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Egypt FM says Morsi being 'treated well', defends army at Republican Guard HQ

Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr tells CNN he does not know where Mohamed Morsi is being held, but knows he is receiving good treatment

Ahram Online, Wednesday 10 Jul 2013
Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr in his interview on CNN on Tuesday 9 July, 2013 (Photo: CNN screenshot)

Egypt's caretaker Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr has said deposed president Mohamed Morsi, whose location is currently unknown to the public, is receiving good treatment. 

“[Morsi] is not free to go around, but he is treated very well,” Amr said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

"And this is also for his own safety; we are going through a very turbulent time."

However, Amr, who resigned from Morsi's government amid mass protests against his rule but agreed to continue temporarily as a caretaker minister, did not disclose the former president's location.

"I do not know exactly where he is," he said.

Some people believe Morsi is being held at the Republican Guard HQ in Cairo. Many of his supporters, mainly members of his Muslim Brotherhood group, staged a sit-in outside the building that ended in clashes with the Armed Forces on Monday. 

Fifty-one people were killed, mainly Brotherhood members, and one army officer, and at least 435 were injured in the violence. 

"I do not believe that the military personnel opened fire at peaceful demonstrators [at the Republican Guard HQ]," he said. "If we take an objective view at what happened you see that there were soldiers who were entrusted to protect a very vital military installation. These are not crowd-control soldiers; these are soldiers that are entrusted with a military duty." 

Amanpour then asked if the military "needs to be told not to be so quick with using live fire particularly at this time of maximum political crisis."

"Definitely everyone has to be cautious... It's easy to judge when you're afar, but when you are in the heat of the moment when there are thousands trying to storm a building you are protecting, then I think things can sometimes happen, regrettable things," Amr answered. 

The minister also spoke about Egypt's new cabinet that is expected to be formed soon after Hazem El-Beblawi was appointed as interim prime minister on Tuesday. 

"I myself want to end up with a government that represents every shape of the society, being it secularist, being it people with a religious point of view, this is Egypt and it has to be reflected in any real government," he said. 

He added that no one should be excluded from political life or the decision-making process. 

Former president Morsi was deposed by Egypt's Armed Forces last week following massive nationwide protests calling for his ouster. Judge Adly Mansour, the head of the High Constitutional Court, was sworn in as the country's interim president on Thursday. 

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