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Egypt's Social Democratic party youth retreat from attending National Youth Conference

Ahram Online , Sunday 23 Oct 2016
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After confirming attendance at a presidential conference for youth in Sharm El-Sheikh next week, a statement released by the Egyptian Social Democratic party youth on Saturday rejected participation, reported Ahram Arabic website.

The statement said that despite the party’s belief in the importance of dialogue—including that with state institutions—it has "strong reservations regarding what has been dubbed the “year of the youth,” which witnessed the arrest of tens of young people on charges of protesting and expressing their views."

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's office announced that the country's First National Youth Conference will kick off next Tuesday for three days in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Nearly 3000 Egyptian youth from different fields are set to participate in an open forum to discuss current issues as well the future of the country, according to the presidential announcement.

The Sharm El-Sheikh conference "cannot be described as serious dialogue,” the Social Democratic party statement read. Hosting hundreds in one hall, the dialogue is likely to "turn into a one sided conversation" and "a waste of time, money and effort.”

The party's youth said that for any "serious" and "effective" dialogue to take place would require small groups, representing various political factions, to meet with an agenda planned ahead for subjects of discussion.

The party apologized for not attending the conference and said it will announce its views on the political and social issues discussed at a press conference later.

Political parties declaring their participation in the conference include the Free Egyptian party, The Wafd party and The Conference party.

The conference will be supervised by the president's office as part of the presidential “youth leadership programme” launched in January.

The Egyptian president has declared 2016 as the "year of Egyptian youth.”

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