UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Oct. 29: Egypt to submit protest note against OIC chief”s remarks
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry - YOUM7/Hassan Muhammed


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top Politics news stories on Oct.29 here:

Egypt to submit protest note against OIC chief”s remarks

Egypt has assigned its envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to submit an official protest note over the “regrettable way” in which the OIC chief Iyad Madani spoke about Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi, state news agency MENA reported Saturday.

“Egypt has been informed of the apology of the OIC secretary general for his words, and will follow up with the organization to decide the measures that should be taken to correct the matter,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said.

During his speech at the opening of the Ministers of Education of the Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture, “ISESCO” held in Tunisia Friday, Madani has mistakenly confused the Tunisian president’s name with that of Egypt’s Sisi then told Essebsi, “I am sure your fridge has more than water.”

He was mocking Sisi who claimed in a conference this week that for a decade his fridge had nothing but water, in a message to Egyptians to bear harsh economic conditions.

This came during his speech at the opening of the Ministers of Education of the Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture of the ceremony, “ISESCO” in Tunisia.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Saturday lashed out at Madani’s recent statements considering such comments as “a big mistake.”


Roadside explosion in Egypt’s North Sinai kills senior military officer

A senior military officer and one soldier were killed on Saturday by a roadside explosion in Egypt’s North Sinai where the government faces an Islamic State-led insurgency, security sources told Reuters.

Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed in the insurgency and there have also been attacks in Cairo and other cities.

Militant groups appear to be stepping up attacks with the emergence of a new group calling itself the Revolution Brigade which claimed responsibility for the killing of a brigadier general, a commander in North Sinai, outside his home on the outskirts of Cairo last week.

That attack came just one week after Islamic State guerrillas ambushed a military checkpoint killing 12 Egyptian soldiers in the town of Bir al-Abd, the first major attack in the central Sinai area, which had so far escaped the militant Islamists’ campaign.[8N1CL0GK]

Military and police sources who did not wish to be identified told Reuters that Saturday’s explosion was a targeted attack on Colonel Rami Hassanein, who was killed while travelling in an armoured vehicle just outside North Sinai’s Sheikh Zuweid.

One other soldier was killed and three others were injured in the attack, the sources said.

Egypt’s military has not released a statement on the incident and was not available for comment.

An Islamist insurgency in the rugged and thinly populated Sinai Peninsula gained pace after the military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.


Egypt gives life sentences to Brotherhood supporters for 2013 riot

(Reuters) – An Egyptian court sentenced two Muslim Brotherhood supporters on Saturday to life in prison and 16 others to 15 years in jail for a violent assault on a Cairo neighbourhood in 2013 after the ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi.

The attack, which left seven dead, was part of a wave of violence that swept across Egypt after the army removed elected Islamist president Mursi from power in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

Since deposing Mursi, the authorities have held mass trials for thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, with hundreds receiving death sentences or lengthy prison terms. Mursi has been sentenced in four cases since his ouster, including a death penalty for a mass jail break in 2011.

The 104 defendants in Saturday’s case, dubbed by local media as the “Boulaq Abou al-Ela case” for the run-down Cairo district where the riot took place, were part of a pro-Brotherhood march held two days after sit-ins supporting the group were violently dispersed leaving hundreds dead.

The defendants were tried on a range of charges that included murder, assault, joining an armed gang, resisting arrest, damaging public and private property, and possession of firearms, judicial sources said.

Eighty-six of the defendants were found innocent, the sources added.

The government deems the Brotherhood a terrorist group. The Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest opposition movement dating back decades, says it remains committed to peaceful activism.

Mass trials that have ended in death penalties and life sentences have drawn criticism from activists and rights groups at home and abroad. The Egyptian government says the judiciary is independent and that it never intervenes in its work.


Egypt condemns Nigeria’s Maiduguri bomb attack

Egypt’s foreign ministry has denounced the terrorist bomb attack hit the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri Saturday, Youm7 reported.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid expressed condolences to the families of the victims, stressing Egypt’s support for the Nigerian people and government in the face of terrorism.

Earlier in the day, two suicide bombings rocked Nigeria’s northeast city of Maiduguri on Saturday, killing at least nine people and injuring scores others. One explosion happened outside a gas station, while the other took place near by a refugee camp.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, fingers were pointed at Boko Haram insurgents.


Egypt elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Egypt was elected for a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council for the term of 2016-2020, on Friday, announced Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid in a statement.

Egypt has won 173 out of 193 votes in the election took place at the United Nation General Assembly, Abu Zeid added, saying “Egypt’s membership of the Human Rights Council reflects the international appreciation for its political trajectory, as it moves ahead with steady steps towards the establishment of a modern state that upholds the values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, despite the difficult regional situation and the challenges it imposes at the internal and regional levels.”

Also United States, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Brazil, China, and Rwanda won seats at the council; however, Russian failed to obtain a membership.


OIC Secretary-General apologizes to Sisi for mocking ‘refrigerator water’

Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Iyad Ameen Madani apologized after he mocked Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi over “refrigerator water” remarks.

In a statement issued on Friday, Madani said he “was joking and did not mean to insult” President Sisi.

During his visit to Tunisia to participate in the first Education Ministers Conference organized by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Madani mentioned Sisi’s name instead of Tunisian President Essebsi at the conference, saying “Sorry, President Essebsi ; it is a fatal mistake. I’m sure that your refrigerator has more water.”

His remarks bothered Egyptian government and social media users went anger, calling him to apologize.

On Wednesday, President Sisi said “my refrigerator has nothing except water for ten years,” as an indication that he lived on minimum amount of money, calling for the Egyptian to be patient and overcome the economic and currency crises his country suffers.


Egyptologist Hawas calls for writing off Toledo Museum over selling 68 artifacts

Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities, Zahi Hawas announced that he will send the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) a letter calling for writing off U.S. Toledo Museum from the list of World Museums over auctioning a total of 68 archeological artifacts at Christie House.

He also told Youm7 that he will send another letter to the U.S. Congress to impose sanctions on the museum over selling the Egyptian, Geek, Italian, Cypriot artifacts. Hawas noted that he will call Toledo schools to not send students to visit the museum.

Christie House opened two auctions (one is online) for the archeological pieces; they closed on Wednesday despite that Egypt and Cypriot governments asked suspending the auctions.


Cairo Court resumes trial of 213 Ansar Bayt al Maqdis members

A Cairo Criminal Court will resume on Saturday the trial of 213 defendants, allegedly belonging to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militant group that became the Islamic State affiliate in Egypt, over charges of committing 54 crimes, killing police personnel, and attempt to assassinate former Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, Youm7 reported.

Following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, there have been increased attacks on military and security personnel in the Sinai. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for many of these, including a February attack on a bus of tourists, killing three Koreans and an Egyptian driver, as well as an early April bombing outside Cairo University, killing a police officer and wounding other five.


Egypt, Jordan sign protocol over agriculture cooperation

Egyptian Agriculture Research center of the Ministry of Agriculture signed with Jordanian National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension a cooperation protocol to enhance the technical and scientific cooperation between both countries, according to a statement from the Egyptian Ministry on Friday.

Per the protocol, both sides to exchange experiences and scientific missions and to joint training courses, as well as agricultural research that contribute developing the agricultural scientific research.

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