This Week in Egypt: Week 39-2020 ( Sept 21-27)

Top Headlines

  • East Mediterranean states formally establish Egypt-based gas forum
  • Three Egyptian policemen, four militants killed in prison break attempt
  • Egyptian police disperse rare, small protests
  • At UN assembly, Sisi speaks of Egypt’s concern over GERD
  • Libya’s LNA and GNA military officials hold meeting in Egypt
  • Egypt’s central bank cuts key interest rates by 0.5%
  • Egypt upholds court order to Ban Jewish Festival of 19th Century Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

  • East Mediterranean states formally establish Egypt-based gas forum
  • Egypt’s Sisi calls for accountability for countries that flout UN resolutions, urges settlement in Libya
  • Egypt’s Sisi invited to attend signing of long-awaited Sudan peace deal

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • Ethiopia tells U.N. ‘no intention’ of using dam to harm Egypt, Sudan
  • Egyptian police disperse rare, small protests; 10 arrested Egyptian police 
  • Egypt’s central bank cuts key interest rates by 0.5%

Saturday

  • Turkey-based channels circulate manipulated videos amid small protests in some villages in Egypt
  • Egypt’s supreme administrative court upholds order to ban Jewish festival of 19th Century Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira
  • Palestinians say Egyptian fire killed two Gaza fishermen
  • Egyptian contractor-turned-opposition figure Mohamed Ali faces scrutiny over phantom project in Barcelona

Sunday

  • Libya’s LNA and GNA military officials hold meeting in Egypt in Egypt
  • Egypt returns bodies of 2 Gaza fishermen shot by its navy
  • Doctor deaths in Daqahlia brings Egypt’s total COVID-19 doctor death toll to 33
  • Egypt’s prosecution orders arrest of 3 suspects in Fairmont rape case pending investigations
  • Egypt opens Rafah crossing with Gaza for 3 days

Reports

  • Egypt is preparing to sell its first-ever green bond as the North African country looks to diversify its sources of financing and investors
  • Congo backs Egypt in Nile dam dispute in Nile dam dispute. Ahmed Gomaa
  • With water scarcer, Egypt pushes farmers to use much less water. Menna Farouk 
  • Uncertain future for Egypt’s Salafists following Senate election defeat. Amr Emam

Interview

From Twitter

Sports

Plus

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This Week in Egypt: Week 38-2020 ( Sept 14-20)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt slams statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister as ‘baseless, contradictory’
  • Egypt, Greece agree to reject ‘provocative actions’ in Eastern Mediterranean
  • Italian energy giant Eni announces new gas discovery offshore Egypt
  • A recent Goldman Sachs report reveals that Egypt’s economy is still robust
  • Egypt, Mexico and Moldova out of the running to lead the WTO
  • Heavy police presence, random searches around Tahrir square amid call for protests

Main Headlines

Monday

  • Egyptian delegation meets Haftar, Aguila Saleh, urges ceasefire in Libya
  • A fair, sustainable deal is the only solution to GERD dispute: Egypt’s irrigation minister
  • Egypt to allow wedding ceremonies, cultural events in open-air venues

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

  • Egypt slams statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister as ‘baseless, contradictory’
  •  Egypt’s resorts face tough winter as visitor numbers plummet
  • Egypt releases detained YouTube couple who pranked daughter
  •  30 countries will move their embassies to Egypt’s New Administrative Capital
  • Egypt approves of teaching Chinese as elective second foreign language for the first time

Sunday

Reports

Read

  • Why is Turkey acquiescing to Egypt’s role in Libya? Fehim Tastekin
  • How to Share a River a river. Biniam Bedasso

From Twitter

Plus

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This Week in Egypt: Week 37-2020 ( September 7-13)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s Sisi says appreciates ‘important step’ of Israel and Bahrain establishing diplomatic ties
  • Egypt’s headline inflation decreased to 3.4% in August
  • Egypt’s Foreign Minister meets Armenian counterpart
  • Egypt has sent over 197 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Sudan, S. Sudan amid deadly floods
  • Egypt’s PM stresses ‘resolute’ measures against building violations on agricultural land
  • Two Libyan delegations visit Cairo
  • KLM resumes flights to Cairo 
  • Egypt abolishes decades-old Thanaweya Amma exam system, unveils new hybrid education model

Main Headlines

Monday

 Tuesday

  • KLM to resume flights to Cairo starting Wednesday
  • Egypt Air Egypt air to resume direct flights between Cairo and Moscow 
  • Egypt extends ban on sugar imports for three months
  • Egyptian prosecution investigates death of young man after family blame police
  • Investments at Suez Canal Zone hit $15billion in 5 years
  • Egypt abolishes decades-old Thanaweya Amma exam system, unveils hybrid education model

