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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Egypt’s economic reform “will matter long after any future political transition”

No topic in particular kept the international press busy on Egypt this morning. Here are some of the stuff that caught our eye:

Egypt’s economic reform “will matter long after any future political transition:” Whether or not people support President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, there’s no doubt that he “has expended great political capital to undertake reforms, which, frankly, are more than a half-century overdue,” Michael Rubin writes in Commentary Magazine. Diplomats and politicians in Washington can debate all they want the questions of security and human rights surrounding Sisi and the state of Egypt, but it’s his success or failure at navigating the country through this period of economic reform that “will matter long after any future political transition in Egypt.” The journey to reform is perilous, Rubin says, and focus should be primarily devoted to a “more holistic Egypt policy as Sisi works to transform the economy,” which simply can’t handle another “full-blown” crisis or populist movement.

“It may have been a long time coming, but it looks like Egypt might make it through the bad times,” Simon Constable writes in a piece for Middle East Eye. Despite the setbacks of the years following the Arab Spring, such as soaring unemployment and high inflation levels, the Egyptian economy has much to look forward to in the months and years to come, as the effects of reforms begin to show. The basket of promising eggs includes better growth forecasts for the country’s GDP, credit rating upgrades on the horizon, and higher capital and foreign currency inflows thanks to renewed investor appetite.

Despite being an ode to Cairo, internationally acclaimed film In The Last Days of the City has been banned from screening in Egypt as part of a “crackdown,” The Guardian’s Ruth Michaelson notes. The film, which Michaelson describes as a “cinematic love letter” to Cairo set within the context of the January 2011 uprising, was not granted the necessary permits to be promoted or screened. “Journalists or filmmakers wishing to shoot in the city centre are now forced into a Kafka-esque battle for permits from several different authorities,” Michaelson says.

Other stories on Egypt in the international press worth a skim:

  • Officials at Ireland’s Department for Foreign Affairs are advising against taking Egypt to the International Court of Justice over Ibrahim Halawa’s case, and recommended the continued reliance on diplomatic channels, according to Irish Legal News.
  • Turkey’s Sultan’s mouthpiece is claiming that former Al Jazeera cameraman Mohamed Fawzi — who is reportedly suing the Doha-based networkfor “endangering the lives of journalists working in Egypt” — has been working for Egypt’s intelligence services.
  • MTV will begin airing drama series in Egypt and India centered around issues such as FGM and child marriage in 2018 with the aim of stimulating debate on these taboo topics, Reuters reports.

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