The 17 countries include South Africa, Vietnam, India, China, Singapore, Iran, Turkey, the UAE, Italy, France, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Finland
The measure is meant to boost Russian exports to these markets, he said in statement to MENA before leaving Egypt late Wednesday.
Meanwhile, he hailed the development of the Suez Canal Zone which is vital for the global logistic infrastructure as it links European, African and Asian markets.
He said developing the Suez Canal Zone and establishing an adjacent logistic center will help save time and cost of cargo transportation across the world.
He noted that a Russian business team which visited Egypt over the past two days to attend Russian-African cooperation talks aimed at having direct contact between Russian exporters and potential African partners.
The Russian team sought to clinch agreements for exporting Russian products to Egypt and other African states, he said.
He noted that the government's investment in the first stage of the Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal Zone is estimated at dlrs 190 million.
He quoted Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov as saying that the total Russian investments in the zone are expected to hit dlrs 7 billion.
In a statement, the Communications Ministry said the memo will help upgrade submarine cables and develop information technology services.
The memo covers boosting cooperation in the maintenance and installation of submarine cables, management of maritime projects and offering logistic services to ships and cable recharging services.
These services will be offered to the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Arab Gulf and East Africa regions.
The memo will help Telecom Egypt meet growing demands on maritime services and develop them.
The memo was signed by managing director and CEO of Telecom Egypt Ahmed Beheiri and managing director and CEO of Fiber Misr Ahmed Mekki with the attendance of Communications Minister Amr Talaat.
Economic growth rose from 4.2% to 5.3% during the 2017/2018 fiscal year while unemployment rate declined from 12% to 9.9%.
Also, annual inflation rate went down from 26% to 15.7% and the budget deficit declined from 10.9% to 9.8%.
Cash reserves rose from 36.7 billion dollars to 44.5 billion dollars, according to the center.
Suez Canal revenues increased from 4.9 to 5.7 billion dollars, it said.
The minister's statements came during a meeting with Angolan Trade Minister Jofre Van-Dúnem Júnior to discuss cooperation between the two countries in the presence of Angolan Ambassador to Egypt Antonio de Costa.
Nassar said the Egyptian government's future plan focuses on achieving economic integration and partnership with African countries.
He said the intensive presence of African trade ministers at the seventh meeting on the Continental Free Trade Area ( CFTA) reflected the interest of African states in CFTA and the liberalization of inter-African trade exchange to achieve the joint interests of the continent.
Minister Nassar expressed his ministry's keenness on supporting industrial development in Africa through the implementation of industrial projects in African states.
For his part, the Angolan minister expressed his country's keenness on boosting economic cooperation with Egypt, referring to the possibility of establishing joint Egyptian-Angolan projects in the logistic centers domain to boost trade movement between Egypt and African countries.
Sisi issued decree No. 178 of 2018 approving a loan agreement with the African Development Bank for the Sustainable Development of Abu Rawash Water Treatment and Sewage Treatment Project for $100 million.
He also issued decree No. 179 of 2018 approving a loan agreement between Egypt and the African Development Bank on behalf of the Africa Fund for the sustainable development of Abu Rawash Water Treatment and Sanitation Project by $5 million.
Both agreements were signed on February 2, with the reservation subject to ratification.
In March, Minister of Housing Mustafa Madboli said that Egypt’s Cabinet approved a $1.5 African Development Bank (AfDB) loan to construct the sewage station’s project in Abu Rawash with a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters per day.
Egypt approves $1.5M loan from AfDB
CAIRO - 18 March 2018: Egypt's Cabinet approved Sunday a $1.5 African Development Bank (AfDB) loan to construct the sewage station's project in Abu Rawash with a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters per day, Minister of Housing Mustafa Madboli said.
An investigation team was formed in cooperation with the Interior Ministry to investigate the issue. The 33 year old Danish photographer reached Egypt on November 19 and left on December 4, according to the investigation.
The camel driver, who works in the archaeological area, is accused of helping the two tourists on November 29 to climb the Great Pyramid for LE 4,000 ($223.3). A girl was also arrested over contacting the two tourists online and facilitating their mission.
In an interview with Copenhagen-based Ekstra Bladet, Andreas Hvid said he has always dreamt of climbing the Great Pyramid and taking naked photos over its top. He added that he is now very upset as some people are mad at him.
