UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Sept. 18: Foreign ministry condemns White House request to release US-Egyptian dual citizen
Aya Higazi with school children. Twitter


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top politics news stories on Sept. 18 here:

Foreign ministry condemns White House request to release US-Egyptian dual citizen

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry rejected the White House statement demanding the release of Aya Hijazi, a U.S.-Egyptian dual citizen who was detained in Egypt while doing humanitarian work.

“The statement demeans the rule of law principal and represents a clear double standard in the US approach to the case only because the defendant holds US citizenship,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement on Sunday.

On Saturday, the White House released a statement calling on the Egyptian government “to drop all charges against Hijazi and release her from prison.”

The statement comes after US Deputy National Security Advisor Avril Haines met at the White House with the family of Hijazi, and “reiterated the President’s deep concern for the welfare of all American citizens held abroad, and assured Hijazi’s family that the United States will continue to offer her all possible consular support,” according to the White House statement.

In May 2014, Higazi, 29, has been arrested with her husband and other people for running the Belady Foundation; an NGO dedicated to rescuing abandoned and homeless children. They face numerous charges, including sexually abusing the children and paying them to participate in anti-government protests.


Egypt’s irrigation minister in Khartoum to sign Ethiopian dam impact studies contract

Egypt’s Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Atty headed to Khartoum on Sunday to take part in the 12th round of meetings of the tripartite committee on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD,) Youm7 reported.

During the two-day meetings scheduled to kick off Monday, the committee will revise contracts with two foreign consultancy firms hired to study the impact of the dam on downriver countries before they are signed.

According to the contracts, the study will take no more than 11 months, ministry spokesman Waleed Haqiqy announced in a Saturday statement.

The technical discussions were suspended since February when a tripartite committee, tasked to discuss GERD issues, announced reaching a unanimous agreement on the proposal submitted by the two French consultancy firms on GERD’s potential impact on Sudan and Egypt.

Since May 2011, Cairo has voiced its concern that the dam could reduce the country’s annual share of more than 56 billion cubic meters of Nile water. Addis Ababa, however, has claimed that the dam is necessary for its development, and will not harm downstream countries.

The $4 billion dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile with a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.


Assistant FM for Arab affairs, Kobler discuss security in Libya

Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab Affairs Tarek el Qouni on Sunday met with UN Special Representative for Libya Martin Kobler and discussed the latest developments and security situation in the war-torn Arab country.

The two officials also exchanged viewpoints on ways to render the political process in Libya. Kobler expressed appreciation for Egypt’s continuous cooperation to settle the Libyan crisis.


Sisi flies to New York City for UNGA meetings

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi departed the Cairo International Airport Sunday morning, heading to New York City where he will attend 71st session of the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) meetings, Youm7 reported.

It is scheduled that President Sisi will give his speech at the UNGA on Tuesday, talking about the latest development of all political economic issues of the Middle East and Egypt’s stance towards the regional issues.

Sisi will attend the UN Security Council Summit on Wednesday, focusing on the situations in Syria and Libya.


Egypt calls on NAM participants to exert more counter-terrorism efforts

Counter-terrorism requires an intensified international efforts against all terrorist organizations,and needs hard work to refute the terrorist ideology, said President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in a speech was delivered by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on behalf at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) organization in Venezuela.

It is necessary to eliminate all terrorist funding sources and find political solutions to the conflicts of some countries and exploited by the terrorists who control over their lands and peoples, the statement added.


Dead body of Egyptian expat who killed in Italy will be deported back home next week

Egyptian national was killed by a truck in Italy city of Piacenza was accidentally standing near a protest by a group of Postmen when the truck, belongs to the company where he was working for, ran over him, his mother told 90 Minutes talk show on Mehwar channel on Saturday evening.

Egyptian Consul in Milan Ahmed Shahin said that the dead body of the citizen will be deported back home for burial next week, Youm7 reported Saturday.

Egypt’s General Consulate in Milan has sent a delegation to the family of Egyptian expat to offer condolences and look at the facts and circumstances of the incident.

The Italian police forces have arrested on the truck driver, who is now under investigations.


Egypt, Turkey FMs meeting reflects ‘desire to overcome’ bilateral difference: Cairo

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met Saturday with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of the NAM summit in Venezuela “has reflected a desire to overcome differences with Egypt, said Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid on his official Twitter account Saturday.

Shoukry chaired Egypt’s delegation in the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which is kicked off Saturday in Venezuela.

After the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, Turkey, a critical ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, condemned his ouster by the army after mass protests called for the end of his regime on June 30, 2013. Since then, relations between both sides have strained; in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, when he was Prime Minister of Turkey, describing Morsi’s ouster as a “coup,” Egypt on Nov. 23, 2013 downgraded bilateral diplomatic relations with Turkey when it declared Turkish ambassador Hussein Botsali persona non grata.


Egypt’s Navy head witnesses floating of under-construction Gowind® 2500 corvette built in France

Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Navy, Admiral Osama Rabie has witnessed the floating of the under-construction Gowind® 2500 corvette built by the DCNS in France’s Lorient, Egypt’s state-owned newspaper Al Ahram reported Saturday.

The corvette was named The Conqueror and will be delivered to Egypt by the end of 2017 . Per a contract between the navies of two countries, the DCNS is building the Conqueror in France while three other corvettes are being constructed in Egypt’s Alexandria Shipyard.

Admiral Rabie has visited Lorient to take delivery of the second Mistral-class Helicopter Carrier, which was named after the late President Anwar El Sadat, on Sept. 16.

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