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Monday, 15 April 2019

Diplomacy and foreign trade on 15 April 2019

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met yesterday with Libyan military commander Gen. Khalifa Haftar to discuss the current situation in Libya and Egypt’s support for a united Libya, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Haftar commands the Libyan National Army (LNA), which controls the east of the country and recently launched an offensive on Tripoli. The march on Libya’s capital represented a sudden and major escalation of force just 10 days before the UN had planned to lead a national conference in the town of Ghadames, Reuters says.

A busy Sunday on the foreign policy front: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed combatting illegal immigration in a press conference with his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz, who was in Cairo yesterday (watch, runtime: 15:23). Czaputowicz said that Egypt and Poland will sign a number of agreements next month. Shoukry also talked regional affairs in a phone call with South African counterpart Lindiwe Sisulu, and separately met with Palestine’s Fatah Central Committee member Nasser Al Kodwa and Congolese (Brazzaville) counterpart Jean-Claude Gakosso. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi meanwhile discussed combating terrorism and illegal immigration through the Mediterreanean with Portugese Defense Minister Jose Azeredo Lopes in Cairo yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

Egypt’s current economic conditions are encouraging British businesses to invest in the country, Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Secretary at Britain's Department for International Development (DFID), said, according to a statement from the Investment Ministry. Roycroft met with Investment Minister Sahar Nasr in Washington on the sidelines of the World Bank’s spring meetings.

The Trade Ministry has decided to impose import tariffs on steel rebar and iron pellets for a period of 180 days, pending an investigation on whether these products are being dumped in Egypt, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The decision will see a 25% and 15% import levy imposed on steel rebar and iron pellets, respectively.

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