Egypt parliamentary speaker meets with US ambassador

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Feb 2012

El-Katatni receives US ambassador on Tuesday after MPs on Wednesday slam perceived US interference in Egypt's affairs

Saad El-Katatni, speaker of Egypt's newly-elected parliament, met with US Ambassador to Egypt Ann Peterson on Wednesday in his office. According to parliamentary sources, El-Katatni and Peterson discussed local political developments, especially as they pertained to Egypt's new Islamist-led parliament.

On Tuesday, several parliamentarians – including independent MP Mostafa Bakry – slammed the US ambassador for allegedly sending a letter directly to the residence of Justice Minister Adel Abdel Hamid regarding recent raids by judicial authorities on certain local NGOs and the subsequent detention of a handful of American employees of those NGOs.

While addressing parliament in the same session on Tuesday, Abdel Hamid stated that the letter in question had not actually been sent to his personal residence but to the judicial authorities involved in the raids. The minister added that he had contacted embassy officials and made it clear that he had not been involved in the case.

El-Katatni commented on the minister’s statements to the Assembly, saying that Egypt would not accept interference by the US embassy in the country's internal affairs.

A group of US nationals working for local human rights NGOs were recently barred by authorities from leaving the country. The move comes as part of an ongoing investigation into foreign-funded NGOs by Egypt's public prosecutor.

Short link: