Thousands In Istanbul Pray For Former Egyptian President Morsi

A woman holds a picture of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as people prays during a symbolic funeral on June 18,2019 in front of the embassy in Ankara./ AFP

 

Thousands joined in prayer in Istanbul on Tuesday for former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi who died the previous day after collapsing during a trial hearing in a Cairo court.

The prayers, called by Turkey’s religious authority Diyanet, took place in the city’s Fatih mosque. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a close ally of Morsi, is due to attend afternoon prayers there.

READ ALSO: Ex-Egyptian President Morsi Buried In Cairo

Ankara’s relations with Cairo deteriorated after the Egyptian military, then led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Morsi in 2013. Sisi then became president.

Erdogan on Monday called Morsi a “martyr” and blamed Egypt’s “tyrants” for his death.

Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president in 2012 after the Arab Spring uprisings, was overthrown after a turbulent year in power.

He was buried on Tuesday, as rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called for an independent probe into the causes of his death.

I’m On The Road To Recovery, Salah Tells Egypt’s President

This handout picture released on June 9, 2018, by the Egyptian Presidency press service, shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) shaking hands with Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah (L) as he meets with Egypt’s national football national team prior to its departure for the World Cup 2018 at the presidential palace in the capital Cairo. PHOTO: Handout / Egyptian Presidency / AFP

 

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah has told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi he is well on the road to recovery following a shoulder injury in the Champions League final.

“The president was reassured on the health condition of the player ‘Mohamed Salah’, who affirmed that his condition is improving notably and that he is on his way to recovery, god willing,” presidency spokesman Bassam Radi said on Saturday.

Salah, who hit a stunning 44 goals for Liverpool last season in all competitions, was forced out of the May 26 Champions League final in tears clutching his left shoulder after being wrestled to the ground by Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.

Salah has undergone treatment in Valencia, Spain, in the hope of playing a role in Egypt’s first appearance in the World Cup since 1990.

He was included in the Egyptian squad announced on Monday.

The Pharaohs will carry out their final training session in Egypt on Saturday night in Cairo before they travel to Russia on Sunday.

On May 30, the federation had said Salah would be out for “not more” than three weeks, meaning he could miss Egypt’s opening World Cup Group A fixture against Uruguay on June 15.

Egypt will then face Russia on June 19 and Saudi Arabia on June 25.

AFP

Egyptian President Pardons 712 Prisoners

 

 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has pardoned 712 prisoners, the state news agency MENA said on Wednesday, and security sources said many of those freed were youth jailed for anti-government protests.

A full list of those pardoned was not immediately available.

Since coming to power in 2014, Sisi has presided over a sweeping crackdown on Islamist opponents and liberal activists that rights groups say is the worst period of political repression in Egyptian history.

He has issued pardons several times a year, including on major national holidays, often releasing students and young protesters.

Egypt in 2013 passed a law requiring interior ministry permission for any public gathering of more than 10 people, effectively ending the mass protests that helped unseat two presidents in the span of three years beginning in 2011.

Sisi is a former military chief who toppled elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Critics say public dissent continues to be suppressed as a matter of policy under Sisi.

Sisi denies that there are political prisoners in Egypt.

He was sworn in for a second term as Egyptian president on Saturday amid a crackdown on opponents after a landslide victory in a March election from which all serious opponents had withdrawn.

Egypt Opens Gaza Border For Month Of Ramadan

A man holds a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel, east of Gaza City on May 14, 2018. PHOTO: THOMAS COEX / AFP

 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has made a rare decision to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for a month, allowing Palestinians to cross during the holy period of Ramadan.

The decision to keep the crossing open was taken “to alleviate the suffering” of residents in the Palestinian enclave, Sisi said on Facebook late Thursday.

The Rafah crossing is Gaza’s only gateway to the outside world not controlled by Israel, but Egypt has largely sealed it in recent years, citing security threats.

The last extended opening lasted three weeks in 2013, while usually Palestinians are able to cross for a few dozen days a year.

Previous openings of Rafah have been cut short by violence in the Sinai peninsula or with authorities giving other reasons.

Sisi’s announcement comes after some 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on Gaza’s frontier earlier this week, with the victims described by Egypt’s foreign ministry as “martyrs”.

