UK endorses Egyptian interim government 'future map' for 1st time

Amer Sultan in London, Sunday 1 Dec 2013

For the first time since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's ouster on 3 July, the UK voices explicit support for the plan opposed by his supporters

El-Sisi announced the ouster of Mohamed Morsi
General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi addresses the nation from behind a podium. Sitting behind him are leaders including Coptic Pope Tawadros, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Mohamed ElBaradei, Tamarad or "rebel" movement leaders and Nour Party leaders. El-Sisi announced the ouster of Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, 3 July 2013 (Photo: Al-Ahram)

A UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesperson told Ahram Online Saturday that his government is "working with the [Egyptian] interim government to encourage an inclusive democratic transition."

Asked about his government’s view of the roadmap adopted nearly five months ago following Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's ouster, the FCO spokesperson said: "We support the process which is currently taking place."

He also affirmed the UK does not back any specific political party or group in Egypt as it "strongly supports an inclusive political system which allows all groups in society to be represented and in which freedom of expression is respected."

When the military deposed Morsi on 3 July amid mass nationwide protests against his rule, British Prime Minister David Cameron had said: "We never support in countries the intervention by the military, but what needs to happen now in Egypt is for democracy to flourish and for a genuine democratic transition to take place."

Although Morsi and his supporters continue to argue that elections are the only legitimate route to government change, Cameron has expressed that democracy is not only about ballot boxes.

"Freedom of expression will be essential to achieving a successful transition in Egypt," the spokesman said.

He added that his government had noted the concerns of the UN and civil society organisations regarding the new protest law. "We encourage the Egyptian authorities to address these concerns," the spokesman said.

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