Hvid said he attempted to climb the pyramid with a Norwegian friend twice. In the first time, he asked the guards to allow them to climb the Pyramid, but they were not allowed, he said, adding that in the second time they were arrested while actually attempting to climb the Pyramid, and were then released following interrogation.
In the third time, Hvid seemingly managed to reach the top. He said he and another Danish friend took a different route away from the guards, and waited until tourists left the Pyramid. They climbed and could reach the top in 25 minutes only, he said.
Hvid said he did not have sex on top of the Pyramid, confirming that they have taken one photo while they were naked.
The Danish photographer said he did not intend to mock a historic or religious symbol, adding that he will not visit Egypt in the coming period in order not to get arrested.
The explicit video claimed to be filmed atop the Great Pyramid of Giza by a Danish photographer has been referred to Egypt’s top prosecutor to investigate its authenticity.
Climbing the Giza Plateau is considered illegal, according to the head of the archaeological site, who ruled out the Danish couple have climbed up the Khufu Pyramid amid the tight security presence.
In the video description, Hvid wrote “In late November 2018, a friend and I climbed the Great Pyramid of Giza (a.k.a. Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Cheops). Fearing to be spotted by the many guards, I did not film the several hours of sneaking around at the Giza Plateau, which led up to the climb."
The video has been circulated on social media, with some angry comments describing it as tarnishing the historic site.
The director of the Pyramids archaeological area Asharf Mohey described the video as “fake and unreal,” saying that climbing the Pyramid is impossible due to restrictions. Mohey suspected the video's authenticity, referring to a “strange” light appearingin the footage that does not resemble the real view of the site that closes every day at 5p.m.
Additional reporting by Egypt Today Staff
The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.09 percent, or 140.06 points, to close at 12,996.89 points.
The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 1.41 percent, or 29.72 points, to reach 2,144.38 points.
The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched up 0.30 percent, or 2.02 points, reaching 675.07 points, and the broader index EGX100 went up 0.66 percent, or 11.02 points, to close at 1,690.74 points.
Market capitalization gained LE 7.2 billion, recording LE 740.18 billion, compared to LE 732.97 billion in Wednesday’s session.
The trading volume reached 240.26 million shares, traded through 28,855 transactions, with a turnover of LE 997.31 million.
Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 82.29 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 2.14 and LE 80.15 million, respectively.
Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 34.89 million, LE 61.17 million, and LE 33,333, respectively.
Arab organizations sold at LE 18.98 million, while Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 32.75 million, and LE 18.33 million, respectively.
El-Nile Co. for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries, Rakta Paper Manufacturing Cleopatra Hospital Company, and Orascom Development Egypt were top gainers of the session by 8.08 percent, 7.90 percent and 6.83 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Arabian (cmar) Securities Brokerage EAC, Al Tawfeek Leasing Company-A.T.LEASE, and Ismailia Development and Real Estate Co were top losers of the session by 6.98 percent, 5.73 percent, and 5.18 percent, respectively.
EGX ended Wednesday’s session in green for the third session in row amid Arab and foreign purchases, as EGX 30 rose 1.52 percent, EGX50 increased 1.58 percent, EGX70 inched up 0.65 percent, and EGX100 went up 0.79 percent.
The late journalist was born on Nov. 3, 1937 in Port Said. He worked with numerous giants in the field of journalism, such as Mustafa Rushdi, Galal Aref and Sarhan in El Shate’e magazine (the beach).
Being a passionate journalist by nature, Seada worked as a reporter for numerous magazines such as “el-fan” (arts) and “al-Garima” (the crime) before completing his bachelors.
The late veteran journalist travelled to Switzerland to acquire a bachelor’s degree in political economics. He lived twelve years in Europe during which he welcomed working as a reporter for Egyptian news outlets.
The late writer was appointed editor-in- chief of “Akhbar el youm” national newspaper by late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. He was the youngest journalist to hold such a position.
Roumi is a Lebanese soprano and a UN good will ambassador. In 1974, she participated in the talent show "Studio El-Fan" on Télé Liban and performed songs for Asmahan and Layla Murad at the age of 16.
As a child, Majida used to listen to Fairuz, Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Wadi' el-Safi and Asmahan and at the age of 5 she sang her first song “Miladak” (Your Birth) and dedicated it to her brother on his birthday.
When she performed at Hunter College in May 1989, music reviewer Peter Watrous said: "she wandered between near-European pop and Middle Eastern pop."
