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article imageEgypt's Foreign Minister: West at risk of losing Egypt

By Paul Iddon     May 16, 2014 in Politics
Egypt's Foreign minister has warned that "The West risks losing the Egyptian people." He said so ahead of a meeting with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Ahram Online tells us he defends the controversial trial of the Al Jazeera journalists in his country. They will get a fair trial he declared and "If they are found innocent I will be very happy to see that result."
He said that the fact Qatar, which of course hosts Al Jazeera, has supported the Muslim Brotherhood "would not cloud the eyes of the judges."
Daily News Egypt quotes him saying he planned to discuss with Hague "regional and international issues of common interest as well as addressing the issue of terrorism."
Hague has said that he will "talk about the future of [Egypt] and maintaining a democratic transition."
The report notes that the UK has not yet designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization but has declares the militant Islamist Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis group fighting against the present Egyptian authorities in the Sinai Peninsula a terrorist organization.
The UK is planning a review of the Brotherhood itself which is set to examine "the philosophy, activities, impact and influence on UK national interests, at home and abroad, of the Muslim Brotherhood and of [the British] government policy policy towards the organization."
BBC News asked Fahmy, given the fact he said last August that any "long-term [political] settlement should include the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood", how he feels about the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is now classified as a terrorist organization and has been accordingly outlawed.
Fahmy answered my declaring that, "The reason the government declared the Muslim Brotherhood [a terrorist organization] was because of the violence in the street, the attempt to assassinate the minister of the interior, the violence against police stations, burning 60 churches, over 300 people killed."
On the aforementioned issue of terrorism in the Sinai Fahmy was adamant that Cairo won't launch a major military operation in the region due to its fear of a widespread bloodshed. He explained that, "The complications there are many. These are non-state parties. You can't deal with them as in an army versus an army. To resolve this quickly would mean tremendous loss of life. And we don't want to do that."
He said his government may look for ways to elevate the Bedouin population from the rather abysmal poverty they live in. "We will enhance and engage the Sinai population with economic and social measures," he declared.
On the democratization of his country he put forth the following questions to make his point, "How many years did it take you to make a democracy? Three? It takes time. In 60 years – from 1952 to 2011 – we had four presidents. In [the last] three years, we've had four presidents."
He admitted that mistakes were made and attributed them to the now banned Brotherhood. He said that, "Those that gained power thought that not only did they win a mandate to govern, they won a mandate to change our identity. Which they didn't."
This was obviously a reference to the presidency of the Muslim Brotherhood's president-elect Mohammed Morsi who Fahmy's interim government ousted on July 3 last. The former army chief who led that operation, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is expected to win the upcoming presidential elections being held at the end of this month.
More about Egypt, Nabil Fahmy, Muslim brotherhood
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