Friday,26 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1429, (7 - 13 February 2019)
Friday,26 April, 2019
Issue 1429, (7 - 13 February 2019)

Ahram Weekly


Compiled by Mona El-Nahhas

Reaching out to Germany

PRESIDENT Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi received in Cairo on Sunday German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier to discuss ways of enhancing bilateral economic relations. Presidency Spokesman Bassam Radi said Al-Sisi welcomed Altmaier who was accompanied by a large delegation of German parliamentarians and executives from major German companies.

Al-Sisi praised the fifth session of the Egyptian-German Economic Committee to be held this week in Egypt, aiming to enhance cooperation in industry, commerce, investment, energy, transportation, infrastructure, tourism and higher education.

He invited German companies to increase investments and to benefit from Egypt’s improving infrastructure. Al-Sisi was quoted as saying that Egypt had adopted policies to provide an attractive and competitive business environment and enacted an integrated package of legislation to remove obstacles facing the private sector. 

In November last year, Egypt and Germany signed an economic cooperation protocol worth 129 million euros during a visit by Investment Minister Sahar Nasr to Berlin. Spanning four years, the protocol includes the implementation of projects in energy, water and economic development.

Unwelcome visitor

THE RECENT visit by the Israeli ambassador to the Cairo International Book Fair has been slammed by intellectuals, the Writers Union and trade unions which refuse normalisation with the Israeli entity, Haitham Al-Hag, chairman of the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO) said. Al-Hag said none of the book fair’s organisers had been informed of the visit, pointing out that the ambassador was not received by organisers or GEBO officials. 

The book fair’s golden jubilee was celebrated during its opening on 23 January. Its new venue in New Cairo, has been criticised by fair-goers who view the remote location as not easily accessible. Still, by Sunday, visitors had reached 2.5 million, according to Al-Hag. The fair is open until 9 February.

Fishermen released

EGYPT’s Foreign Ministry has secured the release of five Egyptian fishermen who had been detained by Iran since December last year on charges of illegally entering Iranian territorial waters aboard a Saudi fishing boat. “As part of the Foreign Ministry’s keenness on the safety and welfare of Egyptian citizens abroad, the ministry’s efforts were successful in releasing five Egyptian sailors detained by Iranian authorities after all legal procedures were finalised,” a statement issued on Sunday said.

The Foreign Ministry said the fishermen were in good condition, and that the ministry was careful to ensure their safety during their detention. 

The fishermen were arrested late last year after their vessel, licensed in Saudi Arabia, drifted near Fares Island. Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs and Egyptian Expatriates Yasser Hashem said last month that the fishermen were referred to an Iranian court. 

Teachers in Japan

A DELEGATION from Egyptian-Japanese schools arrived in Japan this week on a four-week visit to study school management, school subjects and the “tokkatsu” school activities at the University of Fukuito. The delegation included 21 headmasters and 21 teachers. More delegations are to follow.

Egyptian-Japanese schools offer a different educational system, aiming to develop students’ character and teach them the principles of discipline, commitment, respect for time and to help them think out of the box, according to the Ministry of Education. The ministry said 680 headmasters and teachers are due to receive training within the coming three years.

Minister of Education Tarek Shawki announced in September last year that the government had opened 34 Japanese schools in 19 governorates, in addition to 45 new schools in July, with around 30,000 students enrolled. The ministry signed contracts with 700 teachers to work at the schools in a selection process that took three months.

Referred to the mufti

AN EGYPTIAN military court on Monday passed preliminary death sentences against eight suspects on charges of attempting to assassinate President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and former Saudi crown prince Mohamed bin Nayef in 2014.

The court referred the sentences to the grand mufti of the republic for his non-binding opinion, as stipulated by law. The court set 6 March for rulings.

In November 2016, the state security prosecution referred 292 members of the Islamic State terrorist group to a military court on charges of plotting to assassinate Al-Sisi while performing the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and of carrying out a number of terrorist attacks in North and South Sinai.

The defendants were accused of assassinating three judges in North Sinai in May 2016, as well as attacking the residence of judges supervising parliamentary elections in a North Sinai hotel, killing two judges, two policemen and a civilian. The defendants were also accused of attacking the headquarters of Army Battalion 101 in Arish in January 2015, killing 30 soldiers and officers.

Air traffic re-routed

AIR traffic control at Borg Al-Arab Airport temporarily closed on Monday due to visibility issues caused by fog to the west of Alexandria, security sources at the airport said. Two flights from the Saudi cities of Medina and Jeddah and which were set to land at Borg Al-Arab were forced to change routes and redirected to Cairo International Airport.

Meteorologists on Sunday reported that fog would affect visibility in the morning and airplane traffic as a result.

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