Wednesday

 Thursday

Friday

  • Egypt’s Sisi says appreciates ‘important step’ of Israel and Bahrain  establishing diplomatic ties
  • Turkey says EU Mediterranean statement biased, open to talks with Greece
  • Turkey condemns Bahrain decision to establish ties with Israel
  • Egypt reduced fines for building violations reduced in many governorates

 Saturday

  • Egypt and France urge support to Lebanon after Beirut blast
  • Egypt’s PM stresses ‘resolute’ measures against building violations on agricultural land
  • Libya’s Haftar is committed to ending oil blockade, U.S. says
  • 6,000 people to participate in phase 3 trials of Chinese coronavirus vaccines

Sunday 

Reports

  •  Egypt and Cyprus focus on natural gas pipeline amid tensions in eastern Mediterranean. Mohamed Saied
  • Online calls for anti-Sisi protests in Egypt may fall flat. Al-Monitor
  • Egypt in talks to sell surplus power to Europe, Africa to Europe. Mirette Magdy

Read

From Twitter

Sport

  • Mohamed Salah pays tribute to ill Egypt teammate with celebration his hat-trick against Leeds

Plus

  • The Egyptian egg ovens is considered more wondrous than the Pyramids 
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Oruc Reis Between Turkey and Greece

Oruç Reis, a Turkish research vessel, which is carrying out drilling surveys in the East Mediterranean sea, is getting close to the Greek island of Kastellorizo, raising the tension in the region to an alarming level. 

It is no coincidence that Erdogan’s Turkey chose Oruç Reis for its adventurous research vessel. Oruç is a real historical figure, engrained in the Ottoman history and is hugely symbolic for Islamists, particularly in Algeria, where he is considered a hero of jihad against the “European infidels.” 

Oruç Reis was an Ottoman seaman, basically a glamorised pirate who shopped for loyalty, first to an Ottoman Prince Şehzade Korkut against the crusaders, then to Egyptian sultan after Prince Korkut has to run for his life after a succession feud with his own Ottoman brother sultan. Later, in 1515, Oruç sent precious gifts to Ottoman Sultan Selim I who, in return, sent him two galleys and two swords embellished with diamonds. In 1516, Oruç and his brothers took control of Algiers from the Spaniards, forcing the previous ruler to flee, then sought protection from the Ottoman Empire. Now Turkish media glamorise him as an Ottoman hero.

Observers may agree or disagree about the extent of the Turkish president’s obsession with Ottoman history. Alan Mikhail argued that President Erdogan strives to be the empire’s ninth sultan, Selim I. The choice of Oruç Reis as a name for Turkey’s exploration vessel, in a way, supports that view, although I think that Erdogan sees himself as an amalgmation of several Ottoman Sultans – not just Selim I. 

What should not be disputed, however, is how the Turkish president’s goals are greater than mere gas exploration and a dispute on the demarcation of the maritime border with Greece. It is crucial to understand that Turkey has two broader goals, both related to Greece in one way or another. 

First, to expand its influence to North Africa, not just in Libya, but to dormant Islamist communities in Tunisia and Algeria. Within that context, Ankara sees Greece as an obstacle against achieving its expansionist goals in North Africa, which is precisely why it is clinging to the illiegal maritime deal with the Libyan Government of National Accord, which ignored the presence of the Greek island of Crete between the Turkish and Libyan coasts. Therefore, it is only natural for Erdogan’s Turkey to ignite historical grievances and threaten confrontation with Greece. 

Second, the Turkish president sees a divided EU and NATO as his only way to strengthen Turkey and boost its regional power. 

There is no chance for the Turkish president to project his soft power among his Islamist fans, without projecting the current Western order as weak and divided on Turkey. Terms such as “de-escalation” and “calling for dialogue” in “tactical negotiations,” are music to Erdogan’s ears, as it magnifies his postive image among his fan club, who boast daily on social media how their invincible leader installs fear among “the infidels.”  

For Erdogan’s Turkey, a strong EU that imposes sanctions on Turkey will shatter President Erdogan’s dystopian myth, cultivated for years among his Arab and muslim followers. To prevent such a nightmarish scenario, Turkey deals with Western countries in a “divide and rule” manner. Here is the Turkish drill: First, the Turkish president raised the rhetoric against Greece, sending his exploring mission to harass it. Later, he plays the victim, flirts with the dovish appeasers, agrees on negotiations, demonizes the hawks as irrational aggressors, and later resorts to victimhood and conspiracy theories to garner more support. Thus far, this Turkish strategy seems to be effective. 

It may be diffcult to stomach; in reality, however, Turkey does not aim to resolve its dispute with Greece. All what Turkey aims to achieve is to present a strong argument to the doves of Western countries to refuse to apply sanctions against Turkey, thus undermining Greece’s efforts to obtain Western support. The more differences between the two sides escalate, the greater the opportunity for Turkey to create a new reality on the ground without paying a huge price for its disruptive actions in the East Mediteranean.

