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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade on 23 May 2017

Eritrea says its deepening ties with Egypt do not mean that it will be looking to disrupt the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), President Isaias Afwerki said, according to Bloomberg. “The claim by the Ethiopian regime that the relation between Eritrea and Egypt is targeting the millennium dam is unfounded,” Eritrea’s Information Ministry says. The Ethiopian government had claimed that “forces receiving support from Egypt and Eritrea are trying to destabilize the country.”

A US trade delegation will visit in October to explore investment opportunities, US-Egypt Business Council Chairman Omar Mohanna tells Al Borsa. A free trade agreement will be signed between Egypt and the US “in the coming period,” he added. US ambassador to Egypt R Stephen Beecroft had said on Sunday an Office of the United States Trade Representative visit to Egypt will “lay the groundwork for a resumption of talks” on the agreement.

Meanwhile, a delegation of high-ranking Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) officials landed in Cairo on Monday to discuss potential investment opportunities with various officials, Al Ahram says. In addition to meeting Finance Minister Amr El Garhy and Deputy Ahmed Kouchouk, the delegation is also set to meet with officials from the SCZone, CBE, electricity and public enterprises ministries, World Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as executives from EFG Hermes.

…And there’s more: a delegation of Bulgarian and Serbian companies is set to visit Cairo in September, Egyptian Council for Sustainable Development Chairman Motaz Raslan tells Al Borsa. The delegation will explore investment opportunities including in manufacturing, tourism, trade, agriculture, and electrical equipment.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi invited French President Emmanuel Macron to visit Egypt during a phone call yesterday, according to an emailed presidency statement. The two leaders discussed the ongoing investigation into the EgyptAir MS804 plane crash, as well as regional issues such as the situation in Libya.

Irish MP Eoin Ó Broin has urged the Irish government to bring a case against Egypt to the International Court of Justice to release of Ikhwani Egyptian-born Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa. The Sinn Féin representative in the Irish Dail said the government cannot take Egypt at its word that the trial will conclude soon and should drop its diplomatic approach, The Times reports.

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