Egypt’s Population Reaches 104.2 Million, 1/10 Live Abroad

A general view of a street in downtown Cairo

Cairo- Egypt said Saturday its population stands at nearly 104 million in 2017, according to Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), ranking at 13 internationally in terms of population.

The population in Egypt in April 2017 hit 94,798,827 while the number of expatriates reached 9.4 million, totaling together 104.2 million, said Abu-Bakr al-Gendy, head of (CAPMAS) in a conference attended by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

“One Egyptian out of ten live abroad,” he noted. The country’s households’ number stood at 17.3 million in 2006, 12.7 million in 1996 and 9.7 million in 1986.

Census data revealed that youth aged 15 to 24 years constitute 18.2 percent of the total population, while those aged between 24 and 34 accounted for 34.5 percent of the population. Gendy also revealed that 18.4 percent of the population are illiterate, at 10.5 females and 7.8 million males.

He stated that 68 percent of the population are married, 24 percent are single and 6.4 percent are widows.

Sisi said he wanted to shed light on the phenomenon of marriage of minor girls. He called on parents to stop underage marriage, adding that some of these girls are already divorcees and widows. “How can a girl aged 12 become responsible for a husband and a family? I tell society: take care of your children,” he stated.

Kuwait Renews Efforts to Resolve Crisis with Qatar


Jeddah, Kuwait, Cairo – As part of efforts to bolster the Kuwaiti mediation to resolve the Gulf crisis with Qatar, Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah sent personal envoys to Saudi Arabia and Egypt to convey messages to the two countries’ leaders.

Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz received on Monday a written letter addressed to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz from the Kuwaiti Emir.

Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al Sabah and State Minister Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah al-Mubarak Al Sabah delivered the message during a meeting with Prince Mohammed at Al-Salam palace in Jeddah.

The meeting was attended by Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, Khalid Al-Isa, Minister of State, member of the cabinet and Chief of the Royal Court, and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s news agency KUNA reported on Monday that Sheikh Sabah dispatched two ministers to Saudi Arabia and Egypt to deliver letters to the two leaders, without elaborating on their content.

Jubeir has separately met with the two Kuwaiti envoys, with whom he discussed “brotherly relations and cooperation between their countries.”

In Cairo, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with the Kuwaiti ministers in the presence of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

Egyptian presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said the Kuwaiti foreign minister delivered a written letter from Sheikh Sabah to Sisi on Kuwait’s efforts to deal with the Qatari crisis.

Sheikh Sabah affirmed Egypt’s pivotal role in promoting the joint Arab action “as a major pillar of security and stability in the Arab world,” the spokesman said.

Youssef added that Sisi valued the Kuwaiti emir’s efforts to promote Arab solidarity and consensus.

The Egyptian president reiterated his country’s full support for the Kuwaiti mediation, stressing the need for Qatar to respond to the concerns of Egypt and the three Gulf states.

Egyptian President Calls for Confronting Terrorism-Sponsoring States


Cairo – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stated that Egypt is exerting all efforts to provide for refugees in the country, stressing the need to put an end to conflicts that are displacing millions in the region, especially in Libya and Syria.

Sisi, who arrived in the Hungarian capital Budapest on Monday to attend a summit by the Visegrad Group, said during a meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orban that Cairo’s ongoing fight against terrorism guarantees Europe’s security and stability. He stated the importance of confronting terrorism-sponsoring states to stop their support.

The two leaders held a press conference following their meeting during which Orban expressed his country’s respect and appreciation for Egypt’s war on terrorism. He said Europe should help preserve the political and economic stability of Egypt in return for its counter terrorism efforts.

Sisi meanwhile stressed that Egypt does not discriminate based on religion and that maintaining the safety of all citizens is one of the key duties of the state.

The president reiterated the importance of reaching a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which should play a pivotal role in resolving crises in the region.

The Visegrad Group summit is a cultural and political alliance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. It was formed in 2011 with the goal of increasing cooperation between those countries.

Earlier, a court in Egypt sentenced 80 people to life in prison and 34 to 15 years in jail. One minor was sentenced to 10 years and 21 people were acquitted.

The defendants are accused of the “Kerdasa incident” which saw gunmen fire rocket-propelled grenades at a police station on August 14, 2013, and slit a policeman’s throat before burning the building down.

The incident occurred hours after security forces forcibly dispersed a supporters of ousted President Mohemmed Morsi in Cairo and Giza, killing hundreds of protesters and security forces.

Egypt’s highest criminal and civil court, ordered a retrial of the 156 who are in custody. Egypt’s legal system allows the defendants a second and final appeal following Sunday’s verdict.

ISIS Cell Captured in Cairo, Seven Armed Men Killed in Assiut


Cairo- Egypt will extend a national state of emergency for three months after the government approved President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s proposal to do so.

While the Egyptian authorities captured a terrorist cell that adopts the ISIS intellect and arrested its members who possessed explosives inside an apartment in Agouza, the Ministry of Interior announced the death of seven terrorists involved in targeting the Coptic Christians in Assiut.

