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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

More tensions with Sudan in the offing, as its refusal to accept GERD impact study has more to do with politics

More tensions with Sudan in the offing, as its refusal to accept GERD impactstudy has more to do with politics: It would appear that Sudan’s refusal to ratify the impact studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could be the result of it conflating the issue with other unrelated political problems with Egypt. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour went on RT Arabic to say that Egypt has for the past years been eating into Sudan’s share of the Nile in violation of a 1959 treaty. “It’s time for Egypt to pay what it owes Sudan, and time for Sudan to get its full share of the water,” he said. Following his statements on the Nile, Ghandour went on to state that Sudan will not stop pressing its claim of the disputed region of Halayeb. Sudan had proposed that Egypt sign a similar sovereignty handover treaty with Egypt as it did with Saudi Arabia over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir or accept international arbitration, something which the Egyptians have refused, Ghandour added.

A lame excuse? Sudan’s Irrigation and Electricity Minister Mutaz Musa had said on Sunday that his country and Ethiopia’s refusal to accept the independent impact report came down to them disputing the “baseline data” of the report (whatever that means), Sudan Tribune reports.

We’re seeing a much less combative tone from Qatar, whose Foreign MinisterMohamed Al Thani who said that Egypt’s safety and security is in Qatar’s interest. He then went on to say that his country wasn’t to blame for the deteriorating relations between them, Sputnik Arabic reports. His talk was probably meant as a little PR as he made those statements at the Nixon Center in DC. This came as Qatar called for Egypt and its GCC allies boycotting it to allow their citizens to attend the 2022 World Cup, Reuters reports. “We separate politics from sports,” Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, told reporters in Doha.

Israel and Egypt are now “blaming each other for bureaucratic snafus” preventing the release of Ahmad Suwarka to Egypt, Haaretz reports. Suwaraka was arrested in 2009 and charged with colluding with Hamas on planning to attack Israeli targets but he completed his sentence in September 2016. “Suwarka remains in Nafha Prison because of the Infiltration Law, which enables Israel to keep him behind bars until Egypt can provide a laissez-passer.”

Trade and flight agreements discussed at the Egyptian Romanian Business Forum: Pico Group is looking into expansion prospects in Romania, Romania Insider reports. Our friend Tawfik Diab, who led Pico’s oil arm into Romania, met with Romania’s Business Environment Minister Ilan Laufer during the latter’s visit to Egypt for the Egyptian Romanian Business and Investment Forum yesterday. Details of the proposed expansion were not announced. Also coming from the Forum, Romania and Egypt will be holding talks in February on resuming direct flights between both countries, Head of The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bucharest Sorin Dumitru said. Romanian embassy officials expressed their desire for Cairo-Bucharest flights back in August if demand for them is high enough. Four MoUs are expected to be signed during the forum on cooperation for air travel, research and other sectors, Youm7 reports.

The forum was preceded by a meeting between Prime Minister Sherif Ismail Laufer yesterday to discuss cooperation on SME development, according to the a cabinet statement.

Financial Regulatory Authority boss Mohamed Omran was named African capital markets’ ‘Man of the Year’ yesterday at the African exchanges conference taking place in Cairo.

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