Italy’s far-right interior minister threatened Sunday to send “back to Libya” nearly 180 people stranded for three days on an Italian coastguard ship if the EU did not step in to resolve another migrant row with Malta. “Either Europe decides to seriously offer Italy some concrete help, beginning with for example the 180 immigrants on board the Diciotti ship, or we will be forced to do what will definitively end the human traffickers’ business. That means taking the people saved in the sea back to Libya,” Salvini said in a statement. The Diciotti has been stood off Lampedusa while Italy’s populist government, in power since June, demanded that Malta take in the passengers. “Malta’s behaviour is once again unqualifiable and deserves sanction,” Italian Minister of Transport Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter on Sunday.
August 19, 2018 17:15 UTC
An Italian coastguard vessel is being refused entry into the port of Lampedusa for a fourth day running as Italy’s Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli takes it out on Malta. Toninelli called for sanctions against Malta in a tweet on Sunday, claiming that the Italian coastguard vessel intervened to save lives after Malta refused assistance. Il comportamento di Malta è ancora una volta inqualificabile e meritevole di sanzioni. Subsequently, the Italian coastguard vessel, Diciotti, took the migrants on board but was refused entry into Lampedusa by the Italian authorities. Malta is insisting that if the Italian authorities consider the Diciotti’s actions as a rescue, the closest port of call was still Lampedusa.
August 19, 2018 14:15 UTC
Criminalising NGOs doesn’t helpIt is indeed already incongruous that private NGOs have had to step in where governments refuse to venture; now, it seems EU states want to try and give the impression that there are no rescues to be made at sea, by preventing NGOs from even rescuing them
August 19, 2018 05:26 UTC
Egyptians crossing border from Libya back to Egypt through Salloum CrossingCAIRO – 18 August 2018: Marsa Matrouh Security Chief Hisham Nasr announced the return of 757 Egyptians from Libya via the Salloum Crossing (Egyptian-Libyan border) in the past 24 hours.While 610 people among the returnees traveled legally to Libya, 147 people traveled illegally, according to MENA.Nasr mentioned that travel procedures for 1,521 persons, including 265 Egyptians and 1,256 Libyans, have been finalized.Marsa Matrouh governorate’s security directorate announced that it is always coordinating with the armed forces to control the routes, seeking the prevention of illegal immigration.Despite such efforts, 353 Egyptians were arrested trying to illegally escape to Libya in July 2015.Since the beginning of the Libyan insurgency against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan borders have been troubled especially since the borders between Egypt and Libya are porous, and cross-border crimes are not uncommon.
August 18, 2018 09:56 UTC
The Director of the Civil Registry Authority Mohammed Beltamer said Wednesday that they are working on tacking the discrepancies in the National ID System. Beltamer added, in a meeting with the Head of the High Council of State Khalid Al-Mishri, that the work will take 20 weeks so they can make sure the system would be flawless. The Civil Registry Authority denied last month any foraged National IDs in its system’s database.
August 09, 2018 10:30 UTC
The Head of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sirraj met in Tripoli the Head of the UNSMIL, Ghassan Salame, and his political affairs deputy Stephanie Williams to review political development. The meeting resulted in agreement on having a constitutional basis for the upcoming elections in Libya. Al-Sirra, according to his media office, said the PC is in support of the efforts exerted by the UNSMIL aiming to resolve the Libyan crisis. The meeting also reviewed the bending economic reforms, with Al-Sirraj explaining that the reforms are under consideration.
August 09, 2018 10:13 UTC
Egypt's newly-appointed Trade Minister Amr Nassar - CCCAIRO – 8 August 2018: Trade Exchange between Egypt and Singapore recorded $220 million during 2017, according to Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Amr Nassar.This came during Nassar's meeting with Ambassador of Singapore to Cairo Premjith Sadasivan to discuss ways to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries and Singapore's current and future investment projects in the Egyptian market.Nassar and Sadasivan also discussed the possibilities of increasing trade rates between the two countries in general and Egyptian exports to Singapore in particular.Nassar pointed out that the most important items of Egyptian exports to Singapore last year included chemical products, fertilizers, agricultural crops and food industries, while the main items of imports included engineering, and electronic goods and building materials.The minister said that there are huge investment opportunities for the Singaporean business community in the Egyptian market in the industrial, agricultural and service fields.He also noted that there are a number of successful investment projects in the Egyptian market in the fields of agriculture, logistics, food products and water desalination.Nassar referred to the importance of expanding the volume of trade exchangebetween the two sides, especially that the current rates do not reflectthe distinguished bilateral relations between the two countries or the enormous potential of the Egyptian and Singaporean economies.He revealed that the meeting also discussed the importance of establishing Nassarnotedto the possibility of benefiting from the Egyptian commercial offices spread in a large number of capitals and major African cities and also benefiting from trade, free and preferential agreements signed with a large number of the African countries.Egypt is involved in international trade deals that came into action in the recent period.The Mercosur Agreement, which is a free-trade agreement signed by Egypt and Mercosur countries in 2010, includes immediate customs clearance for 63 percent of the exports of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to Egypt.The Mercosur trade deal covers food, cars, auto parts and industrial supplies; it was signed by Egypt and Mercosur members in 2010, but only came into force in 2017.Another trade agreement that Egypt is involved in is the deal with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which represents a free trade area with 19 member states stretching from Libya to Swaziland. COMESA was formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area, which had existed since 1981.The African Continental Free Trade Area is another agreement to ease the trade exchange between countries that have signed it, according to a scheduled timeline and not through an immediate activation of the agreement.The African Continental Free Trade Area is considered to be the biggest deal ever signed since the World Trade Organization was established; it was signed by 43 countries.“Egypt is keen to benefit from the Singaporean industrial expertise through the transfer of advanced industrial technologies to the Egyptian industry,” the minister said, calling on the Singaporean companies to exploit the opportunities available in the various investment sectors and benefit from the incentives provided by the Egyptian government in these sectors.For his part, Sadasivan stressed his country's keenness to enhance joint economic cooperation with Egypt during the coming period.He mentioned the possibility of benefiting of Singapore’s great expertise in the field of integrated industrial cities, saying it has established eight industrial cities, including four industrial cities in China, and two cities in each of Vietnam and Indonesia.
