Former Shura Council member visits Washington

Former Shura Council member visits Washington

Mona Makram Ebeid, also head of the Committee of Social Rights at the National Institute for Human Rights (Photo Public Domain)

Mona Makram Ebeid, head of the Committee of Social Rights at the National Institute for Human Rights
(Photo Public Domain)

By Fatma Khaled

US opinion has “softened” on the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, a former Shura council member said following her visit to Washington last Wednesday to discuss the situation in Egypt.

Mona Makram Ebeid, also head of the Committee of Social Rights at the National Institute for Human Rights,

In her meetings with Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Larry Silverman and Virginia congressman Jim Moran, Ebeid emphasised that Morsi’s ouster had been based on his political failings during his presidency, claiming that this did not represent a military coup but rather a “movement empowered by a popular impeachment.”

In her statement she stressed that the armed forces’ main role was to preserve national security and not to seek political power. She described the recent action taken by the military as “saving” Egypt from a potential civil war.

Ebeid also released a statement emphasising that national reconciliation is only possible if the Muslim Brotherhood reject violence, which may open up a chance for their future participation in political life.

She also stressed the importance of bringing people charged of criminal acts to justice.

Regarding the transitional period, Ebeid suggested a parliamentary cabinet. “The parliamentary cabinet was previously executed in 1919 until 1952, and it is the most effective for Egypt as it gathers all political factions and will rarely meet obstacles along the way,” she said, adding that this would be in accordance with the constitution.

Ebied stressed the important role of women in the upcoming period, saying it “should be thoroughly discussed in the constitution, granting women all rights, and [we should] review [their position in pursuing candidacies] in the parliamentary elections.”

Ebeid expressed satisfaction with the newly-formed government but considered the constitutional declaration controversial. “The government was effectively formed and is suitable for the current phase, but regarding the constitution there are specific reservations made on certain articles, specifically Article 1,” she said.

Ebeid meanwhile stressed the importance of American-Egyptian relations and was assured during her visit that resolving economic problems and “finding long-term solutions socially and democratically” were priorities for both countries.

She added that the US encouraged building a new economy in Egypt that includes a private sector “founded on competitive advantage, not favoritism,” adding that a strong economy would encourage small business projects.

At the same time, Ebeid rejected what she called “America’s threats to Egypt.” She added that Egypt’s youth movements had “the right to reject foreign dialogue,” and that she “rejected any foreign intervention, particularly from the US.”

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