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CAIRO, July 30, 2018 (MENA) - The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and BP-Egypt signed an agreement on oil and gas exploration in northeast Ramadan area in the Gulf of Suez, with investments amounting to 46 million dollars.

The agreement was signed by CEO of the EGPC  Abed Ezzelregal and Hesham Mekawi, the regional president, North Africa for BP.

In a statement on Monday, Petroleum Minister Tareq el-Molla said that his ministry is adopting an ambitious plan to beef up investments in the oil and gas exploration and develop discovered oil and gas fields.

The plan aims at increasing crude oil and natural gas production and reserves, the minister said.

Today's agreement brings to 88 the number of new oil and gas deals that have been signed since 2014, he noted.

CAIRO, July 10, 2018 (MENA) - Telecom Egypt and Orange Egypt have announced the signing of a renewal of their international telecom services agreement, first signed in January 2015 for a period of four years.

The new agreement will end in December 2022 and is expected to contribute LE4 billion to Telecom Egypt’s top line over the tenure of the agreement. It will also enable Orange Egypt to continue providing international services to its customers.

The two companies also signed a new transmission services agreement for 3.5 years ending December 2021. The agreement is expected to contribute LE1.5 billion to Telecom Egypt’s revenue and support Orange Egypt services to customers.

In addition, the two companies signed a binding letter of agreement for mobile termination rates. The agreement formalises the framework for interconnection between both operators and is a major step for Telecom Egypt towards finalising all mobile termination agreements, Ahmed el Beheiry, the Chief Executive and Managing Director of Telecom Egypt, said.

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2018 (News Wires) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will leave for North Korea on Thursday seeking agreement on a plan for the country’s denuclearisation, despite mounting doubts about Pyongyang’s willingness to abandon a weapons programme that threatens the United States and its allies.

In announcing Pompeo’s travel plans on Monday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the United States was “continuing to make progress” in talks with North Korea. She declined to confirm or deny recent media reports of intelligence assessments saying North Korea has been expanding its weapons capabilities.

The State Department said Pompeo would head on Saturday from Pyongyang to Tokyo, where he would discuss North Korean denuclearisation with Japanese and South Korean leaders.

It will be Pompeo’s first visit to North Korea since the June 12 summit in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, at which the North Korean leader agreed to “work toward denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.”

The joint summit statement, however, gave no details on how or when Pyongyang might give up its weapons. US officials have since been trying to flesh out details to produce an agreement that might live up to Trump’s enthusiastic portrayal of the outcome.

The US goal remained “the final, fully-verified denuclearisation of (North Korea), as agreed to by Chairman Kim in Singapore,” a State Department spokeswoman said.

A US delegation led by US ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim met with North Korean counterparts at Panmunjom on the border between North and South Korea on Sunday to discuss next steps on the implementation of the summit declaration, the State Department said.

“We had good meetings yesterday and ... the secretary of state will be there later this week to continue those discussions,” Sanders told a White House briefing.

Sanders endorsed comments made on Sunday by White House national security adviser John Bolton, who said he believed the bulk of North Korea’s weapons programs could be dismantled within a year “if they have the strategic decision already made to do that.”

“There is great momentum right now for a positive change and we are moving together for further negotiations,” Sanders said.

However, some experts disputed Bolton’s optimistic time frame for decommissioning North Korea’s weapons, even if North Korea were willing to agree to such moves, amid multiple reports suggesting otherwise.

CAIRO, May 7, 2018 (MENA) - The Food Export Council (FEC) said that a trade mission, grouping 12 Egyptian companies, was dispatched to Brazil to benefit from Mercosur agreement.

The mission's visit coincides with the APAS Fair, the biggest supermarket industry fair in Brazil, held in Sao Paulo from May 7 to 10.

The visit also falls within the framework of co-operation and coordination with the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and the Egyptian Commercial Service office (ECS) in Sao Paulo.

In a statement on Monday, the council said the mission's visit falls within the framework of activating a preferential Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) to maximise trade movement between Egypt and Mercosur members; Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce will organise field visits for Egyptian companies to the largest chains of hypermarkets, wholesale markets and ports in Brazil to stand on the Brazilian market demands and the consumer behaviour, the statement said.

The Egyptian companies will also hold a series of meetings with major importers in Brazil, the statement added.

Brazil is one of the largest importers of Egyptian food products, at a total value of 24.2 million dollars, followed by Argentine, at a total value of 1.3 million dollars.

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2018 (Reuters) - The United States and its allies would not want to pull troops out of Syria before diplomats win the peace, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday, one of the strongest signs yet a full US withdrawal was unlikely anytime soon.

US President Donald Trump said last week he wants to withdraw American troops from Syria relatively soon, but appeared to temper that position by voicing a desire to leave a “strong and lasting footprint.”

A footprint, in military-speak, usually refers to a US troop presence.

Mattis said the United States and its allies were on the cusp of victory against Islamic State and added they would not want to simply abandon Syria while it remained in a state of war.

“We do not want to simply pull out before the diplomats have won the peace. You win the fight — and then you win the peace,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.

Some of the harshest critics of a potential withdrawal from Syria come from Trump’s own Republican party, which blasted President Barack Obama when he withdrew US troops from Iraq in 2011. Iraqi forces began to unravel and eventually collapsed in the face of Islamic State’s advance into the country in 2014.

T-Mobile, Sprint in $26b deal

NEW YORK, April 30, 2018 (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) and Sprint Corp (S.N) said on Sunday they had agreed to a $26 billion all-stock deal and believed they could win over skeptical regulators because the merger would create thousands of jobs and help the United States beat China to creating the next generation mobile network.

The agreement capped four years of on-and-off talks between the third and fourth largest US wireless carriers, setting the stage for the creation of a company with 127 million customers that will be a more formidable competitor to the top two wireless players, Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and AT&T Inc (T.N).

US regulators, who have challenged in court AT&T’s $85 billion deal to buy US media company Time Warner Inc (TWX.N), are expected to grill Sprint and T-Mobile on how they will price their combined wireless offerings.

Verizon has 116 million US wireless customers, according to a spokesman, while AT&T has 93 million branded customers, as of the first quarter.

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