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Catherine Ashton is evil: Pro-Morsi coalition leader

The head of the Islamist Al-Asala Party, Mohamed Shiha, accused Wednesday the EU's Catherine Ashton of taking clear sides in Egypt's internal affairs

Ahram Online, Thursday 23 Jan 2014
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy Vice-President of the European Commission, types a message on her phone during the Syrian peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 (Photo: AP)

A prominent leader of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, the main pro-Mohamed Morsi coalition, told Al-Jazeera Egypt that Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy envoy, had only one goal when she visits Egypt, which is to support what he described as the "military coup."

Mohamed Shiha, head of Al-Asala Party, told Al-Jazeera Egypt Wednesday night that Ashton is "evil." "When she met Morsi in prison (in late July 2013) she urged him to accept the military coup. She told him that only a few hundreds were demonstrating for him. He told her that 'if only hundreds are protesting for me you wouldn't be here to talk to me.'"

"She always says that she feared the Algerian scenario in Egypt. I tell her no, why the Algerian scenario? Why not after all of our demonstrations we reach an Iranian scenario? Didn't sustained peaceful protests in Iran get rid of the Shah dictatorship, the leftists and the liberals and ruled alone?" Shiha said.

Ashton visited Egypt several times after the 30 June protests that led to the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

In late July, she had a 90-minute meeting with Morsi upon her request. Up until that meeting, the Muslim Brotherhood leader had been held incommunicado at an undisclosed location since his ouster.

"Morsi is in a good condition and is being well-treated," Ashton announced after the meeting.

Asserting in October that the EU is not mediating between Egypt's political forces, Ashton also met with top-level government officials and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood during her visits.  

Ashton has welcomed the ratification, by referendum, of Egypt's new constitution, saying she expects the document to set the scene for civilian rule.

"I would like to congratulate the Egyptian people and the authorities responsible for organising the vote in a largely orderly manner," Ashton said in a statement Sunday.

Ashton noted the EU could not assess or verify alleged irregularities in the poll, but said they "do not appear to have fundamentally affected the outcome."

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