Egypt condemns EU Parliament resolution on human rights


Cairo : Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit has condemned here a European Parliament resolution criticizing the status of human rights in Egypt.

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Abul Gheit made the remarks following the move by the European Parliament to pass a resolution in this respect Thursday even after Cairo has summoned EU ambassadors to complain about the text of the resolution.

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 said.

He called on European Members of Parliament to appreciate Egypt’s political and social reforms instead of being flatly critical of 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 highlighted a paragraph in the European resolution, criticizing Egypt over tunnels used in the alleged frontier running of weapons to Gaza. A mere mention of such a topic sends the resolution into question, he added.

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 EU 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 EU countries in Cairo to express its “complete rejection” of the European Parliament resolution.