Category: Egypt

Investment Ministry Announces Promotional Efforts

EGYPT – Al-Mal News, 17 January 2017

The Ministry of Investment has said that it has commissioned Mohammed Khudair, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and the Free Zones, to convene meetings with foreign missions in order to promote investment opportunities in Egypt, amid the country’s efforts to improve the investment climate.

The ministry reported that Khudair had organised a series of meetings with the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), to arrange a visit to Tokyo in mid-February. There he would meet with Japanese investors who are interested in investing in Egypt, the Middle East, and Africa, inform them of developments in the climate in Egypt, and display the opportunities for investment.

Khodayr also met with the Ambassador of Portugal and head of the Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency to consult on implementation operations for a cooperation agreement between the two agencies. The preparation of a protocol for visiting a Portuguese delegation interested in the Egyptian market was also discussed. According to a statement from the Ministry of Investment, the head of the Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency affirmed the interest of Portuguese investors in the Egyptian market, especially in light of the bold reforms carried out by the Egyptian state as part of its plan for sustainable development.

The chief executive attended a seminar at the Indian embassy to see how that country is making efforts to improve its investment climate, and delivered a speech illustrating the most important steps in this regard, such as the important features in the new draft investment law. He also met with representatives of major Indian companies which have investments in Egypt, to listen and learn about their problems, and to inform them of the role of the Ministry of Investment and his agency in the context of overcoming obstacles to investment. The Indian Ambassador emphasised his pride in Egyptian-Indian relations, and was greatly pleased by the reform measures currently being taken by Egypt.

 


Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article found here.

Army: 266 Syrians detained at Shalateen while attempting illegal immigration across the border

Spokesman for the Armed Forces, Tamir al-Rifa’i, said in a statement published Tuesday that border guards in the southern military district had detained 266 Syrians who were attempting to illegally migrate across the border in the region of Shalateen.

Attempts by Egyptians and foreigners to illegally migrate via Egypt’s borders and coastline have increased recently, due to political persecution and rising unemployment levels in the Middle East.

The spokesman also stated in a post published on the official Facebook page that border guards in the second field army had destroyed 12 tunnels along the border in northern Sinai.

The armed forces, in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior have launched a security campaign across northern Sinai, aimed at arresting militants and destroying the tunnels which are used to target members of the army and the police.


Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article can be found here.

Maya Morsi: Rural women have the right to receive equal pay to men

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Dr. Maya Morsi, president of the National Council for Women (Facebook)

Dr. Maya Morsi, president of the National Council for Women, has demanded equal wages for rural women, stressing that they play a vital role in rural development, agriculture, nutrition, and the reduction of poverty, and that they should be given more attention.

As cited by a statement of the Council on Monday, Dr Morsi made the remarks during a speech at the opening of the International Labour Organisation’s first academy for rural development in Luxor, saying that “the state must guarantee the rights of rural women to decent working conditions and the principle of equal pay, alongside quotas and targets for representation of rural women in decision-making positions, especially in parliament and administrative bodies at all levels.”

42% of working women in Egypt are employed in the agricultural sector, and of these 37% work with their family and do not receive a wage, according to statistics from the National Council for Women. Egyptian women working in the agricultural sector are also deprived of legal protection under Egyptian labour law no. 12/2003, despite 70% of agricultural work depending on women’s labour. Article 4, paragraph B of the law specifies the “exclusion of domestic workers, workers solely in agriculture, and the children of workers” from its protections.

Dr Morsi added that the number of beneficiaries of the village group savings and loans project has reached 9,000 women in 10 villages across 4 governorates. The village group savings and loans projects works to provide smalls loans to the families of these women, in order to empower them economically.

As for the results of the project, ‘One Village One Product,’ she said that the most important outcomes have been the establishment of a milk collection centre in Jafar village in Beni Suef, the training of 57 women in the manufacture, preparation, and packaging of vegetables, and the training of 52 women in managing small projects in the eastern governorate.

