Egypt participates in KSA's Entertainment Industry Conference

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 15:54
CAIRO - 14 October 2019: Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem represents Egypt as the only Arab country at the Entertainment Industry Conference organized by the General Authority for Entertainment in Saudi Arabia.

The conference bears the name “Entertainment and Building the Economy” and will be attended by a number of ministers and officials of the kingdom.

The minister of culture said that the political leadership has included seven axes to preserve the Egyptian cultural identity in the strategy of sustainable development, Egypt 2030. These include promoting positive values in society, combating intellectual extremism, achieving cultural justice, developing talents, and developing cultural institutions.

According to Abdel Dayem, this comes out of the country's belief in the importance of cultural investment as a source of strength, and its confidence that creative industries are one of the important paths to the development of the national economy.

It is worth mentioning that the conference discussed the significance of creative industries in the vision of Saudi Arabia 2030, which comes along the lines of the strategy of sustainable development in Egypt.

The conference shed light on the importance of the Egyptian Opera house as a model for cultural communication between nations, a serious platform that presents arts of all forms, and a measure of the renaissance of the cultural and artistic movement in Egypt .

The importance of cultural partnership and cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia was also discussed, weighing the possibility of linking cultural exchange activities with other cooperation opportunities, especially in the economic field.
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Egypt, Switzerland discuss establishment of mobile hospitals

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 15:51
CAIRO - 14 October 2019: Minister of State for Military Production Mohamed Said al-Assar received Monday at the headquarters of the ministry Head of the Swiss investment group GK Kamel Gharibi to discuss the possibility of joint cooperation to establish mobile hospitals.

Assar stressed the importance of urging all the manufacturing, technical, technological and human resources units available to the ministry's companies to participate in the implementation of national and development projects, especially projects that contribute to the provision of health services.

He pointed out the ministry's keenness to complete the assigned projects on time and with the required efficiency.

During the meeting, Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed explained the role of the Swiss investment group in transferring the experience of mobile hospitals, which is energy-saving and environment-friendly technology and possesses advanced mechanisms for waste disposal, to utilize it in supporting the new comprehensive health insurance system.

Zayed also highlighted the importance of the Ministry of Military Production's participation in this project, which will contribute to accelerating its efficient implementation.

Moreover, Minister Zayed reviewed the fruitful cooperation with the Ministry of Military Production to implement several projects of the Ministry of Health, including the application of the comprehensive health insurance system in Port Said.

Zayed pointed out that the new comprehensive health insurance system is one of the biggest national projects adopted by the Ministry of Health as part of its plan to achieve health coverage in Egypt, asserting that the Egyptian state and political leadership attach great importance to health care in light of Egypt Vision 2030.

For his side, Gharibi gave a presentation on the possibility of implementing the mobile hospitals project in Egypt. He clarified that the group has set up 22 hospitals and has provided medical equipment as well as a trained medical staff.

Aiming to serve the neediest citizens in remote areas, these hospitals are divided into patients' rooms and clinics. Gharibi praised the efforts exerted by the Egyptian government to provide health services to citizens, expressing his group's aspiration to invest in Egypt and contribute to the ongoing efforts to develop the medical system.

At the end of the meeting, it was agreed to form a committee of specialists in the ministries of health and military production to study the subject in depth and coordinate with the investment group on the proposed operational steps for the project of prefabricated hospitals.

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In pics: Fire breaks out in Helwan’s Mar Gerges church

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 15:48
CAIRO – 14 October 2019: Fire broke out late on Sunday in Mar Gerges church in Helwan. No injuries were reported.

جانب من أثار الحريق

كتب الكنيسة

According to a statement issued by Egypt's Coptic Cathedral, the reason of the fire has not been stated yet. However, the church’s building was severely damaged.

مذبح الكنيسة

أثار الحريق بالكنيسة

أثار الحريق على الكنيسة

The Civil Defense Forces rushed to the fire location in six ambulances and tried to control the fire over several hours.

Several photos from the fire location show that the churches’ building has been completely damaged.

أثار الحريق

أثار حريق الكنيسة

أثار حريق كنيسة مارجرجس حلوان

الهيكل من الداخل
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Foreign Ministry expresses discontent to 3 states over GERD involvement

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 15:32
CAIRO - 14 October 2019: Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Hamdy Louza held a meeting on Sunday with ambassadors of Germany, Italy, and China to express Egypt’s discontent over the work of their companies in the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The deputy minister pointed out that there are no studies that indicate the economic, social, and environmental impact of the prospective dam, and that the fact of not reaching an agreement on filling and operating the reservoir among the involved states is not a secret, a statement by the ministry indicated.

