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Egypt's Conservatives Party urges government to consider asylum request from Gulen if presented

Egypt's Conservatives Party said the government should consider granting asylum to exiled Turkish opposition figure Fethullah Gulen if asked

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 30 Jul 2016
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Egypt's Conservatives Party urged the government to consider giving political asylum to exiled Turkish opposition figure Fethullah Gulen should he submit an official request.

According to the party’s deputy chairman Mohsen Fawzi, "if Gulen decided to submit an official political asylum request to Egypt, the government should consider it and it has the right to approve or reject it."

The Conservatives Party is an Egyptian opposition party with six MPs in parliament led by business tycoon Akmal Qortam.

"Egypt's historical, regional, and international standing should force it to adopt certain positions, but these positions must go in line with international laws," said Fawzi.

"Political asylum can't be granted to Gulen unless he submits an official request."

However, Fawzi said that "until Gulen decides whether he wants to seek political asylum in Egypt or elsewhere, there should not be a special debate on this issue in parliament at the moment."

"The Gulen affair is the last thing Egypt needs at the moment because it Erdogan might exploit it, as he exploited the failed coup against him to impose his dictatorship, to portray it as a battle [waged by] Egypt against the Turkish people," said Fawzi.

"Our battle for improving the economy and rebuilding the state should get the government's paramount attention and it should not be distracted by any other battles."

Fawzi added that "we should not care too much about the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan's hostile attitude towards Egypt."

"This regime will leave power one day, but the Turkish people will stay and we have historically strong relations with this people," said Fawzi.

The Conservatives Party's statement comes after Egypt MP Emad Mahrous demanded last week that the government grant political asylum to Gulen.

Mahrous accused Erdogan of exploiting the failed coup ‎against him this month to detain hundreds ‎of his political opponents and turn Turkey ‎into a Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship.

The statement also comes after 337 MPs – more than half of deputies – called on parliament last week to approve a draft resolution in favour of recognising the death of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman state in 1915 as a "genocide."

MPs said parliament must hold a special session on this subject because it was a crime of mass extermination that should be condemned by all world parliaments.

Prime minister of Egypt Sherif Ismail said last week that Egypt has not received political asylum request from Gulen, whom Erdogan and his government accuse of orchestrating the attempted coup of 15 July, though he denied having any connection with the incident.

Turkey has officially asked the United States to extradite Gulen, some Western media speculating that Gulen may leave the US to avoid extradition.

Egypt Prime Minister Ismail said that if Gulen submits any asylum request, Egyptian authorities would consider it.

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