tv Sophie Co RT September 20, 2013 2:29pm-3:01pm EDT
welcome to sophie and co i'm sophie shevardnadze and egypt is at a crossroads actually it's been there for quite a while without finding the way to move on after the opposing dictator barricades to first green shoots of democracy appeared but just after a year in office egypt's first ever democratically elected leader mohamed morsy was removed as well now the question is what's next. mubarak i've stood morsi i've stood protests continuing people dying. how much more blood has to spill to achieve stability and how many more changes at the top are heaps leaders just puppets of the real pharaoh the military will disown the ever rise over egypt will the ancient land of noah finds peace and flourish again. and our guest today is not being a fox need a minister of foreign affairs of egypt's interim government for
a minister it's great to have you in our to studios today with us thank you for having me right so it's not a dictatorship right now in egypt it's not quite a democracy and people are talking about the military rule who is really in charge of the country it's very clear the people are people change the president twice in two and a half years after the second change in july two thousand and thirteen an interim government. and civilian interim government it has a nine month timeframe with a specific mandate even though it's in term it has a very historic responsibility it has to establish the tenets of a democratic system first it put together is to be in government secondly it's sort of the constitutional process we finished the legal reading of the constitution now we're in the stakeholders reading fifty members different walks of life five to develop a constitution and they have to finish within two months. within thirty days after
that finishes we have referendum for the public to say yes and no and then we will hold two elections for parliament and for president so it's really the people's choice but this is an interim government it's clearly that but what how much just how much of a way does to arm we have right now in this government i mean people always talk about this is a military rule right now in egypt i know you are civilian interim government but do you actually rule yourselves or do you say to the military orders right now the only instructions the only the only debates we have with the military and with the police by the way are part of the cabinet in the weekly cabinet meetings and they the police takes the lead by the way the police takes the lead in protecting the internal security situation and the military will after that and as far as it has to teach issues especially on the sinai but also in the delta as well so frankly i deal with the head of the military and the head of the police as
colleagues in the cabinet nothing more but they have a special responsibility because of our security problems we have a war against terror or at least problem with terrorists we're going to get to that and that's that's really where the focus is on the on the security people but you've outlined deadline for recent schedule for political transition should be about november december and that's when the constitution will be finalized finalized and approved what will happen the next day the constitution is actually approved. after it's approved within thirty days you have to have a referendum for the public to say yes or no and then yes or no to the constitution that you should be proposed by the committee as soon as that's finished we don't have to call for problem until elections and after that eventually actions so we have to finish by spring of next year at the latest. by the end of spring of next year we have to finish all of this ok as far as parliamentary elections are the proud muslim brotherhood allowed or are they banned from political i know
a lot of brotherhood has a there is a political party freedom and justice party which emanated from muslim brotherhood muslim brotherhood is not a party it's an it's an association a grouping so their party is allowed to participate what if during the presidential elections representative from their party or from the muslim brotherhood wins because they still have a lot of supporters in egypt it's a great question because many people say well what happens if it happens again the problem with the last time the president morsi is election wasn't that he was a good or bad president you every every country has good or bad press there are two problems one we did not develop a constitution that reflected the people of egypt it was done basically by its left so we didn't have checks and balances in our system where if you elect a good president he uses the checks and balances to the most like the bad president the checks and balances controlled president morsi without a good constitution was trying to lead to lead the country towards an islamist face
of egypt islamists are part of it but they're not the complete face of each that was the problem if we put together we will put together a good constitution it will not make a difference. who you will let me be precise it will make a difference so he will act but it will not change the face of egypt if we put together a secularist candidate a middle of the road candidate or even in the slums can you be governed by the constitution but will the constitution will also be able to protect the presidency because like we've seen in the last two years to presidents have been removed by protesters and that's that's a very good thing to do and the reason it happened that way is the constitution did not allow for repeal of the presidency or impeachment we didn't have that in our system so they had nowhere to go people could not go to the problem and say the president is violating the constitution you need to you need to remove them you have that system we did we could not for example call for early elections if you
