Egypt to auction gifts received by state officials

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Egypt will next week hold a public auction to sell gifts received by state officials from foreign leaders and representatives, the government said on Thursday.

Minister of Finance Fayyad Abdel Moneim said that the number of gifts received reached 42, many of them expensive.

Among the gifts are branded watches, a silver sword and plates, silk carpets, vases, electronic devices, cellular phones and pens.

Gifts received between July 2012 and June 2013 will be on sale.

He also said Prime Minister Hesham Qandil and current as well as former ministers made sure to give all gifts to the public treasury, adding that Qandil had returned 13 gifts.

Abdel Moneim also said that the auction will be held in compliance with the prime minister’s decision to return any gift that an official receives if its value exceeds $100.

He added that after the gifts are sold, the money will be deposited in the public treasury to maintain principles of transparency and the protection of public money since these gifts are for Egypt and not the official.

Abdel Moneim said a catalog that contains photos and information of the gifts will be available on the ministry's website.

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