Louza underlined that Ethiopia is not abiding by either the Declaration of Principles signed in 2015 or the international rules. The deputy minister stressed that the international community must bear its responsibilities with regard to affirming Ethiopia’s commitment to not causing major harm to Egypt and pushing to reach an agreement that takes into consideration Egypt’s water interests.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced on Sunday that he had agreed with the Ethiopian prime minister to meet in Moscow and discuss the crisis in order to find a solution. Earlier this month, Egypt announced that deliberations of the technical committee had reached a deadlock as Ethiopia insists on filling the reservoir over three years while Egypt wants to extend the duration to seven years so as its water share does not sharply get reduced.

The Declaration of Principles stipulates that the reservoir must be filled and operated after reaching consensus with Egypt and Sudan, and that if negotiations fail, the mediation of a fourth state would be sought. Those two points out of ten in the Declaration of Principles were highlighted by President Sisi on Sunday while answering questions on the crisis after delivering a speech at the ceremony held to celebrate the 46th anniversary of Egypt’s victory in 6th of October War in 1973.

During his visit to New York to attend the 74th session United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 74), the president met with American influential figures to explain the crisis. Also, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shokry met on the sidelines with his South Sudanese and Burundi counterparts to express unease over the course of negotiations.

The current water share of Egypt is 55.5 cubic meters per annum; however, the country suffers from water poverty as the individual’s share is 500 cubic meters per annum given the population size that is 100 million. The water poverty line stands at 1,000 m3 per capita per year.

Ethiopia started the construction of the dam in 2011, diverted the flow of the Blue Nile in 2013, and was due to complete the project in 2017 but a delay has occurred and will last until 2022 because of funding issues.

The dam is designed to have a height of 475 feet, a length of 5,840 feet, and a capacity of 73 billion cubic meters of water. That is in addition to a hydroelectric plant with an installed capacity of 6,000 megawatts, as indicated by Britannica.
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Egypt cuts stock exchange fees in bid to boost investments

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 15:25
CAIRO - 14 October 2016: The Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) said on Sunday it had approved lowering stock exchange trading fees to encourage investment and competitiveness with other regional markets.

The decision will now be sent to the cabinet for final approval, the FRA said in a statement.

The FRA approved cutting trading service fees to 0.005% from 0.00625%, clearing and settlement fees to 0.0100% from 0.0125% and stock market commissions to 0.0100% from 0.0120%.

The cost charged to investors for trading insurance would also fall to 0.005% from 0.010%. Trading service fees on bonds listed on the stock exchange will be reduced to become half the trading service fees on shares following the adjustment.

Other regional stock exchanges have similarly been reducing investor costs. These include the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, which reduced commissions by as much as 90% on July 1.

The Egyptian government plans to sell shares in some 23 state-owned companies on the stock exchange, as part of a plan to raise 80 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.93 billion) by selling minority stakes at the local stock market. The program has been repeatedly delayed, including due to emergeing market turbulence last year.

($1 = LE 16.2300)
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Egyptian delegation visits Siemens Gas Turbine plant in Berlin

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 15:23
BERLIN - 14 October 2019: A delegation of the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) and Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) visited Siemens Gas Turbine plant in Berlin Monday.

CEO of Siemens Egypt Emad Ghali reviewed the company's activities in Cairo, as well as cooperation with Germany in the field of wind energy and vocational training.

The delegation got firsthand information about advanced German technologies in the electricity and energy sector.

The Egyptian delegation is on a mission to promote joint investment opportunities, particularly in terms of establishing emerging firms.
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'Cleopatra Ballet' to be performed in Cairo Opera House starting Oct. 15

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 15:12
CAIRO - 14 October 2019: "Cleopatra Ballet" will be presented on Oct. 15 at the Cairo Opera House and will be performed by the Cairo Opera Ballet Team accompanied by the Opera’s Orchestra led by Maestro Mohamed Saad Pasha.

The performances will run for 4 nights until Oct. 19 at the Grand Theater as part of the plan to enrich the field of serious arts in Egypt.

The ballet operetta revolves around the historical story of Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, and her marriage to Mark Antonio, who shared the rule of the Roman Empire with Octavius after the murder of Julius Caesar.

Octavius declares war against Cleopatra and Mark Antonio and defeats them in the naval battle of Actium.