August 08, 2018 09:45 UTC
FILE - IFC Country Manager in Egypt, Libya and YemenCAIRO – 8 August 2018: International Finance Corporation (IFC) invested and mobilized around $1.2 billion in Egypt during 2017/18 and an additional $1 billion will be injected in 14 project during the current FY, IFC’s Country Manager in Egypt, Libya and Yemen Walid Labadi told Business Today Magazine.Labadi affirmed in an interview with the sister magazine of Egypt Today, that IFC sees great opportunities in infrastructure projects in Egypt, renewable energy, especially in the wind sector.He flagged agribusiness, manufacturing, services and tourism as top priority fields.Labadi also revealed that his institution injected and mobilized above $1.2 billion in high-profile investments in pioneering projects in Egypt in FY2017/18, including a landmark investment of $653 million in building 13 solar power plants in Upper Egypt’s Benban solar complex that will be the largest solar installation in the world and will provide 752 megawatts of cost-effective and eco-friendly electricity to 350,000 residents.For the current fiscal year, IFC is planning to pump around $1 billion in about the same number of projects like last year (about 15), Labadi discloses, who was part of IFC’s teams that financed power plants in Turkey and Egypt along with airports in Jordan, Tunisia, and Jamaica. He has also participated in and oil and gas investments in Egypt and Africa.He further stated that economic reform needs to continue and private sector involvement needs to increase for Egypt to stay on the right track.In April, the IFC announced its support to Egypt’s private sector by nearly $1 billion, affirming its commitment to boosting the Egyptian economy which came as a result of the strong economic reform measures implemented by the Egyptian government.Meanwhile, IFC’s investments to support Egypt’s private sector recorded around $1 billion during 2017/2018, aiming to boost the Egyptian economy.
August 08, 2018 09:33 UTC
The spokesman for the Presidential Council (PC) Head, Mohammed El Sallak, said Tuesday that they are still considering the legal framework of the intended economic reforms to guarantee that Libyans won’t be badly affected by them. El Sallak said in a presser that the PC asked state institutions to cooperate with it in order to implement the reforms package. He also indicated that Fayez Al-Sirraj discussed with deputy minister of economy and head of prices balancing fund the practical steps to have commodities reach Libyans with affordable prices, saying they could activate commissions’ system.
August 08, 2018 09:33 UTC
The Libyan National Army (LNA) earlier accused Turkey and Qatar of supporting jihadist militants in the country, also stating that Rome, who has supported the Government of National Accord (GNA), hinders attempts to hold elections. "The Libyan problem also needs engagement from Russia and President Putin himself, the removal of external actors, for example, Turkey, Qatar, specifically Italy, from the Libyan arena. Russian diplomacy should play an important role in this issue," LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari said on Wednesday. LNA is in close contact with Russia, as its leader Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar visited Moscow in order to hold talks with Russian officials. However, according to Mismari, Russia hasn't furnished Libya with weapons due to an international embargo.
August 08, 2018 06:54 UTC
Former defence minister says he will start criticising his successor's actions, starting with the decision to shutter the King Salman Centre for International Peace. KUALA LUMPUR: Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein today warned his successor Mohamad Sabu that he would start making his views heard soon as Mohamad’s “honeymoon period” is almost over. Hishammuddin, who held the defence portfolio during the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration, said he had purposely remained silent on issues relating to the defence ministry. The defence ministry is important because it involves the security and defence of our country,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby. Commenting on Putrajaya’s decision to shut down the peace centre, Hishammuddin asked whether Mohamad, popularly known as Mat Sabu, had an alternative approach to tackling violent extremism and terrorism such as that espoused by the Islamic State (IS).