Following the blasts that targeted two churches in Tanta and Alexandria, killing 45 people and wounding 128, the Egyptian cabinet approved Sisi’s decision to declare the state of emergency in Egypt for three months on April 10.

According to the Egyptian constitution, declaring the state of emergency is often for a period that doesn’t exceed three months and can’t be extended for more than three other months, following the approval of two thirds of the parliament’s members.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior arrested four ISIS members, including cell leader.

Giza Security Directorate national security sector revealed that four individuals who adopt the extremist intellect were captured, possessing explosives, wires, sim cards and some tools used in making belts and explosive charges.

The public prosecution investigations revealed that the suspects formed a terrorist cell and were planning to target vital, public and religious institutions in Giza.

The ministry also announced the death of seven terrorists in desert training camps in the center of the country – in its statement, the ministry said that this is part of its efforts related to tracking down fugitive terrorist members who are involved in the violence that the country witnessed during the past period.

Sisi, Mohammed bin Zayed Discuss Qatar Crisis in Cairo

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan after he arrives with delegation members in Cairo

Cairo- Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi crown prince and deputy commander of the UAE Armed Forces, held talks over bilateral relations, the fight against terrorism and developments on the Qatari crisis.

They both underlined the importance of concerted regional and international efforts to fight terrorism on all levels, especially to stop the flow of funds to terror organizations and the use of political and media covers.

Sisi received Sheikh Mohammed – who arrived in Cairo on Monday – and they highlighted during their discussions the importance of uniting international community efforts to find peaceful resolutions for conflicts in the region and to contribute to achieving stability of Arab nations.

They also underlined importance of intensifying efforts to reinforce joint Arab work for the best of Arab nations – they added that it is necessary to reach political solutions for the current crises in some regional states.

Spokesperson for Sisi’s office Alaa Yousif confirmed that the bilateral meeting was followed by a session of extensive talks between the two countries’ delegations, during which the Egyptian president welcomed Abu Dhabi’s crown prince and praised the distinguished Egyptian-Emirati relations and the level of coordination and continuous consultation between the two countries on various issues of common interest.

Sisi asked Sheikh Mohammed to convey his greetings to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, hailing UAE’s role in reinforcing joint Arab work – Abu Dhabi’s crown prince in his turn also conveyed Sheikh Khalifa greetings and expressed his delight to visit Cairo.

Egypt Parliament Gives Final Approval to Maritime Demarcation Deal with Riyadh

Cairo- Egypt’s parliament on Wednesday backed an agreement that was signed mid-last year to hand over the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.

The House of Representatives approved the agreement during a session chaired by Speaker Ali Abdelaal and after discussing a report prepared by the joint committee of the Committee on Defense and National Security and the Bureau of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Affairs on the subject matter.

“I announce the House’s final approval of the maritime demarcation agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed on April 8, 2016,” Abdelaal said before adjourning the session.

The vote came very swiftly. The House Committee on Defense and National Security unanimously backed the plan earlier on Wednesday and referred it to the House for a final vote. A majority approved it less than four hours later.

The Egyptian government, headed by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, last year announced the maritime demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia.

A government report advising parliament on the terms of the agreement said Egyptians would not need visas to visit the islands if they were transferred to Saudi Arabia.

King Salman: Saudi Arabia Saves No Effort in Supporting Egypt’s Fight against Terrorism


Jeddah – Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, in a phone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, reaffirmed that his kingdom stands in solidarity with and supports all efforts spent by the Egyptian government on reigning in terrorism.

King Salman expressed Saudi Arabia’s preparedness to stand behind and back Egypt until terrorism is removed from its roots and seizes to exist in any form.

King Salman also offered condolence to the president and the Egyptian people, following a terrorist attack, wishing speedy recovery for the injured.

The terror group ISIS had claimed responsibility for an attack on a bus outside of Cairo that killed at least 29 Coptic Christians including 10 children.

The Copts had been travelling to the monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, 85 miles south of Cairo, when their small convoy was halted on a desert road by up to 10 gunmen dressed as soldiers, who then opened fire.

The savagery of the attack on the Copts, with at least two children, aged two and four, among the dead, has shocked Egypt.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques asserted that the Kingdom strongly disapproves and denounces such a heinous terrorist act, which contravenes with Islamic values and humanitarian principles, reiterating the Kingdom’s support for all measurements taken by the Egyptian government against terrorist actions and that the Kingdom stands along the side of Egypt, with all potentials, to eliminate terrorism.

On the other hand, the King congratulated Sisi on the beginning of Ramadan, a holy month in Islam’s lunar calendar.

For his part, the president expressed appreciation of the King for his noble sentiments and the great back-up to Egypt.

Trump’s Visit to Saudi Arabia

The White House announcement that US President Donald Trump will carry out his first foreign visit and that Saudi Arabia will be a major stop is a message on a major shift in his foreign policy priorities.

Since Obama’s term came to an end in 2016, relations with Saudi Arabia have changed. During Obama’s last visit to Riyadh, ties were at their lowest in more than half a century. With Trump in power, we are witnessing changes in all aspects: Syria, Iran, Yemen and bilateral relations.

