Foreign ministry condemns US Senator Inhofe's 'irresponsible' remarks

Ahram Online, Thursday 7 Feb 2013

Foreign Affairs Ministry denounces US Senator Jim Inhofe's remarks as 'violent and irresponsible' and disapproves of any intrusion in Egypt's internal politics

US Senator Inhofe
Senate Armed Services Committee members, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the committee's ranking Republican, left, accompanied by fellow committee member, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asks a question of former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama's choice for defense secretary, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Foreign Affairs Ministry official spokesman condemned "irresponsible and violent" statements of Jim Inhofe, Ranking Member of Senate Armed Services Committee, for intervening in Egypt's internal politics on Thursday, according to Al-Ahram Arabic language news website.

Senator Inhofe issued a press release on 31 January via his website, where he introduced legislation "to conditionally suspend certain military sales to Egypt, including the F-16 [jets]."

The spokesman expressed complete disapproval of any intrusion in Egyptian internal politics and of Inhofe's statement for "ignoring that President Morsi is the first democratically elected civil president."

The ministry's spokesman highlighted that such statements should not affect the relations between Egypt and the United States.

He also added that no official should contribute to harming the relations between both countries.

"For decades, the US has had a good relationship with Egypt, training their troops and working together to maintain peace and stability in the region. Under Muslim Brotherhood’s President Morsi, this relationship has come to a halt. We need to continue to support the Egyptian military, which Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have currently distanced themselves from,” Inhofe explained in his statement.

The American senator added "Egypt’s military is our friend – Morsi is our enemy."

Inhofe asked to delay any further deliveries of F-16s until the president "certifies" to Congress that the government of Egypt agrees on four conditions:

1- To continue to uphold its commitments under the Camp David Peace Accords

2- To provide proper security at United States embassies and consulates

3- To bring stability to its nation by ending its systematic exclusion and silencing of all official minority political opposition

4- To take concrete steps to engage in dialogue with such opposition parties and consider a coalition, power-sharing government with such opposition parties.

"I believe that won’t happen until Morsi is gone, and we’ve got to keep this leverage to make this happen," Inhofe concluded his statement.

Foreign Affairs spokesman stated that Egypt has received four F-16 jets recently.

In 2010, United States and Egypt under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, agreed that the foreign aid package includes F-16s.

Under former president Anwar Sadat, Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, becoming a close ally of the United States and Europe.

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