In 1991, Roumi released "Kalimat" (Words), her first pan-Arab hit, under the Music Master label. Later during the 90s, exactly in 1994, "Ibhath Anni" (Look for Me) followed the template set by "Kalimat" (words).
Majida El Roumi - Kalimat / ماجدة الرومي - كلمات
Majida El Roumi - Kalimat / ماجدة الرومي - كلمات الحان الاستاذ احسان المنذر يُسمعني.. حـينَ يراقصُني كلماتٍ ليست كالكلمات يأخذني من تحـتِ ذراعي يزرعني في إحدى الغيمات والمطـرُ الأسـودُ في عيني يتساقـطُ زخاتٍ.. زخات يحملـني معـهُ.. يحملـني لمسـاءٍ ورديِ الشُـرفـات وأنا.. كالطفلـةِ في يـدهِ كالريشةِ تحملها النسمـات يحمـلُ لي سبعـةَ أقمـارٍ بيديـهِ وحُزمـةَ أغنيـات يهديني شمسـاً..
The legendary soprano stood twice on the Paris Olympia stage: in 1993 and in 1998 sponsored by Lebanese First Lady at that time Mona Herawi.
Also, later in the 90s, Majida welcomed Shirley Bassey in the presidential palace in Lebanon for a private concert. She performed one song before inviting Shirley to the stage, where the orchestra members stood up, astonished by Majida's spectacular performance.
Roumi was appointed an ambassador for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Oct. 16, 2001 in an official ceremony in Rome, Italy.
Roumi participated in numerous round-table discussions on the role of FAO ambassadors in helping the organization combat hunger in the world.
As FAO ambassador, the veteran soprano inaugurated the first Annual Agricultural Week in Lebanon and dedicated FAO's book “Sanabel El-Kheir” to the 60th World Food Day during an official ceremony held on Nov. 8, 2005 at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut.
The screening comes as part of the Indian Cinema Club's activities held under the auspices of the Indian Embassy in cooperation with the Cultural Development Fund Sector.
The film is a 2015 production, starring famed Indian actor Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta and Abhishek Bachchan. The film is directed and written by Karan Johar and revolves around two families' struggle, where each family member has their own expectations and desires.
Moreover, a variety of Egyptian cartoons will screen on Dec.15 at 12 p.m. in Hanager Cinema, including “Mamlaket el-Nahl” (Bee Kingdom), “Do’aa el-Ma’aa” (Water Prayers) and “El-Mesaharaty” (The Sohoor caller).
The screenings will be followed by children's workshops inspired by the presented works. Discussion sessions will be held by director Shweikar Khalifa, professor and head of animation department at the Higher Institute of Cinema Laila Abdel Aziz Fakhry, and director Attia Adel Khairy.
Saeed pointed out that these projects include 238 projects in health and education sectors at a total investment cost of LE 1.6 billion, as well as 164 projects in Upper Egypt and the border governorates at a total investment cost of LE 12 billion.
The minister pointed out that the government's work program has given high priority to improving the quality of life and standard of living of citizens, particularly in the needy areas, stressing the necessity of boosting public investments in all fields.
According to the data the ministry published, five projects were established in the youth and sports section at an estimated cost of LE 101 million, including the development of youth centers in the neediest villages in Qena and Sohagat a total cost of LE 11.2 million.
Another project was completing the construction of playgrounds and the development of youth centers, at an estimated cost of LE 61.8 million, as well as the project of the establishment of swimming pools in youth centers at a total cost of LE 5.3 million.
Additionally, Mohamed Abdel Wahab Theater project was established in Alexandria at a cost of LE 9.9 million.
The data also revealed that two projects are completed in the higher education sector at a cost of LE 29.7 million, which are the new dialysis unit at Al-Demerdash Hospital at a cost of LE 9.7 million, and the development project of Al-Shatby Pediatric Hospital at a total cost of LE 20 million.
Saeed announced earlier that Egypt’s total public investments during the first quarter of the 2018/2019 recorded LE 72 billion, with government investments of about LE 27.4 billion.
In a press conference, the visiting UNIDO director general said that he sensed during his meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday that the Egyptian president is a leader who enjoys an insightful and clear vision to bring about progress and lead his country into the ranks of developed states.
Yong, also, added that he discussed with Egyptian officials means of cementing relations between the UNIDO and Cairo, especially in light of the new UNIDO partnership approach.
The UN official pointed out that he will pay a field visit to the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) on Friday.
