President Mohamed Morsi's assistant for foreign relations and internal cooperation, Essam El-Haddad, has told CNN America that ongoing protests in Egypt are not a drawback and should be viewed as people exercising their freedom of expression.
Haddad, who is currently visiting Washington DC with a delegation of Egyptian officials, said violence at the presidential palace between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters was reprehensible. President Morsi is open to dialogue and willing to negotiate on all matters, he added.
Speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, Haddad rejected calls by Constitution Party leader Mohamed ElBaradei for the constitutional referendum, set for 15 December, to be postponed.
"There will be a referendum for the people to freely express their view. What is the use of cancelling the draft constitution at this moment?" Haddad stated.
If the constitution is approved, he said, the new parliament would have the opportunity to rework the contentious articles.