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Posted by On 3:41 AM

Egypt, Cyprus to promote cooperation in fish production

FILE â€FILE â€" A man holding a number of fish - Reuters Egypt, Cyprus to promote cooperation in fish production By: MENA Wed, Nov. 7, 2018 CAIRO - 7 November 2018: Deputy Agriculture Minister for Animal Wealth, Fisheries and Poultry Mona Mehrez conferred with Cypriot Ambassador to Egypt Charis Moritsis on cooperation in developing fish wealth and benefiting from the Cypriot expertise in the field of fisheries.
Mehrez told Moritsis at their meeting on Wednesday that the Egyptian government and leadership are keen on furthering ties with Cyprus in the different domains.
The meeting took up means of cooperation to develop the systems of managing the fisher ies in Egypt to contribute to increasing the fish production in Egypt.
Moritsis, who attended the World Youth Forum in Sharm el Sheikh which wound up last night, said these forums help youth get involved into politics and acquaint them with the Egyptian history thus encourage tourism.

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Posted by On 1:09 AM

Egypt treads carefully as Gaza broker

A long-standing mediator, Egypt is manoeuvring between Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a durable truce to violence that has flared in the Gaza Strip in recent months - but with utmost discretion.

Deadly clashes since protests began along the Gaza border with Israel on March 30 have at times generated fears of a new war between the Jewish state and the strip's Islamist rulers Hamas.

But on November 2, the frontier between the blockaded enclave and Israel had one of its calmest Fridays since the protest movement started.

At least 218 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers over the last seven months or so, according to a tally kept by AFP. One Israeli soldier has been shot dead in the violence.

The ongoing diplomatic efforts focus first and foremost on brokering an agreement that would see Hamas snuff out border protests in exchange for Israel softening its crippling decade-long blockade.

Seeking 'durable calm'

Egypt has been central to these moves, and the UN is also involved.

"We are working to ensure that there will never be any kind of armed conflict in the (Gaza) Strip and West Bank," Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday.

The indirect negotiations have been unfolding in great secrecy, and scant information has filtered out.

Egyptian media, including outlets close to the regime, has referred only to Palestinian sources or reports from Israel in its coverage of the talks.

"Egypt is continuing its efforts to achieve a durable calm," a Hamas source told AFP, asking not to be named.

"There have been several meetings with the Hamas leadership and (other Palestinian) factions for this purpose."

An Egyptian diplomatic source said G aza was high on the state's priority list.

"All Egyptian agencies are mobilised for the issue," he told AFP, asking not to be named.

"The Egyptian authorities don't release information because the negotiations are ongoing," he added.

Hamas-Fatah rift

Egypt's intelligence service - rather than foreign ministry - is managing the Palestinian file.

"There are obviously diplomatic and political factors but to their minds (the Egyptians) the situation is a security one," said Zack Gold, a Middle East analyst at the US-based CNA research centre.

Since Egypt's military toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement in 2013, the north of the Sinai peninsula - which borders Gaza - has been hit by an Islamic State group insurgency.

In February, Egypt's military launched an offensive to neutralise the jihadists in Sinai, but Cairo has for years con sidered the entire area a security priority.

It has therefore been at the forefront of Gaza diplomacy since 2014, when the latest of three wars between Hamas and Israel took place in the Palestinian enclave.

Egyptian mediation yielded a ceasefire between Hamas and the Jewish state four years ago, but the fragility of that status quo has been tested regularly since then.

Despite Egypt's long-standing mistrust of Hamas - based on the Palestinian group's links to the Muslim Brotherhood - Cairo has regularly sent delegations to the Gaza Strip.

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But beyond a ceasefire with Israel, reconciliation between Hamas and rival Palestinian faction Fatah is also essential to the success of Egypt's intervention, according to the Egyptian diplomatic source.

The Fatah-run Palestinian Authority headed by president Mahmud Abbas has semi-autonomy in parts of the occupied West Bank, but lost control of Gaza to Hamas in a near-civil war between the two in 2007.

On Saturday, Abbas went to Egypt to discuss "the dangers posed to the Palestinian cause" with Sisi, according to a statement by the Egyptian presidency.