The UNIDO pays great attention to small and medium-sized enterprises, as they contribute to creating jobs and increasing per capita income and economic growth, Yong said.
In this regard, Yong pointed out that the UNIDO has been working with the Egyptian government to support small and medium-sized projects, especially in Upper Egypt.
In 2017, the UN agency contributed to the establishment of 76 small companies and offered support to 500 other companies working in the sectors of clean water, leather and renewable energy, he said.
The UNIDO also assisted 10,000 women by granting them soft loans to start private projects, trained 5,000 young people on how to run their own small businesses and helped 20,000 farmers to elevate the level of agricultural production, he noted.
Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri said that the undecorated tomb is located at a depth of 5 meters, and consists of a burial chamber and two stone blocks.
He referred that the cemetery was subjected to numerous theft attempts, which filled it with sand and silt; hence, the mission cannot assess the extent of damage that occurred at the site.
He added that the underground water filling the cemetery caused damage to the interior rooms and artifacts.
Meanwhile, General Director of Aswan and Nubian Antiquities, Abdel Moneim Saeed, said that despite the damage caused in the cemetery, the mission found three coffins made of limestone; two of them were Children's coffins.
Also, jars, amulets and skeletal remains were found for nearly 50 adults and children, indicating that a community used to live in that area.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said the gunman had climbed from a car at a junction near Ofra settlement and opened fire at Israeli troops and civilians standing nearby, killing two and wounding two others.
The vehicle fled toward Ramallah, he said, prompting Israeli troops to shut down entrances to the West Bank city and to begin searches and roadblocks.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place near the site of a drive-by shooting on Sunday that wounded seven Israelis, including a pregnant woman. The baby was delivered prematurely, but died four days later.
Fawzi Barhoum, a Gaza-based spokesman for the armed Islamist group Hamas, hailed that attack as an "heroic and brave operation".
In separate overnight swoops in the West Bank, Israel said on Thursday its commandos had killed the Palestinian behind Sunday's attack as well as another wanted for an Oct 7 shooting at a settlement industrial park that killed a man and a woman, both civilians.
Also on Thursday, a man stabbed and wounded two Israeli police troopers in East Jerusalem, another area where Palestinians seek statehood, and was shot dead, police said. His identity was not immediately clear.
The increase in violence in the West Bank looks likely to fray Israel's already strained ties with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority.
Abbas's Western-backed authority has continued to coordinate with Israel on security in the West Bank, despite deepening rancour between Israelis and Palestinians at a political level since negotiations broke down in 2014.
Although Hamas's power base is in Gaza it also poses a grassroots challenge to Abbas in the West Bank, although its ability to operate there is hampered by the presence of Abbas's forces, and of Israeli troops.
Conricus would not confirm whether Israel thought Thursday's attack was carried out by an organisation, or by someone acting independently.
But he said that recent attacks had been "glorified" on Palestinian social and regular media outlets.
"We are definitely aware of the phenomenon of copycats and our forces are deployed accordingly." He added: "This could definitely fall into that pattern."
He also pointed to the forthcoming 31st anniversary of the founding of Hamas, on Dec. 14, as a possible factor.
"This culture of murder is fed by constant incitement to hatred and by the financial support of terrorists and their families by the PA (Palestinian Authority)," Emmanuel Nahshon, Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman, said after Thursday's drive-by shooting. "This must stop."
Abbas's office issued a statement on Thursday denouncing violence. Published by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, it blamed the recent events on Israel's "policy of repeated raids into cities and incitement against the President, and the absence of a peace horizon".
Abdel Azim Hussein was the head of the Senior Funders Center.
Abdel Azim was born in 1961 in Minya Governorate. He was the general manager of the Joint-Stock Company and then occupied the position of head of the Central Administration of Postage Stamp before heading the Senior Funders Center.
The decision also included the appointment of Reda Abdel Kader Gharib as vice-president of the Tax Authority until he reaches the age of retirement or until the post is filled by appointment.
According to the ministry’s statement, Abdel Kader holds the position of head of Development Sector at the authority (value added).
Mohammad Maher Mostafa Shehata was also appointed as assistant to the head of the Tax Authority, in addition to his current position as head of the Center of Senior Free Financial Professionals.
Jäger and Abdel Ati met to follow up on agreements signed during the recent visit by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to Germany. They discussed convening a ministerial meeting of the joint committee to further boost cooperation and coordination at international forums.
The German minister hailed Sisi's vision of the country's domestic situation and the latest developments in the Egyptian-German relations, as quoted by Abdel Ati.
Egypt's diplomat quoted Jäger as saying that Berlin is interested in boosting cooperation with Cairo, for being a main partner to Germany in the African continent.
The Egyptian ambassador added that he probed with the German minister means of cementing bilateral cooperation in Africa, especially in light of Cairo's presidency of the African Union in 2019.
Also, Abdel Ati pointed out that the agreements signed during Sisi's visit will be activated as per a timetable covering 2018 and 2019.
Additional reporting by MENA
This came during the first meeting of a special parliamentary committee that was formed to re-study the draft law, which was referred to the Parliament after Sisi objected to some articles.
Sherif said the president’s objections indicate that the punitive provisions of the draft law have been too harsh, which could cause a state of terror and fear among researchers, explaining that the project prohibited sending human samples for research abroad.
President Sisi objected to some articles of the draft law regulating medical and clinical research, calling the Parliament to reconsider them, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal announced on October 2 during the fourth round’s plenary session.
Sisi referred in his letter to the Parliament that the draft law is important and dangerous, as it is related to the protection of the constitution, the sanctity of the human body, and the freedom of scientific research.
In this regard, he referred to Article 60 of the Egyptian Constitution reading “the sanctity of the human body is inviolable,and assaulting or defaming it is a crime that shall be punished by law. Human body shall not be subjected to any medical and scientific experiment.”
The Egyptian president returned the draft law to the Parliament to be reconsidered, opposing the draft law’s Articles 4, 5, 9, 11, 19, 20 and 22, which refer that all researchers and scientists should seek the prior approval of the Higher Council of Medical Research ahead of conducting any medical or clinical experiments and tests.
“The researches include masters, doctorate, free and funded researches in the Faculty of Medicine. That means it is impossible to follow up these huge numbers of researches, carried out every month, only by committees in every research entity.”
Sisi also opposed the small number of representatives of Egyptian faculties and institutes in the Supreme Council, which reaches only 4 out of 15 members as 97 percent of researches are carried out inside faculties and institutes.
Sisi further rejected the draft law’s punitive articles as “they do not take into account the nature of scientific research and consider that the irregularities are the same in all types of research.”
Moreover, the draft law stipulates that sending human samples abroad shall be punished by a prison sentence.
In this regard, President Sisi said that sending the samples abroad will allow examining them with modern equipment, which may not be locally available; hence, the draft law will require issuing reports on specialists’ work free of charge, costing the state a lot of money and affecting the quality and expansion of scientific research in Egypt.
Sherif subsequently said that the General Committee will listen to the concerned entities, including the Ministry of Higher Education and the Supreme Council of Universities, in addition to senior experts and scientists as well as the heads of the education and scientific research and health affairs committees.
Mohamed al-Amari, head of the Parliament’s Health Affairs Committee, remarked that the General Committee will form a specialized committee to redraft the articles of the draft law.
The 45-year-old, who won fame as a teen for his athleticism and virtuosity, this week presented a movie about his rags-to-riches life at Havana’s annual film fest that moved audiences to laugh, weep and thunderously applaud.
“This is a Cuban story, so it’s not my story only,” Acosta said in an interview with Reuters.
“Yuli” uniquely blends a fictionalized account of Acosta’s life based on his memoir “No Way Home” with archive footage of the news and him dancing, and original choreographies representing chapters of his past.
The 45-year old, who retired from the Royal Ballet in 2015, features in a meta-role as himself directing his company Acosta Danza to dance those choreographies in a Havana theater.
The movie, scripted by Briton Paul Laverty and directed by Spaniard Iciar Bollain, received five nominations for the Spanish “Goya” awards on Wednesday.
Political at times, “Yuli” reflects the universal suffering of Cuban families divided by exile and struggling to get by when the country went through a deep economic crisis following the fall of former ally the Soviet Union.
The movie, which had its international premiere at the San Sebastian film festival in September, evokes how hard it could be for artists like Acosta to get Cuban government permission to work abroad, often key to them being able to forge a career.
But “Yuli” also celebrates the Cuban education system that provided free ballet training to the descendent of slaves from a rundown neighborhood and features a choreography blasting U.S. imperialism.
The film’s emotional core is Acosta’s complex relationship with his late father who - unusually given his macho, humble milieu - sent him to ballet school to keep him out of trouble.
