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Egypt government and Brotherhood should pursue reconciliation: Deputy PM

Egyptian deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa El-Din hopes a political compromise with the Muslim Brotherhood could be reached

Reuters, Tuesday 29 Oct 2013
Egyptian deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa El-Din
Egyptian deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa El-Din (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 2402

Egypt's interim government and the Muslim Brotherhood should seek reconciliation because only an inclusive political process, not security crackdowns, can bring stability to the country, a senior minister said on Tuesday.

The most populous Arab state has been shaken by violence since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi of the Brotherhood in July.

Security forces have killed hundreds of Brotherhood members and jailed thousands, including Morsi, who is due to appear in court on Monday on charges of inciting violence.

Yet street protests regularly erupt and Islamist militants have intensified their attacks.

Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa El-Din has been trying to encourage both sides to compromise since he put an initiative to the cabinet in August.

"Security is essential and key to Egypt but it is not alone going to get us where we want, and there has to be a political framework as well," Bahaa El-Din told reporters.

"Ultimately this country needs to move towards a framework, of a political accord of some sort. It needs a political framework that is more inclusive for everybody."

His proposal called for an immediate end to the state of emergency, political participation for all parties and the guarantee of human rights, including free assembly.

But Bahaa El-Din's mission will not be easy.

State-run media have whipped up public opinion against the Brotherhood and created a climate in which there is little tolerance for the Islamist movement that won every election since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

And the security clampdown has only hardened the Brotherhood's position.

Bahaa El-Din's views are often at odds with the interior minister and other hardliners in the government who dismiss the Brotherhood as a terrorist group that cannot be trusted.

He expressed hope a political compromise could be reached, even though the Brotherhood's top leaders are in jail and say that, as a peaceful movement, they see no need to renounce violence, a key demand made by the government in the past.

"The fact that some or most or all of the leadership is in jail, I don't think that alone prevents them from taking a step forward and saying 'we are willing to give a sign that we will abandon this path (of violence) and join the roadmap'," he said.

Bahaa El-Din said the Brotherhood had "a huge impact on the perpetuation and continuation of violence" and should pursue politics instead. He did not elaborate.

Nearly daily street protests, clashes between supporters and opponents of Mursi and rising attacks by Islamist groups that security officials link to the Brotherhood have hammered tourism and investment in Egypt, a strategic U.S. ally.

Bahaa El-Din predicted Egypt's economy could withstand the upheaval, but expressed hopes that economic growth would climb to 7 percent once the political turbulence eased.

Egypt had several years of growth of around seven percent before the 2011 revolt.

"It will continue to grow 2 to 3 percent per year. But I wish we could do better," he said. "Egypt, like any other country, can live with a certain level of instability."

The story has been edited by Ahram Online

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Ahmed M Ibrahim
30-10-2013 04:12pm
Mr.Bahaeddin besides being the Deputy Prime Minister is an outstanding economist. The idea he has floated cannot be dismissed outright as there are sensible elements in the fanatical outfit. If good sense prevails, these sensible elements could play a positive role. However there is practically no chance for Morsi and his likes who were bent upon destroying the identity and image of Egypt. The MB should clean itself of fanatical elements as their presence would soil the image of religion as a bulwark of dignity and social justice.
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29-10-2013 11:20pm
Ikhwan lost their disguise forever
You are talking about reconciliations and compromises after the Ikhwan initiated violence, spread hatred, and worse of all corrupted the mind of many young people. Do you think anyone will accept bad behavior to be rewarded? What even ridicules, that the Ikhwan never regretted their actions, and never admitted their crimes against the Egyptians. What's even worse , is that they never promised that they will stop feel the animosity toward the Egyptian who differ with them, yet they ask for reconciliation. What they ask for is a cease fire, unfortunately the Egyptians are not so fool to trust them again. It has nothing to do with who is ruling, it has to do with trust. The bottom line, they lost their disguise forever.
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very very critical
29-10-2013 10:18pm
Limits of incompetence
I am stunned at the language and ideas advanced in this article. I can not believe that Al Ahraam is the source of this cheap talk. The country is in total mess and this minister talks leisurely of inclusiveness as a medium for so called peace!!! How incompetent can you get??? Where are the priorities?? How far can subordination go?? When will this irresponsible gambling with the future of the country come to an end????
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31-10-2013 01:14am
Ignorant secularists ?
Before you call anyone ignorant. Learn to write simple English.
George Ibrahim
30-10-2013 08:18pm
They would win iany free election.
OK, hold real elections and you will see who wins. But even if you lost, you will still be whining like a child.The Islamist, I am sure, will win and the ignorant secularists known it.

Hanibal Said
29-10-2013 09:15pm
The Islamists would really win any election
If the brotherhood is unpopular, then why is the junta afraid to hold elections? I think the Islamists would win any election in Egypt, irrespective of what the wishes and lies of the anti-Islam secular minority, which controls the media.
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Om Mohammed
30-10-2013 12:55am
The true Islam would win any election
Yes indeed brothehood is unpopular now because people stopped believing your lies. however the true Islam would win any election because it is the HAQ that no one can corrupt. Stop imagining that all the people who are against brotherhood are seculars and anti-Islam, they are only anti the cooruption in AQIDA

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