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Thursday, November 21, 2013

No Arms Deal Signed with Russia

Apparently, circulating reports of a $2 to $4 billion arms deal between Egypt and Russia are premature. A spokesperson for the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called such stories untrue and insisted that the recent Russian visit was primarily intended to build better diplomatic relations. He also said that last week’s visit displayed the “political will” for cooperation between Egypt and Russia and added, “everything is possible.” Foreign Affairs Minister Nabil Fahmy was quoted as saying that Egypt is merely exploring all diplomatic options and is not seeking to replace the US with Russia.

US Secretary of State Claims Egyptian Revolution was “Stolen” by Muslim Brotherhood

In an address to the State Department, US Secretary of State John Kerry accused the Muslim Brotherhood of appropriating the 2011 Egyptian revolution. He praised the “kids in Tahrir” who he said were motivated by their desire for equality and opportunity. He also stressed the non-ideological, non-religious motivations of the Arab Spring. Analysts have labeled the speech as an attempt to improve faltering relations between the US and Egypt.

Counter Terrorism Law Gains Momentum After Bombing

After the suicide bomb yesterday that killed 12, the Egyptian government says it does not intend to reinstate the recently revoked emergency law. But presidential consultant Mostafa Hegazy expressed his hope that the event will help the interim government pass the proposed counter terrorism law soon. The cabinet will hold a meeting today to discuss the recent bombing, the government employee who was assassinated this week, and the counter terrorism law. The law is currently being revised in the Egyptian cabinet and must be ratified by the president before it can go into effect.

First E-Waste Factory Launched in Egypt

Egypt’s first recycling facility for electronic waste opened this week in Cairo, with an inauguration ceremony that was attended by several state ministers. The center, located in an industrial neighborhood of Cairo, will accept laptops, printers, photocopiers, mobile phones and other types of electronic devices. Some of the inauguration speakers expressed hope that this would be the beginning of a new environmentally-friendly industry.

Proposed US-Afghan Deal Would Extend Troop Presence Until 2024

Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai agreed to a draft security deal today which allows US troops to stay in his country for 10 more years. The agreement apparently occurred in response to a letter from President Obama, stating that US forces will continue to respect “the sanctity and dignity of the Afghan people.” The security agreement must still be approved by a council of elders and Karzai said he would probably not sign it into law until after the next round of elections in the spring.

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