It is noteworthy that the Cairo Opera Ballet Team was founded in 1966 and was affiliated to the Higher Institute of Ballet. They first performed in the same year. Since 1972, the Cairo Opera Ballet Team started performing in countries including Russia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Germany, France and Tunisia. It officially became one of the Opera teams in 1991.

The team’s repertoire includes some of the world-famous plays, including “Romeo and Juliet”, “Swan Lake”, “Hamlet”, “Cinderella”, among others.

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CBE issues LE 4.25B in T-bonds Monday

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 14:30
CAIRO – 14 October 2019: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, issued LE 4.25 billion in treasury bonds on Monday, Oct. 14.

The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 2.25 billion with a three-year term and the second worth LE 2 billion with a seven-year term.

For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 445.1 billion, or 7.2 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Earlier in August, The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) cut the overnight deposit rate, the overnight lending rate, and the rate of the main operation by 150 basis points.

The overnight deposit rate, the overnight lending rate, and the rate of the main operation are cut to be at 14.25 percent, 15.25 percent, and 14.75 percent, higher than economists’ expectations.

A number of economists said the appeal of foreigners to Egyptian debt instruments would continue even after interest rates were cut.

Experts predict that interest rates on debt instruments will continue to fall due to falling interest rates, especially as they recorded a decline in their latest offer.

The Ministry of Finance aims to reduce the government debt to GDP ratio to 82.5 percent by the end of June 2020 and to 77.5 percent by the end of June 2022.
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Serbian president starts 141st IPU Assembly

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 14:22
CAIRO – 14 October 2019: Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic started the events of the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), hosted by Serbia, from October 13-17.

The assembly is attended by more than 1,700 people from parliamentary delegations representing 140 countries. The attendees include over 70 parliament speakers, including Egypt's Ali Abdel Aal, and led by President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Gabriela Barron.





Abdel Aal also participated in the meeting of the High-Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and explained Egypt's vision in this regard.

The meeting comes within the framework of the meetings of the 141th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and related meetings currently being held in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.

During the meeting, Abdel Aal reviewed the outcome of the first regional conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the United Nations for the Middle East and North Africa, held in Luxor last February. The conference aimed at "exploring how parliaments can contribute to counter-terrorism efforts, and building a foundation for future activities in the region in this domain," according to the UN.

In his speech, Abdel Aal noted that the Luxor conference has yielded many results, the foremost of which was the realization of an important fact that extremism needs a comprehensive treatment, based on tackling the ideological roots of takfiri thought causing terrorism.

Abdel Aal also affirmed the link between the spread of extremist ideology and the commission of actual terrorist acts.

He stressed that Egypt had realized this fact since it had started its fight against terrorism, adding that Egypt defends not only its security and that of the Middle East, but also the security of Europe and the whole world.
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Abdel Aal attends meeting of IPU Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 13:27
CAIRO – 14 October 2019: Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal on Monday participated in the meeting of the High-Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and explained Egypt's vision in this regard.

The meeting comes within the framework of the meetings of the 141th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and related meetings currently being held in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.

During the meeting, Abdel Aal reviewed the outcome of the first regional conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the United Nations for the Middle East and North Africa, held in Luxor last February. The conference aimed at "exploring how parliaments can contribute to counter-terrorism efforts, and building a foundation for future activities in the region in this domain," according to the UN.


In his speech, Abdel Aal noted that the Luxor conference has yielded many results, the foremost of which was the realization of an important fact that extremism needs a comprehensive treatment, based on tackling the ideological roots of takfiri thought causing terrorism.

Abdel Aal also affirmed the link between the spread of extremist ideology and the commission of actual terrorist acts.

He stressed that Egypt had realized this fact since it had started its fight against terrorism, adding that Egypt defends not only its security and that of the Middle East, but also the security of Europe and the whole world.


Established in 2017, the High-Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism consists of parliament members who can help push the counter-terrorism joint program through having relevant experience.

"The Joint Programme will support work at the national, regional and international levels. It aims to facilitate the transposition of international resolutions and decisions into domestic legislation and promote regional parliamentary cooperation," according to the IPU.

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Mostafa Fathi is a win for Zamalek: Essam Marey

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 12:43
CAIRO, 14 October 2019: Zamalek coach Essam Marey talked about the return of Mostafa Fathi to participate again with the team, assuring that his return is a great gain for the club.

Mostafa Fathi returned to Zamalek line-up for the first time in 281 days in front of Al-Minya in friendly match.
"The return of Mostafa Fathi is very important for the coaching staff," said Essam Marey.

"Mostafa Fathi gave a good performance in the game and the coaching staff was keen to follow his situation in particular and appeared better than we expected," he added.