A total of 114 Gazans have been killed in border protests and clashes since March 30, in the run-up to the controversial opening Monday of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

Egypt has relations with both Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas, giving Cairo an instrumental role in easing tensions between the two sides and alleviating the pressure on the territory’s two million residents.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya paid a brief visit on Sunday to Egypt, where he met with the director of the country’s intelligence services Abbas Kamel.

For more than a decade Israel has imposed a crippling blockage on Gaza which it says is necessary to isolate Hamas, with which it has fought three wars since 2008.

But critics argue it amounts to collective punishment of the enclave’s residents, with 47 percent suffering from food insecurity according to United Nations figures.

An emergency summit of the world’s main pan-Islamic body, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, will be held in Istanbul on Friday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed the extraordinary meeting should send a “strong message to the world” over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

At an Israeli checkpoint early Friday, Palestinians were crossing from the West Bank town of Bethlehem to the first weekly prayers of Ramadan at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Palestinians were seen being searched with metal detectors and having their bags checked by Israeli authorities, while at least two men in wheelchairs were pushed through the checkpoint by border agents.

AFP

Egypt’s President Wins Second Term Election With 96.9% Of Votes

Egyptians To Vote Monday, Sisi Anticipates Re-election
(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 11, 2017 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks on during a press conference with his Russian counterpart (unseen) following their talks at the presidential palace in the capital Cairo. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has won a second term with 96.9 percent of valid votes, state media reported on Friday, raising a previous tally from the preliminary count.

The flagship state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram also raised its estimate of turnout in the March 26-28 election to 42.08 percent, saying 25 million of Egypt’s 60 million registered voters had cast ballots.

On Tuesday, the paper had reported that Sisi was reelected with 92 percent of the vote on a turnout of just over 40 percent.

It gave no explanation for the upward revisions.

Sisi, who as army chief ousted Egypt’s first freely elected president — Islamist Mohamed Morsi — after mass street protests in 2013, won his first term in 2014 with 96.9 percent of the vote.

The only other candidate on the ballot paper this year, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, won 3.1 percent of the vote, Al-Ahram said.

Moussa, a little-known politician who is himself a supporter of the president, registered immediately before the close date for applications, saving the election from being a one-horse race.

The National Election Authority is scheduled to announce the full official result on Monday.

Moussa conceded defeat on Wednesday evening, saying he had hoped for 10 percent of the vote but knew all along that he was up against the “immense popularity” of the president.

More heavyweight would-be challengers were all sidelined, detained or pulled out.

Opposition groups had called for a boycott of this week’s vote which they labelled a charade.

Even at 42 percent, turnout was down on the 47 percent in the 2014 election despite appeals from Prime Minister Sherif Ismail for voters to fulfil their patriotic duty.

AFP

Egyptian’s President, Sisi Wins Election With Landslide Victory

Egyptians To Vote Monday, Sisi Anticipates Re-election
FILE PHOTO Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks on during a press conference with his Russian counterpart (unseen) following their talks at the presidential palace in the capital Cairo. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected for a second term with about 92 percent of the vote, preliminary results showed on Thursday, with just over 40 percent of voters casting ballots.

Twenty-five million of the 60 million registered voters, or some 41.5 percent, turned out during the three days of polling that ended Wednesday, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported. Twenty-three million voted for Sisi.

The Akhbar el-Youm newspaper did not report the full turnout but said Sisi won 21.4 million votes, and his rival Moussa Mostafa Moussa 721,000 votes, without mentioning the number of spoiled ballots.

According to Al-Ahram, in addition to 23 million who cast valid votes, two million spoiled their ballot papers.

Sisi’s sole challenger was the little-known Moussa, himself a supporter of the president, who registered immediately before the close date for applications, saving the election from being a one-horse race.

Moussa conceded his loss on Wednesday night, telling a television station he had hoped for 10 percent of the vote.

“But I know the immense popularity of President Sisi,” he said.

Other, more heavy-weight would-be challengers were all sidelined, detained or pulled out.

Sisi, who as army chief ousted Egypt’s first freely elected president — Islamist Mohamed Morsi — after mass street protests in 2013, won his first term in 2014 with 96.9 percent of the vote.

