Congressman proposes to recognize Golan Heights as Israeli territory

An Israeli tank can be seen near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israel May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Amir CohenUS Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump unveil the inauguration plaque during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018 - AFP Photo/Menahem KahanaCAIRO - 22 May 2018: Republican Congressman, Ron DeSantis, presented a proposal to recognize Syria's Golan Heights as an Israeli territory, following the U.S. controversial move to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.DeSantis, who is known for his support to Israel, said in an interview published Sunday with the Israeli news website Walla that he had brought the proposal before the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs on Thursday.He attended the ceremony of the U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem last Monday.Israel captured the Golan in 1967 from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and has occupied two-thirds of the strategically-important territory ever since, in a move that has never been recognized by the international community, including the United States.The Israeli occupation built dozens of illegal settlements in the area since its occupation and used the territory to carry out a number of military operations against Iranian targets in Syria.Last December, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. His decision infuriated Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians, who declared that Washington could no longer play the mediator role in the Middle East peace process.On December 21, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.On May 14, more than 60 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 others were wounded by Israeli gunfire along the fence between the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe).

Source:Egypt Today

May 22, 2018 15:00 UTC

ICT minister, Visa Int'l mull means to turn Egypt into regional hub for digital payments technology

File - Egypt's minister of communications and information technology, Yasser Al-QadiCAIRO -22 May 2018: Information and Communication Technology Minister Yasser el Qadi discussed with a delegation from Visa International, led by the company’s general manager for the Middle East and North Africa Marcello Baricordi means to activate a memorandum of understanding that was previously inked between both sides.The MoU aims to enhance the infrastructure connected with boosting the digital economy and implementing a new system of visa cards to ease offering services to citizens.During the meeting, Qadi asserted the government’s keenness on establishing partnerships with the world companies to achieve the goal of financial inclusion and build a digital economy via upgrading the system of the financial services to cope with the latest global techniques, said a statement by the ministry on Tuesday.Both sides discussed plans of action to implement what was included in the MoU and Qadi reviewed the Egyptian ministry’s vision on the importance of transferring know how and experiences to the Egyptian cadres as part of a strategy that aims to turn Egypt into a regional hub for digital payment technologies.For his part, Baricordi stressed that his company regards Cairo as a strategic partner and places the Egyptian market on its list of priorities, commending the Egyptian government’s positive efforts to spread the culture of e-payments and achieve financial inclusion.He asserted Visa’s readiness to fully contribute to boosting technological infrastructure needed to activate the digital economy and upgrade services offered to citizens.

Source:Egypt Today

May 22, 2018 14:48 UTC

Egypt, EBRD sign $200M agreement for boosting energy efficiency

Egypt, EBRD, Agreement, Suez Oil Processing Company, Sahar Nasr, Minister of InvestmentCAIRO – 22 May 2018: Egypt and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed an agreement, worth $200 billion, to invest in boosting energy efficiency for the Suez Oil Processing Company.Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, and Erik Ramosen, director of Natural Resources Department at EBRD, signed the agreement in the presence of Minister of Petroleum Tarek el-Molla.EBRD also signed an executing agreement of the project with Chairman of Suez Oil Processing Company, Mohamed Elewa.“This project aims at investing in energy efficiency and improving its usage which will be reflected on reducing the environmental emissions that cause climate change and harm the environment as well as humans' health,” Nasr said.Nasr added that the project will also work on updating the oil-sector’s companies, supporting them to increase the production of high-quality fuel, compatible with international standards, transforming Egypt to a regional center for the exchange of energy.The project will contribute in providing new job opportunities in a good working environment as well as providing clean energy and boosting the economic growth through the implementation of environmental investments, according to the minister.In December 2017, Egypt signed a similar agreement with EBRD in favor of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), where about $125 million were directed to waste heat recovery technologies while the rest of the loan, $75 million, went for other projects.According to EBRD data, the bank financed 78 projects in Egypt worth €3.5 billion. The current portfolio of projects is worth €2.7 billion.Established in 1991, EBRD is an international financial institution that is owned by 66 countries from five continents, along with the European Union and the European Investment Bank, targeting to develop a sound investment climate and promote environmentally and socially sound and sustainable development.

Source:Egypt Today

May 22, 2018 14:26 UTC

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