"The return of Mostafa Fathi represents a gain for Zamalek and he will be a winning card before facing Al Ahly." Essam said.

"With the return of the Egyptian national team and the Olympic team players from their camps, the strike force of Zamalek will be completed," he said.

Zamalek will face Al Ahly on Saturday in an expected clash in the fourth game week of the Egyptian league.

Zamalek are in second place on the league standings with 7 points equally with Pyramids and Arab contractors, while Al-Ahly is in the lead with 9 points.
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Ali Farag, Noran Gohar are US Open Champions

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 12:42
CAIRO, 14 October 2019: Wadi Degla duo Ali Farag, the world number one, and Noran Gohar, ranked fifth in the world, won the US Open Squash Championship.

Noran Gohar achieved the first title in their history and the third in the history of Egypt after beating Nour El-Tayeb in a historic come-back.

Noran Gohar lost the first two sets (11-3, 11-8) before she managed to come back in the score and win three consecutive sets (14-12, 11-8, 11-7).

Nour El-Tayeb was the first Egyptian to win the US Open Championship in 2017 before Raneem Al-Waily won the title in the next edition.

At the men's level, Ali Farag managed to win his second title at the US Open after beating Mohammed Al-Shorbagi to repeat the 2017 final.

Farag won with three sets without charge (11-4, 11-7, 11-2) in a 40-minute match.

Mohammed El Shorbagi has won the US Open three times in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Egypt's champions are preparing to take part in the Women's World Championships and Egypt's International Men's Championship in the Pyramids from October 24 to November 1.
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Al Ahly's board of directors discuss feasibility study for the new stadium

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 12:40
CAIRO, 14 October 2019: Al Ahly stadium committee held its meeting headed by Mohamed Serag Eldin, and the members of: Saad Shalabi Board of Directors Advisor for marketing, Samih Ali Kamel engineering consultant to the Board of Directors, and Marian Kassab, representative of the marketing department of the club, to discuss the feasibility study and the preparation of the full perception of the content of the project and the stages of implementation and methods of various funding, and presented all this perception to the Al Ahly Board of directors at their next meeting.

The meeting also included a full analysis of the feasibility study for the project in Sheikh Zayed land, reviewing the position of engineering permits and current approvals to complete the required administrative and executive procedures.

Al-Ahly first team players, former players, board members and legends reunited on Thursday night to celebrate the 2018-2019 Egyptian League title.

The last season’s title was one of the toughest in the club history after a fierce race with Zamalek, who were leading the league table almost the whole season.

The first team players received the trophy from the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) interim chief Amr El-Ganainy who attended the ceremony alongside EFA board members.

Al-Ahly sponsors, Presentation, organized the event which received huge praise from the attendees.
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Syrian troops enter northeastern town after deal with Kurdish forces: state media

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 12:30
BEIRUT/ANKARA (Reuters) - Syria’s troops have entered a northeastern town, Syrian state media said on Monday, after Washington announced it was abruptly pulling out its forces, and its former Kurdish allies reached a deal with Damascus to help resist a Turkish attack.

The abrupt U.S. withdrawal from the eight-year Syrian war, and the potential return of the Syrian army to the Kurdish-controlled northeast, are major victories for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Russia and Iran.

The U.S. announced on Sunday it would swiftly withdraw its remaining 1,000 troops from northeast Syria, just four days after Turkey launched its cross-border offensive with a green light from President Donald Trump.

The Turkish assault has prompted widespread criticism and alarm that it could allow Islamic State fighters in Syria to escape their Kurdish-run prisons and regroup.

Trump decided a week ago to move U.S. troops out of the way of the Turkish assault, an act denounced as a stab in the back by the Kurds, thousands of whom died fighting against Islamic State in partnership with Washington since 2014.

The Kurds announced on Sunday they were pursuing a new pact instead with Washington’s foes, Assad and his Russian backers. Meanwhile, the United States said it was pulling its troops out of Syria altogether.

Ankara says its operation aims to neutralize the Kurdish YPG militia, the main element of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which was the key U.S. partner in dismantling the jihadist “caliphate” set up by Islamic State militants in Syria.

Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist group because of its links to guerrillas waging an insurgency in southeast Turkey.

Two U.S. officials told Reuters the bulk of the U.S. pullout could be completed within days.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mike Esper indicated on Sunday that one factor behind the pullout was that the SDF aimed to strike a deal with Russia and Syria to counter the Turkish offensive. Hours later, the Kurdish-led administration said it had made such a deal for the Syrian army to deploy along the Turkish border to repel Ankara’s incursion.

