Keep working on 2-state Mideast solution: Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is stressing the need to work for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after President Donald Trump signaled that he could accept a different outcome. Merkel's comments in her weekly video message Saturday came ahead of a March 2 visit to regional power Egypt, where she said she will discuss the matter with President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Trump said earlier this month he could accept a two-state solution or a single-state arrangement if it is agreed upon by all sides. His UN ambassador then insisted the US absolutely supports a two-state solution. Merkel said: "I think we must continue on the way to a two-state solution.

February 26, 2017 14:23 UTC

Muhammad Ali's son asked, 'Are you Muslim?' by border agents

Ali Jr, 44, who confirmed his Muslim faith, was detained about two hours, despite telling officials that he's Ali's son and a native-born US citizen, said Chris Mancini, a family friend and attorney. But Ali Jr. was not carrying a photo of his world-famous father — a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was the first time Ali Jr and his mother have ever been asked if they're Muslim when re-entering the United States, Mancini said. During his detention, Ali Jr was asked repeatedly about his lineage and his name, "as if that was a pre-programmed question that was part of a profile," Mancini said. Camacho Ali and Ali Jr live in Florida.

February 26, 2017 14:12 UTC

Egypt welcomes Merkel’s visit, says Germany most important EU partner

Presidentialspokesperson Alaa Youssef has welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel's scheduled visit for March 2, saying the visit will tackle the development of bilateral ties in all fields, which makes German the most important EU partner to Egypt. Youssef highlighted Egypt’s interests in pushing cooperation with Germany forward in all fields, especially economic and technical training cooperation. He also praised the participation of German companies in several major developmental projects carried out by Egypt in various fields. During her visit to Cairo, Merkel will be accompanied by a delegation of heads of major German companies to discuss boosting bilateral economic and developmental cooperation, Youssef added. Cooperation between Egypt and Germany, according to Youssef, is not solely focussed on economic and developmental factors but also includes political and security fields.

February 26, 2017 11:50 UTC

Egypt annoyed as Britain continues suspension of flights

The issue of airline security came up in talks with visiting British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. Johnson praised Egypt as a longstanding friend of Britain and said they were strong allies against terrorism and extremist ideas, according to a British statement. But Shoukry said Britain's continued suspension of flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, once a popular destination for British holidaymakers, was unjustified. The flight suspension was hitting Egypt's economy hard and was "inconsistent with Britain's repeated promises to support Egypt", the statement said. The British statement did not mention when flights would resume.

February 26, 2017 11:27 UTC

Britain agrees US$150 million loan guarantee to Egypt on visit

Britain finalized a US$150 million loan guarantee to Egypt on Saturday, where Boris Johnson was on his first visit to the country as Foreign Secretary and following a request from a human rights organization, urging him to speak about what they described as "appalling" abuses. "The UK and Egypt have many shared interests, we are Egypt's top economic partner and strong allies against terrorism and extremist ideas," Johnson said in the statement. Reprieve's Harriet McCulloch had implored Johnson to "urge Sisi to end these appalling abuses, and free Ibrahim and the many like him." Before the visit, Johnson said: "the UK is a champion of a renewed Egypt because stability, peace and growth in this region are the bedrock of opportunity and security." Johnson and his Egyptian counterparts did not make themselves available for questions by the media following the meeting.

February 26, 2017 09:17 UTC

Increase in Egypt’s visa fees adjourned to July

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has decided to postpone the decision to raise the fees for visas to Egypt until July, instead of March. He added that changing the visa fees will have a negative impact. Speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Rizkallah said a competing tourist destination has allowed Ukranian tourists entry using their IDs. He expressed his hope that government will reconsider the decision to raise fees in October in order to work on increasing the incoming tourism, especially from Europe. Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

February 26, 2017 09:06 UTC

Malaysia rolls out red carpet as Saudi king kicks off Asia tour

Malaysia welcomed Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Sunday for the start of a rare, month-long Asian tour, where the monarch will build ties and seek to draw more investments to the oil-rich gulf nation. Malaysian state television on Sunday showed live footage of the octogenarian king descending from his plane on an escalator flown in with his delegation. The last time a Saudi king visited Malaysia was in 2006, when King Abdullah, King Salman's half-brother and predecessor, flew in with a 300-member delegation. Besides traveling with his own private escalator, King Salman has also flown in two personal cars. King Salman is expected to spend the last two weeks of March on holiday in the Maldives, according to a Maldives diplomat.

February 26, 2017 08:55 UTC

Saudi FM visits Baghdad to bolster Sunni-Shia reconciliation post-Islamic State

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir made a rare visit to Baghdad on Saturday in a new attempt to heal the Sunni kingdom's troubled relations with Shia-majority Iraq. Improving relations between Riyadh and Baghdad would help foster reconciliation between Iraq's Shia and Sunni communities in the period after Islamic State's defeat. A US-backed campaign has forced out Islamic State from most Iraqi cities it captured in 2014 and the ultra-hardline Sunni group is now fighting off an offensive in its last major city stronghold, Mosul, in northern Iraq.

