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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More