This all comes at the end of a 17 day campaign to empower rural women, launched by the Council at the beginning of October. It aimed to enable women to develop their communities, recognise innovative ways to take advantage of their resources, and to open marketing and sale channels for their products, to connect their voices with society.

The campaign included a video on the Council’s Facebook page, entitled ‘A Woman’s Message from Rural Egypt,’ which featured women from the countryside speaking about their lives and ambitions, and the greatest problems they face.

Maya Morsi also pointed out the efforts made by the National Council for Women in the field of economic empowerment, after it launched the “National ID Card programme,” which aims to assist and support all women without identity cards, in collaboration with the Ministry for the Interior, branches of the council across the governorates, civil organisations, and rural women’s leaders. She said that the Council had succeeded in supplying almost 3 million cards in the first phase of the project, from 2000 to 2015, and that it has issued over 600 thousand cards during the second phase, from June 2015 until now.

At the end of her speech, Dr Morsi gave a number of recommendations for the further integration of gender perspectives into all areas of rural affairs, such as the need for establishing gender departments in all ministries concerned with rural development. She stressed the need for the state to protect the rights of rural women, provide access to quality education for all girls and women in rural areas, and to make affordable health care services and facilities available to them.


Translated by Conor Fagan

View the original article here.

Egypt carries out air strikes on militant positions in Sinai

An Egyptian policeman gestures from a watch tower as seen from the Israeli side of the border with Egypt's Sinai peninsula, in Israel's Negev Desert

An Egyptian policeman gestures from an observation tower is seen from the Israeli side of the border with Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, in Israel’s Negev Desert February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Cairo-Reuters

The Egyptian army has announced that on Saturday, it carried out air strikes lasting three hours, targeting sites of militant groups loyal to the Islamic State (Daesh) in North Sinai governorate. The announcement came 24 hours after an attack which killed 12 soldiers, and for which the militants have claimed responsibility.

A statement issued by the General Command of the Armed Forces said, “In retaliation for the blood of the martyrs, a number of aerial formations took off at dawn on Saturday… to scout the target area and confirm coordinates, before the execution of targeted air strikes which lasted 3 hours.”

The statement added that the strike “resulted in the destruction of central and lodging areas for terrorist elements, as well as weapons and ammunition depots and the total destruction of seven SUV vehicles. A number of Takfiri elements who were carrying out criminal operations, along with their assistants, were also killed.”

A spokesman for the Egyptian military had reported yesterday that 12 soldiers and 15 militants were killed during a clash in Bir al-Abed in north Sinai, with injuries afflicting both sides. ‘Wilayah Sinai’ claimed responsibility for the attack, announcing that they had killed more than 20 military men and wounded others, as well as capturing weapons and ammunition and returning their fighters to safety.

Security sources also say that a recruit was killed today by a bullet to the head at a checkpoint south of Sheikh Zuweid, one of the three towns affected by the clashes in northern Sinai, along with Arish, capital of the governorate, and Rafah, located along the border with the Gaza Strip. A source reported that sniper fire was witnessed at the checkpoint.

The Egyptian Ministry of the Interior announced in a statement today that police had foiled two attempts to smuggle large quantities of weapons and ammunition into northern Sinai. The first was from a farm on the border between the eastern provinces and nearby Ismailia, and the second from a warehouse in Beni Suef, south of Cairo. The statement added that the police had confiscated hundreds of rifles and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, alongside arresting a number of people described in the statement as belonging to terrorist groups.


Translated by Conor Fagan

View the original article here.

Infographic: ISIS fighters proliferate in North Africa, Al-Wasat (Libya), 27 November 2014

Infographic: ISIS fighters proliferate in North Africa

The influence of ISIS is gradually expanding from its stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa to extremist groups which have taken North Africa as their headquarters.

Red: Areas of ISIS influence (estimate)

  1. Egypt: Ansar Beit al-Maqdis – formed in 2011, it is made up of 2,000 fighters; after announcing it joined ISIS in November, it is now known as Wilayat Sina’ (Sinai Province)
  2. Eastern Libya: Extremists in the coastal city of Derna – population 80,000 – announced their alliance with and allegiance to ISIS and the establishment of Wilayat Barqa (Cyrenaica Proince) in October
  3. Tripoli: Since August, the Libyan capital has fallen under the control of the Libya Dawn extremist militia, designated as a terrorist organisation; Mitiga International Airport is used as the centre for thousands of fighters from Europe and Africa seeking to join the fighters in Syria
  4. Tunisia: Birthplace of the Arab Spring, source of the largest number of foreign fighters joining ISIS and al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, estimated at about 3,000 fighters; the cause is believed to be their resentment with the political process in Tunisia
  5. Algeria: Extremist group Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria allied itself with ISIS in September after breaking off from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
  6. Morocco: The terrorist organisation affiliated with al-Qaeda calling itself Salafiyya Jihadiyya may have influenced the recent announcement of loyalty to ISIS by Moroccan fighters in Syria

Translated by Kevin Moore.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis announces its allegience to ISIS, Al Masry Al Youm (Egypt), 3 November 2014

Ansar Beit al-MaqdisIn a statement Monday evening, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem) announced its allegiance to ISIS.

In its statement, the group said: “Today, placing our trust in God Almighty and asking Him for proper guidance, we decided to pledge allegiance to Amir al-Mu’minin, Abu Bakr al-Qurashi al-Husseini al-Baghdadi, Caliph of the Muslims in Iraq and ash-Sham and all other Muslim countries.”

The statement added: “We call on our brothers in Egypt, Gaza, Libya and other countries of the Maghreb and Mashreq to trust in God, follow in our path and pledge allegiance to the Amir al-Mu’mini in order to unify the Muslims. God’s word is most high and we raise the banner of “There is no god but God, Mohammed is the messenger of God” high as it waves above the entire world.”

Notably, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks targeting police and army recruits in several places, especially in the Sinai Peninsula in recent months.

Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

Tawadros: God saved Egypt at the appropriate time before it became like Iraq, al-Mesryoon (Egypt), 2 November 2014

Pope Tawadros IIPope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, said that the attacks the Egyptian army is currently being subjected to are being perpetrated by terrorists aiming to weaken its spirit but that everyone is confident that the leaders of the armed forces are leading the military in high spirits. He stated that the lowest soldier in the army is well aware of his role and responsibility.

In his discussion with Russia Today (RT), Pope Tawadros added that confronting extremism and terrorism is the responsibility of governments and officials, indicating that the fire of terrorism will reach everyone in the Middle East and beyond and whoever plays with that fire will inevitably get burned.

The Pope indicated that it will not be easy for the Egyptian army to be defeated because it is completely different from the Iraqi or Libyan armies, or others that were weakened. He added that the Egyptian people always say that “our army is made up of men,” because it is the strongest Arab army, has a very regimented structure, is a prestigious institution in Egyptian history and has always been the voice of truth.

In his interview, the Pope said that after the Russian church showed its kind feelings towards us it was his duty to come to them in order to thank them and strengthen relations between the two churches. The Pope also confirmed that the Russian church is considered the biggest Orthodox church in the world in terms of numbers, making it an influential voice.

The Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church also explained that the dialogue that occurred during his visit to Russia included the situation of Christians in the Middle East, and he pointed out that their situation is dangerous and unacceptable to the Russian church and government. He explained that the situation is almost tragic in Iraq Syria, whereas Libya and Lebanon are on the brink of falling into the same position, adding that God intervened and saved Egypt at the appropriate time before it became like Iraq.

On the other hand, Pope Tawadros confirmed that the church serves society by building schools and hospitals, participating in community events and sending Coptic businessmen in force to the economic arena, in addition to the use of Coptic expertise and personnel in national projects.

Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

Nabil Naim: Perpetrators of Sinai incident came from Syria and Iraq, Tahrir News (Egypt), 24 October 2014

Nabil NaimNabil Naim, founder of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, confirmed that the terrorist attack in Sinai today reflects a high-level of training and could only be carried out by elements that have previously participated in wars.

During a telephone interview with journalist Eman Hirsi for the “90 Minutes” programme, Naim explained that the perpetrators of the incident could have come from Syria and Iraq.

Naim indicated that there were main indications proving that the perpetrators trained militarily to undertake such an operation, and not in normal training camps, especially their targeting of paramedics after carrying out the initial operation.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

Video: Ansar Beit al-Maqdis reveals the reason for death of four people in Sinai, Tahrir News (Egypt), 5 October 2014

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has released a new video titled “They are the enemy, be wary of them (2).”

Video: Ansar Beit al-Maqdis reveals the reason for death of four people in SinaiThe new video recording reveals details of the bombing of a house owned by one of the elders of the al-Meniei clan of the al-Sawarka tribe, Abdelmajid al-Meniei. In the video, people are seen storming the house, which appears to have children in it. A remote detonation then turns the two-story house into rubble. The organization accuses al-Meniei of collaborating with security forces against the mujahideen.

The recording then transfers to another scene in which a person calling himself Ahmed Eid Ayad Salim appears. The person describes himself as an “agent of the apostate army,” saying that he was commissioned by the army to arrest people and that he and his companions were wearing the army uniform. He said he was given a weapon and a vehicle to arrest people wanted by the army and to participate in the demolition of their homes.

The scene ends with the person being executed by being shot in the head at night. The organisation directs a message to members of Sinai tribes, saying “Do not think that the death of a small group of tribal members decreases your ability in our hearts, for we are some of your children. Our misfortune is your misfortune, be a partisan of God. We continue to reap the spies of the Jews, except those who repent. The door of repentance is still open and we grant you time to deliver yourselves.”

The organisation filmed ambushes carried out by members of the organization in several locations in Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, as well as searching cars and comparing names of of car owners with a list carried by a masked member, and in other scenes by carrying a laptop. The film then moves on to show testaments of people who describe themselves as agents of the Jews, including a person named Suleiman Salman Salim Ali, from the al-Nowamis family of the al-Sawarka tribe. He said: “I have dealt with Israeli Mossad since 2009. Mossad asked me to form groups to confront and kill takfiris. They gave me 120 GPS devices to help with targeting takfiris, as well as instructions to acquire pictures and information from Cairo and Sham al-Sheikh.”

Another person, 23-year-old Gehad Salman Salim Abu Namous al-Namous al-Sawarka, as well as a third person, Aish al-Wifa al-Wishi from the al-Barikat tribe, who explained how the three worked with Israeli Mossad, their methods of recruitment and the tasks assigned to them, including collecting information from Sinai, about religious groups and army movements in Sinai. He also described how much they earned from Mossad agents and the surveillance equipment the got from the Mossad agents to plant in different locations.

The recording ends with a masked member saying that this is the penalty for all apostate traitors. He then proceeds to slaughter the three with a knife and places their heads on top of their corpses, directing a message to the Jews that they will not live long and that the coming battle of sticks and stones will be between the mujahideen and the Jews.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

Four ISIS collaborators arrested in Egypt, Ennahar Online (Egypt), 5 October 2014

Four ISIS collaborators arrested in EgyptThe Middle East News Agency (Egyptian state media outlet) reported today that Egyptian police arrested four people recruiting youths to fight with ISIS in Syria. It added that the police arrested them in the coastal Port Said governorate, and that they admitted to being part of an eight-person cell and that the other four were in Syria. The general prosecutor decided to imprison the four arrested pending further investigations. ISIS has attracted the interest of Egyptians over social networking sites. Egyptian security forces estimate that there are 8000 Egyptians fighting abroad.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.