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GECOL agrees MoU to create Arab electricity network

By Libya Herald reporter. Tunis, 10 April 2017: State electricity company GECOL has signed up to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint Arab electricity grid, agreed by the Arab League. The MoU, signed in Cairo by Arab electricity ministers, underlines the League’s commitment to support the interconnection of electricity networks across the […]

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UPDATE – Egypt politics digest Nov. 15: 243K Egyptians returned from Libya since last year’s ISIS beheading video; FM flies to Lebanon to boost bilateral relations

CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top politics news stories on Nov.15 here: FM flies to Lebanon to boost bilateral relations Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry left for Beirut Tuesday in a visit aiming to boost Egyptian-Lebanese relations, Youm7 reported. Shoukry is expected to meet with the new Lebanese President Michele Aoun and the assigned PM Saad el-Hariri, where he to deliver them messages from President Sisi. 243K Egyptians returned from Libya since last year’s ISIS beheading video A total of 1,135 travelers, including Egyptians and Libyans, have crossed the Sallum border in both directions over the past 24 hours, Youm7 reported. Security at the border has been tightened as part of Egyptian bid to curb the rising phenomenon of illegal immigration. However, hundreds of unregistered migrants have been reportedly arrested over the illegal practice and many others are believed to have crossed into the other side. Egypt has repeatedly warned citizens against traveling to Libya due to security vacuum witnessed there as Islamic militias control swaths of the oil-rich country. In 2015, a total of 20 Egyptian Copts were beheaded by the Islamic State (IS) group’s branch in Sirte city. The attack was met by retaliatory airstrikes launched by Egyptian military, claiming to have killed dozens of the group’s members in Derna. The number of Egyptian returnees since then reached 243,035 as the government urged nationals to return to their home country, Youm7 reported. Parliament agrees to 29 mln Kuwaiti dinar loan Parliament agreed Tuesday to a 29-million-dinar loan from Kuwait to be allocated for building five water desalination plants in South Sinai, Youm7 reported. Egypt’s parliament approves 40 articles of NGOs draft law The House of Representatives on Monday approved 40 articles of a draft law regulating the work of NGOs and civil society organizations. Drafted by the parliament’s social solidarity committee, the 48-article law aims to minimize state involvement in the activities of NGOs but also prohibits the establishment of groups of military or paramilitary nature. The parliament deliberated the draft law during a session on Monday evening. The law stipulates foreign NGOs looking to operate in Egypt must get prior ‎approval from a regulatory body. UK fully supports Egypt to get IMF loan: statement The British Embassy in Cairo on Monday revealed the UK’s Executive Director’s statement delivered during the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board discussions, held on Nov. 11, on providing Egypt with a $12 billion loan. The details give direct insight into the thorough and international support for Egypt’s reform plan at the meeting, according to a statement published on the embassy’s facebook page Monday. The executive board of the International Monetary Fund on Friday approved a $12-billion loan program for Egypt to restore investor confidence and help revive an economy battered by years of political turmoil. The UK played a vital role in the IMF decision as a founder and important contributor to the fund, said the statement. “The UK’s Executive Director’s intervention led a particular focus on ensuring social protection, inclusion, and creating a positive climate for investment as the key fuel for Egypt’s economy long-term,” the statement read. The final statement will nominally be released in the coming weeks. Cairo hosts 1st Star Alliance international conference Egypt’s Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy on Tuesday will inaugurate the 1st star alliance international conference, scheduled to be held in Cairo Nov. 15-17, Youm7 reported, citing a statement from the Egyptian Civilian Pilots Syndicate (EGYCPS.) The conference will focus on cooperation between aviation security authorities and stakeholders to overcome the current global security concerns, ways to strengthen aviation and border security and facilitate the movement of air cargo among member states. Delegations from Star Alliance’s 28 member airlines, EgyptAir Chairperson Safwat Mesalam will be present during the conference Star Alliance’s 28 member airlines operate a fleet of approximately 4,657 aircraft, serve more than 1,330 airports in 192 countries and carry 641.1 million passengers per year on more than 18,500 daily departures. Parliament approves presidential decree to extend state of emergency in N. Sinai The House of Representatives on Monday has approved a presidential decree to extend the state of emergency in designated parts of North Sinai for three further months, Youm7 reported. Last month, President Abdel Fatah al Sisi decided to extend the state of emergency in some parts of restive North Sinai starting from Oct. 31, but his decision had to be approved by the majority of the parliament members. The state of emergency was first imposed under Sisi in October 2014 following an attack that killed over 30 soldiers. It has since been extended four times. The Egyptian constitution states that the president may declare a state of emergency after consultation with the cabinet. However, “such declaration must be presented to the House of Representatives within the following seven days to decide thereon as it deems fit,” according to Article 154 of the constitution. According to Article 2 of the decree, a nighttime curfew is to be extended in the same areas. A curfew will be imposed from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next day, while in certain parts of Arish the curfew will last from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. According to Article 3, the army and the police are responsible for “fighting terrorism” in the peninsula, and those who violate the decision or resist it might face imprisonment. Egypt has witnessed a significant rise in militancy since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was overthrown by the military in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. According to the Interior Ministry, militant attacks have killed more than 500 security personnel since then. During the past three years, the Sinai-based militant group, previously known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis before pledging allegiance to IS, has claimed responsibility for many attacks targeting the military in the peninsula.