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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Excerpts: Egypt Minister of Defence warns collapse of state if crisis continues. Egypt gas supplied to Jordan drops two thirds January 29, 2013

Excerpts: Egypt Minister of Defence warns collapse of state if crisis
continues.Egypt gas supplied to Jordan drops two thirds January 29, 2013

+++Naharnet (Lebanon) 29 Jan.’13:”Egypt Defense Minister:State Could
Collapse if Crisis Continues “, Agence France Presse 0
SUBJECT: Egypt Defence Minister warns collapse of state if crisis continues

QUOTE:”unrest showing no signs of abating”

FULL TEXT:Egypt's military chief warned on Tuesda[29 Jan.]y that the
political crisis sweeping the country could lead to the collapse of the
state, as thousands defied curfews and the death toll from days of rioting
rose to 52.

"The continuing conflict between political forces and their differences
concerning the management of the country could lead to a collapse of the
state and threaten future generations," General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who
is also defense minister, said on his Facebook page.

He further warned that the political, economic, social and security problems
facing Egypt constitute "a threat to the country's security and stability,"
and vowed to defend vital infrastructure, including the Suez Canal.

Sissi's warning comes as medics on Tuesday [29 Jan.] reported another three
people killed in the violence sweeping Egypt, pushing to at least 52 the
death toll from five days of clashes.

Two people died in fighting between protesters and security forces in the
riot-hit canal city of Port Said, and one was shot dead in Cairo when
protesters and police clashed near Tahrir Square, the capital's iconic hub
of protest.

On Sunday[27 Jan.], President Mohammed Morsi imposed a month-long state of
emergency and night-time curfews on Port Said, Ismailiya and Suez, the three
provinces most affected by the rioting.

But witnesses said thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of the
three Suez Canal cities Monday[28 Jan.] night in defiance of the curfews.

The protesters chanted slogans against Islamist rule in Egypt, "Fall, fall
the rule of the guide (of the Muslim Brotherhood), referring to Morsi, who
hails from the Brotherhood.

Egypt has already deployed troops to Port Said and Suez provinces, at each
end of the canal that Sissi said the army would defend.

"The deployment of the army in Port Said and Suez aims to protect strategic
infrastructure, especially the Suez Canal, which we will not allow to be
harmed," Sissi said.

But he said the army's task was difficult.

It does "not want to confront Egyptian citizens who have a right to protest"
but it "has to protect vital institutions."

"That is why protests must be peaceful."

With the unrest showing no signs of abating, Egypt's Islamist-dominated
Senate ratified on Monday[28 Jan.] a law granting the armed forces powers of
arrest.

Opposition groups and disgruntled Egyptians accuse Morsi, the Muslim
Brotherhood and other Islamists of monopolizing power and say the revolution
failed to reach its goals of social justice.

The violence first erupted on Thursday[24 Jan.]. It gained momentum on
Friday[25 Jan.], when protests marking the second anniversary of the start
of the uprising that toppled long-time President Hosni Mubarak turned into
clashes around the country.

On Saturday[26 Jan.], violence exploded in Port Said after a court sentenced
to death 21 supporters of a local football club for their involvement in a
deadly soccer riot last year.

Soon after the verdicts, rioters attacked police stations and the prison
where the defendants were being held, sparking clashes with security forces
that left 42 people dead at the weekend.

Fighting between police and anti-Morsi protesters have also broken out daily
in and around Cairo's Tahrir Square, but the capital was calm on Tuesday[29
Jan.] morning.

The crisis looks set to deepen after the National Salvation Front, a
coalition of mainly liberal and leftist movements, called for countrywide
protests on Friday[25 Jan.] after rejecting an offer from Morsi to hold
talks.

"We will not participate in dialogue that is empty of content," leading
dissident Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters after a meeting of the NSF.

The bloc wants the formation of a national salvation government and the
amendment of the Islamist-drafted constitution, before it agrees to any
talks.

An NSF statement called "on the Egyptian people to take to the streets in
all Tahrir Squares (across the nation) on Friday[25 Jan.] to stress the
sanctity of the blood of the martyrs and achieve the goals of the
revolution."

The unrest highlights a deep split between Morsi's mainly Islamist allies,
and an opposition of leftists, liberals, Christians and Muslims calling for
freedoms and the separation of the state from religion.

On Monday, the White House condemned the unrest and urged Egyptian leaders
to make clear violence is never acceptable.

"We strongly condemn the recent violence that has taken place in various
Egyptian cities. We look to all Egyptians to express themselves peacefully
and look to Egyptian leaders to make clear that violence is not acceptable,"
it said.

+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 29 Jan.’13:”Egyptian gas supplies ‘plummet’ amid
crisis”, By Taylor Luck
SUBJECT: Egypt gas supplied to Jordan drops two thirds
QUOTE:” ‘There is a feeling that when anything goes wrong in Egypt, the
first thing that goes is Jordan’s gas supplies’ “
AMMAN — Jordan’s Egyptian gas supplies have dropped to one-third of their
normal levels, officials say, prompting fresh concern over the security of
the country’s primary energy source.

According to a Ministry of Energy source, natural gas supplies from Egypt
declined to some 80 million cubic feet (mcf) per day since Saturday[26
Jan.], one-third of the 240mcf rate outlined in the gas agreement between
Amman and Cairo.

Although Egypt has refused to disclose the reasons behind the drop,
officials link the shortage with the ongoing instability and riots that have
gripped the country since late Friday[25 Jan.].

“There is a feeling that whenever anything goes wrong in Egypt, the first
thing that goes is Jordan’s gas supplies,” said the source, who was not
authorised to speak to the press.

Egyptian officials have not indicated when gas supplies will resume in full,
according to the source, but the government is expected to demand
compensation for the decreased quantities.

The drop comes one month after Egypt pledged to resume pumping in full after
nearly two years of disruptions.

A series of acts of sabotage targeting the Arab Gas Pipeline following the
ouster of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 brought
pumping to a standstill, while Cairo suspended supplies last October in
order to cover a spike in domestic energy demand.

Once Jordan’s primary energy source, Egyptian gas accounted for 80 per cent
of the Kingdom’s electricity generation needs in 2009, a figure that dropped
to some 18 per cent in 2012.

The drop in Egyptian gas supplies has forced Jordan onto costlier heavy oil
imports, which has ballooned the national energy bill to some JD4.4 billion
and pushed the cost of electricity subsidies to over JD1 billion.

==========
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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