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Commenting on the remarks of the Official Spokesperson of the European External Action Service (EEAS) on Egypt on May 30th, Official MFA Spokesperson Counselor Ahmed Abou Zeid asserted Egypt’s complete rejection of the remarks and the mistaken reading of the situation in Egypt they entailed. He added that these remarks are inconsistent with the existing understandings between the two sides in relation to the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities.
The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson noted that these remarks are unsuccessful and do not serve the dialogue and partnership that bind Egypt and the European Union on the basis of transparency and mutual respect.
Counselor Abou Zeid added that Egypt has concerns regarding multiple aspects with regards to the status of human rights in the EU. They include the immense difficulty and degrading treatment suffered by many of the immigrants and refugees, as well as the violations committed by law enforcement authorities. That is in addition to the growing effect of the rise of extremist, right-wing parties and movements, with the ensuing manifestations of racism, discrimination, violence and hate speech.
Abou Zeid outlined that the independent media platforms in Egypt attest to the freedom of opinion and expression it enjoys. He noted that no citizen in Egypt is arrested or tried as a result of engaging in an activity in the field of human rights or for directing criticism at the Egyptian government, but for committing crimes punishable by law.
The MFA Spokesperson, further, added that Egypt respects the State’s institutions, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, as well the principle of the separation of powers. He cited national self-monitoring mechanisms that deal with any violations related to human rights such as the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR). This is in addition to the responsibility of the House of Representatives in monitoring the performance of the executive branch. Abou Zeid emphasized that Egypt’s commitment to human rights is well-established and irreproachable. It aims at achieving national interests, and is not meant to satisfy any party. In fact, it stems out of a firm belief in the importance of these values in laying down the foundations of a modern state that meets the ambitions and aspirations of its people.