16 projects with a total investment estimated at over $25 billion are being planned to be implemented in the Mediterranean over the coming four years. Egypt continues to work on increasing Zohr gas production. Furthermore, the second stage of the West Nile Delta fields will start production at the end of the year. According to the minister of Petroleum and Mineral resources, al-Mulla, Egypt will achieve self-sufficiency in gas production by the end of 2018 and will stop importing liquefied gas.
The interest expenses due on debt in Egypt increased by 28 percent annually in the current fiscal year.
In November of last year delegations from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia met in Cairo to approve a study by a French firm tasked with assessing the environmental and economic impact of the dam on downstream countries. But negotiations stalled. Now FM Shoukry will fly to Khartoum for talks with Sudanese and Ethiopian officials aimed at resolving the impasse over the hydroelectric dam Addis Ababa is building on a Nile tributary. Cairo fears that the dam will reduce the supply of Nile water. Ethiopia, which is the only one financing the dam, affirms that the project will not harm Egypt, while Sudan underlined that it will provide the country with energy and irrigation.
On Saturday two policemen were killed and five other people were wounded in Alexandria in a bomb attack that targeted the local security chief. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but the state news agency blamed on Muslim Brotherhood organization. Last month Daesh released a video warning Egyptians against voting and urging militants to attack security forces and leaders. The police Major General Mostafa al-Nemr was unharmed.
Shoukry and his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, discussed ways to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries. They signed two general framework agreements for political and economic cooperation. They also discussed developments in the ongoing war on terrorism.
The Rafah Crossing was opened in both directions for two days starting March 23 to allow the passage of humanitarian cases. This crossing is specialized for individual movements across borders and was being prepared for the transfer of goods between the two countries.
Egypt and Italy are cooperating for training cadres from African countries on fighting illegal migration. A workshop of a training program was held in the Egyptian Police Academy. The workshop was attended by Tunisia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Senegal, Niger, Morocco, Mali and other African countries along with Spain and France.
The head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Abbas Kamel received on Friday a delegation from the Hamas group led by Ismail Haniyeh. It included Khalil Al-Haya, Rouhy Moshtaha, and Fathi Hammad. They discussed with Egyptian officials about security and humanitarian conditions in Gaza in order to set a special timetable concerning the reconciliation agreement signed by the two main Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah. The Egyptian General Mohamed Ibrahim said that the current difficulties are linked to the decision of the mechanisms of the work of the Palestinians ministries, but also to the tension between the groups’ leaders. He added that the Egyptian mediation is important for the implementation of the agreement as the groups flexibility.
For the first time the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will visit Oman on Sunday, in order to meet the Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. According to the official statement of the presidency spokesman Bassam Rady the two leaders will discuss about bilateral and regional issues. The meeting’s general aim is to consolidate the cooperation between the two countries in several fields, especially after the recent political development in Lebanon. El-Sisi will meet also a number of top Omani officials in order to boost historical and brotherly relations between Omani and Egyptian people.
During the third day of “The Story of a Nation” event the President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discuss the achievements over the past four years in counterterrorism, development and foreign affairs. He said that EGP 250 billion worth of developments have been implemented in Sinai, adding that on the war against terrorism in North Sinai the state has not destroyed any houses. For several years the Egyptian army has been fighting against Islamist terrorism and hundreds of soldiers have been killed by the terrorist attacks. The state is providing aid to 13 000 citizens injured by the attacks. The president spoke about the El-Arish Airport, saying that the state should return to Sinai and that a safe zone will be create around the airport. Speaking about foreign relations El-Sisi said that Egypt has suffered isolation and it is important to restore his role in Africa and Europe. On the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, after the tensions with Ethiopia, the president said that the Egyptian share of water will not be touched. He concluded stressing the importance of having stable institutions in the country.