UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Oct. 20: Cabinet approves NGO bill, refers it to parliament
The Egyptian Cabinet during the weekly meeting on Wednesday. Youm7
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CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top Politics news stories on Oct.20 here:

Cabinet approves NGO bill, refers it to parliament

Egypt’s cabinet on Thursday approved the final version of the NGO draft law referring it to the parliament for a vote, Youm7 reported citing a cabinet statement.

The approval came a month after the bill was referred to the State Council for legal review.

The new legislation, drafted after discussions with representatives from several human rights organizations, would be applied to associations established by law or decree and organizations operating on the basis of international agreements signed by the government and each group’s bylaws, state news agency MENA reported.

The bill comes after several NGOs have been facing charges of illegally receiving foreign funding.

 

Egypt parliament speaker to take part in PA-UFM meetings in Rome

Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal traveled to Italy Thursday to take part in the meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM), scheduled to kick off Friday in Rome.

The Euro-Mediterranean parliamentary Assembly, which consists of 280 members, was officially established in Athens on March 2004.

Abdel Aal is also scheduled to head to Switzerland to take part in the 135th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU,) scheduled to be held in Geneva, Switzerland Oct. 24-27.

More than 700 lawmakers from 138 countries will convene in Geneva to discuss ways in which parliaments can respond effectively to serious human rights violations and their underlying causes, including human rights situations likely to lead to conflict.

More than 67 Speakers of Parliament and 41 Deputy Speakers will attend IPU’s 135th Assembly which marks the 40th anniversary of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which works to protect or seek redress for MPs whose rights have been abused, and is currently investigating more than 450 cases around the world.

 

Egypt’s Morsi trial over insulting judiciary postponed to Nov.6

The Cairo criminal court adjouned to November 6 the trial of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and 24 co defendants on charges of insulting the judicial authority.

Prosecutors accuse the defendants of “insulting the judiciary via television, radio and social-networking websites. thereby inciting hatred and disrespect for judicial officials.”

Morsi, who was ousted in July 2014 following mass protest against his rule, currently faces five separate trials involving multiple criminal charges, including “espionage, jailbreak and insulting the judiciary.”

 

Sisi meets with NHCR’s High Commissioner Thursday

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will meet with NHCR’s High Commissioner Filippo Grandi who is paying Egypt a two-day visit during which he discusses the refugee situation in Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa bon Thursday.

Grandi will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Minister of Health Ahmed Imad Eddin, whereby UNHCR provides high-level medical equipment for both Egyptians and refugees residing in Egypt, Youm7 reported.

The High Commissioner will also sign another MoU with the Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, to promote competent Commission work program of protection concerning displacement and forced people, addressing human trafficking, and migration issues for children and women.

 

Rafah border crossing re-opens for 2nd day

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

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has ordered to open the crossing for two days from both directions on Oct. 19-22 after it has been previously opened on Oct. 15 and 16.

A total of 961 passengers crossed the border on Wednesday; 624 travelers crossed into the Egyptian side, while 337 others entered into the Palestinian territories.

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.

 

Egypt helps evacuate injured, elderly Syrians of Aleppo: Foreign Ministry

Egypt, via the Egyptian mission in Damascus, coordinated with the United Nations bodies and managed to evacuate the injured and elderly people from Syria’s Aleppo, said Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid in a statement on Thursday.

The mission also has helped to deliver humanitarian aid to the devastated areas in the city, he added in the statement.

“The Egyptian embassy in Damascus has received the approval of the Syrian government for the Egyptian endeavor, and that a visit is currently being organized for the Egyptian Charge D’Affaires in Damascus, Counselor Mohamed Tharwat, to Aleppo to oversee the evacuation of the injured. In addition, Egypt continues to work on mediation efforts aiming to secure delivery of humanitarian aid to devastated areas in Aleppo,” he said.

 

Egypt welcomes ‘cessation of hostilities’ in Yemen

Egypt welcomed the 73-hour ceasefire announced in Yemen between Saudi-led Arab military coalition and Iran-backed Houthis rebels after being announced by United Nations Special Envoy Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid in a statement on Thursday.

Per the “cessation of hostilities,” all military operations and activities will be suspended to allow access of humanitarian aid to Yemeni civilians nationwide.

“Egypt looked forward to the commitment of all parties to this truce, including opening the way for the resumption of negotiations to reach a solution for stability and security for the people of the brotherly Yemeni people,” the statement read.

 

Former Islamist Morsi met with Israeli Intelligence agent in 2012: leaked document

Former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi has met with an agent from the Israeli intelligence service (Mossad) on June 15, 2012, according to a leaked document, of which Youm7 got a copy on Thursday.

According to the document, the meeting has been held in Cairo after Morsi got an approval from the former Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badei.

Morsi has affirmed that Egypt has no objection to establish diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv in accordance with the signed agreements between the two sides, the document revealed. Morsi also pledged Egypt would not stand behind any hostile action against Israel, as well would intervene with Hamas to prevent it from launching any attacks against Israel.

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