| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(The Associated Press 04/28/17)
Germany's Parliament has approved a measure for closer cooperation with Egypt on security issues to fight terrorism, which rights organizations say could make Germany complicit in Egyptian human rights abuses. The agreement, signed with Egypt last summer, allows the countries to exchange experts and information to help fight terrorism and other crimes like drug trafficking and money laundering, and carry out operational measures upon request. Though the agreement is predicated upon "upholding human rights," critics say it lacks any effective guarantees. Human Rights Watch Germany director Wenzel Michalski says Germany "should be getting cast-iron guarantees that Egypt is calling a halt to its abuses, not rushing to put its agents next to Egyptian forces." The...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Wednesday he will not interfere in any decision the courts or parliament take on a controversial move to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. "I fulfilled my part, and it is now in the parliament and with the judiciary. We won't interfere," Sisi said live on television during a conference in the Suez canal city of Ismailiya. The deal to hand over the islands, signed during an April 2016 visit by Saudi King Salman during which Riyadh showered Egypt with aid, provoked accusations in Egypt that Cairo had "sold" the strategic islands.
(The Associated Press 04/26/17)
Pope Francis has told the Egyptian people he is coming to Cairo this week as a friend and a “messenger of peace.” In a videotaped message in Italian released by the Vatican on Tuesday, Francis says he hopes the pilgrimage will be “an embrace of consolation and of encouragement to all Christians in the Middle East.” Twin bombings of Coptic Christian churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday killed 44 people. Francis departs for Cairo on Friday and returns on Saturday...
(AFP (eng) 04/22/17)
Israel reopened a border crossing into Egypt's Sinai region Friday after a more than week-long closure due to security threats, but urged its citizens to avoid visiting the peninsula. A statement from the prime minister's office said that based on an assessment at the counter-terrorism bureau, "it has been decided to allow the exit of Israeli citizens to Sinai via the Taba crossing." "At the same time the counter-terror bureau stresses that the threat to Israelis in Sinai remains severe, concrete and immediate," the statement added, calling on citizens to avoid visiting the area and for those already there to leave.
(Xinhuanet 04/21/17)
Sudan and Egypt on Thursday agreed to leave their dispute over Halayeb area to be discussed at presidential-level meetings. "We have agreed to discuss Halayeb issue in meetings of the two countries' presidents and to leave the consultations at the leadership level," said Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. He added that the two sides also discussed the issue of armed movements and agreed that both should completely avoid supporting...
(AFP (eng) 04/20/17)
Egypt and Sudan said on Thursday they will not harbour or support opposition groups fighting their respective governments, as top diplomats of the two countries vowed to boost bilateral ties. Relations between neighbours Cairo and Khartoum have been tense, with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir accusing Egyptian intelligence services of supporting Sudanese opposition figures fighting his troops. The Egyptian media has also accused Khartoum of offering refuge to members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which was declared a "terrorist group" by Cairo following the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
(AFP (eng) 04/20/17)
US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis arrived in Cairo Thursday on the latest leg of a regional tour, as ties with Egypt continue to warm under President Donald Trump. After touching down at Cairo airport, Mattis set off to meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was hailed by Trump during a White House visit earlier this month. Sisi's visit marked a shift in relations after Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had given the Egyptian leader the cold shoulder for staging the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Obama temporarily suspended military aid to Egypt following a bloody crackdown on Morsi's supporters.
(AfricaNews 04/20/17)
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has told local media that north African neighbour Egypt had agreed to stop the activities of anti-peace forces who are behind protests in Ethiopia. The premier was speaking at a press briefing to address major issues in the country. He said Egypt had pledged to stop any persons and activities related to fomenting violence in Ethiopia. The state-owned ENA said the PM revealed that the two countries were committed to halting activities of media networks,...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced...