Turnout down on 2014 

The turnout of 47 percent in that year’s election was sharply higher than this year’s 40 percent despite appeals from Prime Minister Sherif Ismail for voters to fulfil their patriotic duty.

Boycotters who cannot show good reason for not going to the polls could a face a fine of up to 500 Egyptian pounds (22 euros), the electoral commission has warned.

At a news conference, election commission official, Mahmud al-Sherif, said there had been no violations of Egypt’s election law.

Opposition groups had called for a boycott of this week’s vote which they labelled a facade.

There were no presidential debates and Sisi himself did not appear at any official campaign events, although he spoke at a number of ceremonies.

In an interview days ahead of the vote, Sisi said he had wished there were more candidates, denying any role in sidelining them.

At a speech before the vote he also called for a high turnout.

“I need you because the journey is not over,” Sisi told a mostly female audience. “I need every lady and mother and sister, please, I need the entire world to see us in the street” voting.

Morsi’s removal had ushered in a deadly crackdown that killed and jailed hundreds of Islamists.

The initial crackdown on Morsi’s supporters expanded to include liberal and leftist secular activists

A jihadist insurgency since has killed hundreds of policemen and civilians.

Sisi gave the armed forces and police a three-month deadline in November to wipe out the Islamic State group in its Sinai Peninsula stronghold.

The deadline has since been extended, and on February 9 the armed forces launched their most comprehensive campaign yet to end the five-year-old jihadist insurgency.

But attacks by the jihadists have continued.

On Saturday, two policemen were killed in a car bomb targeting the provincial head of security for the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. The security chief was unharmed.

Egyptian cities, especially Cairo, have been flooded with banners showing Sisi and messages of support from business owners. Posters vowing support for Moussa, 65, are rarely seen.

While still popular, Sisi has embarked on tough economic reforms that have been welcomed by foreign investors but dented his popularity at home.

AFP

Dangote’s Worth Drops By 32%

Dangote's Worth Drops By 32%Nigerian born Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote, has lost 32% of his wealth.

Bloomberg reports that the president of the Dangote Group, lost 4.9 billion dollars in June, representing one-third of his wealth.

The decline resulted from the effect of falling oil prices and the devaluation of the naira, dragging the magnate’s ranking to 112 on world’s billionaires’ list.

With a total value of 10.4 billion dollars, Mr Dangote was the world’s 46th-richest person as at June 2016.

Aliko Dangote was also recently named as the second most powerful person on the African continent.

In the latest edition of its 74 world most powerful people, Forbes Magazine named billionaire Dangote along with 70 others including Russian President, Vladimir Putin; US President-Elect, Donald Trump; and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Mr Dangote is listed as number 71 ahead of Trump, and the 68th most powerful in the world for this year.

The business mogul has constantly featured on the list since 2013 when he was listed as the only black African among 100 most powerful persons on the planet.

As of 2013, Dangote was the only African listed among the most powerful people in the world before the Egyptian president, Abdel El-Sisi recently featured on the list.

Aliko Dangote Among Forbes World’s Most Powerful

Dangote Among Forbes World’s Most PowerfulAfrica’s richest man and Nigerian-born head of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has been named as the second most powerful person on the continent.

In the latest edition of its 74 world most powerful people, Forbes Magazine named billionaire Dangote along with 70 others including Russian President, Vladimir Putin; US President-Elect, Donald Trump; and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Mr Dangote is listed as number 71 ahead of Trump, and the 68th most powerful in the world for this year.

The business mogul has constantly featured on the list since 2013 when he was listed as the only black African among 100 most powerful persons on the planet.

As of 2013, Dangote was the only African listed among the most powerful people in the world before the Egyptian president, Abdel El-Sisi recently featured on the list.

 

Buhari Explains Why He Opposes Naira Devaluation

Muhammadu-Buhari-Presidential-Panel-Roundtable-EgyptNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has given reasons he opposes the devaluation of the Naira, emphasising that his country cannot compete favourably with other producing nations.

President Buhari spoke on Saturday while contributing to a Presidential Panel Roundtable on Investment and Growth Opportunities at the opening session of the ‘Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World’ at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Self-sufficiency In Food

“Nigeria cannot compete with developed countries which produce to compete among themselves and could afford to devalue their local currencies.

“Developed countries are competing among themselves and when they devalue, they compete better and manufacture and export more.

