The French Naval Group’s ENS al-Fateh corvette (model: Gowind), accompanied by the German-made submarine Type 42, model 209/1400, sailed on Wednesday to Alexandria Naval Base after they participated in a joint exercise with French naval forces in the Atlantic ocean. The two war naval units are set to participate in the tactical maneuver “Zat al-Sawari 2017” on Thursday, in tandem with the celebration of the 44th anniversary of Arab-Israeli 6th of October War, and the 50th Naval Day. Egypt received the submarine in a large celebration in Kiel city in a deal signed between Egypt and Germany, to provide it with four modern submarines, which contain advanced offensive weapons, a torpedo fire control system, an electronic weapons control system, along with capability of launching anti-ship missiles and planting naval mines. The corvette will support Egypt’s military abilities to protect Egyptian national security. Edited Translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
October 19, 2017 10:41 UTC
The water ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia commenced meetings on Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, aimed at resolving disputes over the preliminary report prepared by the Advisory Office of the Renaissance Dam. During the meetings, Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aaty said Egypt is very concerned about the delay of the two studies recommended in the report which is prepared by the International Committee of Experts. “We are facing a critical situation, and we have not yet been able to approve the preliminary report of the advisory office,” said Abdel Aaty. The ministers reviewed the executive situation of the dam and conducted an inspection tour to all its parts. Sources said that the tripartite committee agreed on the preliminary report, terms of reference for studies, and the mechanism for exchanging data.
October 19, 2017 10:18 UTC
President Donald Trump’s Mideast envoy said Thursday that if Hamas wants to play a role in any Palestinian government it must renounce violence and commit to negotiations with Israel, demands the Islamic militant group has always rejected. Jason Greenblatt’s statement was the first American comment on the advancing reconciliation efforts between the rival Palestinian Fatah and Hamas factions, and echoed Israeli demands. If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements,” Greenblatt announced. The deal has yet to be implemented, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah is still in talks with Hamas over ending a 10-year split. Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006 and seized Gaza the following year following clashes with Fatah, leaving the Palestinians divided between two governments.
October 19, 2017 09:56 UTC
“We expect Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorist groups based there that threaten its own people and the broader region,” Tillerson said. A senior State Department official defended the timing of the speech, saying Tillerson also said he wanted a constructive relationship with China. “For many decades the United States has supported China’s rise,” said the official. But those two countries have risen very differently.”In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China hoped the United States could abandon bias when viewing its actions overseas. He said Chinese financing was saddling countries with “enormous” debts and failing to create jobs.
October 19, 2017 09:48 UTC
The Ministry of Tourism is preparing to participate in the IBTM World Barcelona exhibition, which will be held by the end of November, according to an official in the Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETTA). Spanish tourism is very important for Egypt, and the ministry aims to increase the number of Spanish tourists in the next year to 100,000 visitors, said the official. The official said the European tourism inflow to Egypt accounts for about 70% of total inflows, stressing the ministry has made great efforts in the past period to restore tourism. He added the J. Walter Thompson (JWT) advertising company has agreed with the Ministry of Tourism in mid-2015 to promote Egyptian tourism and participate in major international tourism events. The participation in tourist exhibitions, especially in Western European countries, contributes to increasing tourist flows and re-operating halted hotels.
October 19, 2017 09:33 UTC
Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday that the country’s ballistic missile program would accelerate despite pressure from the United States and European Union to suspend it, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. In a major US policy shift, President Donald Trump last Friday refused to certify Tehran’s compliance with a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, signaling he would take a more aggressive approach to Iran over its ballistic missile program. “Iran’s ballistic missile program will expand and it will continue with more speed in reaction to Trump’s hostile approach towards this revolutionary organization (the Guards),” the Guards said in a statement published by Tasnim. The Trump administration has imposed new unilateral sanctions targeting Iran’s missile activity. Tehran has repeatedly pledged to continue what it calls a defensive missile capability in defiance of Western criticism.
October 19, 2017 09:00 UTC
Rady told Daily News Egypt that occupancies in some hotels range between 70 and 80%, while it remain below 30% in some others. There are some 20,000 rooms in Marsa Alam with investments of EGP 20bn. He explained that there are more than 20 hotels that stopped working due to low occupancies, yet the situation is improving, he noted. Moreover, he predicted the tourism in the region to rise again and help hotels pay the loans premiums to banks, increase labour, and pay more taxes. “We hope that the average occupancy of Red Sea hotels will be near the 80% mark across all hotels,” he stressed.
October 19, 2017 09:00 UTC
Catalonia’s leader on Thursday threatened to explicitly declare independence if no talks with the central government were offered. Spain then called a special Cabinet session to be held over the weekend to activate measures to take control of Catalonia’s semi-autonomous powers. “If the central government persists in impeding dialogue and continuing its repression, Catalonia’s parliament will proceed … with a vote to formally declare independence,” Puigdemont’s letter said. The Cabinet meeting will “approve the measures that will be sent to the Senate to protect the general interest of all Spaniards,” the statement said. The Catalan government’s international affairs director, Raul Romeva, told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday that Catalonia’s banned secession referendum gave the region’s separatist government a mandate to declare independence from Spain.
