In an exclusive interview on Kuwaiti national television, broadcast Tuesday night, Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni, Speaker of Egyptian People’s Assembly, denied allegations that Islamists hijacked the revolution, explaining that the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), has – for years – actively worked with all Egyptians, serving their needs, which evidently led to the Brotherhood’s resounding victory in elections for both upper and lower houses of parliament.
Dr. Katatni added that the MB had never been guilty in any so-called sectarian incident “because we believe in moderate Islam, which advocates that Copts have the same rights and duties like everyone. This is not merely ‘political rhetoric’. It is our belief, our faith, our Islam. In 2005, we won the votes of Muslims and Copts together. We will select those needed on the basis of efficiency, not religion, because Egypt indeed needs all her professional sons and daughters, irrespective of which faith they belong to”.
Dr. Katatni spoke of the challenges Egypt is currently facing, namely achieving security and stability, reviving the economy and cleansing certain state institutions of corruption. He called on all countries of the Arab world, especially Gulf States, to support Egypt by encouraging investments there.
Dr. Katatni explained that Egyptian parliament will discuss amendments to investment laws which will guarantee the rights of both Arab and foreign investors. "Egypt is in dire need for finances to be pumped into its economy urgently, which will help it maintain desired balanced and stability", he added.
The Speaker of the Egyptian People’s Assembly expressed his expectations for experience with multi-party politics to rapidly develop and inevitably change the political landscape in Egypt. He said, "We need to strengthen and enrich political life in Egypt, so as to offer a wide choice of strong political party institutions, which shall challenge each party to give its best in order to remain at the forefront of political life. A plan is currently underway to enhance parliamentary work and to bring Egypt's parliament to the forefront of leading parliaments worldwide".
Regarding visions on the future of Egypt and the Arab region following recent events transforming Arab countries for the better, Dr. Katatni said it was high time the region played an effective role on the international political landscape.
Dr. Katatni highlighted the importance of Arab conferences in strengthening pan-Arab ties, and in conveying a message to the West and the whole world that it was imperative to reset relations with the Arab world based on new mechanisms, as a result of recent changes witnessed all over the region. He said that the Arab peoples now expect much from their new parliaments, "If those parliaments do not step up to the plate and meet the demands, the peoples will no doubt reject and change them".