“But we are not competing and exporting, but importing everything including toothpicks. So, why should we devalue our currency?” the President asked.

“We want to be more productive and self-sufficient in food and other basic things such as clothing. For our government, we like to encourage local production and efficiency”.

The President stated that those who had developed taste for foreign luxury goods should continue to pay for them rather than pressuring government to devalue the Naira.

He expressed optimism that Nigeria would get out of its current economic downturn, pointing out that another major problem militating against economic revival was the huge resources deployed towards tackling insurgency and international terrorism.

Present at the talks were Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, presidents of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, also addressed the participants.

Our Priority Is National Food Security – Buhari

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari says the priority of his administration is to ensure food security in Nigeria before export of food products.

The President made the statement on Saturday while contributing to a Presidential Panel Roundtable on Investment and Growth Opportunities at the opening session of the ‘Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World’ at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

With Nigeria being a mono-economy, dependent on oil, and with a teeming unemployed youth population, he stressed that the way out of the current slump in the global oil market was for the administration to focus on agriculture and solid minerals development.

“The land is there and we need machinery inputs, fertilizer and insecticides,” he said.

Productive and Self-sufficient

On his opposition to the devaluation of the Naira, President Buhari noted that Nigeria could not compete with developed countries which produce to compete among themselves and could afford to devalue their local currencies.

“Developed countries are competing among themselves and when they devalue, they compete better and manufacture and export more.

“But we are not competing and exporting, but importing everything including toothpicks. So, why should we devalue our currency?” the President asked.

According to him, “we want to be more productive and self-sufficient in food and other basic things such as clothing. For our government, we like to encourage local production and efficiency”.

The President stated that those who had developed taste for foreign luxury goods should continue to pay for them rather than pressuring government to devalue the Naira.

He expressed optimism that Nigeria would get out of its current economic downturn, pointing out that another major problem militating against economic revival was the huge resources deployed towards tackling insurgency and international terrorism.

President Buhari commended the support being received from the international community in his administration’s fight against terror, as well as cooperation in tracing looted funds stashed away in foreign countries.

Responding to a question on his performance since he assumed office, he said that his administration had been quite focused on three fundamental issues of securing the country, reviving the economy and stamping out corruption.

“The message on corruption has been driven home vividly and Nigerians are very acceptable to the message,” he said.

President Buhari added that those accused of stealing public funds were cooperating by voluntarily providing useful information while investigations and prosecutions were going on.

In his address, the Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, said that Africa needed to concentrate on transforming into knowledge societies using innovation and research.

The Presidents of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia also participated at the Roundtable.

In his message, the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, stressed that “Africa must think big, act big and develop big.”

Before departing Egypt, President Buhari and his Egyptian host, had a bilateral discussion on security, military cooperation, agriculture and solid minerals development.

President Al-sisi Imposes New Anti-Terror Laws In Egypt

al-sisiEgyptian President, Abdul Fattah Al-sisi has approved a set of new counter-terrorism laws aimed at tackling growing Islamic insurgency in the country.

The laws established special courts and offered additional protection from legal consequences for military and police officers who had used force.

They also impose the death penalty for anyone found guilty of setting up or leading a terrorist group.

Egypt has seen an increasing violent insurgency over the past two years by Islamist groups that aims to undermine Al- sisi’s government.

The new laws are said to have been prompted by the assassination of a public prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, in a car bomb.

The Amnesty International had earlier warned that the legislation would vastly expand powers that would usually only be invoked during a state of emergency, and that it would effectively ban the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

“This new law will become yet another tool for the authorities to crush all forms of dissent and steamroll over basic human rights,” said the group’s acting Middle East and North Africa Director, Said Boumedouha.

Egypt: Mubarak To Be Retried Over Killing Of Protesters

MubarakThere seems to be no end in sight to the problems confronting former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

An appeals court in the country has ordered that the former president should stand trial again over the killing of protesters in 2011.

The judge at the Court of Cassation says Mubarak will be retried on November 5.

It will be the third time the case would be heard.

Mr. Mubarak was cleared in a retrial in November 2014 after being jailed for life over the death of 800 people during the revolution.

He was separately convicted of corruption and sentenced to three years in jail earlier this year.

The 87-year-old is currently in the Maadi military hospital in Cairo.