UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Sept. 21:Sisi to UN assembly: Egypt has been an anchor of stability in turbulent region
President Abdel Fatah al Sisi. Youm7.


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top politics news stories on Sept. 21 here:

Sisi to UN assembly: Egypt has been an anchor of stability in turbulent region

President Abdel Fatah al Sisi called on the UN Security Council member states to assume their responsibilities and end the bloodshed in Syria after five years of failure to reach a political settlement, Youm7 reported.

The remarks came during Sisi’s speech at the United Nations Security Council meeting on the Middle East on Wednesday.

“Egypt has been an anchor of stability in the otherwise turbulent region,” said told the U.N. assembly.

“While the Middle East still teams with bloody conflicts, Egypt has managed to preserve its stability in the midst of a highly unstable region thanks the solidity of its institutions,” he added.


Egypt’s aviation minister in Russia for direct flight resumption talks

Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathi headed on Wednesday to Moscow on a multi-day visit for talks with Russian officials on the resumption of Russian flights to Egypt, Youm7 reported.

Moscow suspended all flights to Egypt in the wake of a crash that took place in Sinai last October, killing all 224 on board. The plane was heading from the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg in Russia.

During the past few months, several Russian delegations of aviation and security experts had visited the Egyptian airports to inspect security measures in order to resume flights.

During his last visit to Russia in August, Fathy said the two countries agreed on a roadmap for the resumption of Russian flights and tourism to Egypt, which includes the arrival of a number of delegations to inspect resorts, hotels and airports’ security.

A Russian delegation is currently expection security measures at Hurghada International Airport.

Egypt’s tourism suffered a severe blow with the halt of flights from Russia in the wake of the fatal crash.


Sudan bans Egyptian fruit, vegetables and fish

(Reuters) – Sudan has suspended imports of fruit, vegetables and fish from neighbouring Egypt as of Sept. 20 on safety grounds, the Sudanese trade ministry said without elaborating.

Sudan’s move came less than a week after Russia said it would suspend fruit and vegetable imports from Egypt, a move that appeared to be a response to Cairo rejecting Russian wheat under its zero tolerance of a common grain fungus.

“Importing fruit, vegetable, and fish from Egypt is temporarily suspended until laboratory tests are complete to guarantee safety,” Sudanese state news agency SUNA quoted a trade ministry statement as saying late on Tuesday.

Russia said on Friday it would suspend imports of Egyptian fruit and vegetables from Sept. 22 due to health concerns. The announcement came shortly after Cairo rejected a 60,000 tonne Russian wheat shipment.

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, reversed its zero tolerance policy on ergot on Wednesday, backtracking on a rule that had all but blocked its access to wheat imports.


Sisi meets with Palestinian Abbas at UNGA meetings

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met on Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, said Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Alaa Youssef in a statement Tuesday.

“Sisi emphasized that the Palestinian issue will remain a priority on Egypt’s foreign policy agenda and affirmed that Egypt supports international initiatives and efforts aimed at resolving the Palestinian issue and finding a just solution and lasting peace conducive to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the borders of June 4, 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. This will deliver a better reality and a safer and more stable future to the region and its peoples,” the statement read.

President Abbas expressed his appreciation for Egypt’s sincere efforts to reach a peaceful settlement to the Palestinian issue.

In His speech at the United Nation Generally Assembly (UNGA) in New York City on Tuesday, President Sisi called on the Israeli leaders to find solution to the Israel-Palestinian issue to bring the peace, noting that Israeli experience with Egypt is “wonderful” example to reach peace.


News sector head sacked over broadcasting old interview for Sisi

Head of Maspero (the headquarters of the Egyptian Radio and T.V.) Safaa Hegazy sacked chairperson of News Sector Mostafa Shehata after the channel broadcast an old interview of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi with a U.S. media network, Youm7 reported Tuesday.

The channel broadcasted Sisi’s interview with BBS channel on Tuesday, which has been made in 2015, saying that interview was conducted during Sisi’s current visit to New York City.


Egyptian court hands nine policemen jail terms for assaulting doctors

(Reuters) An Egyptian court sentenced nine policemen to three years in prison on Tuesday for physically and verbally assaulting two doctors at a Cairo hospital in January, an incident that prompted strikes and a protest demanding justice.

The verdict can be appealed and the court ordered bail of 2,000 Egyptian pounds ($225). The policemen are not in jail.

Momin Abdelazim, one of the two doctors allegedly involved, told Reuters at the time that police assaulted him and a colleague after they refused to falsify medical records to say one officer had a serious head injury. Abdelazim said the wound was superficial.

The incident prompted thousands of Egyptian doctors, led by the doctors’ syndicate, to hold strikes and a rare protest demanding the policemen involved be brought to trial and the health minister be sacked. Following the strikes and pressure from the syndicate, prosecutors decided to reopen the case.

Some media at the time criticized the doctors, saying they were using the incident for political ends and accusing them of endangering lives through their strike actions.

Egyptian officials say cases of police abuse, including that involving the doctors, are isolated. Officials have repeatedly promised that all allegations would be investigated and punished where appropriate.

Anger over perceived police brutality helped fuel the 2011 uprising that began on a Police Day holiday and ended President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

Human rights groups says abuses are the result of a culture of impunity in which police are rarely punished. They have called for an independent body to investigate police brutality allegations.

A string of deadly recent incidents, some of which took place in public, have fomented popular anger with the police.

In April, a riot erupted in a Cairo suburb after a policeman killed a man with an assault rifle in an argument over the price of a cup of tea, witnesses and the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry promised to investigate the incident.

In February, protests broke out after a policeman shot dead a driver in the street in an argument over a fare, witnesses and the ministry said. The case was sent to court and the policeman was sentenced to life in jail in April.

A police officer was sentenced to seven years in jail and five other policemen to three years in July for beating to death a father of four. The man was one of at least three men who died in police custody in a single week in November 2015.


Cabinet to finish drafting new amendments to protest law within a month: Minister

Minister of Legal Affairs and House of Representatives Magdi al-Aggatti announced Wednesday the Cabinet’s committee, tasked to amend the protest law, will finish drafting the new amendments to the law within a month, Youm7 reported.

Under the law, hundreds of activists and students have been jailed or waiting for prison sentence over breaching the law.

Since its adoption in Nov. 2013, the law has attracted huge criticism by local and international rights organizations, condemning the act as curbing constitutional right to freedom of expression.


Egypt foils illegal migration attempt by 103 people in Beheira

Egyptian security forces have foiled an illegal migration attempt by a total of 103 migrants from different nationalities in Delta’s Beheira governorate before sailing to the Italian shores via the Mediterranean Sea, Youm7 reported Wednesday.

The unregistered migrants include 64 Egyptian, 23 Eritreans, 7 Sudanese, 4 Syrians, two Zambians, and one Chadian.

Such arrests are frequent on Egypt’s borders as authorities heightened measures to curb the increasing wave of illegal immigration.

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