UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Oct. 27: Court upholds acquittal of Mubarak-era Oil minister of profiteering charges
Former Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy.


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top Politics news stories on Oct.27 here:

Court upholds acquittal of Mubarak-era Oil minister of profiteering charges

The court of cassation on Thursday acquitted Mubarak-era Oil Minister Sameh Fahmy and five of his associates of charges of wasting public funds and profiteering over the Egypt-Israel natural gas export deal, Youm7 reported.

In 2012, Fahmy along with business tycoon Hussein Salem had been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, while three other co-defendants had also been issued prison sentences ranging from three years to 15 years imprisonment on charges of misappropriation and squandering public funds.

However, the Cairo Criminal Court in Feb. 2015 overturned the ruling clearing them of any criminal charges.

Thursday’s ruling is irrevocable. Fahmy had served as Mubarak’s Oil Minister from 1999 to 2011.

In 2005, Egypt agreed to provide Israel with natural gas as part of the 1979 peace accords. Prosecutors claimed the agreement lost Egypt over $714 million due to the low price at which the gas was sold.


Russian parliament speaker says her country ready to resume flights with Egypt

Chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council, upper house of parliament Valentina Matviyenko asserted her country’s readiness to resume flights to Egypt, Egypt’s Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal was quoted by state news agency MENA on Thursday.

The remarks come during a meeting between the two officials that was held in Geneva Thursday on the sidelines of the 135th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU,) concluded today.

The two officials discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two parliaments and countries.

Moscow suspended flights to Egypt and imposed a travel ban on EgyptAir flights to Russia after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Central Sinai Oct. 31, 2015, claiming the lives of all 224 passengers on board.


Singapore president to visit Egypt Monday: ambassador

President of Singapore Tony Tan Keng Yam will start a three-day visit to Egypt Monday, Singapore’s ambassador to Egypt Premjith Sadasivan said in a press conference on Thursday.

The visit marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Egypt-Singapore diplomatic relations, Sadasivan said, adding that the visit is the 1st by a Singaporean president in 20 years.

During the visit, Tan will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi, Al Azhar Imam Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb and Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark Diocese and he is also scheduled to visit Al Azhar Mosque, he added.

In August, Sisi made a state visit to Singapore at the invitation of Singapore President.

Singapore is looking into investment opportunities at the Suez Gulf, particularly the Suez Canal Axis project, as well as potential cooperation in the fields of transport, fish farming, and SMEs, among others, according to Sadasivan.


Italian student’s murder in Egypt is “open wound” – Italy minister

ROME, Oct 26 (Reuters) – The case of Italian student Giulio Regeni, who was murdered inEgypt in February, is an “open wound” for Italy, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday.

Regeni, 28, had been studying in Cairo when he disappeared in late January. His body was found on the side of a road in the outskirts of the city a week later, showing signs of torture.

Italian and Egyptian prosecutors have met several times to exchange information relating to their investigations, and made a joint statement in September declaring a “common commitment” to bring to light what happened.

But Gentiloni said Italy was “not satisfied” with the outcome of the meetings.

“We got a few hopeful signals in September from the Egyptian judicial authorities, and the Rome prosecutor interpreted that as some willingness to collaborate,” the minister said during a meeting with students at Rome’s LUISS University.

The minister added it was “not by chance” that Rome had recalled its ambassador from Cairo in April.


Sisi hold a session on media with journalists in Sharm el Sheikh

President Abdel Fatah atl-Sisi will hold an interview with a number of Egyptian editors-in-chief and other journalists on Thursday afternoon, on the sideline of the first National Youth Conference, which opened on Tuesday in Sharm el Sheikh under the theme “Innovate  … Advance,” State’s owned news agency MENA reported.

The meeting will tackle the situation of the media people and the economic situation that Egypt suffers from.

Over the past two days, Sisi attended a number of sessions, hosted by the first National Youth Conference, on education, the youths’ political participation in the parliament, and on the monetary policy to address the economic reasons that led to the crisis in exchange rates, according to a statement from the Presidential Office.


Egypt part takes in Dhabi-held meeting of Global Coalition against Daesh

Egypt participated in a Dhabi-held meeting for the Global Coalition against Daesh Communication Working group, with participation of 30 countries, said Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid in a post on his Twitter account on Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced the formation of the coalition on Sept. 10, 2014 to defeat the militant Islamic State group in Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of State.

Abu Zeid and his accompanying delegation headed on Wednesday to the UAE to participate in the meetings that due to last for two days.


Ministerial committee finishes amendments to protest law: Minister

Egyptian Minister of Legal Affairs and the house of Representatives Magdi al-Agatti said that the ministerial committee, tasked to conduct amendments to the protest law, has drafted all amendments to this newly passed law.

He told Youm7 that  the committee will not send the amendments to the Cabinet for discussion until the High Constitutional Court says whether Articles 7,8,10, and 19 are constitutional or not.


Egypt arrests on 28 emigrants before illegally entering to Libya

Egyptian border guards have arrested 28 Egyptian unregistered emigrants before entering into Libyan territories at border crossing of Sallum, Youm7 reported on Thursday. The emigrants are from eight different governorates; they have been investigated.

Such arrests happen routinely at Egyptian borders, where security measures were intensified to curb the practice of illegal immigration. Border guards have also seized dozens of attempts to smuggle contraband and drugs.

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