Syrian state media said on Monday that Syrian troops entered Tel Tamer, a town on the strategically important M4 highway that runs east to west along the border with Turkey.

A top Syrian Kurdish official said a “preliminary military” deal with Damascus had been reached for government forces to enter border areas from the town of Manbij in the west to Derik, 400 km (250 miles) away in the northeast.

Badran Jia Kurd said the deal is limited to the army’s deployment along the border and the two sides will discuss political issues later. The Kurds have set up an autonomous administration in territory they control, while Assad aims to impose the rule of his government across all Syrian territory.

The army deployment would help the SDF in countering the Turkish offensive and “liberating the areas that the Turkish army and mercenaries had entered,” it added, referring to Turkey-backed Syrian rebels. It would allow the recapture of other Syrian cities captured by the Turkish army such as Afrin.

While the U.S. withdrawal moves American troops out of the line of fire, the return of Syrian soldiers to the border with Turkey opens up the possibility of a wider conflict should the Syrian army come in direct confrontation with Turkish forces.

Turkey says it aims to form a “safe zone” in Syria to settle many of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees it is hosting. President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that the operation would extend from Kobani in the west to Hasaka in the east, and go some 30 km (20 miles) into Syrian territory, with the town of Ras al Ain now in Turkish control.

Turkey also said it seized part of a key highway some 30-35 km into northern Syria. An SDF official said clashes were going on along the road.

Turkey’s European allies have also criticized the incursion, warning of potential sanctions. Erdogan says that Turkey will “open the gates” to Europe for Syrian refugees if the European Union does not back the offensive.

Turkish armed forces continued sporadic cross-border bombardment overnight, residents on the Turkish side said. A Reuters cameraman in the town of Suruc reported occasional howitzer fire.

The fighting has sparked Western concerns that the SDF, holding large swathes of northern Syria previously controlled by Islamic State, would be unable to keep thousands of jihadists in jail and tens of thousands of their family members in camps.

The region’s Kurdish-led administration said 785 Islamic State-affiliated foreigners escaped a camp at Ain Issa. The British-based war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing sources in the camp, said around 100 people had escaped.

Erdogan dismissed the reports and told the state-run Anadolu news agency that accounts of escapes by Islamic State prisoners were “disinformation” aimed at provoking the West.

Trump has placed the onus on the Kurds and Turkey to restrain the Islamic State fighters and blamed European nations for not taking back their own citizens.

Turkey has said it would take responsibility for Islamic State fighters that fall within the “safe zone” it aims to form, but would not be accountable for those outside it.

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Egyptian Equestrian team qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 12:03
CAIRO, 14 October 2019: The Egyptian equestrian team qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next summer, after the team topped the overall ranking of the Moroccan International Championship qualifying for the Games.

The Egyptian team surpassed all the teams participating in the tournament and succeeded in collecting the most points to book their seat at the Olympic Games next summer.

The Egyptian equestrian team includes cavalry Mohamed Taher Ziada, Nael Nassar, Sameh Al Dahan and Abdul Qader Saeed.

For the first time, the Egyptian equestrian team has fully qualified to participate in the Olympics since 1960, amid celebrations from the Egyptian community and mission officials to qualify.

The delegation, headed by Hisham Hatab, received congratulations from everyone, led by the heads of delegations of the participating missions, and Sami Touhami, head of the G7 group in the International Federation.

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After inflation’s decline, will CBE cut rates in November?

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 12:01
CAIRO – 14 October 2019: Registering a fourth consecutive monthly decline, Egypt’s inflation rates opened speculation once again in September about the expectations of the possible decision of the Central Bank of Egypt's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on interest rates at its November meeting.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced that annual inflation fell to 4.8 percent in September, compared to 7.5 percent in August and 15.4 percent in the same month of 2018, recording the lowest rates in about seven years.

The decline in inflation rates came because of year-on-year price stability, the strength of the pound and a more cautious spending behavior, in addition to a slight increase in food commodity prices by 0.3 percent (YoY), compared to 6.9 percent in August, which was supported by a monthly decline of about 1.8 percent.

The investment Bank, Beltone Financial, stressed that easing inflationary pressures along with the strong macroeconomic situation will allow the monetary easing cycle to continue in the current period. Beltone expected inflation to average 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, so it raised its forecast for the next rate cut at the MPC meeting on November 14, 2019 to range from 50-100 basis points.