February 25, 2017 16:18 UTC

Egypt's foreign debt to reach 30 percent of GDP by June: central bank governor

Egyptian Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer said late on Friday that he expects the country's foreign debt to reach 30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to $60 billion, by June this year. The most populous Arab state has imported some $15 billion worth of goods since the pound currency was floated in November, Amer told local broadcaster DMC in a televised interview. He predicted that imports would fall 30 percent this year. Egypt's monthly fuel import bill is around $1 billion, he said, but the budget is now getting under control and there are increasing signs of fiscal discipline on the government's part.

February 25, 2017 16:17 UTC

Syrian who worked on nominated film can't attend Oscars

U.S. immigration authorities are barring entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer who worked on a harrowing film about his nation's civil war, "The White Helmets," that has been nominated for an Academy Award. Khateeb was scheduled to arrive Saturday in Los Angeles on a Turkish Airlines flight departing from Istanbul. "The White Helmets," a 40-minute Netflix documentary, has been nominated for Best Documentary Short. If the film wins the Oscar, the award would go to director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara. The film focuses on the rescue workers who risk their lives to save Syrians affected by civil war.

February 25, 2017 16:08 UTC

Investment minister studies measures to improve business environment - Daily News Egypt

Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said that she is studying new measures to improve the business environment in Egypt and reach the targeted growth rates. Nasr also met Lebanese investor Gehad Al Arab who works in real-estate investment. The minister also met Lebanese investor Wasem Hanina who works in the electrical cables sector. Nasr also met investor Adib Hashim who works in the cement sector and aims to launch new projects in Egypt. Nasr invited Hashim to visit Egypt in mid-March, to learn about investment opportunities in Egypt, especially in the Suez Canal development zone.

February 25, 2017 15:26 UTC

Wadi Degla Developments launches Promenade New Cairo - Daily News Egypt

The Egyptian real estate developer Wadi Degla Developments announced on Wednesday the launch of its flagship project, Promenade New Cairo, located in the most affluent area of New Cairo. Promenade New Cairo is an integrated residential project that comprises more than 1,000 apartments and penthouses. The chairperson of the board at Wadi Degla Developments, Maged Helmy, said in a press release, “Promenade New Cairo is the crown jewel of our tireless efforts in the last ten years, and throughout the past decade. Helmy also said that Wadi Degla Development’s strategy builds on the tremendous success they achieved in 2016, as their contracted sales reached EGP 4bn. He clarified that their sales target for 2017 is as high as EGP 5bn EGP.

February 25, 2017 15:26 UTC

Arab French Dairy uses Gulfood 2017 to ramp up exports to GCC - Daily News Egypt

The Arab French Company for Dairy and Cheese Products (AFDPL) announced that it will participate in the Gulfood exhibition—held in Dubai from 26 February to 2 March 2017. “AFDPL will be using the exhibition to ramp up exports to the GCC and beyond. The new product, aptly called ‘Cheeze to Squeeze’, is available via Milkana distribution partners across the Middle East and North Africa,” the report stated. “We are proud to introduce our new Cheeze to Squeeze product line to distributors and partners at Gulfood 2017, which opens up a whole new snacking offer,” said Ahmed Refaat, marketing director at AFDPL. For this reason, we’re planning to meet potential new distribution partners from several new markets at the exhibition,” said Medhat Azer, general manager of AFDPL.

February 25, 2017 15:22 UTC

EGP 16bn volume of deals implemented by Abu Dhabi Islamic Capital-Egypt since 2012 - Daily News Egypt

Abu Dhabi Islamic Capital-Egypt, the investment arm of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB)-Egypt, managed to implement deals worth EGP 16bn since the establishment of the company in October 2012, according to Zeinab Hashim, the CEO and managing director of the company. Abu Dhabi Islamic Capital-Egypt has recently received the award of the best speculation deal in 2016 from Islamic Finance News magazine, in recognition of its role in marketing financing worth EGP 2bn for the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC). The company has provided a distinctive contribution to promote the brand of ADIB-Egypt and support its public image through successful marketing of implemented deals. In 2016, ADIB-Egypt occupied the first place in marketing Islamic financing in Egypt, and the 11th place in marketing Islamic financing in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with a 3% market share, where the percentage doubled in 2015. This has helped the bank climb upwards eight places among other marketers of Islamic financing in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

February 25, 2017 15:22 UTC

‘Sushi university’ is here to explain Japanese food to you

Enter “Sushi University”, a newly launched tour outfit led by interpreters who can school guests on the dos and don’ts of omakase dining, and serve as liaisons between diners and sushi chefs. Also on the syllabus, students learn the dos and don’ts of omakase and sushi etiquette. For instance, guests are taught it’s considered bad manners to engage the sushi chef in conversation or ask questions while they are slicing the fish or molding the sushi rice. Temperature plays an important role in omakase dining and sushi as well, which means that plates should be consumed within 10 seconds of being presented and not left languishing on the counter. The ‘sushi university’ programme will explain the different Japanese dishes you could try.

February 25, 2017 15:00 UTC

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