Mona El-Nahhas , Tuesday 21 Jun 2022


Enhancing cooperation

A FREE trade agreement between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union has been negotiated after four rounds, Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea stated on Saturday, adding that Egypt will host a fifth round of talks.

According to Gamea, the agreement aims to develop trade exchange rates, enhance joint industrial cooperation and increase joint investments between the two sides. This came during a meeting between Gamea and the minister in charge of trade in the Eurasian Economic Commission Andrey Slepnev at the conclusion of Gamea’s participation in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. “Egypt welcomes receiving more investments from Eurasian Economic Union countries and shows its desire to facilitate procedures for Eurasian investors,” Gamea said. She further called on companies and businessmen from both sides to establish partnerships and joint investment projects.

Slepnev affirmed the Eurasian Union’s keenness to conclude a free trade agreement with Egypt, especially since there was “big consensus” in visions between the two sides on many topics of negotiations.


Travel restrictions lifted

ALL CORONAVIRUS restrictions for travellers entering Egypt, whether Egyptians or foreigners, have been lifted.

However, during a meeting held last Thursday between Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli and the Supreme Committee for the Management of Pandemics, a statement issued by the cabinet following the meeting did not clarify when the decision will go into effect.

Egypt joined 38 countries around the world that lifted travel restrictions last month. Passengers arriving in Egypt were required to either provide a negative PCR test performed 72 hours before departure, or an accredited Covid-19 vaccination certificate showing the vaccination date 14 days before departure, or conduct at ports of entry any coronavirus tests approved by the Egyptian Health Ministry.

Last week’s decision was made with Egypt witnessing a sharp drop in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths. The average daily coronavirus death toll and infections in Egypt have dropped to single digits in recent months. In April, Egypt cancelled exceptional Covid-focused disinfection of planes after each flight, returning to normal sanitisation procedures.  


Murderer detained

A SUSPECT accused of killing a female university student was on Tuesday detained by the prosecutor-general for four days pending investigation. Mohamed Adel was detained after confessing to the killing of Mansoura University student Nayera Ashraf.

The suspect, a fellow student at the university, had the victim’s throat slit with a knife after she turned down his marriage proposal. Police arrested Adel with the knife in his possession, according to a statement by the prosecution which started its investigation on Monday, the day of the attack. The prosecution examined the victim’s body and found injuries on her neck, chest and other areas. It also examined recordings extracted from surveillance cameras at the site of the incident and heard the testimonies of two security personnel at the university, who confirmed that the suspect committed the crime.

Ashraf’s parents and sister, summoned by the prosecution, stated that the suspect had previously threatened Ashraf with murder. The suspect, a third year arts student, stabbed the victim in front of the faculty gate while on her way to the bus stop returning home after finishing her exams. A video of the incident has been widely circulated on social media, showing what appears to be a man cutting a woman’s throat on a busy street in front of Mansoura University campus before he was subdued by bystanders who handed him to the police. The prosecution warned against circulating footage of the crime or speculating on the assailant’s motive, saying it could directly affect the integrity of the investigation and cause harm to the victim’s family. The killing sparked a public uproar with the hashtag #justicefornayeraashraf trending on social media networks.

A version of this article appears in print in the 23 June, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

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