look at the european system for example the problem until you mature system if. there are if the popularity of the of the of the prime minister. is very very weak he can and parliament can call for early elections we didn't have that system so the only recourse the public had was the street the new constitution should have a process of impeachment and recall and appeal that process will as you said correctly protect the president from the street but empower the street that they have a political a political channel to pursue their concerns if they are significant without having to go to the street what would that constitution do to morsi its case because you know you can have different approaches to morsi some people like him some people despise same but the fact is he was democratically elected president and he was removed undemocratically he wanted a new constitution divorces case is over. there's no going back to morsi case morsi
was elected through a democratic process he did not however govern democratically it is the essence of democracy is inclusive you need to include all the people to feel that they are nationals of the country even if they are in the minority when or nationalist be the egyptian a russian does not mean they are not egyptian russian and you know so that was the problem with morsi it was not frankly that he was a good president or a bad president in terms of efficiency if that was the case we would have waited three four years how long was he wanted to to do to govern as only one political trend in egypt and wanted to change the face of egypt not in that sense so the point i'm making here is the constitution will ensure equal rights for the majority and the minority irrespective of who is present. but nobody is going back to people in the absence of. in the last constitution of
a way for the public to speak out through the political system they spoke out in the street they did it twice in new numbers once you put together a proper constitution the channels for political expression should be through parliament through the the shura council if we have one. through petition through referendum and so on so what is more so now why is there so much secrecy about his whereabouts of the first of all he's now been. charged with different legal charges i don't want to get into the actual little charges because the problem of the the attorney general investigates the different accusations and then he formally only makes charges well maybe make several but he won't make those that where there's evidence to substantiate the charge i have to ask you know i'm sorry i know there is a lot of speculation in the egyptian media right now and this what i'm going to say a little bit more than just a gossip he is officially charged with treason and. and conspiracy but
what the egyptian media is saying that he got money from the american ministration to give sanaa a way to harm us are there any truth to this ok as a as a as an official but frankly even as somebody in the public domain before being an official i never comment on court cases before they are concluded the reason being it's the court has to judge whether the evidence is there or not anybody could make an accusation against anyone to the general substantiates the evidence to see if there's enough evidence to take it seriously if he does it then goes to the court that determines innocence or guilt. we did that by the way with the accusations related to the former president obama. and his his former officials as well and in the first round of these accusations. most of the courts found them guilty in
the appeal process some of the courts found some of the members innocent and others killed so our legal process which takes time. is i think a a a a a. is a separate legal process independent from from the government and it will take its decisions based on the evidence so i'm not going to get into actually i can say it's ok but not as a diplomat as it is it says citizen what do you think should happen to morsi i think he should be given due process which he is being being given he has access to his lawyers now. and all of the other members that are that are arrested have access to lawyers and family and so on and at the end of the day the courts will decide the verdict not public opinion emotions or the attorney general ferguson do you think you'll be getting any u.s. aid to syria for humanitarian development needs. the answer is yes but frankly i'm not focused on that what i'm focused on is how to rebuild egypt internally and i
think that's where our priority is we will take our decisions. regarding our internal situation based our on our national interest not on whether we get it or not thank you very much after the break how many people have to die before. hard earned and will egypt stand aside if the u.s. ends up striking syria stage. with economic downturns in the final. days. and the rest.
will be every week on all things. on their way to and talk to the crew of the i can to make sure that a face many challenges. here you have to look out for yourself crashing on to ranks trapped in pack ice in extreme conditions anything can happen and always comes up with surprises you have to keep your eyes open because there's always something going wrong the ship carries huge reserves of water food fuel as well as helicopters and people able to survive extreme conditions they're ready for anything even an apocalypse she's really an incredible ship calling all antarctica stations this is going to make it feel good of radio check please respond.
