MPs delegation to visit EU parliament to combat ‘lies’

Egypt’s parliament has authorised an eight-member delegation to visit Brussels next month, to respond to the European Parliament’s recent resolution which condemned alleged human right violations in Egypt.

The non-binding resolution, issued on 10 March, criticised what it described as the deterioration of human rights in Egypt, in the context of the death of Italian student Giulio Regeni, whose body was found on 3 February bearing marks of torture.

Egypt’s House of Representatives, were quick to condemn the resolution, describing it as politicised, groundless, and showing a lack of respect for the country’s sovereignty.

Alaa Wali, an independent MP from the constituency of Kerdasa in Giza, told Ahram Online that he and many other MPs felt disappointed with the European Parliament’s resolution.

“They exploited the death of an Italian student in Egypt – Giulio Regeni – in mysterious circumstances to interfere in the country’s internal affairs in a very arrogant way and to tarnish Egypt’s image in a very bad way,” said Wali, who will be part of the delegation.

“Not only did they refuse to wait until the legal investigation into this incident is finished, but also opted to cite inaccurate information to jump to hasty conclusions about the human rights situation in Egypt,” he added.

Wali, a businessman, disclosed that the visit, approved by speaker Ali Abdel-Al, will be held between 3 and 7 April – a period during which the European Parliament will be in session.

“We will try our best to convey to MEPs the most up-to-date and accurate legal and judicial information about Regeni’s death and respond to their attacks about the human rights situation in Egypt — particularly the issue related to what is called enforced disappearances,” said Wali.

Wali and most Egyptian MPs believe that the European Parliament receives most of its information about conditions from human rights in Egypt from Muslim Brotherhood officials living in Europe – especially London and Munich – and from Western media highly hostile to the regime of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

“Both rushed to seize incidents like Regeni’s death to spread their lies about how ‘peaceful’ demonstrations are being crushed and how people exercising freedom of speech are being detained every day,” said Wali.

Many Egyptian MPs also believe that the European Parliament includes a lot of radical liberal MPs who adopt highly extremist and hypocritical positions on human rights.

“The views of those liberals on human rights only lead to chaos,” said MP Heba Hagras, also part of the delegation.

“If a Middle Eastern regime tries to restore calm on the streets or stand up to violent protests like the ones organised by Muslim Brotherhood, it would be automatically called a dictator regime. But if a country like France decides to change the constitution and impose a state of emergency, it would face no criticism and would even be given a free hand on the grounds of protecting its national security,” said Hagras.

Wali argued that strong awareness among Egyptian parliamentarians of the importance of keeping Egyptian-Italian relations intact also represents another objective for the visit to the European Parliament.

“Because we highly value this relationship, we will do our best to block those who aim to undermine it from achieving their malicious intentions,” said Wali.

Wali wondered why the death of Regeni was exposed on the same day a high-level Italian delegation was on a visit in Cairo to negotiate business deals with the government of Egypt.

“It was not a coincidence, but was deliberate, to subvert relations with Italy in the same way the terrorists of the Islamic State group in Sinai tried to sabotage relations with Russia when they announced they were responsible for downing a Russian passenger airliner last October,” said Wali.

The delegation of Egyptian MPs to Brussels will be led by Ahmed Said,  a businessman and former chairman of the liberal-oriented Free Egyptians Party.

In addition to Said, Wali and Hagras, the delegation will also include businessman Mohamed El-Sewedi, Ahmed Khalil from the Salafist Nour Party, Karim Nabil, an independent MP representing Cairo’s Heliopolis district, Sherine Faraag, a presidential appointee to the parliament, and

Ahmed Samir Mahmoud, who represents the Future of Egypt party in 6 October city.

Some MPs, however, have been critical of the planned visit to Brussels.

Hani Abaza, an MP with the liberal Wafd Party, wondered: “Why didn’t the delegation include a Wafdist MP? Most of the members of this small delegation are businessmen and female MPs and I really doubt that they will be able to present a strong case about Egypt in Brussels.”

Mostafa Bakri, an independent MP, also wondered why “the Egyptian parliament is making a lot of foreign visits at a time when the country is suffering from a severe shortage in foreign currency.”

Bakri also raised strong doubts that the delegation to Brussels will have a positive impact.

“It is a waste of time and money to conduct a dialogue with human rights fanatics in this arrogant European Parliament,” said Bakri.

source: Ahram Online