Egypt’s National Dialogue coordinator says sessions will start within days

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 Jan 2023

Egypt’s National Dialogue coordinator Diaa Rashwan announced on Thursday that the dialogue is set to start in the 'next few days' after the completion of the preparation work and the defining of the topics set to be discussed by its subcommittees.



According to a statement by the Dialogue’s board of trustees, the sessions will be held in parallel at least three days weekly and will discuss topics previously agreed upon by the board. They will produce  recommendations that will be submitted to the President.

The board of trustees has completed the process of selection of rapporteurs and assistant rapporteurs for the dialogue's three main tracks (political, economic, social) –  and their 19 subcommittees – over the past three months.

The board announced that the sessions and their discussions will be attended by hundreds of representatives from different political powers, parties, syndicates and unions. They will also be attended by representatives of the civil society, by public figures and experts.

Rashwan, who is also the head of the Press Syndicate, said that the board of trustees of the Dialogue has agreed to discuss 100 topics and that the number of attendees per session will be 30. Therefore, it is expected that a total of  3,000 people will attend the sessions.

According to Rashwan, the 100 topics have been chosen so as to cover the three main tracks: Politics, Economy and Society. Discussions in the 19 subcommittees are expected to broach topics such as the current economic situation, public debt, pensions, as well as the Egyptian Sovereign fund.

The board also announced that it will discuss issues related to politics, including parliamentary elections and freedom of expression.

“The members of the National Dialogue’s board of trustees are confident about the seriousness of the Dialogue,” said Rashwan. He affirmed that there existed no predetermined scenario for what was going to happen in the sessions or the discussions.

The dialogue was called for by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during the annual Egyptian Family Iftar banquet last April.

President El-Sisi has asserted that all intellectuals, syndicates and political forces are invited to the Dialogue. He noted, however, that only one faction was exempted from the dialogue, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood which Egypt designated a terrorist organisation in 2013.

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