Acosta’s father, who nicknamed his wayward son “Yuli” for a warrior god, then intuited he could be a great dancer and pushed him to “follow his star. But as a child, Acosta wanted to be a footballer and not, as he remonstrates in the film, a “faggot” in tights.
The film also evokes racism in Cuba and abroad. Acosta’s fair-skinned mother’s family rejects him because of his skin color, which also heightens his self-doubt when he seeks to break into the white world of international ballet.
Acosta said he hoped his story of success would inspire hope in an oftentimes dark world.
His autobiography “No Way Home” was published in 2007 in Europe but is still not available yet in Cuba; critics say that is because it includes passages deemed unflattering to the matriarch of Cuban ballet, Alicia Alonso.
Bohemian Rhapsody most streamed in 20th century
Acosta said he hoped the movie would prompt authorities to distribute copies of the book now in storage.
He joined in a chorus of criticism of a decree that took effect last Friday in Cuba, which many artists fear will result in censorship.
“Artists should be consulted to come up with things like that,” he said. “We should be careful because we all know without art is no country.”
Vieira, who was appointed as Ismaily's manager in October, resigned after Ismaily was knocked out of the Arab Club Championship, losing to Morocco’s Raja Casablanca on Tuesday night by Penalty shoot-outs.
The first leg in Ismailia ended with a 0-0 draw;the second leg in Morocco ended with the same result andthe game was sent to the Penalty shoot-outs.
Ismaily goalkeeper, Mohamed Fawzy, saved Raja’s first penalty but Hosni AbdRaboh and TarekTaha missed Ismaily’s first two penalties.
Fawzy failed to stop Raja’s remaining penalties and the Moroccan team qualified to the quarter finals.
Mark Wotte, the former manager of Ismaily and current Morocco U 23 team's manager, met Ismaily’s delegation at the airport before their return to Egypt.
“Ismaily has a special place inmy heart and my best days as a manager was in Ismailia,” Wotte told press on Wednesday.
Wotte managed Ismaily in two spells, the first one was in 2006 and the second was fouryears later.
“They have a great team with many young talented players and I think they deserved to reach the quarter finals,” Wotte added.
Al-Ittihad Alexandria became the only Egyptian team at the tournament after Al-Ahly, Zamalek and Ismaily were knocked out of the competition from round of 16.
More than 50 years since Julie Andrews won over children - and adults - around the world with her portrayal of the strict but kind nanny, Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” sees her doing just that, visiting the now-grown up Michael and Jane Banks in their time of need.
Despite cold December weather, the film’s picturesque Cherry Tree Lane blossomed outside the Royal Albert Hall venue, with plenty of the blooming plants sprouting up the stairs to a replica of the Banks’ house.
British actress Emily Blunt led the cast down a blue carpet, just hours after receiving another award nomination for the role based on the books written by P.L. Travers.
“She has a lot of relevance for people around the world when things feel rather fragile,” Blunt told Reuters of the character. “She’s a great unifier.”
Blunt said she had not spoken recently to Andrews, who won an Oscar for her performance in the 1964 “Mary Poppins” film, but had heard she had seen the sequel.
“I hear she’s just seen the film and loved it so that means a lot to us,” said Blunt, who like Andrews, sings in the movie.
“I hope that generations to come will sing these songs... They’re catchy and wonderful.”
The new film is set some 20 years after the first film, with audiences now introduced to Michael Banks’ own three children.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the award-winning “Hamilton” musical, plays lamp lighter Jack - a similar role to Dick Van Dyke’s chimney sweep in the original movie.
“Mary Poppins doesn’t come along when everything’s OK. Mary Poppins comes along when there’s trouble,” he said. “I feel like the world is in a scary time and so it feels like a movie the world needs right now.”
As guests arrived for the premiere, a few miles away British Prime Minister Theresa May was facing a confidence vote triggered by lawmakers in her Conservative party - a ballot she later won.
“It’s incredibly ... ironic somehow that we’re having the premiere tonight just as this vote ... is happening,” actress Emily Mortimer, who plays Jane Banks, said.
“I think we all need a dose of Mary Poppins ... She helps people see things from a new perspective.”
Last to arrive was Oscar winner Meryl Streep, who also stars in the film.
“It could be seen as being a sort of a little bit of a joyless moment in time and it’s good to remember what’s lovely in life,” she said.