Egypt expresses bewilderment and resentment towards the European position regarding its internal affairs
The Official Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry expressed Egypt’s bewilderment regarding the European Union’s Statement before the Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. The spokesperson added that the statement, which portrayed the situation in Egypt in a negative light, coincides with the increase of terrorist activity in the region and in Egypt, the most recent of which was an attack that claimed the lives of six policemen in Sinai today. Such timing prompts resentment, shows poor judgment, and lacks objectivity, raising questions regarding the European Union’s position regarding ongoing international efforts to combat terrorism.
He further added that Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held extensive talks with several key European parties during his current visit to Madrid to attend the International Conference on Libya, including meetings and phone calls with the Foreign Ministers of both Italy and Malta as well as several other ministers, in order to convey the fact that the European Statement is not consistent with developments on the ground in Egypt, nor is it consistent with regional and international efforts to combat terrorism. Shoukry also stressed to them that the statement reflects double standards in dealing with human rights issues, and ignores all of the clarifications and evidence that Egypt has provided to the European Union regarding the state of human rights in Egypt, and the significant increase in the number of civilians as well as police and military personnel who fall victim to the attacks conducted by terrorist groups in Egypt with connections to other terrorist organizations throughout the region.
The Spokesman stated that Shoukry tasked the Permanent Representative of Egypt in Geneva to respond by refuting these allegations and conveying the true image of the situation in Egypt. The Permanent Representative affirmed that the European statement relied on false accusations and inaccurate information disseminated by specific parties, and reflects a lack of understanding of the political and legal institutions in Egypt, adding that some countries deliberately rely on inaccurate information, with intentions entirely unrelated to human rights. The Permanent Representative further expressed his astonishment towards the fact that some delegations in the Human Rights Council commented on judicial verdicts, violating established legal principles regarding state sovereignty and separation of powers. He also alluded to a number of articles in British and Dutch law which stipulates severe punishment for merely threatening to conduct terrorist acts, asserting that no cases of killing of peaceful protestors took place in Egypt, and explaining that what was in place in Rabaa Square was an armed gathering and that the first victim to fall was a policeman. Furthermore, the Permanent Representative expressed deep concern regarding the double standards displayed by some parties who direct unsubstantiated criticisms at other countries regarding human rights, ignoring the need to improve their own human rights record, which is abundant with violations both past and present.
Shoukry also tasked the Assistant Minister for Multilateral relations with summoning the EU Ambassadors accredited in Cairo to the Foreign Ministry’s headquarters. Today, September 16, the Assistant Minister informed the Ambassadors of Egypt’s complete rejection of the European statement, which he said conveys a negative message at a time in which Egypt is working to combat terrorism. The statement, he added, reflects duplicity in the European position, which calls for rallying international support in combating terrorism while at the same time attacking Egypt, the first line of defense against terrorism in the region. The Assistant Minister stressed that the insistence upon criticizing the government conveys a negative image of hesitation in supporting Egypt in its war against terrorism.