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Egypt FM calls South Africa coup statement 'an insult'

In response to official statement regarding 3 July 'coup', Egypt FM calls on South Africa to address its own protesters before 'interfering' in Egyptian internal affairs

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Jul 2013
Views: 3133
Views: 3133

Egypt's interim foreign minister issued a statement on Tuesday expressing discontent with South Africa's "inaccurate" reading of the current situation in Egypt following the popularly-backed army removal of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.

"The insistence on describing Egypt's popular revolution as an unconstitutional change of government, and the continued acknowledgment of the former president's an insult to the will of millions of Egyptians," read the statement.

The ministry's comments come in response to a statement issued by South Africa on Tuesday in which the country reiterated its disapproval of the "unconstitutional removal of the democratically elected president and the suspension of Egypt's constitution," describing it as a breach of the norms and standards adopted by the African Union (AU).

The South Africa statement also expressed concern regarding the excessive violence used against supporters of the deposed president, a reference to the killing of at least 80 protesters in clashes between pro-Morsi demonstrators and the police on Saturday.

The Egyptian foreign ministry responded by accusing the South Africa government of disregarding the alleged use of weapons against security forces in Saturday's clashes.

The Egyptian statement went on to urge South Africa to focus on the rights of protesting mine workers in their country "instead of interfering in internal matters of an African country the size and greatness of Egypt."

Egypt has maintained tense relations in recent years with fellow African countries, especially those Nile Basin countries with which it is in dispute regarding water distribution.

Egypt's interim foreign ministry has repeatedly criticised countries that call Morsi's overthrow a military 'coup,' on the grounds that these countries do not have a clear understanding of Egypt's political situation.

The AU suspended Egypt's membership on 5 July, two days after Morsi's removal, in accordance with its strict rules against unconstitutional changes of government.

On Tuesday, AU head Alpha Oumar Konare met with Egypt's transitional justice minister Amin El-Mahdi in Cairo, where he emphasised that the AU's decision was "not a conspiracy against Egypt's leadership" but rather part of the union's efforts to stop military coups in African nations.

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