UPDATE: Egypt’s local news digest Sept. 20: Russia’s ban on Egypt’s crops imports “not response to wheat policy”: official
Egyptian Vegetable displayed at a stand in downtown Cairo. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/ Archive


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top local news stories on Sept. 20 here:

Russia’s ban on Egypt’s crops imports not response to wheat policy”: official

The decision to temporarily ban all fruit and vegetables imports from Egypt is “not a counter-measure against Cairo’s recent rejection of Russia’s wheat shipments,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was quoted by Tass on Tuesday.

The remarks coincide with a joint meeting between officials at the Russian and Egyptian agriculture quarantine authorities, held in Cairo on Tuesday, to discuss the technical specifications for a number of Egyptian agricultural shipments to Russia, which have been recently rejected by the Russian side, Youm7 reported.

The meeting came after Russian state agricultural safety agency Rosselkhoznadzor announced that the imports of Egyptian agricultural products would be banned starting Thursday until Egyptian authorities take steps to ensure their safety.

The announcement came days after Egypt rejected several Russian wheat shipments since tightening its regulations on ergot, a common grains fungus, in late August.

On Saturday, The Egyptian Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine affiliated to the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture has received a letter from the Trade Attaché of the Egyptian Embassy in Russia requesting an immediate meeting to discuss the issue, a well-informed source at Egypt’s agriculture ministry told Youm7.

An Egyptian technical team is due in Russia by the end of September to discuss a recent Russian decision imposing temporary restrictions on Egyptian crops imports, Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil said on Saturday.

The Russian side also hopes to discuss technical specifications of fruits and vegetables shipments ahead of the new export season, said the source, denying media claims the meeting was “to discuss suspending the Egyptian shipments to Russia.”

Egypt also will revise the technical specifications of the Russian shipments to Egypt “in order to remove all technical obstacles hindering agricultural trade between the two countries,” he added.


Tourism Minister attends inauguration of France’s Top Resa fair

Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed attended the inauguration of the International French Travel Market (IFTM-Top Resa,) held in Paris Sep. 20-23, Youm7 reported.

“Egypt’s participation aims to encourage the top French tour operators and travel experts to resume their operations to Egypt during the 2016-2017 winter season and to raise the number of French travelers to Egypt to the rates seen before the January 25 Revolution,” Rashed told reporters on Tuesday.

In 2010, France provided the 5th-highest number of tourists visiting Egypt but during the past 4 years, it doesn’t even rank in the top 10, according to the minister.

During his participation, Rashed is scheduled to meet with France’s leading tour operators and travel experts.

Egypt’s tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s GDP, has been suffering from ongoing shocks ever since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt in March 2016 decreased by 47.2 percent compared to the same month last year, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS,) Egypt’s official statistical agency.

Established in 1978, IFTM-Top Resa, a global event for the French tourism market first held in Deauville, was moved to Paris in 2008 and became a business to business travel market featuring leisure travel, event management and business travel. In 2013, the event recorded an attendance of 30,000 travel professionals.


Court turns down MP Ahmed Mordata Mansour’s appeal to ruling annulling parliament membership

The Cassation Court on Tuesday turned down an appeal submitted by Ahmed Mortada Mansour against previous judicial ruling which annulled his membership in Egypt’s House of Representatives, Youm7 reported.

On July 20, A Giza court of cassation overruled the declared parliament elections results, annulled Mansour’s parliament membership and ruled that independent candidate Amr el Shobaki is the legitimate MP for the Dokki and Agouza constituency.

Mansour was initially declared as the winner in the parliamentary runoff elections in October last year after narrowly beating Shobaki by a mere 700 votes before the court disqualified him following a recount of the votes proved that his opponent had garnered more votes.


Gov’t announces new prices of recharging cards amid overpricing crisis

An intensive campaign has been launched against marketers who are selling mobile recharging cards overpriced, Youm7 reported.

Amid the crackdown, ordered by the Interior Ministry, a total of 50 cases of selling cards for prices exceeding the official ones were seized.

The new official prices of the mobile recharging cards were announced by the government in a joint release between Finance Ministry and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, after the adoption of the value-added tax act.

According to the release, 10 EGP recharging card will cost 11 EGP; 50 EGP card will cost 55 EGP, and 100 EGP card will cost 110 EGP.


British passenger stopped over exceeding cash limit at Hurghada Airport

Hurghada International Airport has stopped a British passenger over exceeding cash limit allowed outside the country, Youm7 reported.

The female passenger, a wife of an Egyptian man, was carrying 100,000 EGP on a flight to England.

Passengers are allowed to carry a maximum of $10,000 or its equivalent in other currencies upon arrival or departure, according to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Egyptian airports have stopped many passengers, Egyptian and foreigners, over similar circumstances, besides seizing contraband, including drugs, sex toys, artifacts and spying cameras.


1.5 mln EGP compensation for dwellers of slums in Asyut

Assyut Governor Yasser el-Desouky told Youm7 that dwellers of four slum areas in the governorate will be compensated over displacement.

Desouky said that the governorate will pay a total of one million and 500,000 EGP for the residents, where each family will get 30,000 EGP. There are around 52 housing units in these slums.


Egypt is largest supplier of kidney beans to EU: ex-FAO advisor

Former advisor for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO,) Mohamed Fathy said in TV statements that Egypt ranks the fourth globally in tomatoes production and is the largest kidney beans supplier to European Union.


Ministry continues removal of oil slick in Hurghada

Kausar Hanafy, chairman of the Central Department for Crises and Disasters, told Youm7 that the Ministry of Environment will continue removing oil spill near an island in Hurghada.

The slick measures 300 meter of length and 5 meter of width; it is located near Ghanem Island in north Hurghada.

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