands police powers of arrest, surveillance and...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
An Egyptian court on Tuesday ruled that previous judicial decisions in favour of transferring two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia were invalid, a judicial official and a lawyer said. Egyptian courts have issued contradictory rulings since Cairo signed a controversial deal with Saudi Arabia in April 2016 to transfer the islands to Riyadh. The government says the two islands, Tiran and Sanafir, belong to Saudi Arabia but had been leased to Egypt in the 1950s. Parliament on June 14...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
An Egyptian policeman was sentenced to 10 years in jail on Monday for the deadly shooting of a protester during a January 2015 rally, judicial and security officials said. Shaima al-Sabbagh was hit with birdshot pellets on January 24, 2015 on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the anti-Hosni Mubarak uprising as police dispersed a march. Sabbagh, a 34-year-old mother, was with other activists carrying a wreath to Cairo's Tahrir Square to commemorate the deaths of hundreds of protesters...
(The Associated Press 06/19/17)
The past week's tempestuous parliament approval of a deal transferring two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia is putting Egypt's government at odds with the judiciary and providing the country's battered opposition with a nationalist cause to whip up at a time of growing economic distress. The surprise 2016 deal to hand over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir aimed to strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia, which has provided distressed Egypt with billions of dollars in grants and soft loans...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Egypt's parliament approved on Wednesday a controversial maritime agreement with Saudi Arabia that transfers two Red Sea islands to the kingdom, state television and a lawmaker said. The deal, which is still under challenge in court, had sparked rare protests in the country with the opposition accusing the government of selling Egyptian territory to its Saudi benefactors. The vote came after days of heated debate in parliament with opponents even interrupting one committee session with chanting. Courts had struck down the agreement, signed in April 2016, but a year later another court upheld it. Lawyers are now challenging the...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
A controversial agreement for Cairo to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia passed an Egyptian parliamentary committee Tuesday, setting the stage for a vote in the house. Parliament's legislative committee agreed the treaty after heated debate, with opponents even interrupting one session with chanting. The agreement passed with 35 lawmakers for and eight against, member of parliament Mostafa Bakry told AFP. Parliament's defence committee will also examine the accord before it goes to a general vote. Courts had struck down the agreement, signed in April 2016, but a year later another court upheld it. The accord had sparked rare protests in Egypt, with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi...
(Daily News Egypt 06/07/17)
Putin expressed Russia’s support to solve the tensions through dialogue, during conversation with Emir of Qatar. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi received a phone call Tuesday from the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to discuss the development of the crises in the Middle East, according to a presidency statement. The two leaders additionally discussed bilateral cooperation in various fields and “agreed to continue further contact,” according to a Kremlin statement. Al-Sisi had recently received Russian minister of foreign affairs Sergey Lavrov and minister of defence Sergei Shoygu, in which Al-Sisi stated that to handle the challenges facing the Middle East it would require more cooperation
(Daily News Egypt 06/07/17)
Al-Sisi and Sobhi met with Goulard, discussed bilateral relations. France’s minister of defence, Sylvie Goulard, expressed praise for Al-Azhar on Monday; for his role in fighting extremist ideology, as well as Egypt’s international influence in combating terrorism. According to a press statement, the conversation occurred during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Egyptian Defence Minister Sedky Sobhy received Goulard to discuss bilateral relations and efforts to fight terrorism. In a statement issued by...
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
Egypt said it will suspend air links with Qatar from Tuesday, after it and other Arab states cut diplomatic ties with the Gulf emirate and accused it of supporting extremism. The decision to "halt all flights between Egypt and Qatar" would take effect from 0400 GMT on Tuesday and continue "until further notice", the aviation ministry said. The statement, which was issued on Monday, added that Qatari planes would be unable to cross Egyptian airspace or land on its territory. Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and the Maldives on Monday
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete...
(AFP (eng) 06/05/17)
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced on Monday they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, as tensions escalate in the region over accusations Doha sponsors terrorism. Saudi news agency SPA said Riyadh cut diplomatic ties and closed borders with its neighbour to "protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism". A Saudi official cited by SPA said the country decided to "sever diplomatic and consular ties with Qatar, and to close all land,...
(Daily News Egypt 05/31/17)
The airstrikes follow Minya bus terrorist attack of which IS claimed responsibility. Egypt’s delegate to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) notified on Saturday the council that Egypt’s airstrikes on Libya targeted terrorist groups and described the attack as the right of the country for self defence which the UN charters stipulate, according to a press statement. Egypt has reportedly carried out airstrikes on the city of Derna in eastern Libya on 27 May, following the shooting of Coptic Christians in Minya in Upper Egypt, which resulted in the death of 28 civilians.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/30/17)
Egypt issued a new law on Monday that regulates the work of non-governmental organisations, a measure seen by rights groups as the latest sign of a growing crackdown on dissent against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Human rights groups and activists say the law in effect bans their work and makes it harder for charities to operate. The measure restricts NGO activity to developmental and social work and introduces jail terms of up to five years for non-compliance. It gives Egypt's...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/30/17)
Militant training camps in Libya are a direct threat to Egypt's national security, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Monday, after Egyptian air strikes targeted the camps in eastern Libya in recent days. Egypt's air force began the strikes just hours after masked men boarded vehicles driving dozens of Coptic Christians to pray at a monastery in the southern Egyptian province of Minya on Friday. They opened fire at close range, killing 29 and wounding 24 in an attack...
(AFP (eng) 05/29/17)
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry discussed the conflicts in Libya and Syria as they met in Cairo on Monday, the foreign ministry there said. Lavrov and Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu were also due to meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Egypt's defence minister, the foreign ministry in Moscow said. Lavrov and Shoukry discussed Libya, where rival administrations and militias have fought for control of the oil-rich country since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Moamer Kadhafi, the Egyptian statement said.
(Bloomberg 05/29/17)
The Egyptian government approved a social spending plan to support lower and middle income families after inflation surged to the highest levels in decades following the flotation of the pound. The government plans to spend 45 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.48 billion) on income tax discounts, bonuses for public employees, and increased pension payments and cash subsidies during the fiscal year beginning July 1, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy told reporters in Cairo. The package, excluding the cash subsidy raise, requires parliament...
(AfricaNews 05/29/17)
Sudanese foreign minister has cancelled a vital trip to Egypt following accusations by President Omar al-Bashir that Egypt is arming rebel groups to topple his government. “We told our brothers in Egypt about the postponement of the visit due to internal issues and it would take place later,” Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said in a statement on Sunday ahead of the May 31 trip that is meant to ease tensions between the neighbouring states. In a speech to Sudanese military personnel last week, Bashir said the army had seized Egyptian armoured vehicles from rebels in the country’s war-torn southern
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Egypt's government, already accused of muzzling freedom of expression and opposition to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has blocked access to a host of news websites including Qatar's Al-Jazeera. Around 20 websites based in Qatar and Egypt have been inaccessible since Wednesday night, including the Doha newspapers Al-Watan and Al-Raya, the Muslim Brotherhood's Ikhwan Online and Egypt-based Al-Sharq television which is close to the outlawed group. Independent sites such as Mada Masr, which takes a strong stand against corruption, and Huffpost Arabi, the Arabic edition of the Huffington Post, have also been cut for Egyptian web surfers. It is not the first time that Al-Jazeera has run foul of Sisi's

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