Turkophiles in the Western corridors of power believe that negotiations could solve the problem between Turkey and Greece. But they do not realize how a divided West on Turkey is part of the problem – not part of the solution. They are doing nothing but enabling a staunch enemy who is tricking them by his insincere grievances, while he neither appreciates their weakness nor their appeasment.

France”s Macron with Greek PM

French President Macron is right to say that Turkey is no longer a partner in the Mediterranean region. The French effortsto unit, at least the southern European Mediterranean countries, is a step in the right direction. Only a strong united Europe can negotiate with Turkey and control the wild ambitions of the Turkish leader. Unity and strong stance on Turkey are the only ways forward, as Ferdinando Giugliano wrote.

Until such elusive unity happens, the Turkish President will continue to see France’s Macron as a modern version of Emperor Charles V King, whose forces eventually killed Oruç Reis, and will do whatever he can to allow the Turkish vessel, named after his legendary seaman, Oruç Reis, to wildly frolic in the Mediterranean. 

 
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This Week in Egypt: Week 36-2020 (Aug 31- Sept 6)

Top Headlines

  • U.S. to cut $100 million in aid to Ethiopia over dam dispute with Egypt and Sudan 
  • Ethiopia hires US lobby firm amid Nile dam dispute, domestic tensions
  • Egypt reiterates solidarity with Sudan during floods
  • Moody’s credit rating institution, has kept Egypt’s credit rating at B2 with a stable outlook
  • Egyptian and Maltese foreign ministers meet in Cairo, discuss crisis in Libya
  • Original Africa Cup of Nations trophy is missing in Egypt

Main Headlines

Monday

  • Egypt signs $2 billion loan with regional, international banks
  • Israel and Hamas agree to restore calm along Gaza border
  • Egypt’s M2 money supply rises 19.08% year-on-year in July
  • Egypt welcomes Sudan’s peace pact with revolutionary front
  • Egypt’s prosecution releases on bail a woman filmed assaulting police officer

Tuesday

  • Egypt expects above-average Nile flood amid GERD crisis
  • Egypt signs 15-year contract with France metro line operator to manage 3rd line
  • Egypt repaid USD 6.8bln in debts in Q1 2020: CBE
  • Egypt’s external debt declines to $111.3 bln in 1Q 2020, public debt to $60.4 billion: CBE

Wednesday

  • The U.S. has decided to cut $100 million in aid to Ethiopia amid a dispute with Egypt and Sudan dispute over GERD
  • Egypt supports ‘any steps’ to bring peace to region while preserving Palestinian rights, Sisi tells Netanyahu 
  • Moody’s credit rating institution, has kept Egypt’s credit rating at B2 with a stable outlook
  • Dana Gas in talks with IPR Energy on Egypt assets sale 
  • Egypt’s prosecution investigates 3  allegations of sexual harassmen by a dentist

Thursday

 Friday

Saturday

 Sunday

Reports

  • Qatar calls for two-state solution while Egypt backs UAE-Israel deal. Al-Monitor 
  • Is coronavirus pushing women in Egypt out of the workforce? May el Habachi

Read

From Twitter

Plus

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Twitter Thread: Another church, another sad story from Turkey

Last month, the Turkish president Erdogan has converted two churches in Istanbul, Hagia Sophia and Chora church, to working mosques. Now Turkish officials have demolished an ancient Greek Orthodox church in the country’s northwestern province of Bursa, after the structure was abandoned for years by a state institution that manages the estates and restorations. I find this Twitter thread by Tugba Tanyeri-Erdemir explains the tragedy behind the demolishing.

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This Week in Egypt: Week 35-2020 ( Aug 24-31)

Top Headlines

  • Greek parliament ratifies maritime accord with Egypt 
  • Acting leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood arrested in Cairo
  • Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia conclude GERD meeting without agreement
  • Egypt’s armed forces have killed 77 terrorist elements during various raids in the last few weeks
  • Egypt’s Sisi appoints new head of anti-corruption authority
  • Egypt’s Sisi says will deploy army to remove illegal buildings built on agricultural land if problem persists

 

Main Headlines

 Monday

  • Al-Azhar Grand Imam praises parliament for putting off vote on controversial bill regulating religious edicts body
  • Egypt receives 126,000 tourists, one suspected coronavirus case since 1 July
  • German foreign minister to discuss East Med row in Athens and Ankara
  • Russia may resume flights to seven more countries this week, including Egypt

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Greek Parliament ratifies maritime accord with Egypt
  • Egypt detains suspect in high-profile rape case
  • An Egyptian court upheld a one-year suspended sentence for the former chief auditor Hisham Geneina for spreading “false news”
  • Egyptian-American who killed his own daughters is arrested after 12 Years
  • Record floods cause deaths and widespread damage in Sudan