Beltone also predicted that interest rates will be cut by 300 basis points in 2020, justified by several factors: Foreign flows in fixed income instruments after the impact of interest rate cuts on revenues, the performance of net foreign assets at banks and the Central Bank of Egypt, and the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound against the dollar that ranges between LE 1 6-17.

Prime Investment Bank expected MPC to cut the overnight deposit rate by 100 basis points at the November meeting. Prime attributed the reasons for its expectation to the weak inflation rates that would still fully support further interest rate cuts at the next meeting.

Shuaa Capital confirmed that the CBE has a 'choice' for further easing in 2019.

However, whether the CBE will take advantage of this option or not, is a multi-factor. It clarified that the CBE may prefer to keep interest rates if it prefers a cumulative reduction by 3.5 percent, and if calculated for a future rise within one year.

Moreover, head of research at Cairo-based investment bank EFG Hermes Mohamed Abu Basha told Bloomberg that Egypt’s central bank has embarked on rate cuts that could be second only to Turkey among emerging markets this year and next, according to BNP Paribas SA. “After reducing official borrowing costs by 250 basis points in the past two months, it is likely to deliver 100 basis points of easing at its next meeting in November.”

“Still, inflation may pick up after a few months and end the year between 8 percent and 9 percent,” according to Abu Basha.

“The real interest rate will be inflated in the next three months due to the base effect,” he said. “However, investors should pay attention to the December inflation figure to assess the sustainable real rate.”
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EFSSR to hold conference on Ethiopian dam’s impacts on Egypt

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 11:59
CAIRO - 14 October 2019: The Egyptian Foundation for Strategic Studies and Reseach (EFSSR) will hold a conference on October 15 to discuss all aspects of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) impacts on downstream countries ([Egypt and Sudan]), the EFSSR said in a statement on Sunday.

The conference will be held in light of the foundation’s ongoing efforts to highlight Egypt’s historic rights to the Nile water after Egypt and Ethiopia announced that the tripartite negotiations concerning the dam’s operation and filling its reservoir stumbled, the statement saidadded.

issue after the latest round of negotiations stalled in Khartoum. The conference will be held at Cairo Marriott Hotel and will be attended by a group of experts and researchers in water affairs and another group of legal experts, the statement continued.

The one-day conference comes under the title “Renaissance Dam: The imposition of the fait accompli and the requirements of the Egyptian National Security."

The conference includes three sessions; former Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Nasr Allam will speak in the first session about the Egyptian vision of the Renaissance Dam crisis and its repercussions, while the fellow at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies Hanie Raslan will talk about Ethiopia’s vision towards of the Renaissance Dam crisis.

In the first session, Dr. Mohamed Salman Taya, Vicevice-Dean dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science for Community Service and Environmental Development, will discuss the future implications of the dam.

The second session will focus on how the state is dealing with the disagreement between both countries on the dam. The panelists are member of the EFSSR Advisory Committee Maj.or Gen. eral Mohamed Ibrahim Alal-Duwairi, Chairman of the State Information Service (SIS) Diaa Rashwan, and Gamal Abdel Gawad, head of the Public Policy Unit at the EFSSR.

Meanwhile, Professor professor of International Law at Cairo University Mohamed Sameh Amr will speak in the third session on legal alternatives that could be taken to solve the difference. Former assistant of Foreign Minister Mohamed Hegazy will speak on the role of international mediation in the tripartite talks.

Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the controversial the $4-billion dam, as Cairo voiced its concern over its share after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011.

A series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan has begun in 2014. One year later, the three countries reached an agreement, per which the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam. However, Cairo and Addis Ababa have recently blamed each other for hindering a final agreement concerning a technical problem.

President Abdel Fattah Elal-Sisi on Saturday affirmed on Oct. 12 Egypt’s water rights in the River Nile as Renaissance Dam negotiations reached a dead end as a result of the Ethiopian side's rejection to all proposals that take into account Egypt's water rights and interests.

“I have followed closely on the results of the tripartite meeting between irrigation ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to discuss the file of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which has not resulted in any positive developmentprogress,” President Sisi said on his official Facebook page.

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Tunisian election gives few clues to shape of next government

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 11:56
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia faced political deadlock on Monday after Sunday’s election delivered a fragmented parliament and no obvious path to forming a government that must urgently address chronic economic and fiscal problems.

Sunday’s exit polls showed the moderate Islamist Ennahda as the largest party, but its modest projected vote share means it would need to bring many other parties into any workable coalition. Official results are not expected until Tuesday.

“The task will be very difficult and complicated to reach an agreement to form a government,” said Yamina Zoglami, a senior Ennahda official.

