28 September 2013

Egypt's Transitional Government to End Next Spring, Foreign Minister Says in UN Speech

Egypt's Foreign Minister told the United Nations General Assembly that the transition that has been in place since the removal of Mohamed Morsy in July should end by next spring, following the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections.

Egypt has been undergoing a democratic transition following the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak two years ago in the wake of mass protests. In July, renewed protests, in which dozens of people were killed and wounded, led to the Egyptian military deposing Mr. Morsy. The Constitution was then suspended and an interim government set up.

In his address to the General Assembly's high-level debate today, Nabil Fahmy said the road map his Government has been implementing since July includes a national agenda to build the institutions of a democratic State within a specific timeframe.

"All Egyptians are invited to participate in all phases of the political process, as long as they are committed to the renunciation of violence and terrorism, and of acts of incitement to them," he said. "Work is underway, in line with the road map, on several tracks. It has so far succeeded in establishing the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy, as a basis for governance.

"This will be followed by parliamentary elections, then presidential elections, so that the transitional phase ends by next spring."

The events of July, Mr. Fahmy noted, "showed the world that the will of the people cannot be broken... That it can grant authority, just as it can remove it from the hands of those who abuse it."

He reiterated his Government's determination to fully implement the road map. "This requires us to give utmost priority to the preservation of security and the enforcement of the law, and to counter any intimidation attempts aiming at hindering our efforts."

Recent "hideous" acts of terrorism in Egypt, he stated, were aimed at undermining the democratic process and destroying the economy.

"I have full confidence that the brave Egyptian people, who succeeded in imposing their will, can put an end to terrorism, within the framework of the rule of law. I trust that the international community, which has for long rejected terrorism, will firmly stand by the Egyptian people in the fight against violence and its advocates, and will not accept any attempt to justify it, or tolerate it."

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