CAIRO: Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa downplayed criticism by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, in which the latter accused him of “meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs, according to online news portal masrawy.com.
Aboul-Gheit criticized Moussa’s previous statements regarding political reform in Egypt.
“I would rather the secretary general [Moussa] not interfere with Egypt’s internal affairs and not discuss it openly, especially not in the media, since the situation in Egypt allows for multiple political ideologies, he was quoted as saying.
“The custom is only to intervene when there is a serious internal matter that requires close monitoring from the secretariats and all the Arab nations. Even the UN charter prevents interference with internal matters of member states, added Aboul-Gheit.
Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Moussa, whose term as the league’s secretary general expires in 2011, has spoken about the possibility of running for presidential elections next year, though he hasn’t explicitly announced that he would put his name forward as a candidate.
“I haven’t read the criticism and I don’t regard [my comments] as interference. I don’t regard Aboul-Gheit’s comments as criticism either. We are all Egyptians and are concerned about our country, Moussa reportedly told a press conference on Thursday, adding that his comments should not be regarded as interference since he is an Egyptian citizen.
Moussa is popular both in Egypt and the Arab world, particularly favored for his criticism of the US and Israeli policies in Iraq and Palestine.
In an interview with independent daily Al-Shorouk last year, Moussa said, “Every capable and efficient citizen has the right to aspire for the supreme post, which is the President of the Republic.
In 2005, supporters of Moussa called on him to stand for presidential elections, which he declined.