Update – Egypt’s politics digest Aug. 2: Copts in US protest “discrimination” in Egypt
Pope Tawadros II leads Easter Mass at St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral Friday - YOUM7/Sami Waheeb

CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top politics news stories on August 2 here:

Copts in US protest “discrimination” in Egypt

A number of Copts in the U.S. staged a demonstration outside the White House to protest “discrimination” against Copts in Egypt after violent clashes in Minya, Upper Egypt, denouncing “customary reconciliation” that they deem unfair, Youm7 reported. Pope Tawadros II had requested that Egyptian Christians refrain from protesting.


Warnings about potential unconstitutionality of value-added tax

Chartered accountant Ashraf Nasr el-Din told the parliamentary committee of budget and planning that the value-added tax may be unconstitutional because it imposes two taxes, the income tax and the added-value tax. He added that the draft law includes vague wording that may be interpreted differently by executives, Youm7 reported.


EU should bear responsibility towards Palestinian state: Arab League 

Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a meeting with the European Union’s Special Representative for the Middle East peace process Fernando Gentilini the European Union should bear responsibility in the struggle of Palestinians to establish their own state by urging Israel to get involved in a serious political process with clear dimensions and time frame, Youm7 reported.


Recent US airstrike on Libya carried out in response to UN-backed gov. request: foreign ministry

The Monday bombing of Islamic State targets in Libya, which was carried out by the U.S. air force, came in response to the U.N.-backed government’s request to help push the militants from their former stronghold at Libya’s Sirte, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

“Egypt supports efforts aiming at enhancing the capability of the U.N.-backed government to target IS stronghold,” foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement on Tuesday.


Lawmaker slams foreign ministry for “inaction” on murder of Egyptian citizen in Germany

Parliament member Mohamed Badrawy has submitted an “urgent statement” to the parliament on Monday calling for Egypt’s foreign and immigration ministries “to immediately release adequate information” on circumstances behind the last week alleged murder of an Egyptian national in Germany, Youm7 reported.

Orabi called on the concerned bodies to reveal why the 22-year-old Mohamed Abdel Fatah was detained by German authorities, “the truth behind his death and the slowdown in recovering his dead body following his death.”

In a phone call with Al Haya TV on Monday, foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said Abdel Fatah has “committed suicide,” while he was treated at a hospital in Germany’s Essen.

Badrawy also rejected the German authorities’ decision to bury the deceased” without informing his relatives or the Egyptian foreign ministry.”

There is no evidence that the recent death of an Egyptian national in Germany was a result of a criminal act, the German Embassy in Cairo said on Wednesday.


Egypt suspends 10 foreign exchange bureaus over black market trading

(REUTERS)-Egypt’s central bank on Monday suspended for one year the licenses of 10 foreign exchange bureaus in Cairo after finding them guilty of illegally trading foreign currency at black market rates, state news agency MENA said.

The bureaus had been raided on Thursday by investigators. The bank had permanently revoked the licenses of 23 bureaus recently. There are 115 exchange bureaus operating in Egypt.

The central bank has sought to crack down on a burgeoning black market for dollars, closing bureaus and revoking the licenses of those found to be trading far beyond the official rate of 8.78 Egyptian pounds to the dollar.

The Egyptian pound strengthened to 12.30 to 12.70 to the dollar on the black market on Monday from unprecedented levels of 13 to 13.25 last week.


Egypt’s army chief of staff in Saudi for joint military talks

Egypt’s military chief of staff Mahmoud Hegazy headed to Riyadh Monday for a four-day official visit where he will attend the 7th round of meetings of the Egypt-Saudi joint military committee, military spokesperson Mohamed Samir said in a statement.

The committee will to discuss the implementation of a major strategic maneuver in the saudi territory, according to Samir.

In December 2015, Saudi Arabia announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to “combat terrorism”, including Arab countries such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and other Arab Gulf countries, together with Islamic countries Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and some African states.


38th Arab nuclear weapons meeting kicks off in Cairo

The 38th meeting of the Committee of Senior Arab Officials in Charge of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction issues kicked off at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of Arab League in Cairo Monday.

Representatives from Arab countries will meet for two days to discuss issues related to latest developments in the field of international disarmament, Arab countries’ preparations for the 60th Annual Regular Session of IAEA General Conference, scheduled to take place in Vienna, Austria on September 26 -30 this year.

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