Diplomacy and foreign trade on 19 April 2017
Israel has decided to keep its Sinai border with Egypt closed indefinitely and will “reexamine the situation” in the coming days, Israel’s National Security Council announced yesterday, Haaretz reports. Israel had shuttered its border last week due to its assessment that “increased ISIS-affiliated activity in the area” posed a threat to Israelis.
Egypt leading pushback on UN human rights reviews: Egypt and five other UN Security Council member states opposed a US-led push to make reviews of human rights issues a permanent feature of all council meetings, saying discussions of the topic is the mandate of the Human Rights Council, Reuters reports. Egypt’s delegation “voiced concern that some countries used human rights as a ‘back door’ to undermine state sovereignty, citing Iraq and Libya as examples.”
A Saudi investment company is considering a EGP 4 bn industrial project in Egypt, Trade and Industry Ministry Tarek Kabil said, according to Al Mal. Kabil says Egypt is now offering multiple investment opportunities in the automotive industry, recycling, pharmaceuticals, sugar production, and spinning and weaving.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with the head of the National Iraqi Alliance parliamentary bloc Ammar Al Hakim in Cairo yesterday to discuss national reconciliation efforts between the different factions in Iraq as well as the Iraqi army’s fight against Daesh. Al Hakim also met with House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal to talk bilateral cooperation, Al Shorouk reports.
Investment Minister Sahar Nasr met with Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) Director-General Sidi Ould Tah in Morocco yesterday to discuss Egypt’s strategy to boost its exports to Africa, according to a ministry statement. BADEA has provided Egypt with credit lines worth USD 250 mn to finance its exports to the continent. Nasr also met with the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (Dhaman) General Director Fahd Al Rashed to discuss efforts to increase Egypt’s exports to Arab and non-Arab countries.
Oil Minister Tarek El Molla signed an MoU with his Cameroonian counterpart on industry and mining, Al Ahram reports.