News / Middle East

Minister: Egypt, Brotherhood Should Pursue Reconciliation

Men sell bread in front of Al-Hussein mosque, near a popular tourist area in old Cairo, Oct. 29, 2013.
Men sell bread in front of Al-Hussein mosque, near a popular tourist area in old Cairo, Oct. 29, 2013.
Reuters
Egypt's army-installed government and the Muslim Brotherhood should seek reconciliation because only an inclusive political process, not security crackdowns, can bring stability to the country, a senior minister said on Tuesday.
 
The most populous Arab state has been shaken by violence since the army toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Brotherhood in July and announced a plan for new elections.
 
Security forces have killed hundreds of Brotherhood members and jailed thousands, including Morsi, who is due to appear in court on Monday on charges of inciting violence.
 
Yet street protests regularly erupt and Islamist militants have intensified their attacks.
 
Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa El-Din has been trying to encourage both sides to compromise since he put an initiative to the cabinet in August.
 
“Security is essential and key to Egypt but it is not alone going to get us where we want, and there has to be a political framework as well,” Bahaa El-Din told reporters.
 
“Ultimately this country needs to move towards a framework, of a political accord of some sort. It needs a political framework that is more inclusive for everybody.”
 
His proposal called for an immediate end to the state of emergency, political participation for all parties and the guarantee of human rights, including free assembly.
 
But Bahaa El-Din's mission will not be easy.
 
State-run media have whipped up public opinion against the Brotherhood and created a climate in which there is little tolerance for the Islamist movement that won every election since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
 
And the security clampdown has only hardened the Brotherhood's position.
 
Bahaa El-Din's views are often at odds with the interior minister and other hardliners in the government who dismiss the Brotherhood as a terrorist group that cannot be trusted.
 
He expressed hope a political compromise could be reached, even though the Brotherhood's top leaders are in jail and say that, as a peaceful movement, they see no need to renounce violence, a key demand made by the government in the past.
 
“The fact that some or most or all of the leadership is in jail, I don't think that alone prevents them from taking a step forward and saying 'we are willing to give a sign that we will abandon this path (of violence) and join the roadmap',” he said.
 
Bahaa El-Din said the Brotherhood had “a huge impact on the perpetuation and continuation of violence” and should pursue politics instead. He did not elaborate.
 
Nearly daily street protests, clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi and rising attacks by Islamist groups that security officials link to the Brotherhood have hammered tourism and investment in Egypt, a strategic U.S. ally.
 
Bahaa El-Din predicted Egypt's economy could withstand the upheaval, but expressed hopes that economic growth would climb to 7 percent once the political turbulence eased.
 
Egypt had several years of growth of around seven percent before the 2011 revolt.
 
“It will continue to grow 2 to 3 percent per year. But I wish we could do better,” he said. “Egypt, like any other country, can live with a certain level of instability.”

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Fauzi from: Egypt
October 29, 2013 1:20 PM
yeah sure... right after some more "reconciliations" take place... and all the MB are buried in some hole in the desert... you know, like Saddam used to do...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs