Cairo, 8 Safar 1436/1 December 2014 (MINA) – Egypt’s President Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi has claimed to have extended his hand to the Muslim Brotherhood after the June 30 coup which overthrew the government of Mohamed Morsi. However, he said, the movement rejected his approach, preferring the “way of insurgency”.
Speaking to France’s Le Figaro newspaper, Al-Sisi said that he proposed to the Brotherhood that the movement should take part on all sides of the political space and to nominate candidates for president and the parliament, but the group refused the offer.
On the situation in Sinai, Al-Sisi told Le Figaro that the steadfastness of the Egyptian army had led to a “notable” improvement, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).
When asked about members of the Salafi groups who, it is alleged, have set fire to churches, the coup leader said that it is impossible to deny. However, he added, there was “aggression” from “our Coptic brothers”, which is also unacceptable.
“We want to build our new Egypt based on the framework of our principles of tolerance and the tendency of our youth towards modernism,” he insisted. “This is what led to the January 25 and June 30 revolutions. The reactionaries who want to ruin this new spirit of harmony and modernism have no place among us.”
Al-Sisi stressed that there is no form of administrative detention used in Egypt and that all who are in prison have been arrested based on due legal process. He said that there are 90 million people in the country so there is no room for allowing any “mess” on the streets.
Regarding Libya, the Egyptian president said that if the UN wanted his country to interfere it would do so using “all means”. The danger of the jihadists needs a united front from the West and the Islamic world, he pointed out. “The American and British invasion of Iraq in 2003 was one of the reasons that lead to growth of Jihadism in the Sunni world… but it was not the only reason.”
The danger of ISIS, said Al-Sisi, is not connected to true Islam. “This is not a phenomenon among Muslims, but there are radicals in Europe.”
He hailed the increasing trend among the European countries to recognise the State of Palestine, noting that this is a step in the right direction. He insisted that there is no solution for the conflict without the establishment of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel.
“I think that the Israelis are ready to cede the occupied West Bank to the Palestinians, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is supporting the two-state solution.”
Egypt is continuing to mediate between the Palestinians, including Hamas, and the State of Israel, said Al-Sisi. “President Mahmoud Abbas represents the supreme authority for the Palestinians.”
In conclusion, the Egyptian president said that he is happy to mediate because he wants peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the same way as that his country made peace with Israel in the seventies.(T/R04/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)