Egypt faces off with OIC secretary-general Iyad Madani’s over comments

Egypt described comments made by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) secretary-general relating to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as “regrettable,” and “grave transgression,” saying to file a petition regarding the situation, two foreign affairs ministry statements read on Saturday.

The Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry condemned Madani’s statement saying that it was a “grave transgression” to Egypt as a founding member state.

Last week, OIC General Secretary-general Iyad Bin Amin Madani was reading a statement, at an OIC conference hosted by Tunisia, and mistakenly read out Tunisian President Essebsi’s name as El-Sisi, as only one dot on a character in the Arabic language distinguishes the two names.

To cover his mistake, Madani made a joke telling Tunisia’s Essebsi “This is a terrible mistake, I’m sure that your fridge has more than water, Mr.President.

Such comments are not consistent with the responsibilities and duties of the post of the [OIC] secretary-general, and substantially affect the scope of his work and his ability to carry out his duties,” Shoukry said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

It has lead Egypt to reconsider its stance on the Secretariat of the Organization and its Secretary General, he added.

A few days earlier, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi made comments at a youth conference in Sharm El-Sheikh resort saying “[I’m] one of you, I swear, for ten years, my fridge only had water and no one heard my voice and I’m from a rich family.”

The OIC released a statement on Friday saying Madani apologised for his comments, which were “humour and didn’t intend to offend, in any way, the Egyptian leadership represented by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.”

The OIC’s statement also added that Madani respects El-Sisi whom he has met once before.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian foreign affairs’ ministry statement, which was released after the OIC’s statement, said “Egypt is aware of the secretary-general’s apology, and we will follow up with the organisation and identify the needed action that should be taken to correct this issue.”

Madani, 70, is a Saudi Arabian diplomat who served as Saudi Arabia’s information minister, among other official posts, before his stint in the Saudi Arabia-based OIC.

Source: Ahram Online