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Monday, 22 May 2017

Ethiopia rejected Egypt’s pre-conditions to rejoin NBI, sources say

Ethiopia has rejected Egypt’s “pre-conditions” for rejoining the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), the country’s Water, Irrigation, and Electricity Ministry said. The planned NBI meeting to discuss Egypt joining the initiative, suggested by the President of Uganda, “was postponed at least for one more month upon the request of the Ethiopian government because of the so-called precondition points which were forwarded by Egypt,” The Reporter notes. The details of those “pre-conditions” were not made clear, but sources say they were related to water security and the dispute resolution mechanism in the cooperation framework. Egypt had denied it had ever asked to sign the cooperation pact, but said it was trying to find a way to cooperate with NBI countries outside of the Entebbe Agreement and has been in talks to reactivate its NBI membership.

Egypt and Sudan reached an agreement on Saturday to facilitate the movement of trucks across the two countries’ border, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Under the agreement, truck and bus drivers will be granted six-month visas, and each country will be responsible for disclosing the contents of all shipments. Earlier this month, Sudan refused to grant entry to 500 Egyptian trucks until the drivers received their entry visas and also imposed a daily cap on visas issued for truck drivers. Last month, Sudan also issued an entry visa requirement for all Egyptian males aged 18-50.

Foreign Ministry Sameh Shoukry is traveling to Greece today to address a security conference, Ahram Online reports. Officials from Southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Gulf will be attending.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with Iraqi President Fuad Masum on the sidelines of the Arab-Islamic-American summit in Riyadh for talks on bilateral ties, Ahram Online reports. The meeting comes a week after Egypt received its first shipment of Iraqi crude oil.

Lining up business in Libya: Egyptian companies will have a major role in Libya’s redevelopment, Libya’s Oil Minister told Ahram Gate. He says Egyptian companies are expected to have an advantage over other players in the reconstruction projects in Libya given their expertise, more competitive prices, and the availability of qualified labor.

Exports from Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) rose 5% year-on-year to USD 191 mn in 1Q17, Daily News Egypt reports, up from USD 182.1 mn in 1Q16, according to Trade and Industry Ministry statistics (see slide 16). 98% of QIZ exports are ready-made garments, Ashraf El Rabie, head of the Ministry’s QIZ unit, said. QIZ imports enjoy tariff-free access to the United States provided they meet a minimum required amount of Israeli content.

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla met yesterday with a delegation from the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce to discuss investment opportunities in petrochemical projects in Egypt, Al Shorouk reports.

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