October 19, 2017 08:37 UTC
The Ministry of Tourism has decided to extend the low-cost charter and charter incentive programme for a year starting from November this year until the end of October next year. An official at the Ministry of Tourism said the aim of the programme is to increase the inflow of tourism to Egypt during the coming period with the trend of charter airlines to increase the number of its incoming flights to Egypt. According to the programme of incentives for charter and regular aviation, airlines receive support paid by the Ministry of Tourism to these companies to increase the percentage of full seats on aircraft. A tourism ministry official said the Hurghada Airport would charge more than 70% of the incentive value for regular and low-cost charter flights during the duration of the current programme, which ends on 31 October. Russia has stopped tourism trips for its citizens to Egypt since a plane crashed at the end of October 2015, while Britain stopped Sharm El-Sheikh tourist trips.
October 19, 2017 08:37 UTC
A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Thursday indicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter over allegations linked to ownership of London properties, pressing charges over accusations that could see the former leader jailed. Sharif, 67, resigned in July after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office over an undeclared source of income, but the veteran leader maintains his grip on the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party. A Reuters witness in court said Sharif, his daughter Maryam, as well as her husband Muhammad Safdar, had all been indicted by a court of the anti-corruption agency, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Maryam and Safdar were present in court, but Sharif sent a representative while he tends to his ailing wife in Britain as she undergoes cancer treatment. The Supreme Court initially declined to dismiss Sharif but ordered an investigation into his family’s wealth.
October 19, 2017 08:26 UTC
The owner company aims to establish a sound and light project on an area of 42,000 square metres, in addition to a food court, motel, and cinema. Al-Shazly stated that her company is negotiating with a Chinese investor to finance the project, adding that he demanded the company to increase the construction part so that he can recover the project’s costs amounting to $17m. Al-Shazly said her company has increased its concert ticket prices since April from EGP 125 to EGP 150 for foreign visitors. She noted that the concerts’ operating costs increased by 300%, which forced the company to increase ticket prices. The main activity is the sound and light concerts at the pyramids, in addition to four other regions in the south.
October 19, 2017 08:03 UTC
Foreign companies in China have welcomed the ruling Communist Party to set up cells in their firms, a senior official said on Thursday, though some executives have expressed concern about the party’s growing role in their operations. The presence of party units has long been a fact of doing business in China, where the law requires companies, including foreign firms, to set up a party organization. Party cells in foreign firms were well-received as a way of helping them understand Chinese policies and resolving disputes, Qi Yu, a deputy head of the Communist Party’s Organisation Department, told a news briefing on the sidelines of a key twice-a-decade party congress in Beijing. “The vast majority of investors welcome and support party organizations to have activities in their company,” he said. “So he said, ‘I hope the company can have more Communist Party members and that party organizations can do more,’” said Yang, who was seated beside Qi on Thursday.
October 19, 2017 07:52 UTC
JWT, the company in charge of promoting Egyptian tourism globally, has completed its promotion plans set to be launched during the World Cup 2018 in Russia. The company is awaiting the draw in December to choose the game most watched to promote the Egyptian destinations during them. Riham El Sawy, executive director of Mindshare, JWT’s subsidiary, said that the company prepared to set up banners for Egyptian tourism during the World Cup games. El Sawy also pointed out that the ban on Egyptian tourism advertisement in Russia will not impact the World Cup campaign, as the ads belong to the FIFA. Shortly after, Russia put a ban on advertising Egyptian tourism in Russian squares and streets.
October 19, 2017 07:07 UTC
President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey may shut its border with northern Iraq “at any moment” after closing its air space to the region, Hurriyet newspaper reported on Thursday, reviving a threat first made after Kurds there voted for independence. “We have completely closed our air space to the regional government in northern Iraq,” the paper cited Erdogan as telling reporters on his plane returning from a trip to Poland. “Talks are continuing on what will be done regarding the land (border) … We have not shut the border gates yet but this could happen too at any moment,” he added. Turkey announced on Monday it was closing its air space to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region and said it would work to hand control of the main border crossing into the region to the central Iraqi government. The Habur gate is the main transit point between Turkey and Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government.
October 19, 2017 06:45 UTC
Already, a multitude of players in the crowded theaters of Iraq and Syria are racing for the spoils of war. Tehran wants to establish a land route from Iraq through Syria, all the way to Israel’s borders. Washington and Israel are wary of this expansion, and Israel has warned it will not tolerate a continued Iranian military presence in Syria. Ankara has been vehemently critical of US support for the Kurdish militia in the fight against IS and had suggested that Turkey-backed forces liberate Raqqa. ___IRAQ’S FALTERING ALLIANCESIn Iraq, Kurdish and Shiite forces are fighting over the spoils of the war against the Islamic State group.
October 19, 2017 06:33 UTC