Friday

  • Acting leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood arrested in Cairo
  • EU set to sanction Turkey over ships in disputed east Med exploration area
  • Egypt’s coronavirus cases rise again as 237 new infections detected on Thursday
  • Worshippers flock to Egyptian mosques for return of Friday prayers with joy ‘like Eid’

Saturday

Sunday

  • Egypt’s armed forces have killed 77 terrorist elements during various raids in the last few weeks
  • Cairo supports truce, political settlement in Libya: Egypt’s FM tells UN envoy
  • Egypt detains second suspect in alleged rape case, three more held

 Reports

  • S. halts some foreign assistance funding to Ethiopia over dam dispute with Egypt, Sudan. Robbie Gramer
  • Egyptian cinema hit hard by pandemic. Menna Zaki

From Twitter

 

Plus

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This Week in Egypt: Week 34-2020 ( Aug 17-23)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s Sisi welcomes ceasefire calls by Libyan warring parties
  • Greece to ratify sea accord with Egypt on August 26
  • New Egyptian legislation aims to reduce Al-Azhar’s authority
  • Egypt brings new crude pipeline at al-Hamra port
  • Occupancy rates in Egypt’s major Red Sea resorts 20-40%

 Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • ‪Egypt’s Sisi orders ‘highest level of preparedness’ in meeting with army chiefs
  • Egypt to require all those arriving to the country to present negative PCR test starting from September
  • Supporters of Egypt’s Sisi set to dominate newly created Senate

Thursday

Friday

Saturday 

 Sunday

Reports 

Read

Twitter

 

 

Photo Gallery

  • Damietta’s Ras el-Bar, the enchanting coastal resort where the Nile meets the Mediterranean

 Plus

  • Researchers at a UK university have “digitally unwrapped” three mummified animals from ancient Egyptusing high-resolution 3D scans
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This Week in Egypt: Week 33-2020 (Aug 10-16)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s Sisi welcomes UAE-Israel deal, halt to annexation of Palestinian lands
  • Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan resume GERD negotiations
  • Pope Francis urges Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to continue talks over disputed dam
  • Senior Muslim Brotherhood figure Essam El-Erian dies in prison in Egypt
  • Egypt’s central bank keeps main interest rates steady
  • Head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service in South Sudan for meetings with President Salva Kiir

 

Main Headlines

Including some relevant regional news

 Monday

  • ‪Egypt’s urban inflation declines to 4.2% in July
  • Egyptian FM urges global support for Lebanon at UN meeting
  • UK heatwave to be hotter than Cairo tomorrow with another 37C day
  • UK’s EasyJet to resume flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada in September
  • GERD talks postponed for a week for consultations upon Sudan’s request

Tuesday

  • Egyptians vote for newly created Senate
  • In Beirut, Egypt’s Shoukry says Lebanon needs ‘new direction,’ pledges support
  • Turkey to issue Mediterranean exploration licences, raising tensions with Greece
  • Greece calls Turkey’s seismic survey in Mediterranean illegal
  • Egypt opens Rafah crossing to Palestinians for the first time since April
  • Egypt’s Mostaqbal Watan Party expected to dominate Senate elections

Wednesday

  • Head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service in South Sudan for meetings with President Salva Kiir
  • Egypt to auction 600 million euros in euro-denominated T-bills

 Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

  • Diplomatic efforts for Libya for Libya. kamal Abdallah
  • Cautious hopes for slum dwellers relocated in Egypt housing project. Menna Farouk

Read

Interview

  • US ambassador to Libya speaks to Ahram Online about the prerequisites for a peace deal in Libya amid his current visit to Cairo

From Twitter

https:/twitter.com/afp/status/1293942210296193026?s=21

https://twitter.com/dailynewsegypt/status/1292837176850472960?s=21

 

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Podcast: Arabs are wondering, is Erdogan all talk? – Nervana Mahmoud- Ahval

I recorded this podcast with Ahval’s editor David Lepeska that war is a real possibility in the eastern Mediterranean, that Turkey has taken all decision-making power away from Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and that Turkish President Erdogan has lost significant support among Arabs in the past decade for failing to live up to his promises.

I highlighted how there are many weak states in the Arab region, and how Turkey’s Erdogan is exploiting such sad reality by playing the Ottoman card to flirt with Arabs.

I aloo highlighted how pliant Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar is a sign of military decline in turkey. The Turkish military is bowing to Erdogan and embrace his ideological vision; it has become the military of a Sultan, and not a military of a Republic.

 

Hope you enjoyed it. You can listen at the link below.

https://t.co/uny5ttIV3u?amp=1

 

 

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