Egypt’s ambassador to Tunis, Ayman Mashrafa, arrived in Cairo on Sunday after being recalled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for “consultation” regarding Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.
Marzouki used Egypt in his address as an example to prove that creating democracy and civil institutions was “replete with difficulties”.
In an official statement released on Sunday, foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty urged the Tunisian authorities to respect the Egyptians’ will, expressed since the 30 June protests and until now. Abdelatty pointed out the “excellent” relations between Egyptians and Tunisians, while describing Marzouki’s statement as“interference in Egypt’s domestic affairs”.
“The domestic situation in Tunisia is witnessing a lot of developments,” the statement read, adding that in spite of this, “Cairo has refrained from commenting on such developments and it does not intend to change that stance.”
Abdelatty pointed out that only Egyptians have the “inherent jurisdiction” to draw their roadmap and evaluate it.
The foreign ministry, as well as the presidency, condemned Marzouki’s General Assembly address in previous statements.
On Saturday, Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, also addressed Egypt during his speech at the General Assembly. Al Nahyan referred to the 30 June protests as a “second wave of the 25 January Revolution”, stating that tens of millions of Egyptians expressed their firm will to draw a better, more democratic future which excludes no one.
“The sovereign measures Egyptian authorities have taken to protect national security and the steps achieved to implement the popularly-supported roadmap give grounds for optimism,” Al Nahyan said.
He called on the international community to support Egypt and its interim government at this “critical stage”. He also warned of interfering in Egypt’s internal affairs, adding that “the suffering in the Arab region was affected by the interference of others.”
On Saturday, Tariq Al Haidan, the UAE foreign minister’s deputy for political affairs, stated that the , Salem Al-Qattam. Al-Qattam was reportedly recalled for “consultation regarding the new regional developments and the relations between both countries”, according to the UAE foreign ministry’s official website. The website mentioned no relation to Marzouki’s address as a reason for recalling Al-Qattam.
During his address to the General Assembly, Marzouki called on Egyptian authorities to release ousted President Mohamed Morsi, suggesting that this would “help end the political tensions and stop the violence.” He also urged all parties to return to dialogue.
“[Tunisia] was the first country to experience the ‘Arab Spring’,” Marzouki told the General Assembly. “Now, in some countries, what is happening suggests that the dream is turning into a nightmare.”
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Thursday night rejecting and condemning Marzouki’s statements. The ministry alleged Marzouki had called on Egyptian authorities to release “what he described as ‘political prisoners’.”