A parliamentary delegation from the UK’s Foreign Affairs Committee arrived in Cairo Monday and is to meet with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and a range of political parties’ representatives.
The delegation led by Sir Richard Ottaway, head of the committee, will spend two days in Egypt in which they will meet Shoukry, representatives of political parties and civil societies, according to state news agency MENA.
The delegation may also meet with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and former interim president Adly Mansour. However, a meeting with Al-Sisi could be unlikely as the Russian president Vladimir Putin is also currently visiting Egypt and Al-Sisi will be accompanying him during most of his activities in Cairo.
The British Embassy’s press officer, Al-Amir Osman, told Daily News Egypt that the delegation is in Egypt in a follow up visit to the committee’s 2012 report on the “Arab Spring”.
The report concluded that the “UK’s policy of engaging with autocratic powers in the MENA region while remaining relatively quiet in public on human rights and political reform has linked us in the eyes of many people with those deposed and discredited governments”.
However, the report added: “Even if the UK had applied more pressure to the previous autocratic governments on human rights and democratic reforms, it would have been unlikely to have brought forward the revolutions.”
The committee called on the British government to be “sensitive to the scepticism with which British statements on human rights and freedom are met in the region. We recommend that the Government avoid discrediting its ‘values based’ approach by promising more than it can deliver.”
The delegation will meet a range of Egyptian political parties’ representatives; among them: The Free Egyptians Party, Misr Al-Qawiya Party, The Conference Party and the National Movement party, according to the embassy’s press officer.
However, the delegation will not meet with Muslim Brotherhood representatives, as it will only meet parties that work within a legal framework, the officer said.
Egyptian authorities banned the Brotherhood following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and his government in July 2013.