A little detail on Egypt’s issue with the EU

A little detail on Egypt’s issue with the EU

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit condemned here Thursday a European Parliament resolution criticizing the status of human rights in Egypt. Abul Gheit made the remarks after the European Parliament already passed a resolution in this respect earlier in the day even after Cairo summoned EU ambassadors to complain about the text.

Emphatically rejecting the resolution, the Egyptian foreign minister said the European Parliament was ignorant about Egypt or even about how to deal with it and its political, economic and social reforms over recent years. “Egypt needs no lessons from any party, especially if this party is marked by a high measure of arrogance associated with ignorance,” he criticized.

He called on European members of parliament to hail Egypt”s political and social reforms instead of flatly rapping obstacles which the Egyptian government seeks determinedly to remove. Abul Gheit hailed the Egyptian People”s Assembly, lower house of Egyptian parliament, for boycotting the Euro-Mediterranean Parliament in response to the European gadfly resolution.

In a related development, Spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry raised his eyebrows at a para in the European resolution, criticizing Egypt over tunnels used in the alleged frontier running of weapons to Gaza. A mere mentioning of such a topic sends the resolution into question, he said. At a sparsely attended plenary session, 52 of the 59 deputies present voted for the resolution, while seven abstained. The parliament seats 784 deputies.

The text criticizes Egypt over the status of religious minorities, alleged torture practices and Egypt”s decades-long state of emergency. It also calls for the immediate release of jailed former member of parliament and former Al-Ghad Party leader Ayman Nur, who was a rival to President Hosni Mubarak in the 2005 presidential elections. He has been in jail for fraud.

Ahead of the vote in Strasbourg, France, senior E.U. lawmakers vowed not to bow to Egyptian pressure, after the parliament in Cairo announced it would sever links with the European assembly.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of European Union countries in Cairo to express its “complete rejection” of the European Parliament resolution.