Egypt Warns Hamas
Relations between Egypt and Hamas, the party that governs the Gaza strip, have worsened since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. The Egyptian army says Hamas-affiliated groups are working with Islamist insurgents in Egypt’s North Sinai, whom the government has labeled terrorists. Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy sent a strong warning to Hamas on Tuesday, saying “if we feel that there are parties in Hamas…trying to violate Egyptian national security, our response will be severe.”
Brotherhood Newspaper Shut Down
Days after the government ruled all Muslim Brotherhood activity illegal in Egypt, authorities shut down the group’s official newspaper and raided their offices. The newspaper’s editors condemned the move in a message posted on their Facebook page. Egyptian authorities say their actions were mandated by the recent court ruling which charged the paper with “inciting violence and terrorism.” The newspaper has published writing decrying the events of July 3 as a military coup.
Obama Pledges New Diplomatic Efforts with Iran
On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama embraced diplomatic overtures from Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani. In his speech before the UN General Assembly, President Obama stated his intention to build a “new relationship” with Iran, “based on mutual interests and mutual respect.” He denounced the idea of “regime change” and declared US–Iranian relations his top diplomatice priority for the remainder of his term. Nonetheless, Rouhani choose not to meet with Obama, leading some analysts to question the possibility of diplomatic reconciliation.
Europe’s Largest Tour Company Resumes Red Sea Tourism
In the wake of the German Foreign Minister’s decision to relax Germany’s travel advisory to Egypt, TUI Germany is resuming its travel packages. The company hopes that tourists will return in significant numbers to enjoy Egypt’s mild winter weather. The tour company will offer German tourists the option to vacation in Red Sea resort areas, but does not currently plan to offer tours in Cairo, on the Nile or in Luxor. Tourism, which accounts for about 11 percent of the gross domestic product in Egypt, has fallen drastically following the political unrest in Egypt over the summer.
Start Your Engines
Since the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins in mid-August and the ensuing govenrment-imposed State of Emergency, no trains have run in Egypt. Earlier this week, however, the interior minister ordered that train services will “partially” begin operating again on Saturday. Trains will run from Banha to the Nile Delta and Upper Egypt. Tickets must be purchased on the train. The interior minister did not mention the resumption of train services to and from Cairo.