$142bn shot uplifts El-Sissi

Updated 24 March 2015

$142bn shot uplifts El-Sissi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi on Sunday boisterously marked the final day of a major economic conference that has injected billions of dollars' worth of aid and investment in his country, while still acknowledging that Egypt's road to recovery will be long and costly.
Egyptian Investment Minister Ashraf Salman said the three-day event was instrumental in mobilizing funds worth $142 billion required for the country’s fast economic recovery.
“The final investment and financial agreements reached during the conference have amounted to $33 billion while MoUs have amounted to $92 billion,” he said. Total aid and grants reached $17 billion including $12.5 billion from four GCC states and $5 billion from European countries.
Crown Prince Muqrin, deputy premier, who led the Kingdom’s delegation to the conference, held talks with El-Sissi before returning to Riyadh.
He conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to El-Sissi and congratulated him on the conference’s success. He also wished greater progress and prosperity to Egypt and its people.
Prince Muqrin and El-Sissi discussed major regional and international developments and prospects of expanding cooperation between the two countries. El-Sissi commended King Salman’s stances in support of Egypt.
A jubilant El-Sissi invited young Egyptian organizers to join him at the podium before he addressed a packed auditorium at the Sinai resort. Several seized the opportunity to take selfies with the Egyptian leader and joined him in what has become his customary slogan of “Long live Egypt!”
But the president swiftly stopped a chant of ‘long live El-Sissi.’
“Long live Egypt and no one else,” said El-Sissi, who in the 35-minute address let out several hearty laughs and joked about how he drove hard bargains with top multinational executives to reduce prices, deliver ahead of schedule and allow longer grace periods for loan repayments.
Earlier, addressing the delegates seated in the massive conference hall, El-Sissi said: "You have no idea how much joy you have given the people of Egypt."
El-Sissi has staked his legitimacy on fixing the economy and restoring security, and the three-day conference has been seeking a sign of international confidence in the country's political stability.
"Some people thought my country has died, but Egypt is a country that God created so it can forever live," El-Sissi said. "Egypt was there 7,000 years ago and taught the entire world."
"This nation is awakening now," he declared.
The president said he would not wait around if Egyptians demanded new change in leadership in the country. “Egyptians are able to make changes … If the Egyptian people wanted to change (their leader) again they will but I will not wait for that moment,” he told the delegates.
El-Sissi said Egypt needed as much as $300 billion in investments to rebuild and give the country's 90 million people a genuine hope to live well.
"Loving Egypt cannot just be words," he warned. "We are behind, and those who are late must either speed walk or run," he said. "Even running will not be enough in our case."
The three-day gathering is meant to show the world Egypt is open for business again, and to draw investors scared off by four years of instability and turmoil that followed the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.
Investors committed $10.7 billion to projects on Saturday, a day after Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries announced a $12.5 billion aid package, continuing the largesse they have shown Egypt since ouster of Muhammad Mursi.
The agreements include a $6.5 billion deal with Egypt's Orascom group and the Abu Dhabi-owned International Petroleum Investment Co. to build a coal-fired power plant over four years, organizers said in a statement. The deals were signed a day earlier.
Of Saturday's agreements, Cairo Financial Holding, formerly led by Investment Minister Ashraf Salman, had the second-largest investment — $1 billion into a tourism fund.
Preliminary engineering and finance agreements amounting to $5.8 billion were also signed, along with a further $5.4 billion in loans and grants from international partners and organizations.


South Sudan says will host peace talks between Sudan and rebels

Updated 13 October 2019

South Sudan says will host peace talks between Sudan and rebels

  • Hamdok will meet rebel leaders from the Sudanese states of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile

JUBA: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok will attend peace talks in the South Sudan capital Monday with rebel leaders from several Sudanese states, said official sources in Juba.
“Tomorrow’s meeting is to mark the launching of Sudan’s peace talks,” Ateny Wek Ateny, spokesman for South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, told AFP Sunday.
Hamdok, who was only appointed in August in a deal between the army and the opposition, will meet rebel leaders from the Sudanese states of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Kiir, who just a few weeks ago signed his own peace deal with rebel leader Riek Machar, offered to mediate between Sudan and the rebels back in November 2018.
This new set of talks follow a first round in September when both sides agreed on a road map for the negotiations.
This week’s meeting is intended to tackle the main issues, said Ateny.
Also attending will be Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who last week won the Nobel Peace Prize, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Their presence, said Ateny, was to give the talks more weight.
A senior Sudanese delegation arrived in Juba on Sunday.
The Sudanese delegation will meet Abdulaziz Al-Hilu, leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), which is active in Bule Nile and South Kordofan states. Al-Hilu will lead the rebel delegation.
This new peace initiative comes after the fall of longtime Sudanese autocrat Omar Al-Bashir, who was toppled from power by the Sudanese military in April.
Prime Minister Hamdok has been tasked with leading Sudan back to civilian rule, but he has said he also wants to end the conflicts with the rebels.
Over the years, the rebels’ conflict with Khartoum have killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced millions to flee their homes.