A few words/updates before today’s article…
Ahmed Ezz, steel magnate-turnt-parliamentarian, denied the NDP is planning to impose age restrictions on its parliamentary candidates, as reported here.
New York City has declared Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr official holidays in the city, according to al-Shourouk.
From page 1 of al-Shourouk’s July 12 edition:
He will meet embassy personnel the first two days… and begin official meetings on August 17
[TBE: Interesting that this article contains a Washington dateline, though it is unclear whether the sources were Egyptian or American. Also interesting that al-Shourouk is the first to report it, rather than al-Ahram, if that is the case.]
Informed sources in the US capital confirmed that President Hosni Mubarak will arrive at the head of a delegation including over 150 people the afternoon of Saturday, August 15 in Washington in his first visit in five years. The president has no official meetings scheduled for Sunday, 16 August, and the president has limited his activities to a meeting with personnel from the Egyptian embassy and the various offices attached to it, after which he will begin official consultations with the Americans on Monday, August 17.
Mubarak’s expected visit to Washington will come during the US Congress’ summer recess, which lasts all of August, when most members travel to their congressional districts outside of Washington.
Cairo had demonstrated its good will toward the new administration by freeing opposition politician Ayman Nour and dropping charges against Egyptian opposition figure Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who lives in the US.
For its part, Congress consented to increasing military and economic aid to Egypt by $360 million in the supplementary budget for 2009, $26 million of which is for military aid, $50 million for economic aid and $50 million for border security to fight smuggling in the Sinai. It is well known that Egypt receives yearly military assistance of $1.3 billion, in addition to $200 million in economic assistance included in the 2009 budget. With the increases, Egypt’s total military aid will reach $1.61 billion, an increase of $310 million over 2008, if the $50 million for border security is included.
President Mubarak’s forthcoming visit to Washington will be his first since in five years. He visited former President George Bush’s ranch in Texas in April 2004.