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Thursday, 17 August 2017

On the horizon

A World Bank delegation is set to visit Egypt this coming Sunday through Thursday to discuss signing the third and final USD 1 bn tranche of its USD 3 bn loan, according to a statement from the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry. Another WB delegation will visit next month to follow up on the USD 500 mn Upper Egypt Development program. Minister Sahar Nasr discussed investment policy and supporting the private sector with World Bank Country Director Asad Alam at a meeting yesterday.

The resumption of flights to Egypt, Dabaa to top Shoukry-Lavrov meeting next week: Airport security is expected to top the agenda when Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry meets with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Russia next Sunday and Monday, the Egyptian embassy in Moscow said, according to Vestnik Kavkaza. Last we heard Russia has again deemed our airport security unsatisfactory, saying last month that “the Egyptian side has not yet resolved all issues related to aviation security.” Shoukry will also meet with Russia’s Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov, where we expect discussions will include Russia’s industrial zone. Alongside Libya and other regional issues, look for the Daba’a nuclear power plant to also be on the agenda. Our take is there will be no resumption of direct flights to Egypt until the contracts are signed — or we make it conclusively clear they never will be, in which case Moscow can use the issue as leverage on another issue of strategic importance. Take a moment to read Rosatom’s latest lobbying piece on the case for Dabaa here (pdf), if you’re so inclined. The piece is being run by content aggregators including Trade Arabia after being sent out by PR firms this week.

The National Elections Commission should be in final form before the end of August, according to Youm7. The list of nominees for the commission was delivered to the presidency on Sunday; the expectation is that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will nominate council members when he’s back from his present African tour.

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