Egypt's Foreign Minister Says Country Still on Path to Democracy

Sunday, 18 Aug 2013 08:56 AM

 

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CAIRO — Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy insisted the interim government had not abandoned the path to democracy amid a deadly crackdown on opponents, in an interview to be published Monday.

Fahmy, a former ambassador to the United States, told German news weekly Der Spiegel that Egypt's military leaders were unlikely to extend a month-long nationwide state of emergency imposed last week.

"I assure our friends that we are maintaining our roadmap to democracy," he said.

He said Egyptians "would not accept the country staying under the now-imposed state of emergency in the long run."

And he said the Muslim Brotherhood backers of ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi were welcome to a dialog on Egypt's political future "as soon as calm and order have been restored."

"Those who have not broken the law can take part in the political process," he said.

Fahmy chided Western allies for their sharp criticism of government force against pro-Morsi demonstrators, which has left hundreds dead.

"I am disappointed that the violence by the other side has not been more clearly recognized and condemned by the West," he said.

He discouraged direct intervention in the conflict by the United States or the European Union.

"This is an Egyptian problem that we must solve," he said.

"I trust the military, I am sure that the officers are not fixated on power."

The death toll in four days of violence topped 750 in Egypt in clashes following massive operations by the army-led government against Morsi supporters.

The bloodshed has shocked the international community, with European Union leaders Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso warning Sunday that the bloc would review its ties with the country unless it ended.

 

© AFP 2014

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