UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Oct. 17: Egypt supports Mosul’s liberation from IS
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid. YOUM7 (archive)


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top politics news stories on Oct.17 here:

Egypt supports Mosul’s liberation from IS

Egypt supports the Iraqi government’s large-scale military operation to retake Mosul from IS Group, Youm7 reported citing a Monday statement from Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid.

Abu Zeid said Egypt wishes that the operation would achieve success, adding that those who support or adopt IS’s extremist ideology “will not survive against the will of peace-loving peoples.”

Iraqi army and its allies, including people’s volunteer corps, have been preparing for an offensive recently. On Monday night, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi announced the start of military operation to liberate Mosul; Iraq’s second largest city, which remains as a main stronghold of the IS.


Sisi, electricity minister review outcomes of electricity rationing campaign

President Abdel Fatah al Sisi met with Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker on Monday and reviewed the outcomes of the public awareness campaign for the rationing of electricity, Youm7 reported.

During the meeting, Shaker said the campaign resulted in reducing the electricity consumption nationwide by 1,500 megawatt.

Sisi issued directives to improve the efficiency of services provided to citizens and spread the culture of electricity rationing among Egypt’s citizens.

In June, the ministry launched a three-year public awareness campaign encourages people to become more conscious towards their energy consumption. The 40 m EGP advertising campaign includes advertisements on the radio, TV and in the streets, in the form of audio-visual and print media.


Trial of 23 Ansar al Sharia militants adjourned to Jan. 3

The Cairo Criminal Court adjouned to Jan. 3 the trial of 23 suspects affiliated to “Ansar al Sharia Brigades” over the killing of 12 policeman and premeditated murder of nine others as well as possession of weapons.

According to the investigations carried out by the Egyptian prosecution, the defendants helped the group carry out several terrorist operations, ordered members to fight in Syria, trained others on making bombs and provided them with shelters and arms.

The investigations revealed that the group was formed to spread extremist thoughts, carry out attacks on military and police personnel and target Copts, Coptic churches and property.


Egypt’s parliament passes Migration Law

Egypt’s House of Representatives has passed the Migration Law on Monday after a total of 402 parliamentarians voted for it, Youm7 reported.

The Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said that only five lawmakers voted against it.


18 Egyptian trial defendants get prison sentence after shoe thrown at judge

(Reuters) A Cairo court sentenced 18 defendants on Sunday to two years in prison for insulting the judiciary, after the defendants cheered inside the cage when one of them threw his shoe at the judge, security sources and a lawyer said.

Amar El Shahat, a 19-year-old student, turned around and aimed his shoe at the head of the court as he was being sent back to the cage after being questioned before the court for making noise inside the cage, a police official who was in the courtroom said.

El-shahat is being tried along with 22 others on terrorism charges and possessing weapons, with five being tried in absentia. The trial that began in 2015 was taking place in the police academy.

Sunday’s sentence was for a separate charge of insulting the judiciary during a court hearing.

A policeman who was standing behind the Mohammed Shereen Fahmy, the judge, caught the shoe just before it could hit Fahmy’s head, said Khaled el Masry, a lawyer representing three of the defendants, who was in the courtroom.

The rest of the defendants supported their colleague, which is what led the court to move a criminal case against them, and accuse them of insulting the judiciary, the police official said. They were all sentenced to two years in prison after a representative of the general prosecution in court called for them to be handed the maximum sentence, the police official added.

The defendants have the right to appeal against the decision, but El Masry said they had been handed two years in prison in a previous court session but didn’t appeal. “They do not recognize the court as a valid judicial body that could try them,” el Masry said.

The army forced Mursi, the country’s first freely-elected president from power in 2013 following mass protests against his rule. It then launched a crackdown against his organization, arresting thousands on accusations of violence and terrorism.

The Muslim Brotherhood was labeled a terrorist organization last year and most of its senior leaders are in prison awaiting trial on charges relating to violence and terrorism.


FM meets with U.S. Congressional delegation

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will meet with a congress delegation chaired by Senator Michael Conaway at Cairo-based Egyptian Foreign Ministry headquarters on Monday, according to a statement from the ministry Sunday.

A U.S. Congress delegation paid Egypt a three-day visit on Oct. 9-11 during which its members met with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, discussing the mutual concerns and the security file of the region, Egyptian state-owned news agency MENA reported.

The delegation chaired by Senator James Risch, and includes Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator John Barrasso, Senator Ben Sasse, Senator Deb Fischer, and Senator Jeff Flake.


Considering challenges of death sentences for 11 convicts of Port Said case adjourned to Dec. 19

Egypt’s Court of Cassation has postponed considering challenges filed by 21 defendants who were sentenced to death and life imprisonment over killing 72 fans of al-Ahly Sporting Club.

Eleven of the defendants were handed down death sentences, and ten were sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Riots broke out during a match between Al-Ahly and al-Masry clubs in the country’s premier league. The incident caused the Egyptian Premier League to be cancelled in 2012 before it was resumed in 2013 with fans subsequently banned from attending games.

The riots exacerbated as the gates of the stadium were locked, preventing people from fleeing the place and dying of different reasons; such as stampede and suffocation.


Egypt to sign final contracts with Rosatom on NPP by end of December

Egypt will sign the final contracts with the Russia’s Rosatom agency to start building the first Egyptian nuclear power plant (NPP) by the end of this year, said Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker during his meeting with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on Monday.

The plant’s construction is to be accomplished in two phases; Russia will build four reactors, while the other four reactors will be offered for an international tender. The construction works are scheduled to start in mid-2016 to be completed by 2022. Costs of all four reactors are estimated at $20 billion as $5 billion for each, per the contract.

Russia will fund 80 percent of the plant constructions; President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced in the signing ceremony that his country will repay Russia a loan over 35 years from the revenues of electricity that will be produced from the plant. He did not mention the value of the loan.

In 1981, Egypt allocated the Dabaa area in the Mediterranean governorate of Matrouh, 183.9 miles to the northwest of Cairo, to build the plant of 55 square kilometers.

Recently, Prime Minister Sherirf Smail announced Egypt will start producing power from the nuclear power plant by 2024.

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