Nabil Fahmy said on Sunday that while Egypt is grateful for aid and assistance from abroad, any threat to cut this aid is unacceptable. He stressed that in dealing with the current crisis, Egypt is adhering to international standards.
The interim minister of foreign affairs also announced the establishment of an independent committee to investigate events since the mass 30 June demonstrations that lead to the military ousting of President Mohamed Morsi. Fahmy made the announcement during an international press conference on Sunday morning.
Fahmy was also critical of foreign media and urged journalists to “work without interference from governments.” He accused the international community of being silent regarding what he described as “criminal acts” committed by pro-Morsi protesters.
The minister stressed that Egypt’s decisions are a “sovereign matter” adding that Egyptians “are endeavouring to find their “political identity.” Fahmy pointed out that some other countries that have gone through a revolution, had lengthy transition periods before stability was achieved, and he said that anybody who believes Egypt is exempt from this is “unrealistic.”
Fahmy said Egypt “is open to feedback from the international community” but any attempt to impose a solution from outside would only serve to deepen the current polarisation in Egyptian society.
He also expressed appreciation for the foreign aid and assistance granted to Egypt. He said it was “meant to achieve positive goals both domestically and internationally. We are grateful and will do our part.” He stressed that any threat to cut aid because of the current situation is “unacceptable” because the authorities are dealing with the crisis within international standards. Fahmy ordered a review of all the aid and assistance Egypt receives “from the perspective of mutual benefits.”
He asserted that the security forces “showed self-control and self restraint” without which “the losses and damages would have been much higher.”
The fact-finding committee announced by Fahmy during the press conference will be made up of “independent figures” and he emphasised that the findings of the committee would be released to the public, politicians and the judiciary. He asserted that the ministry is committed to transparency.
Fahmy also spoke with his British and French counterparts and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Police Catherine Ashton. During these conversations Fahmy was critical of the international community’s silence on attacks by “armed groups terrorising citizens.” He said that the silence “encourages these armed groups to carry on with acts of violence, intimidation and murder.”
During his conversation with Fahmy, the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague “emphasised UK condemnation of all acts of violence, whether disproportionate use of force by the security forces or violent actions by demonstrators.”
The Foreign Office statement said the pair also discussed the “recent attacks on places of worship and the Foreign Secretary stressed that attacks on mosques and churches were unacceptable and that places of worship must be protected.”