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International community 'not looking back' after 30 June: Baradei

Egypt's Vice President gives first interview to local television, stresses he is only concerned with the future following ouster of president Morsi

Nada Hussein Rashwan, Sunday 4 Aug 2013
Baradei
Mohamed Elbaradei (Photo: AP)
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In his first local television interview as Vice President for Foreign Affairs, Mohamed ElBaradei told private satellite channel Al-Hayat Saturday evening that there was international recognition that the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi by the military following nationwide protests was necessary. He renewed calls to supporters of the deposed president to re-integrate in the new political order.

"We are currently not under any outside pressure," ElBaradei said in a pre-recorded interview. "The international community, along with the government, is now pressuring the Brotherhood to avoid violence and return to participation in political life."

"The US and the EU have already announced that what happened was a popular movement and not a military coup. They are now focused on what's next," he added.

Following disputes on the US's position on Egypt, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that the army had restored democracy in the country in response to widespread protests demanding Morsi's resignation, elected in June 2012 as Egypt's first post-Mubarak president.

ElBaradei explained that his priority was to communicate to international actors that the 30 June actions were "not a new revolution but a correction of the 25 January revolution" against the Mubarak regime.

"John Kerry's statement was based on a conversation we had, where I explained that the army intervened to avoid civil war and that the move was in response to a popular movement," he said.

"Prior to the 30 June protests [against Morsi] I had stressed to Kerry the necessity of Morsi's resignation amid growing popular dissatisfaction."

ElBaradei also defended the decision to allow the EU Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and the African Union delegation to visit Morsi in the undisclosed location where he has been held by the military since his ouster.

"It was a good step to show the world through Ashton and the African delegation that Morsi is being treated well, even though he is in an exceptional security situation, and that we have nothing to hide," ElBaradei said.

"The international community was worried about the safety of Morsi, though we had repeatedly said he was treated well," he added.

ElBaradei went on to say that apart from talks with international actors on Egypt's situation, the following item on his foreign policy agenda is reaching out to Nile Basin and Gulf countries.

"During the past year it was very unclear where our relations with these two regions were going," he added, referring to the tension under Morsi with Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and its ties with Qatar, as well as the row between Egypt and Ethiopia over the proceeding of building the disputed Renaissance Nile Dam.

'Violence last option'

ElBaradei reiterated his insistence on ending the current political impasse through a political solution, while pointing out that if the Muslim Brotherhood refuses to cooperate and insists on escalation, violence may be a feared inevitable consequence.

"My priority within the next 48 hours is to find a way to lessen the tension and decrease violence," he said. "My statement [in a Washington Post interview] about releasing Morsi in exchange for ending the sit-ins was mistranslated," he explained.

"I would love for the [Muslim Brotherhood's political wing] FJP and [Salafist] Nour party to continue as political actors and be part of the 50 member committee amending the constitution, but it is unacceptable that Nour party rejects a woman as culture minister," he said. "I support their right to be part of the political process, but within a constitution that forbids them from speaking in God's name."

The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies have maintained two mass sit-ins in Cairo's RabaaAl-Adaweyaand Nahda Squares and continue to holds demonstrations demanding Morsi's reinstatement. The Islamist alliance supporting Morsi has repeatedly said it will not be part of any negotiations that do not involve Morsi's return to power.

"I'd say to Morsi that the country can't handle confrontation. If your people listen to you, tell them to refrain from violence and escalation. All Brotherhood leaders are responsible for encouraging an end to violence and upholding political participation."

Several pro-Morsi demonstrations have turned to clashes with police forces and unknown assailantsin which dozens of protesters have been killed.

The military-backed interim government has accused Morsi's Islamist supporters of carrying out "terrorist acts" against their opponents. A report by Amnesty International cited a number of people claiming they were tortured by pro-Morsi protesters inside their Rabaa sit-in.

"The law must be applied on those on those who exercise violence, but on a parallel line a political solution must be prepared to end the crisis," Elbaradei said. "Brotherhood leaders who turn out not guilty of charges against them should be released. We're not applying selective justice."

A number of senior figures in the FJP and the Brotherhood were detained on charges of incitement and responsibility over slain protesters following Morsi's ouster.

Elbaradei insisted that violence is not the way to resolve the problem.

"Those who want to crush the Brotherhood accuse me of being soft. I don't believe my concern over the loss of lives makes me a soft man," he said.

"It's easy to get angry and say we'll crush the Islamists, but it will result in massive deaths. The fact that I'm being criticized by the Brotherhood as well as Mubarak regime figures means I'm doing something right."

ElBaradei expressed possible disagreement with the army on how to deal with pro-Morsi protests.

"El-Sisi's call for protest was only aimed at showing the world that an overwhelming majority is against mixing religion with politics and that the Brotherhood's project is rejected."

Western political leaders as well as a number of human rights organizations have expressed concern over statements made by the Egyptian government earlier this week about communication between the police and the army deciding a day to disperse the thousands-strong pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo, feared by observers to inevitably cause high levels of casualties.