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speak your language. programs and documentaries in arabic it's what you hear on all t.v. reporting from the world talks about six of p.r.p. interviews intriguing story to tell you. the choice low key arabic to find out more visit our big don't all teeth dog called. welcome back to the show our guest is not me to talk to me his ships for administering the current interim government great to have you back sir so their release of mubarak from prison soon after their arrest warsi for many it looks like
the return of the old regime. i think that's that's a false conclusion it's actually evidence that our courts are independent of the. president former president mubarak was not released soon after morsi was what was it was arrested. this happened two or three weeks ago and he was released after watching the court it's a court process the court process is not allow you to continue to hold people in. incarceration beyond a certain point in time without a verdict being held against them so i look at it i mean this is like looking at which side of the coin you want to look at if you want to prove evidence of the court being independent this is clear evidence of that because it clearly the release of president mubarak clearly complicates the politics in egypt for the interim government as you said the perception is are we now going back to before two thousand and eleven and that's a criticism a perception that is
a concern that is raised by the reality is if we did not do it that if you tried to violate a court order you'd actually be going against the tenets of a democracy which is the rule of law. so is this a complicating factor yes but do we have to respect the court the court system so that's what you have to do if you want to accept the mockers but just to make sure the works trial will take place he has now a retrial yes of course he's been released on another case but in this case yeah sure but ever since general sisi came to power hundreds of people have different the power ever since you know he's in charge a lot of people that you still not in charge it's simply responded like he's responsible for the armies and yes ok so under his rule as a chief of the army a lot of people have died a lot of them were also muslim brotherhood members all i'm saying is that all i'm saying is that there is a rift in the country it may be considerable may not be considerable but there is
a rift and people are dying and have been dying how do you guys plan to reconcile well several ways first of all the message has to be clear for everyone violence terrorism criminal acts will not be conducted well and goes both ways what i didn't say which start i mean not just saying violence won't be condoned by anybody anywhere irrespective of the justification you cannot have a democracy that's not based on the rule of law and security that's the first one and secondly anyone any political party irrespective of. if it's left leaning right leaning or whatever if it is consistent with the constitution and nonviolent it has a place in egyptian politics. that this is the the and it was the beginning is you have to have security and game you have to have inclusiveness for everyone the real challenge which you do question is what do you do in the middle how do you get the
. we're trying to get there by including everybody in the debate on the constitution the islamists have membership in that commission muslim brotherhood has not come in but the nor part of the have agreed to come in secondly we have a reconciliation commission where we're trying to bring in everyone including the muslim brotherhood to dialogue about ok what are your concerns your field there is excessive. pursuit of your leaders will show us who are the civilians who are being not using force and who are you want to surance is that you will have rights in parliament well let's let's talk about these things now they haven't yet agreed to participate the salafis did but the the muslim brotherhood did not it's a process where you build confidence by your actions not only by what you say so i think that the real generating force of this conference will be the council commission as we develop the provisions of the new constitution indicating it is
inclusive you will see more leaders participating in it and hopefully we'll have all of them there as long as they. announce openly that they will not pursue their goals for the use of us now there's a lot of talk about the reestablishment of the state security service that under mubarak was actually responsible for horrible human rights violations to say the least. i mean i know you're interested period but how do you make sure that you know terror doesn't come back and people aren't scared and are their rights are violated once again because this organization that everyone was like it's bad now well it's a great question but let me just answer it but give more carefully. no no security system in the world. this is itself only force and the really successful ones base themselves on information and data so if you don't have to use force you preempt the problem by understanding what the issues are so all these institutions
internationally have their intelligence are the problem in the past wasn't that you have an intelligence arm or not it was the practices that they pursued and the words how they got the information and what they did information our challenge is to have an organization that can gather the information but the respects the rules of law respects international norms operates within a democracy context so i'm not that concerned with the principle of establishing an intelligence branch in the ministry of interior that seems logical but you're right this has to be done in a new way so it doesn't bring back doesn't haunt us with the practices of the past just to little time has passed course or that are going to drastically change it but again i mean you've raised a number of really great questions. why do you arrest two thousand people rather
