Egypt's FM hails roadmap as fundamental for democracy

Ahram Online, Saturday 28 Sep 2013

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy tells UN General Assembly 'whoever tries to hinder the political roadmap through terrorism will be thwarted'

Nabil Fahmy
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy speaks during the 68th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (Photo: AP)

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said the country's roadmap has cemented justice, freedom and democracy as fundamentals for governance, saying whoever tries to hinder the roadmap through terrorism will be thwarted.

On Saturday, Fahmy spoke at the UN General Assembly's 68th meeting in New York, reiterating the stance of Egypt's interim authorities that former elected president Mohamed Morsi was deposed because the public turned against him.

Millions of Egyptians hit the streets on 30 June to protest against Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, citing political and financial grievances. The former-president was ousted three days later as part of a political roadmap that included his overthrow. The roadmap was agreed upon by many political forces, as well as Al-Azhar and Coptic church, and enforced by the armed forces.

"It was normal that Egyptians would go out on 25 January 2011 [the uprising the toppled Morsi’s predecessor Mubarak] declaring their will to build a contemporary democratic state and stipulating basic demands: Freedom, dignity and social justice," Fahmy said during his speech.

"For the same reasons people once again mobilised on 30 June; the will of the people does not break and is able to grant or strip authority from those who abuse it."

"Egyptians have a clear, ambitious vision that requires a systematic work plan within a timeframe that shall be successful by allowing all political peaceful forces [to participate]."

Morsi and the Brotherhood, which was often cited as the actual ruling body during the former’s rule, were widely accused of trying to dominate power by installing Islamists in many high-ranking state positions.

Egypt's non-Islamist political forces have repeatedly argued the suspended constitution was not representative of all layers of society and limited several freedoms, blaming the majority Islamist members of the outgoing constituent assembly for ignoring their recommendations. The 2012 constitution has been frozen pending amendments as part of the ongoing roadmap.

Following Morsi's ouster, Egypt has witnessed recurrent clashes between his supporters and opponents, with Islamist groups and their allies embarking on nationwide protests.

Additionally, after the dispersal of two huge pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza on 14 August, which left hundreds dead, attacks on policemen notably increased.

"Egypt has been subject to desperate, pathetic terrorist attacks… [Such acts] revealed the ugly face of terrorism that aims to destroy democracy and the economy."

Fahmy also vowed before the General Assembly that Egypt would sign global treaties against weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological weapons on time.

He stressed that Israel, believed to be the strongest nuclear force in the region, must join the initiatives, as well as Syria, following accusations of chemical weapons use against civilians.

"The crisis in Syria reached a point at which chemical weapons were used," he said, adding: "What's happening in Palestine remains the biggest threat to the region because of Israel’s expanded occupational activities."

"A new Middle East requires balanced security; there should be no weapons of mass destruction."

Fahmy stressed the importance of cooperation between all peoples of the world based on mutual respect and non-interference in the domestic affairs of nation states.

Ahead of Fahmy's speech, hundreds of Egyptians in New York held two counter rallies: One supporting Egypt’s roadmap and the other protesting what they describe as a 'military coup' to oust former president Mohamed Morsi.

During his stay in New York, Fahmy held talks with a number of his counterparts from different countries, including Serbia, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

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