The televised interview of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense clarified the stances from these issues that are expected to be part of the discussions in Riyadh.

Regarding Syria, Riyadh eased its stance to reach a political solution that satisfies Russia and doesn’t grant the regime and its allies a free hand. In the Astana talks, there were two prime developments – approval to differentiate national factions from terrorists and readiness to establish safe zones, two of Trump’s pledges while campaigning for the presidency.

On the Yemeni war, the deputy crown prince was persuasive when he boldly admitted that the rush in liberating Sana’a and other cities might cause huge losses on both sides of the conflict.

“Time is in our favor and we are not in a rush. We can liberate it in two days with a costly human price or liberate it slowly with fewer losses,” he said.

Iran is a mutual huge concern for Riyadh and the US as well as other governments in the region. The deputy crown prince specified the Saudi government’s vision and its current policy. He said the history of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran leaves no doubt that Tehran has been targeting it even in times of rapprochement.

He added that the kingdom will defend its existence and will not remain in a state of defense for long. Trump has already delivered clear messages against the policies of the Tehran regime in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and the Gulf waters.

Talks on arranging regional relations meant mainly Egypt. In the televised interview, the deputy crown prince hinted to the Muslim Brotherhood’s media of standing behind growing Saudi-Egyptian differences. His statement put an end to speculations about the relations with Cairo, depicting them as a passing summer cloud.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not a problem restricted to one country. This is a political group using religion as a means to reach power and is similar to communism which puts it on collision course with the rest of the regimes in the region.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a unified group from Gulf, Egyptian, Sudanese, Tunisian and other nationalities waging collective wars. The group tried to besiege the government in Egypt through the media and by provoking the Egyptians against it as well as urging the region’s people to cut ties with it.

Though supported by dozens of TV channels, websites and social media, the group failed to achieve its objectives. The Egyptian government is now stronger than when Mohamed Morsi’s government was ousted more than three years ago.

The Muslim Brotherhood project in Egypt has failed. Its losses grew when Trump reversed the foreign policy of Obama who had boycotted the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Saudi-Egyptian Summit in Riyadh to Discuss International, Regional Developments


Cairo – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will hold a summit with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Sunday in Riyadh.

The summit will address means of boosting strategic bilateral relations and consultations on various regional and international issues of common interest, especially combating terrorism.

The Egyptian Presidency issued a statement on Friday saying that the Egyptian President will arrive in Riyadh following a visit by the King during the sidelines of the 28th Arab Summit that was recently held in Jordan.

The statement said that the meeting comes in the framework of the two sides’ keenness on maintaining joint coordination, which contributes in enhancing the distinguished relations between Riyadh and Cairo in various fields, and discussing ways to deal with the challenges facing the Arab nation.

For his part, Egyptian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Nasser Hamdy told Asharq Al-Awsat that Sisi will arrive in Riyadh heading a high-ranking delegation of ministers, noting that the visit will comprise a Saudi-Egyptian summit.

Hamdy explained during the phone call with Asharq Al-Awsat that the visit will last two days to discuss political issues, terrorism and strategic files.

He said that a number of meetings between ministers of two countries will be held on the sidelines of the summit.

Al-Sisi Visits Coptic Pope ‘to Contain Anger’


Cairo – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi pledged on Thursday to hunt down the perpetrators of last week’s twin church bombings as he visited Coptic Pope Tawadros II to offer condolences for the victims.

Before the president’s visit to the papal seat in Cairo, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said it identified one of the suicide bombers who blew himself up at the St. George Church in Tanta.

The Ministry said the Tanta suicide bomber was 40-year-old Mamdouh Amin Baghdadi. Baghdadi’s name was on a list issued by the ministry two days ago and which included the names of 19 people suspected of being involved in the attacks.

On Thursday, Al-Sisi’s visit was seen as an attempt to contain the anger among Copts following the two suicide bombings, which killed 45 people and injured hundreds. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.

This week, the Pope moved his papal seat to the monastery at Wadi Natrun, known as the “political retreat” seat of popes. However, Pope Tawadros II cut off his “retreat” and returned to the seat in Cairo to welcome the Egyptian president.

The Coptic Church also said it would cut back Easter celebrations to a single mass after the bombings.

During their meeting on Thursday, Al-Sisi told Pope Tawadros II: “State agencies were exerting their utmost effort to chase down the perpetrators of those vile acts.”

The Egyptian president also ordered the armed forces to rebuild the two churches and reopen their doors to worshipers.

According to a presidential statement released following the meeting, Al-Sisi vowed that the state is determined in its fight against terrorism, adding that he is confident that Egyptians are aware of who is behind terrorism in the country and their intentions to divide the nation and undermine its development.

For his turn, Pope Tawadros II stressed that terrorism would not succeed in dividing Egyptians, adding that harmony and love are the only means to ensure the safety of Egypt.

Last Sunday’s bomb attacks in Egypt took place at the St. George Church in Tanta, north of Cairo and the Saint Mark’s Cathedral of the Coptic Pope in Alexandria.