Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has said that the country is working hard to fulfil its constitutional human rights obligations, adding that Egypt is about to issue a national strategy for human rights.
“We are keen on maintaining the rights of our citizens to achieve the hopes and aspirations of Egyptians,” Shoukry said during a press conference with his German and French counterparts, on Monday, “Citizens can decide themselves whether or not their government is committed to this matter.”
The Minister emphasised that efforts are being made in terms of social development, and noted that many challenges and steps have to be taken into account in terms of the Egyptian citizen’s economic level and education.
“We are trying to enhance the extent to which we benefit from the experiences of others to achieve reform in the political, economic and social fields,” Shoukry added, “This is all in the best interest of the Egyptian people, who can assess these efforts and how much they benefit from them.”
Meanwhile, Shoukry denied that journalists in Egypt have been detained for expressing opinions, and emphasised that any accusations are addressed in accordance with Egyptian law. All investigations are carried out under the supervision of the country’s judiciary, which ensures transparency.
He noted the need for the incoming US administration, under President Elect Joe Biden, to assess the human rights situation on the basis of groups representing the Egyptian people rather than groups targeting Egypt.
Shoukry has pointed out that there are extremist entities trying to falsify the reality of the situation in the country. He called on his international counterparts to conduct conversations with Egyptian citizens in the streets with ease.
The Minister said that strengthening coordination and cooperation between countries must take place in the best interests of societies, and target the well-being of citizens.
“In Egypt, we refrain from criticising our international partners, out of the belief that assessing human rights is the responsibility of each society, rather than external parties,” Shoukry said.
He also said that no country in the world can claim to have reached ultimate adherence to the principles of human rights, although all must strive towards this goal.
Shoukry noted that he “could” criticise Germany and other countries when it comes to practicing human right principles, but the Egyptian policy is entirely against this.
The minister added that the EU should look at human rights in its comprehensive framework, and assess the extent of the Egyptian state’s interest in this subject. Information should not only be obtained from sources that may have a limited view matters from a limited perspective that does not reflect the reality in Egypt.
He also said that this assessment must be made in every society according to its conditions, challenges and growth.
Shoukry added that conditions in Germany today are different from the way they were 70 or 100 years ago. This is all part of the natural development that comes with economic and political progress and available resources.
He stressed that the stability that Europe enjoys makes for the current situation, however, in other regions, there are many challenges to be addressed.
Shoukry concluded by noting the role that the state plays, including the Parliament and Senate, which is essential for meeting the needs of the Egyptian people. He highlighted Egypt’s commitment to fulfil its obligations, especially in the field of improving objective guidance to achieve its goals and not rely on tendentious information. He has also warned against entities that target Egypt politically.