Several of Ennahda’s rivals have already said they will not join a government it leads, and Tunisians are confronting the prospect of protracted negotiations and the possibility of another election if no coalition can be agreed.

The parliamentary vote comes amid a separate presidential election in which one of the two candidates who advanced to next Sunday’s runoff vote is being held in detention on corruption charges, entailing a possible challenge to that result.

Eight years after ending autocratic rule, many Tunisians are disillusioned by the failure of repeated coalition governments to address economic problems and their rejection of major parties threatens a new period of upheaval.

If official results confirm Ennahda’s first place, it has two months to form a coalition. After that the president can ask a politician of his choice to try. If that also fails after two months, Tunisians will go back to the ballot box.

Next week’s presidential runoff pits Kais Saied, an independent, against Nabil Karoui, a media mogul detained on corruption charges that he denies. If he loses, he might appeal to overturn the result citing his detention.

Speaking on Sunday night, another senior Ennahda official, Abdelkarim Haloumi, said he hoped a new parliamentary election could be avoided and that the party would attempt to build a coalition from among the parties opposed to corruption.

A governing coalition requires 109 seats in government. Ennahda’s vote share projected by the exit poll would translate into about 40 seats, the polling company Sigma Conseil said.

It and Karoui’s Heart of Tunisia, which exit polls projected as coming second with about 33 seats, had already ruled out going into coalition with each other before the election. A spokesman for Karoui repeated that after Sunday’s vote, calling it “a red line”.

Attayar, another party that appeared on course for more than a dozen seats in parliament, also said it would not enter government with Ennahda, with its leader Mohamed Abbou saying “we will be a responsible and serious opposition”.

However, the conservative Karama said it would be ready to enter coalition negotiations with Ennahda if asked.

Any political paralysis entails new risks for a fragile economy that has never really recovered from the shock of the 2011 revolution that ended decades of autocracy, introduced democracy and set off the “Arab spring”.

Urged on by the International Monetary Fund, Tunisia is trying to rein in a public debt that swelled as political leaders sought to buy goodwill with rampant state employment.

However, there is unemployment of 15% nationally and 30% in some cities, inflation remains high at 6.8%, and tourism is only this year recovering from two jihadist attacks in 2015 that caused many countries to warn off their citizens.

Economic pain has contributed to an anti-establishment mood among Tunisian voters, who punished the main parties in the first round of the presidential election last month.

Though exit polls showed Ennahda coming first on Sunday, its projected vote share of 17.5% represented a sharp decline from the last parliamentary election in 2014, when it had 27.5%.
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Death toll climbs as Iraq unrest hits Baghdad's volatile Sadr City

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 11:53
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Protesters began gathering in Baghdad’s Sadr City district late on Monday after overnight clashes with security forces spread to the vast, poor swath of the Iraqi capital for the first time killing 15 people.

The night of violence pushed the death toll after a week of unrest to 110 people. They were mostly protesters demanding the removal of the Iraqi government and overhaul of its political class, as security forces carried out a heavy-handed crackdown on demonstrators.

The spread of the violence into Sadr City on Sunday night poses a new security challenge for authorities dealing with the worst violence in the country since the Islamic State group was defeated nearly two years ago.

Unrest is historically difficult to put down in Sadr City, a volatile district where about a third of Baghdad’s 8 million people live in narrow alleys, many with little access to electricity, water and jobs.

Things were quieter on Monday. The military withdrew troops and handed over patrols of the district to federal police early in the day, an indication authorities want to avoid clashes with supporters of the powerful opposition cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who has called for the government to step down.

A Sadr City resident reached by phone told Reuters that the streets were calm during the day. Local militiamen were coming to inspect damage and police were deployed around the district’s neighborhoods.

The uprising over the past week has abruptly ended two years of relative calm unseen in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Many Iraqis, especially young people, say entrenched government corruption means they received no benefit from returning stability after years of foreign occupation and sectarian civil war.

Critics say the government’s fierce response to the protests has inflamed public rage.

Reuters journalists have witnessed protesters being killed and wounded by snipers from the security forces firing into crowds from rooftops though the interior ministry denies government forces have shot directly at protesters.

The internet has been shut down across the country for days, creating a communications vacuum that allowed discontent to spread. It was restored for a few hours on Monday evening, and people uploaded recent protest footage to social media before it went down again.

“The crackdown plus the internet blackout are angering people and it won’t calm the situation,” Jassim al-Hilfi, a lawmaker from the bloc of Moqtada al-Sadr, who is boycotting parliament, told Reuters.