"I repeatedly told El-Sisi that dispersing the sit-in is not right," he said."But still, if we reach a point where there is no alternative to using violence, it has to be exercised with minimallossesof lives."

Battle ahead

Speaking about the post-Morsi political process, Elbaradei said the battle lies ahead for the liberal opposition camp - mainly the umbrella group the National Salvation Front of which he is a leading figure –in amending the constitution and competing in the elections, the main components of the military-enforced post-Morsi roadmap.

"The NSF has to continue with its work, the real battle lies in the constitution and the elections ahead," he said.

"The NSF is a strong civil front. We got past our biggest obstacle [by removing Morsi] but we still have decisive phases ahead of us. I hope the NSF competes in the elections as one entity."

Responding to a question about the possibility of his running for president, Elbaradei repeated that he does not wish to hold the position.

"My role is to get the country back on track. I believe it's time to transfer power to a new generation. Our generation is the product of decades of oppression, I'm only here to coach the new generation onto the new path."

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7



Ahmad
06-08-2013 02:18pm
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Now Egypt is ruled by International community
International community 'not looking back' after 30 June: Baradei It does not matter what Egyptian think, the world community (America and EU) matters.
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6



very very critical
06-08-2013 07:01am
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El Baradai blunder!
El Baradai is visibly weak and rudderless. He is spending credit gained during the Iraq debacle with little if any input of his own. Expansion in Brothers acts of violence could be attributed to his attitude and his attitude only. He, more dangerously, seem to misguide the entire government. The prime minister is too weak to have a mind of his own. The President is temporary and inexperienced. The Cabinet is biding its time. Meanwhile the country is lost. The economy is in shambles, the streets are dangerous and the unemployed and destitute majority is herded behind a cash rich and mean spirited Brothers!!! Egypt is doomed!!
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5



Sadik
05-08-2013 11:14pm
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Don't make yourself look more foolish than you already do
"We are currently not under any outside pressure," ElBaradei said in a pre-recorded interview. "The international community, along with the government, is now pressuring the Brotherhood to avoid violence and return to participation in political life." You would have told your supporters to return to participation in political life, whey they were on streets, killing innocent people , burning brotherhood offices. "The US and the EU have already announced that what happened was a popular movement and not a military coup. They are now focused on what's next," he added. it was popular movement. Mr. Elbaradei, what do you mean by quoting this. now hundreds of people are on the street for restoring democracy. they are not human being...Actually you are making fun of Egyptian.
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4



Farida
04-08-2013 09:31am
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Respect
Dr. El Baradie, you truly are an inspiration and, unfortunately, way ahead of your time. Egypt needs more of you: Democrat:"It is unacceptable that Nour party rejects a woman as culture minister" Just:"Brotherhood leaders who turn out not guilty of charges against them should be released. We're not applying selective justice." Human: "It's easy to get angry and say we'll crush the Islamists, but it will result in massive deaths. The fact that I'm being criticized by the Brotherhood as well as Mubarak regime figures means I'm doing something right." Haters, please spare me your baseless melodrama.
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abdulrahman
05-08-2013 07:01pm
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Insult to Democracy
Calling Al Baradei is a terrible insult to democracy. He was afraid to go for elections. Then used the power of the military to become Deputy President . Don't insult the term democracy. He is a hypocrite of the highest order and damaging the country.
Zeineb
04-08-2013 01:36pm
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Well said Farida
Ahead of his time and therefore not understood by many
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abu Aziz
04-08-2013 09:03am
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Do you think the International Community believe you.
You disappointed the International community. Remember International community is not the West, as it called it self. There is a democratic process which you should support, but it is a matter of shame you supported the US puppet on with the blessings of Gulf autocrats. The Egyptian Army, which can fire bullets on its own people but cannot stand against the Israelis, repeated the US directed drama which was took place in Algeria. Egyptian are unfortunate. Since the departure of Shah Farooq the Army dictators are ruling the country, this shows they are suitable for democracy. Let the democratic process take place if you wants a change of the government. But this will never happen as the new "FIROUN" will not have a chance to rule. God have mercy on Egypt. Ameen
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2



Samantha Criscione
04-08-2013 08:30am
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No, Baradei, the US and Europeans ARE looking back!
If they're not looking back, how come they all troop to see Morsi, as if he were, as the foreign minister said, a shrine? How come the State Department, the EU and the Germans have said the arrests of Brotherhood leaders is "arbitrary," which means without basis in law and despotic? How come they have all blamed the government for the Brotherhood-staged bloody fighting this past month? The truth is the resistance of the overwhelming majority backed by the army has presented the US & Europeans with a force they have found it difficult to pressure -- and THAT is why they (and Baradei!) have not taken even worse positions.But they have not given up and will continue to try to sabotage what the great Egyptian people have accomplished! They still dream of Egypt being a juicy colony under the fascist control of the Brotherhood, keeping everyone in line, like good slaves, not a free state. --Samantha Criscione
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1



Fartmaster
04-08-2013 01:53am
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Who died
Who died and made El Bareidei king.
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