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Egypt rejects

BBC Monitoring

Text of report in English by Egyptian news agency MENA

New York, 26 September: The latest White House statement on press freedom and civil society in Egypt is an "unacceptable interference in Egypt's domestic affairs," an Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman said late Tuesday [25 September].

The US statement reflects a confusion either deliberate or undeliberate and an unawareness of the legal and political reality in Egypt, the spokesman accompanying Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu-al-Ghayt here on his visit told the press.

The White House said Monday it was "deeply concerned" about the Egyptian government"s decision to shut down a human rights organization and the conviction of several journalists.

The White House statement, for example, mentions the Egyptian government's decision to convict and sentence several newspaper editors, which not only contradicts the truth, but also denies Egypt's independent judiciary which it is very proud of, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Egypt's law i! s sovereign on Egyptian soil, its application is through the country's judicial system according to independent and steady mechanisms, he added.

Calling on the Egyptian government "to expand protections for journalists and lift the restrictions on NGO activities, including limits on organizations" ability to accept foreign funding" raises many question marks that need to be answered, he said.

Egypt is proud of the freedom the press enjoys, it needs to be protected, and it is also proud of the independence of the Egyptian judiciary and its pivotal role in establishing justice and contributing to the development and prosperity of the society, he added.

Source: MENA news agency, Cairo, in English 0728 gmt 26 Sep 07



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