A Norwegian diplomatic delegation met Wednesday with Saad Husseini, member of the Executive Office of the "Freedom and Justice" party (FJP). Numerous topics were discussed, including the FJP’s insight into the approaching parliamentary elections, as well as regional and international relations. Other subjects covered were Egypt’s political arena and the country’s transition of power, amongst other issues.
During the meeting, the Norwegian delegation stressed that its country fully supported the democratic path Egypt was aiming for following the January Revolution.
For his part, Husseini acknowledged the revolution’s role, describing it as a people’s revolution. “Despite some obstacles hindering the revolution from achieving its demands during the transitional phase, Egypt has experienced positive reform. Moreover, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) participated and joined the revolution, uniting as one with all factions demonstrating unity and patriotism,” he stated.
Regarding allegations that the FJP was seeking a majority in the parliamentary elections, Husseini reiterated that the party was not aiming for dominance.
He emphasised that “No party or movement in Egypt is capable of leading the country on its own, that is why the Democratic Alliance (DA) – made up of numerous parties with differing policies and ideologies, including the FJP – was formed”.
Discussing the number of seats the party hoped to secure, Husseini said the DA is hoping to form a united coalition in parliament. “We understand, however, that this may be an issue since there are a large number of candidates fielding in the elections in addition to a large number of voters”.
He added, the FJP in coordination with the DA, is hoping to propose effective solutions to the numerous problems in parliament. “We will attempt to solve the challenge Egypt is currently facing, namely instability and corruption. We will also support the development of the economy. The FJP, in fact, has a complete agenda which includes visions and aspirations for the country’s economic and social progress”.
Addressing the Maspero incident, Husseini denied that it triggered civil strife between the Muslims and Copts. “There is no such thing as ‘sectarian strife’ in Egypt”, he said, asserting that the Copts are entitled to build their houses of worship in Egypt. “Islam advocates freedom of religion and building their churches is their legitimate right”.
The Norwegian delegation which participated in the discussion included first secretary to Norway’s ambassador and an official from its Foreign Ministry.