Just as with attempts to bridge the gap between Hamas and Israel, mediation between the two Palestinian factions has not yet yielded convincing results, said Gold.

But Egypt's efforts have prevented the situation from deteriorating, he added.

In October 2017, in a rare show for the media, Egypt's intelligence service celebrated the signing of a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah.

But that deal failed to yield concrete results on the ground.

So "there is not really reason for Egypt to highlight its involvement until ... (it) has produced a successful outcome&quo t;, said Gold.

Source: Google News Egypt | Netizen 24 Egypt

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Posted by On 12:39 AM

Egyptian museum calls for Rosetta Stone to be returned from UK after 200 years

An Egyptian museum has renewed calls for the Rosetta Stone to be returned back to Egypt after more than 200 years in the British Museum.

The ancient slab, which is engraved with three languages and unlocked the secret of Egyptian hieroglyphs, has been a long-running source of tension between Cairo and London.

British soldiers captured the stone in 1801 after defeating Napoleon’s army in Egypt and transferred it to the British Museum, where it has long been the most-visited object.

Dr Tarek Tawfik, the director of the new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), said he was eager to see the Rosetta Stone back in Egypt.

“It would be great to have the Rosetta Stone back in Egypt but this is something that will still need a lot of discussion and co-operation,” Dr Tawfik told the Evening Standard.

He said he was involved in “vivid discussions” a bout possibly returning the Rosetta Stone to his own museum.

Source: Google News Egypt | Netizen 24 Egypt

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Posted by On 4:01 PM

Egypt's leader faults media coverage of Khashoggi slaying

Egypt's president says media coverage played a "negative role" in the case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey last month.

Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi told reporters on Tuesday "we need to stop and wait for the relevant authorities and judicial bodies (in Saudi Arabia) to announce the outcome of the investigations."

Saudi authorities denied any knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts for weeks before acknowledging he was killed inside the consulate by Saudi agents. That acknowledgement came after Turkish media reported that the Washington Post columnist had been killed and dismembered by a Saudi hit squad. His body has yet to be recovered.

Saudi Arabia has given Egypt billions of dollars in aid in recent years.

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Source: Google News Egypt | Netizen 24 Egypt

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Posted by On 11:19 AM

Egypt: Artifacts discovered in Cairo could be 4000 years old

Archaeologists in Egypt have seen a number of important finds in recent years [Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP Photo]
Archaeologists in Egypt have seen a number of important finds in recent years [Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP Photo]

Archaeologists working at a dig in Cairo have found several fragments of stone slabs with inscriptions that could be 4,000 years old, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities said.

Some of the limestones date to the 12th (founded in 1991 BC) and 20th dynasties, of the Middle and New Kingdoms, the ministry said on Tuesday.

German Egyptologist Dietrich Raue, the head of the mission, said one inscription refered to Atum, an important and frequently mentioned god, as being responsible for the flooding of the Nile River in the Late Period between 664 and 332 BC.

Matariya, in eastern Cairo, was once part of the ancient city of Heliopolis, or the city of the sun.

A photo released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities shows part of a stone slab that was discovered at a dig in eastern Cairo [Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP]

Egypt has seen a haul of archaeological finds over the past two years.

A sandstone sphinx dating to the Ptolemic Dynasty was found in the southern city of Aswa in September.

The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt for roughly 300 years - from around 320 to about 30 BC.

In May 2017, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of what is believed to be the 3,700-year-old burial chamber of a pharaoh's daughter in a suburb of Cairo.

Archaeologists also found 12 cemeteries that are believed to be about 3,500 years old.

Another 17 mostly intact mummies were found that month in central Egypt. These mummies were thought to be from Egypt's 600-year Greco-Roman period, which began in 323 BC.

Egypt frequently announces archaeological discoveries, hoping this will spur interest in its ancient treasures and revive tourism, called the "lifeblood" of its economy, which declined following a failed revolution in 2011, the military coup that put President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in power and a series of extremist attacks.

