UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Nov. 18: Foreign ministry working to free 2 Egyptians detained in Ethiopia: MP
parliament member Hussein Ashmawy .


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top politics news stories on Nov. 18 here:

Foreign ministry working to free 2 Egyptians detained in Ethiopia: MP

Egypt’s foreign ministry spares no effort to free the two Egyptian nationals who were arrested in Ethiopia earlier this week, parliament member Hussein Ashmawy was quoted by Youm7.

The lawmaker said that he contacted officials at the foreign ministry and was informed that it is in constant contact with Egypt’s ambassador to Addis Ababa to release and secure safe return of the citizens to Egypt.

Media reports said that the Ethiopian authorities arrested the Egyptian nationals over their involvement in the recent unrest in the country particularly in Oromia and Amhara regions.

The lawmaker has not mentioned further details about the detainees.

Taha Mansour, an Egyptian citizen working at the Radisson Blu Hotel was arrested on Monday

One of the Egyptian citizens, named Taha Mansour, was arrested from the Radisson Blu Hotel on Monday after Ethiopian security forces surrounded the hotel, according to sources.

The other Egyptian that sources said works in another office was also arrested, while it is unknown his identity and the organization that he works.


Rafah border crossing opens for last day, 588 students passed on Thursday

T he Egyptian authorities on Friday opened the Rafah crossing between Egypt’s North Sinai and the Palestinian Gaza Strip for the fifth and last day, Youm7 reported.

On Sunday, President Abdel Fatah al Sisi has ordered the opening of the crossing for five days to allow the passage of humanitarian cases, students, and the entry of Palestinians stranded outside of the besieged enclave.

The President ordered the crossing would be open to students on Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, 588 students passed through the Rafah crossing, according to Gaza’s crossings and borders committee.

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.


Egyptian, German diplomats discuss Libya crisis

Assistant foreign minister for Arab affairs Tarek el Qony met with Philipp Ackermann, German assistant foreign minister for Middle East affairs to discuss ways to settle the Libyan crisis, state news agency MENA reported Friday.

During the meeting, Qony underlined the importance of forming a national accord government in Libya by the presidential council, pointing out Cairo’s keenness to maintain contacts with all Libyan parties to implement a national agreement.

For his part, Ackermann hailed Cairo’s efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis and its effective participation at the regional and international levels.

The two diplomats agreed on the necessity of continuing consultation between Egypt and Germany on the Libyan crisis.


Families flock to prison complex to receive pardoned relatives

Families of pardoned prisoners flocked into Torah prison area to receive their relatives, Youm7 reported.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi pardoned 82 prisoners, mostly university students jailed for protesting. Among the pardoned was TV presenter Islam Behery who was jailed over accusations of blasphemy.

The figure is believed to be the first batch of a group of prisoners that Sisi promised to release.

Last month, he also promised to amend the 2013 Protest law, per which many activists and students have landed behind bars since 2013 over orchestrating unlicensed demonstrations.


U.S. never pressured Egypt to return MB to political scene: FM

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said that the “U.S. administration led by the outgoing President Barack Obama has not pressured on Egypt to bring back the Brotherhood to the political scene,” he said in TV interview.

Shoukry added that Egypt-U.S. talks had only tackled speeding pace of political and social reform and the integration of different political representatives “and never crossed the red lines.”


24 falcons were seized with Bahrain-bound passenger

A total of 24 falcons prohibited procession were seized with a Bahrain-bound passenger at Cairo Airport, Youm7 reported.

The passenger hid the falcons, worth 6 million EGP, in his luggage in attempt to smuggle them to Bahrain. But the birds were discovered while customs department were inspecting his bags.

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