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Monday, 28 September 2020

Diplo + Foreign Trade on 28 September 2020

Leading diplomatic coverage this morning: Egypt will host a Libyan peace conference in the first half of October that will bring together political figures and tribal representatives, El Mogaz reports, citing Hassan Mabrouk, a member of the conference’s organization committee. Mabrouk called for the release of detainees from the former government of Muammar Al Gaddafi, including his son Seif, so that they are able to participate in the inclusive discussions. The report did not specify whether representatives from the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord — which opposes the Egypt-backed eastern commander Khalifa Haftar — will attend the event. Egypt has been one of the countries leading efforts to end the conflict, launching a parallel initiative to the UN-backed talks in June dubbed the ‘Cairo Declaration’ that would see foreign mercenaries put down their weapons and leave the country.

Shoukry talks Libya, Palestine with Pompeo: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed efforts to end the conflict in Libya and developments in Palestine with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a phone call yesterday, the ministry said in a statement, without giving much away.

There’s export news aplenty: The General Organization for Import and Export Control is considering reducing fees for customs certificates, as well as easing the procedures to obtain permits, following a call by a group of exporters last week, the local press reports. The agency is planning to meet again in a week’s time to discuss the proposals, the report adds.

The government will pay out before the end of the year overdue subsidies owed until the end of September in a single lump sum, rather than spacing out the payments over four to five years, a Finance Ministry statement said on Sunday. Exporters last week agreed to take a 15% haircut on their arrears as a condition of receiving the payouts this year. Exporters who choose to receive the full amount will be paid out under the original timeline.

Also worth noting this morning:

  • The World Bank is out with an update on its USD 500 mn Sustainable Rural Sanitation Services project in the Nile Delta launched in 2015, which has helped one of the six local companies implementing the project increase its share of wastewater plants to 55% from 9% by improving maintenance management, according to a press release. In the coming period, the program will focus on implementing contracts to build household sanitation connections.
  • The US Department of Energy is allocating USD 1 mn to the International Atomic Energy Agency to improve radiation therapy used to treat Egyptian cancer patients, the State Department said (pdf) said on Wednesday.

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