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Source: Google News Egypt | Netizen 24 Egypt

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Posted by On 10:49 AM

Egypt struggles to restore Cairo's historic heart

Workers perched on scaffolding delicately repair Cairo's 13th-century al-Zahir Baybars mosque, a vital restoration project in the Egyptian capital's neglected Islamic quarter.

Halted by the popular protests that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and the ensuing political and economic turmoil which enveloped the country, restorative work on the Mamluk-era mosque picked back up last month.

On the other side of the quarter, similar work on the 14th century al-Maridani mosque has just begun.

The capital's Islamic quarter, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1979 often referred to as historic Cairo, boasts some 600 listed monuments.

But the task to patch up decades of dilapidation is immense, and Egyptian authorities are struggling to come up with the cash after unrest and jihadist attacks have driven away tourists and slashed crucial income.

Islamic Cairo is packed with ornate monuments, mosques and mausoleums, and its narrow streets are punctuated with trinket shops, cafes and traditional old homes - an urban fabric layered in centuries of history.

For Luis Monreal, head of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, refurbishing the area is a never-ending project.

"It's like painting an aircraft carrier: when you finish one side, you have to start over again on the other," he said.

Part of the Aga Khan Foundation, his outfit has been working on restoration projects in the area since the early 2000s.

'Rapid deterioration'

In the immediate aftermath of Mubarak's 2011 fall, many of the area's squat traditional buildings were torn down and replaced with structures of six to eight floors.

Meanwhile, rampant theft saw centuries-old objects disappear from mosques.

And even if looting and illegal construction have since decreased, according to authorities, the historic heart of Egypt's teeming capital of 20 million is still choked with pollution, its streets cluttered with rubbish.

Unesco has warned several times in recent years of increasing degradation in historic Cairo, raising the alarm as it has for many other heritage cities across the globe.

In 2017, its World Heritage Committee urged Egyptian authorities "to take all needed measures to halt the rapid deterioration" of sites across the quarter.

In an October visit to monitor new restoration work, Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany highlighted budget issues as one of the central challenges facing the district.

"It's always said that Islamic antiquities are in bad condition. It's a fact," he said, adding that failing sewers and monuments in residential areas had also created issues.

The antiquities ministry is fed by revenues gen erated at Egypt's wealth of historic monuments.

And while tourism has picked up since it dropped in 2011, the 8.2 million people that visited Egypt in 2017 are still far behind the country's 14.7 million visitors in the year before the uprising.

With earnings from the sites down, much of the restoration work has been dependent on foreign funding.

Kazakhstan is putting up $5.5m to finance work on the Baybars mosque.

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Meanwhile, the European Union is contributing $1.3m for the al-Maridani mosque, in tandem with the Aga Khan Foundation which has put forward $151 000.

From his renovated home in historic Cairo, architect Alaa al-Habashi said time was of the essence in the push to preserve the area.

"It cannot wait... if we want to stay on the Wo rld Heritage List there is not a minute to lose," he said.

The only way to effectively combat the decay, he said, was "to get citizens involved".

From his 16th-century home, known as Bayt Yakan, Habashi runs an art collective and organises conferences around the "revitalisation of the historic city".

'A big challenge'

The Aga Khan Foundation has designed a similar project, although on a much bigger scale, around the al-Maridani mosque.

It includes the creation of a touristic route through the neighbourhood and training for residents on accommodating tourists.

"This will generate economic activity, tourism... but the project also has a social dimension," said Ibrahim Laafia, head of cooperation with the EU's delegation to Egypt.

But good work often runs up against bureaucratic hurdles.

All projects have to navigate the labyrinthine overlap of jurisdictions betwee n local authorities in Cairo and the ministries of antiquities, tourism, housing and religious endowments.

In 2015, Cairo authorities created the governorate's first department for the preservation of antiquities.

Its director, Riham Arram, said that while the city is making slow progress, preserving its history is still "a big challenge".

"We have not managed to do everything. It's true that there is still illegal construction... but we will continue," she said, explaining reforms could increase fines for unlawful building.

"Now security has stabilised, the country is stable," she said.


Source: Google News Egypt | Netizen 24 Egypt