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Egyptian pope urges 'hero' El-Sisi to run for president

Pope Tawadros II, leader of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, claims Arab revolutions were fueled by 'malicious hands'

MENA and Ahram Online, Sunday 23 Mar 2014
Views: 2454
Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has said Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has a "national duty" to stand for president in upcoming polls.

"Egyptians see him as a saviour and the hero of the 30 June revolution," Tawadros said during an interview with Kuwait's Al-Watan TV channel on Saturday.

El-Sisi, currently the country's army chief and defence minister, has the "discipline" necessary to lead the country, Tawadros said.

"Yet, everyone is free to elect who they find suitable."

El-Sisi is widely expected to stand for president but is yet to officially declare his candidacy.  

However, Amr Moussa, the head of the 50-member constitution-drafting committee, on Saturday issued a statement outlining El-Sisi's electoral programme.

During the interview, Tawdaros described interim President Adly Mansour as a respectful man who is leading the state with "wisdom" and a "vision for the future."

"There was a moment of consensus and cohesion on the need to end the period of Muslim Brotherhood rule," Tawadros said, in reference to the 30 June protests that preceded the army's ouster of president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.

Tawadros also praised the Church for its "heroic role in times of chaos and the systematic destruction of churches in Egypt."

Dozens of churches were attacked after Morsi's ouster and the subsequent killing of hundreds of his supporters at protest camps in Cairo and Giza.

The pope criticised the western media, saying it had fabricated facts about the situation in post-Morsi Egypt.

"The Church was keen to reveal all the facts to foreign delegations that visited after the events," he added.

Tawadros also condemned the Arab uprisings, which began in Tunisia in late 2010 before spreading to Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain.

The uprisings "known as the Arab spring, were neither a spring nor an autumn," he said. "It was an Arab winter brought by malicious hands to our Arab region to break up its countries into smaller states."

Meanwhile, on the construction of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, Tawadros claimed its negative impact would be felt in Egypt, Sudan and the whole African continent.

Egypt has voiced concern over the dam on the Nile river, which supplies most of its water needs.

Talks on the dam between Egypt and Ethiopia have failed to broker an agreement. Ethiopia insists the dam will not affect Egypt's water supply, while Egypt argues not enough research has been conducted into the dam's possible impact.

Tawadros II was selected as Egypt's 118th Coptic Orthodox Pope in November 2012, succeeding Pope Shenouda III who passed away in March 2012.


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11-04-2014 09:18pm
Politician or Pope? Tawadros II versus Mohammad Badie
Does this pope have a political portfolio? LOL He was standing on Sisi's shoulder when they removed Morsi, now he is voicing strong opinions about Sisi. Looking at him and how he operates, one has to wonder whether there is any difference between his portfolio and that of the head of the muslim brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie. What will he do when the Egyptian military goes after the copts like they are going after the Muslim Brotherhood supporters? Has he learned the fundamental lesson, treat others as you would like to be treated!?
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27-03-2014 04:16am
God save Egypt! neither their poltical nor relgious leaders are not ready for the tasks
This is a so called religious leader choosing EL- SISI as a saviour ,whom toppled the first democratic elected president in Egypt history. good luck for putting all your eggs in one basket as far as GERD concern it will have a positive impact in , Sudan and the whole African continent. you should stick on your profession and preach love, tolerance, fairness and acceptance.
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24-03-2014 05:22am
Since when has the Pope become a politician?
I would doubt Pope Tawadros's alleged "GERD's negative impact would be felt in Egypt, Sudan and the whole African continent" statement due to the habit of manipulation of facts in Egyptian media. Even so, such unfairness to the nile usage was the reason why king Haileselassie broke the institutional marriage between Egyptian and Ethiopian Orthodox churches in the 1950s. What ever the opinion of his holiness might be, Ethiopia will forward on utilizing its God-given river for what ever it chooses. Gone are the days when the coptic church orchestrated against Ethiopians by setting so many holidays when people must not work and preached the nile must not be dammed becoz the river belongs to God.
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23-03-2014 10:44pm
Stockholm syndrome
Here is a man of God condemning 92.5 million people to live in poverty, how tragic. Perhaps his holiness is suffering from Stockholm syndrome. This really highlights the far farsightedness of Emperor Haile Selassie when he saw this coming and made sure that the Ethiopian Tewahido Christian Orthodox church severed its 1600 year relationship with Alexandria.
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