“People will not be silenced, and the politicians are not capable of meeting their demands.”

President Barham Salih, whose role is normally above the day-to-day political fray, condemned attacks on protesters and the media, and called for an investigation into the violence.

“Our security forces, in its various forms, must defend and support the people,” Salih said in televised remarks. “They must firmly confront those who violated the constitution by attacking citizens and the security forces, and terrorizing the media.”

In his address, he also called for ministerial changes and electoral reforms to address protesters’ grievances, adding that those affected by the violence this week should be compensated.

Demonstrators have been calling for “the downfall of the regime,” echoing demands in Arab Spring protests that swept across the Middle East in 2011. It is unclear how their demands could be met by the powerful Shi’ite religious parties that have dominated the country since Saddam’s fall and show no sign of willingness to relinquish control.

Those parties control armed militia which gained influence in the war against Islamic State. They also have strong backing from Iran, creating a potential international dimension to the crisis in a country that is a client and ally of both Tehran and its biggest foe, Washington.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted on Monday: “#Iran and #Iraq are two nations whose hearts & souls are tied together. ... Enemies seek to sow discord but they’ve failed & their conspiracy won’t be effective.”

The protests began spontaneously in Baghdad and southern cities, without public support from any major political faction in Iraq.

They have since spread to other areas, mainly populated by members of the Shi’ite majority. The unrest poses an unprecedented challenge for Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who took office last year as a consensus candidate of the Shi’ite parties.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Abdul Mahdi in a phone call that he trusted the Iraqi forces and supported the Iraqi government in restoring security, a statement from the prime minister’s office said.

Abdul Mahdi said life had returned to normal, according to the statement. The government has offered to spend more money on subsidized housing for the poor, stipends for the unemployed and training programs and loan initiatives for youth.

Iraqi authorities said they would hold to account members of the security forces who “acted wrongly” in the crackdown on protests, state TV reported.

The ministry also said authorities condemned all attacks against media outlets, after reports of raids at the offices of several local and international news outlets. Iraq’s National Union of Journalists condemned the attacks, and the harassment and arrests of journalists covering the protests.

The protests precede Arbaeen, a Shi’ite pilgrimage when as many as 20 million worshippers trek on foot through southern Iraq in the world’s biggest annual gathering, 10 times the size of the Mecca Hajj. Iran reopened a border crossing used by pilgrims which had been shut last week.
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U.N. calls for protecting civilians in northeast Syria

Egypt Today - Lun, 14/10/2019 - 11:49
GENEVA (Reuters) - Civilians must be spared in any Turkish military operation in northeast Syria, where the United Nations hopes that mass displacement and Srebrenica-like killings can be prevented, a senior U.N. aid official said on Monday.

The United States began pulling troops from northeast Syria in a major policy shift, opening the way for a Turkish attack on Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington and handing Turkey responsibility for thousands of jihadi captives.

The United Nations currently delivers aid to 700,000 people in the densely-populated northeast region of 1.7 million.

It has drawn up contingency plans to reach people who might flee south with food and medical aid, said Panos Moumtzis, U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis.

“Any (military) operation that takes place at the moment has to take into account to ensure that we don’t see any further displacement,” Moumtzis told reporters in Geneva. “We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst”.

Turkey has long argued for the establishment of a 20-mile (32 km) “safe zone” along the border, under Turkish control, driving back the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia - which is the dominant force in the SDF alliance and which Ankara considers a terrorist organization and a threat to its national security.

Moumtzis, asked about the Turkish offensive against Kurdish-led forces and the ‘safe zone’ idea, said:

“I really cannot talk about what type or how would the intervention be or how extensive it is going to be in terms of the military operation that will take place.

“For us as the United Nations, the safe zone concept is one that we have a bitter history (with) and actually we never promote or encourage. We don’t think it is something that had worked for the United Nations, keeping in mind Srebrenica and what had happened in the past,” he said.

He was referring to the slaughter by Bosnian Serb troops of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995 in a U.N.-declared “safe zone” where Dutch peacekeepers were unable to protect civilians.

“We understand that there is going to be some kind of security zone which will be very specifically targeted to a military operation or to an area where there has to be some clearance,” Moumtzis said.

“So our hope is that there will be full cooperation by all to make sure that it happens as smoothly as possible, without resulting in displacement, and ensuring protection of civilians, ensuring that the basic principles of humanity will be respected on the ground.”

The United Nations is in contact with all sides to explain where clinics, schools, water points, markets and residential areas are located, and to urge them “to stay away from civilian people”, Moumtzis said.
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