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Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr held a meeting with the World Bank to provide simplified environment for investment.

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Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr held a meeting with the World Bank’s mission headed by the director of the Middle East and North Africa region. The reunion was focused on technical application of improvement of the investment climate and business environment in Egypt. Nasr has pointed out Egyptian interest in developing a system to facilitate investment procedure in the current phase and in taking advantage of the best international experiences of countries that succeeded in attracting foreign direct investment through managing the investment services efficiently and effectively. Finally Nasr has expressed the necessity of Egyptian’s cooperation with the World Bank to reach positive results.

 

Egypt’s support for Libya continues: Sameh Shoukry

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Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry made a phone call to the president of the Libyan presidential council, Fayez Al-Sarraj, in which their discussions mainly focused on the updates of the situation in Libya. Shoukry has confirmed his sustain to Libyan unification, and to the government of Tripoli, leaded by Al-Sarraj.  Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies has confirmed the effectiveness role of Egypt in the resolution of the Libyan’s crisis. Egypt, as leading power in the Middle-East, is confirming its capacity to manage regional conflicts, even if the Libyan situation still oscillates between anarchy and stability.

 

Prime Minister Abe and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman joined to help end the Saudi Arabian economy’s dependence on oil .

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Monday signed a document regarding cooperation to help end the Saudi Arabian economy’s dependence on oil. The two leaders also agreed to cooperate for the stability of the Middle East, calling each other “strategic partners” during a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office. The document for cooperation lists nine priority areas for diversifying the Saudi Arabian economy, such as the entertainment and media industries, and infrastructure.

 

2016 worst year yet for Syria's children

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At least 652 children were killed in Syria in 2016, making it the worst year yet for the country’s rising generation, the United Nations’ child relief agency said Monday. UNICEF said at least 255 children were killed in or near schools last year and 1.7 million youngsters are out of school. One of every three schools in Syria is unusable, some because militant groups occupy them. An additional 2.3 million Syrian children are refugees elsewhere in the Middle East.

Pakistani troops to guard Saudi borders against Houthi attacks

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Pakistan will send combat troops to protect Saudi Arabia’s southern borders from attacks by Houthis in Yemen, reported Middle East Eye citing senior security sources. The Pakistani brigade will only be deployed inside the southern borders of the kingdom. “It will not be used beyond Saudi borders,” an insider told the Gulf-based newspaper. The move follows a visit by Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa to Saudi Arabia in December last year. The army chief had been on a three-day visit to the kingdom where he met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz. “COAS reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the security and protection of the Holy Mosques and also the territorial integrity of the kingdom”, Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement.

US ill-conceived policies root cause of tensions in region

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Iranian Foreign Ministry, Bahram Ghasemi, dismissed the head of the US Central Command’s biased and anti-Iran remarks, saying Washington’s wrong policies are the root causes of instability and tensions in the region. He added that the history of US presence in the historical and cultural region is full of irrational and abusive behavior which are the main source of formation of Takfiri terrorism and extremism. Claiming that Iran’s influence is the most significant threat to Middle East security, the Head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) General Joseph Votel told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that Iran “aspires to be a regional hegemon and its forces and proxies oppose US interests in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Gaza and Syria, and seek to hinder achievement of US objectives in Afghanistan and some Central Asian States”.

 

Naval mine kills Yemeni coastguards in Bab al-Mandeb

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After the US Naval Intelligence Office had warned earlier this week commercial ships from the danger of mine planted by Houthis and Saleh militias in Bab Al-Mandeb strait, two yemeni coastguards were killed and 8 others were wounded when their vessel hit a mine on Friday near the international shipping passage of Bab Al-Mandeb. The explosion occurred during the surveillance tour of the vessel in the region and after the explosion the wounded ones were dispatched to hospitals in Aden, where also the captain of the vessel Safwan al-Ozaybi were brought because he was injured. Moreover the strait is a key point for the international navigations due to its role of link between Aden and the Red Sea, Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea and is one of the crowded oil passageways in the Middle East and other regions, whith sixty commercial ships that pass on a daily basis carrying more than 3.3 million barrels of oil.

Egyptian economy to improve in 2017’s initial months: FocusEconomics

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The Egyptian economy is expected to witness fair, though slow, improvements during the first months of 2017, accompanied by a general state of stability, according to the March 2017 “FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast” report for the Middle East and North Africa region.The expected slowdown of the economy in fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017 is a result of the private consumption being severely impacted as high inflation rates greatly affect consumers’ purchasing power, the report said.Exports have also declined marginally, with business firms likely benefiting from an increase in competitiveness as a result of the devaluation of the pound.The “FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast” report expected the Egyptian gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by 3.4% in FY 2016/2017, which is an unchanged prediction from February’s forecast, and to expand by 3.8% in FY 2017/2018.

UK Royal Navy flagship anchors at Beirut seaport concluding Middle East tour

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In a demonstration of the strength of the enduring UK-Lebanon partnership, the Fleet flagship of the Royal Navy “HMS Ocean” arrived this morning at Beirut Seaport and docked at Pier 13, on a visit which will last till tomorrow afternoon. The visit concludes a Middle East deployment of HMS OCEAN, which has seen the warship work with a number of countries East of Suez as well as with other coalition partners, including USA, France and Australia, demonstrating commitment to the region. In a press release by the British Embassy in Beirut, it said: “In the months prior to arriving in Lebanon, HMS OCEAN has been the Flagship for Combined Task Force 50 (CTF50), a multi-national task force maintaining the free flow of trade, freedom of navigation for shipping and regional security in the Middle East. This was the first time that the UK had commanded CTF50 and the Task Force was led by Commodore Andrew Burns OBE Royal Navy, Commodore Amphibious Task Group”. In response to a question by the National News Agency (NNA) about the purpose of the visit, Captain Terry said: “It [the visit] comes to demonstrate the strength of friendship between the UK and Lebanon. We have military, diplomatic and economic relations and we want to strengthen these relations”.

Egyptian President El-Sisi and Merkel stress joining efforts in facing terrorism and migrant crisis

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed cooperation between both countries in combating terrorism and irregular migration at their meeting in Cairo on Thursday. Merkel arrived in Cairo earlier in the day on a two-day visit to meet with President El-Sisi and other Egyptian top officials, her first visit to the country since 2007. During the meeting, Sisi and Merkel inaugurated via video conference the first phase of a project managed by the German power giant Siemens to build three new power plants in Egypt. El-Sisi said that the current turbulent situation in the region is not only a threat to the Middle East but also to Europe and the whole world.Merkel promised to provide Egypt with $250 million in support for its economic reform program.The German Chancellor described the reform program as courageous and praised Cairo’s commitment to honour the terms of the $12 billion loan extended by the International Monetary Fund to the country.Merkel also criticised countries which she said are involved in supporting terrorism in the region, expressing hope that Egyptian efforts to solve disputes in the region, especially in Libya, would see success.The German Chancellor also described the Egyptian-Tunisian-Algerian initiative – which aims at finding a solution to the Libyan conflict – as important and successful.

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