than one hundred people. because you're not sure who did what. so the best way to know is to have the information gather the information a priori so that you don't have to go out and arrest them first and then investigate so i'm going to release them of course of course. as you invest as you interrogate them some will be released immediately and some have others where the evidence is a bit more national they will be considered by the attorney general even he will decide well it's not substantial enough and we would use the more and then he cannot claim. guilt or innocence yes then give it to the court system so i support having an intelligence branch but i completely agree with you that branch has to act in a different fashion it did in the past and it should get human rights training and i have complete support that says you're saying information is key and it's important do you have a number of how many people exactly have been arrested and no i don't i don't frankly first of all i don't so i can be a lot have been arrested and released so my answer is no i'm sorry ok now to the
foreign politics what position will egypt for situ are lots let that because things have changed well again it seems that everything we're doing these days we're balancing two different things on the one hand let me be very clear about this we do not. blockade on gaza because it ends up. with palestinian suffering the average palestinian in geza suffers from the blockades and the shortages and so on and so forth so morally and politically we cannot sustain that position the same time we cannot allow especially with our security situation today . for extra legal systems other words networks that work outside of the legal system including as one example the tunnels once you do that you develop relationships that go beyond the traditional authority and it ends up leading into organized crime and so on and so forth irrespective of whether
hamas is part of that or not thirdly i mean be very very clear here we will not accept any interference in our internal affairs by anybody including hamas if and when that's the case and it's proved and they should be very very clear about that so we're balancing all three of these we will close the tunnels i raised with hamas will be completely above board and transparent we will deal with them on that basis and thirdly we are looking at a new system with medicine and with the president of medicine and with with how master the to manage the entry points into gaza to ensure that goods and services are made available do you have any concerns whatsoever that egypt could find itself in a similar situation that syria because muslim brotherhood members have vowed to fight till the end no i don't have i don't see the situation being the same. while of course there are members of certain organizations including the muslim some members who. seem adamant about. making this an existential battle there are
others frankly who are talking about that it's time to move on it's time to be part of the future so i don't see that and secondly frankly the proportion of the numbers in egypt are significantly different from what you see in syria we have a challenge if you people have to come together have to accept that we may differ with each other we may argue with each other we will do that peacefully but i don't see it as a syrian situation kerry sat and that was after kerry lover of record that the strike may still take place if syria doesn't comply what will your position be in that case of strike take place because it's still a possibility first let me say i congratulate russia and applaud this initiative to try to find a little resolution for this secondly. i set forth at the arab league what our position was one i condemn the syrian regime for its practices against its people secondly i condemn the use of chemical weapons by anyone against anyone and
wanted whoever did that to be held accountable thirdly i said openly i don't support the use of force against syria that the use of force when you use an exceptional basis have to be done in accordance with the u.n. charter and the u.n. rules so i left out the opposition what do you think of opposition as i said use of chemical weapons by by anyone i against anyone i did not leave out the opposition and in my speech i also said i was against the militarization of the conflict which included opposition by the way i'm just talking about the chemical weapons but my point here is in the past in the liberation of kuwait we supported the use of force liberating kuwait and getting saddam hussein out of kuwait we actually participated militarily because it was done within the u.n. . so there will be cases where the use of force is justified if it is justified by the un we will then accept it as a norm even if we don't like it as
a position but we can't accept that just because you happen to agree today we have the right to use force what happens if if two others agree in the future how how do i ensure my security just last thirty four messages saying it's normal it's ok that syria's fate is being decided between america and russia and not the arab world another great question it really is a great question there are more people fighting in and around syria about things and nothing to do with syria and there are serious fight. this is a conflict geopolitical conflict where not only the big the big international powers and the big regional powers. are all competing with each other there in the middle of all that you have the syrian syrian hours either fighting each other or being used by so it's a very complicated problem because it's so complicated because it's extra regional that's what makes the arab league position difficult the arab league did try to
solve this initially it did not succeed because there are so many extra regional powers which led the syrian powers to leverage their politics. internationally rather than regionally. and therefore the arab league when it failed in doing this the security council to take charge thank you so much for this great interview that's it for today we're speaking tonight being tommy foreign minister of egypt thanks for watching us and we'll see you here at sophie anchor next time.
syria submit initial data of its chemical weapons program to the hague watchdog a road map agreed by washington and moscow. palestinian homes were destroyed by the israeli army will not be getting crucial late to the military trucks with supplies and force a company european diplomats to lie face down on the ground. the u.s. denies airspace to president nicolas maduro of venezuela allegedly using visas to blackmail his government's u.n. delegation. and the standoff in the arctic russia's coast guard captures a greenpeace ship. board saying they threaten the lives of oil rig workers by trying to disrupt their work.