(Sudan News Agency 04/18/17)
Sudan Ambassador to Egypt, Abdul-Mahmoud Abdul-Halim, has welcomed the visit of the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Samih Shukri, next Thursday to Khartoum to participate in meetings of the joint Sudanese - Egyptian consultative committee. Ambassador Abdul-Halim said that the visit of the Egyptian Foreign Minister provides opportunity for exchanging views between the two sides on the political, economic and consular files. He hoped that the upcoming visit of the Egyptian Foreign Minister will result in calming down the situation and reactivating...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/15/17)
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Djibouti starting on Tuesday, the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday. It said Mattis would "reaffirm key U.S. military alliances," and "discuss cooperative effort to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations" during the April 18-23 tour. In Israel, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the statement said. (Reporting by Washington Newsroom, editing by G Crosse)
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
Egypt's parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved a three-month state of emergency declared by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after deadly church bombings, state-run Nile News television reported. The measure was published in Egypt's official gazette on Monday and said to have come into effect at 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) the same day, after 45 Coptic Christians were killed in Sunday's twin bombings. The Islamic State group said it was behind the bombings at churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria, and threatened further attacks against Egypt's Christian minority. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail told lawmakers before the vote in a televised speech that the measure was needed to empower the state to take
(AFP (eng) 04/10/17)
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency in Egypt following twin church bombings that killed dozens of people in two cities on Sunday. Sisi announced the "state of emergency for three months" in a defiant speech at the presidential palace after a meeting of the national defence council. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the church bombings in the Nile Delta cities of Alexandria and Tanta in which at least 44 people were killed. The emergency law expands police powers of arrest, surveillance and seizures and can limit freedom of movement.
(Xinhuanet 04/07/17)
Egyptian Presidency announced Thursday that the meeting between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in the White House has heralded a new phase of relations between Egypt and the United States. "President Sisi held significant meetings during his U.S. visit with senior officials of the new administration," state-run MENA news agency quoted spokesman for Egyptian presidency Alaa Youssif as saying. Egypt's Sisi concluded on Thursday a six-day visit to the United States where he met with...
(CNN 04/05/17)
Leaders of repressive governments, like Egypt's and China's, have long braced themselves for bilateral visits with American presidents and Cabinet officials, because they know they will be hearing about human rights and freedom of speech. They have to worry about protests, about the response from civil society and the uncensored press. This fear has long given American leaders of both parties the leverage to send a strong message to foreign leaders in support of our values. Not anymore. This week...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
US President Donald Trump set human rights scandals aside to welcome Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the White House Monday, the first such visit from an Egyptian president in almost a decade. Greeting Sisi warmly in the Oval Office, Trump heaped praise on the former general's leadership as he sought to mend ties strained by crackdowns, revolution and counter-revolution. "You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me," Trump told Sisi, sweeping aside his predecessor Barack...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
President Donald Trump put human rights controversies aside to warmly welcome Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the White House Monday, the first such visit from an Egyptian president in almost a decade. Greeting Sisi in the Oval Office, Trump heaped praise on the former general's leadership and embarked on a charm offensive designed to fix ties strained by revolution and security crackdowns. "You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me," Trump told Sisi, sweeping aside...
(The Associated Press 04/04/17)
President Donald Trump signaled a new era in U.S.-Egypt relations Monday, assuring his Egyptian counterpart that years of tepid relations will now give way to a “great bond” between their two nations. Trump reunited with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for talks ranging from collaboration against the Islamic State group to bolstering Egypt’s flailing economy. In Trump, el-Sissi sees new opportunity after years of lukewarm relations with President Barack Obama. “This is my first state visit to the United States since my...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
US President Donald Trump meets his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Washington on Monday, welcoming a strongman leader who has faced harsh criticism for his human rights record. For Sisi, the first foreign leader to congratulate Trump following his surprise election victory, the Oval Office meeting will have special meaning -- he was never invited to the White House by former president Barack Obama. The thorny issue of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process is expected to be on the agenda as is the fight against the Islamic State jihadist group. Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab states to have signed peace
(Bloomberg 04/03/17)
Egypt’s president beat all other world leaders to the punch when he became the first to call Donald Trump to congratulate him on his election. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will log another first on Monday when he becomes the first Arab head of state to visit the Trump White House. The objective, the administration has said, is to rebuild relations strained during the Obama years by Egypt’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, whose 2013 ouster from power El-Sisi led. For El-Sisi, a...