August 08, 2018 05:03 UTC
ROME — I’ve found lately that I can ruin any dinner party. Now I can ruin your dinner party — and breakfast! Because what you find when you take a close look at the situation here is something profoundly worrying. At the core of this community were two pillars: the U.S. and the group of European democracies that became the European Union. This community of democracies was also a beacon, a refuge and a magnet for those who wanted to embrace its values but were denied them where they lived.
August 08, 2018 01:18 UTC
— ReutersRody fires entire board of ‘Nayon’ over 70-year leasePresident Rodrigo Duterte has sacked the entire board and management of Nayong Pilipino Foundation for leasing government property for 70 years, Malacañang announced Tuesday. — Manila BulletinTaiwanese IT firm in PH to invest P800-M on local R&DDeveloping the Philippines’ engineering resources is the main priority of Cal-Comp Technology (Philippines), Inc., as it expands its operations in the country. — Benar NewsPhilippines beyond clichés: ‘tough on crime’Welcome to Part 3 of our special series of podcasts that take a look a The Philippines beyond the cliches. — CNN PhilippinesFeature photo Brian EvansFind our previous morning news feature photos in the AEC News Today Morning News Feature Photos gallery where you will find a pictorial display of daily life throughout the Asean Economic Community (AEC). Philippines morning news by AEC News Today is your one stop source for Philippines news on matters of governance and policies affecting Asean business communities.
August 08, 2018 00:33 UTC
Europe fails refugees and migrants in the Central Mediterranean’, reveals the devastating impact of policies which have resulted in more than 721 deaths at sea over June and July 2018 alone. “European policies have empowered the Libyan Coast Guard to intercept people at sea, deprioritized rescues and hindered the vital work of rescue NGOs. In response to this, Italy began denying entry in its ports to ships carrying rescued people. “In its callous refusal to allow refugees and migrants to disembark in its ports, Italy is using human lives as bargaining chips. “These serious incidents must be promptly and adequately investigated – they highlight the deadly consequences of Europe’s policies,” said Matteo de Bellis.
August 08, 2018 00:00 UTC
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry meets with US National Security Adviser John Bolton - Press photoCAIRO – 7 August 2018: Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met on Tuesday with US National Security Adviser John Bolton at their first ever meeting since the US official assumed his post.Shoukry, currently visiting the US, said he is looking forward to working with Bolton to boost Cairo-Washington relations in a way that reflects how special and strategic they are, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement.He underscored the importance of continuing efforts that aims to achieve mutual interests of the two countries.Shoukry also presented a comprehensive review about the developments of conditions in Egypt, asserting the importance of the US support to Cairo in light of the current challenges besetting the Arab region.The Egyptian top diplomat also called for holding the upcoming round of strategic dialogue and the 2+2 dialogue meetings between the two countries' ministers of foreign affairs and defense with the aim of discussing means to foster bilateral ties and exchanging views about regional and international issues of mutual concern.As for the US aid program to Egypt, Shoukry said it reflects the importance of Cairo-Washington historic relations, achieves mutual interests, enhances Egypt's capability of combating security challenges and maintains peace and security in the region.Meanwhile, Bolton said the US administration wants to keep the strategic nature of relations with Cairo and believes that Egypt is playing a pivotal role in maintaining stability and balance in the Middle East.The US official was briefed by Shoukry on Egypt's anti-terrorism efforts, particularly with regard to the success achieved by the Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018.He was also keen to know Egypt's vision and assessment of the conditions and developments in the Middle East, especially in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Palestine.In this regard, the two sides discussed ways to overcome the deadlock reached in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.Shoukry met as well with heads of several US companies investing or willing to invest in Egypt, topped by ExxonMobil, Honeywell and Cargill.During a business lunch organized by the US Chamber of Commerce, Shoukry reviewed Egypt's economic reform program and efforts exerted by the Egyptian government to improve the economic sector and attract more investments into the country, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zeid said.They also discussed means of increasing the volume of trade exchange between the two countries in a manner that serves the interests of the Egyptian and American peoples.The strategic partnership between Egypt and the US requires that both countries strengthen mutual cooperation in all fields, not only in the oil sector, Shoukry noted.The top Egyptian diplomat briefed the US investors on how the new investment law paves the way for businessmen to invest in Egypt.The Egyptian government gives priority to the health and educational sectors, making it necessary to improve skills and capabilities of Egypt's manpower, he pointed out.Shoukry further called on the US investors to do business in the SCZone and make use of the incentives offered by the Egyptian government there, noting that the Suez Canal Axis project will turn Egypt into a regional and international commercial hub.The US businessmen, meanwhile, praised the mega projects established in Egypt over the past period.
August 07, 2018 21:00 UTC