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German ambassador praises Egypt's interim cabinet

Muslim Brotherhood must be engaged in Egypt's political life, says German ambassador in Cairo

Ahram Online, Monday 30 Sep 2013

Germany's Ambassador to Cairo Michael Bock says that while the situation in Egypt is complicated, the interim government is taking the right steps towards regaining security and stability.

In a press conference held at the German Embassy in Cairo on Monday, Bock added that there are positive indications from the interim cabinet, which has translated into the return of European tourism to Egypt, and German tourism in particular.

Bock explained that tourism is an important indicator for stability, as "four million Egyptians earn their living from working in tourism" and "10 percent of foreign tourism in Egypt is dependent on Germans."

Regarding the political situation in Egypt, Bock asserted that reaching national reconciliation is inevitable, adding that the Muslim Brotherhood is a faction that cannot be neglected and must be involved in the political scene.

"There has to be intensive attempts for them to be included, even if they initially refused, or even if they are a small faction, because no stability will be reached through exclusion."

Bock further refuted accusations that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group, asserting that he refused "generalisations."

"There are those from the Islamic current who incited or committed crimes, those must stand before court. However the majority cannot be considered terrorists," he said, adding that his government does not support violence and will not defend it.

Bock pointed out that German media was among the first to criticise the deposed president during the clashes that took place at Al-Itihadya presidential palace in December 2012 and then also during his visit to Berlin in January 2013.

"We have told him he represents his group [the Muslim Brotherhood] and not the Egyptian people who voted for you."

Meanwhile, Bock also stated his support for the Egyptian military's operations in the restive Sinai Peninsula, saying "it's necessary to impose control on an important land in Egypt."

Bock denied any threat by Germany or the European Union to reduce or cut aid to Egypt.

"We have dealt with the current government even though it was not elected, and we will deal with any coming government and also with General Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi if he was elected by Egyptians,” Bock concluded.

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