UPDATE: Egypt’s political digest Nov. 16: Egypt supports Lebanon’s political stability: FM
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry meets with Lebanese President Michel Aoun


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

Egypt supports Lebanon’s political stability: FM

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Wednesday asserted Egypt’s full support to all efforts aimed at enhancing solidarity among the people of Lebanon and standing by Lebanon in the face of the challenges it faces, Youm7 reported.

The remarks came during Shoukry’s meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

As part of his two-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, Shoukry met with newly appointed Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri and Lebanese President Michel Aoun to hand him over a message from Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi inviting him to visit Cairo.

During the meeting, Shoukry expressed Egypt’s keenness to open communication with Lebanon’s official institutions for a deep dialogue.

Shoukry also met with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, who asserted that his country needs Egypt’s political support to face the current challenges.


Egypt’s long-awaited NGO bill referred to state council for revision

A draft law regulating the work of NGOs and civil society organizations working in Egypt was referred to State Council Wednesday for revisions before returning to parliament for a final vote, Youm7 reported.

The law, which could replace the current 2002 law if ratified, was approved by the parliament during an evening session on Tuesday.

House of Representatives Speaker Ali Abdel Aal stressed on Tuesday that a draft NGOs law is “constitutional.”

Drafted by the parliament’s social solidarity committee, the 89-article law aims to minimize state involvement in the activities of NGOs but also prohibits the establishment of groups of military or paramilitary nature.

The law stipulates foreign NGOs looking to operate in Egypt must get prior ‎approval from a regulatory body.


Sisi, Kenyan vice president talk bilateral cooperation

President Abdel Fatah al Sisi met with visiting Kenyan Vice President William Ruto and his accompanying delegation on Wednesday to discuss ways to boost bilateral cooperation.

Ruto conveyed a message from Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta urging for partnership between the two countries in various fields, presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef said in a statement on Wednesday.

Attending the meeting were the Kenyan and Egyptian tourism ministers and the Kenyan ambassador to Cairo.

During the meeting, an agreement was reached between Egypt and Kenya to cancel pre-obtained visas for Egyptians traveling to Kenya.

Ruto expressed his country’s appreciation for the technical support and training programs Egypt provides for Kenya.

For his part, Sisi asserted on the importance of cooperation among African states in general and Nile basin countries in particular pointing out the need to boost bilateral trade relations to achieve common interests.

The trade exchange between Egypt and Kenya reached $513 million in 2015, Egyptian Trade Minister Tarek Qabil stated, adding that that the Egyptian exports to Kenya were estimated at $239 million.


Sisi signs decree to release dozens of imprisoned youth

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will sign a decree to pardon a group of imprisoned youth on Wednesday, Youm7 reported officials at the Presidency Office.

On Saturday, member of a governmental committee tasked to examine the youth inmates’ situations Mohamed Abdel-Azizi said that a group of people and youth detained over violating the protest law or over accusations of publishing false news will be released per a presidential pardon.

He told youm7 that the committee has filed a report includes all names of the first group of the youth who will be released to President Sisi.

A total of 203 prisoners would be released per a presidential pardon on the occasion of the October War Victory, after Prison Sector Committee reviewed the prisoners’ conditions, Youm7 reported on Thursday. Only 94 inmates will be released under certain conditions.


Sisi invites Lebanese counterpart to visit Egypt

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi invited the newly elected Lebanese President Michel Aoun to visit Egypt, Youm7 reported on Wednesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry left for Beirut Tuesday in a visit aiming to boost Egyptian-Lebanese relations. He delivered President Sisi’s invitation. Shoukry also met with assigned PM Saad el-Hariri.

Egypt condemns ratification of Israeli bill legalizes settlements in West Bank

Egypt condemned the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation of the Israeli government’s ratification of a bill allows legalizing Israeli settlements in the West Bank, said Egyptian Foreign Minitsry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid in a statement on Tuesday.

“pursuing the Israeli settlement activities, with a steady and systematic prompt pace, while taking steps to legalize them, reduces the chances of the success of the two-state solution, and undermines efforts to resume the peace process,” the statement read.

Ahmed Shafiq’s name lifted from travel watch list by court decision

A Cairo criminal Court ruled to lift 2012 Presidential Candidate Ahmed Shafiq’s name from travel watch list on Wednesday.

Shafiq, former Prime Minister, has been in the United Arab Emirates since he was defeated in the presidential elections in which former President Mohamed Morsi won.


Egypt opens Rafah border crossing in 3rd day in a raw

Egyptian authorities continued opening of the border crossing of Rafah with Palestine in the third day in a raw o Wednesday, Youm7 reported.

President Abdel Fatah al Sisi on Sunday has ordered the Rafah border crossing with Gaza Strip to be opened Nov. 14-18 in both directions, Youm7 reported.

The border crossing will primarily be opened to allow for the passage of stranded individuals and facilitate humanitarian aid.

It will be opened for the passage of stranded Palestinian students on Nov.17-18.

The crossing was partially opened Sunday to allow the passage of a 120-member Palestinian business delegation into Egypt in order to take part in an economic conference currently held at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Ain Sokhna.

Egypt, which also shares border with Gaza, has been imposing restrictions on opening the crossing with Gaza after the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

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