UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Oct. 16: Egypt, Russia kick off “Guardians of Friendship 2016” military drill
Egyptian, Russian troops participating at the "Guardians of Friendship 2016" military drill. military spokesperson facebook page.


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top politics news stories on Oct.16 here:

Egypt, Russia kick off “Guardians of Friendship 2016” military drill

Egypt and Russia commenced the “Guardians of Friendship 2016″ joint military exercise on Sunday, which involves airborne forces from both countries, Egyptian military spokesman Mohamed Samir announced in a statement.

“The joint military training will include drills between Egyptian and Russian paratrooper units in the northwestern region of el-Alamein,” said Samir, who posted photos of the military exercise on his Facebook page.

The military exercise, which is the first to be carried out by Russian army units on an Egyptian soil, will last until Oct. 26.

Last year Russia and Egypt held their first joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean, which included the Black Sea fleet’s flagship Moskva missile cruiser.

“Participation of servicemen of the airborne troops of Russia in the international exercise regulated agreements reached with the Egyptian side and in accordance with the plan of the international activities of the Ministry of Defense of Russia,” Russian defense ministry announced in a statement Tuesday.

Russian military exercises are usual combat training measures and “are no signals or threats to other countries,” Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.


Egypt participates in UN conf. on housing, sustainable urban development in Ecuador

An Egyptian delegation is set to participate in the 3rd United Nations conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, more commonly known as Habitat III, scheduled to kick off in Quito, Ecuador, 17-20 Oct. 2016, Youm7 reported.

The delegation comprises officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Environment. Habitat III will be one of the first United Nations global summits after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The conference is held every 20 years. In 1976, the first Habitat Convention took place in Vancouver, while the last was held in Turkey in 2006.


Retrial of MB guide, 92 co-defendants over inciting violence adjourned to Nov. 20

The Beni Suef Criminal Court yesterday postponed the trial of Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 92 others in the case known in the media as the “Beni Suef incidents” until Nov. 20, Youm7 reported.

The defendants face numerous charges including setting fire to a police station, a court, a school and a prosecution building following the dispersal of Rabaa al Adawyea and Al-Nahda sit-ins in August 2013.


Sisi: Egypt’s stance towards Syria at UNSC is clear

“Egypt’s stance towards Syria at the UN Security Council was clear. Egypt’s votes for the France-Spain-drafted resolution and the Russia-drafted resolutions, in last week, are not contradictory,” said President Abdel Fata al-Sisi during the second part of his interview with the national editors-in chief.

He added that the two resolutions call for ceasefire and entrance of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, the objectives Egypt care about, regardless the country that drafted the resolutions.

Egypt has voted for two resolution drafted by Russia and France on Syria, the matter bothered Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco Co. suspended its oil fund for October; since then the relations between Cairo and Riyadh have strained.

President Sisi said there should be more coordination between Egypt and Saudi Arabia to clarify the situation, noting that Aramco oil cargo is a part of a deal signed during the Saudi King’s visit to Egypt in April.


Rafah border crossing re-opens for 2nd day

The Egyptian-Palestinian border crossing of Rafah opens for the second day on a raw early Sunday in both directions to allow for the passage of urgent humanitarian cases, sick people and permit holders, Youm7 reported.

A total of 1,534 passengers crossed the border in the first day; 795 travelers crossed into the Egyptian side, while 839 others entered into the Palestinian territories on Saturday.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has ordered to open the crossing for two days from both directions, Egyptian state-owned news agency MENA reported on Thursday. The crossing will reopen on Oct. 19-22.

The crossing was only opened exceptionally a few times since a major militant attack in North Sinai’s Sheikh Zewuid that killed some 27 military personnel in October 2014. The Egyptian authorities have said in a number of occasions that Hamas is implicated in the attacks.

The Gaza Strip has six border crossings with Israel and only Rafah crossing was the only entrance gate for the Palestinians in the strip since Israel has imposed blockade on the strip in 2007. So many of Palestinians be stranded in Egyptian airports and other Palestinian patients could be stranded in Gaza waiting for the border reopening for receiving medical care in the Egyptian hospitals.


Sisi meets with Farouk El Baz

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with Egyptian-U.S. space scientist on Saturday, reviewing photos of the latest geological survey for Egyptian underground water aquifers to rationally use them in irrigation system, said Egyptian Spokesperson Alaa Youssef in a statement.

“The meeting also tackled the ways of upgrading the education and scientific research system in light of achieving the comprehensive development and progress,” the statement read.


Egypt’s FM forms a unit for combating money laundering, terrorism Financing

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has ordered to form a Board of Trustees of a unit for combating money laundering and terrorism Financing, Youm7 reported on Sunday.

The board will be chaired by Court of Cassation Chairperson Deputy ahmed Said Hussein Khalil; it will include Central Bank of Egypt Governor Deputy Sherif Samir, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority Chairperson, a representative from the General Prosecution, and a representative from the Federation of Egyptian Banks.


Azhar welcomes UNESCO decision on Al-Aqsa Compound, Noble Sanctuary

Al Azhar Observatory welcomed UNESCO adoption to an Arab resolution saying that the Al-Aqsa Compound and the Noble Sanctuary is an Islamic site for the Muslims.

“Such decision is a victory for the Palestinian people and the all Muslims worldwide,” the observatory added in a statement on Saturday.

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