Morsi Achieved Nothing in Diplomacy (Part 2)

22 September 2013 | 02:54 Code : 1921725 Interview General category
Part two of an exclusive interview with Amr Moussa, former Secretary General of the Arab League and a former Egyptian foreign minister
Morsi Achieved Nothing in Diplomacy (Part 2)

September 18th, 2013 - by Ali Mousavi Khalkhali

Is it true that when Mohammad Morsi talked about many issues with members of the National Security Council, he threatened them with issues related to Egypt’s foreign policy? Nonetheless, there is the issue of Syrian crisis, Israel’s threat and many other matters?

Let me tell you that there was no foreign policy during Morsi’s presidency. I carefully studied the matter to see what the objectives of Egypt’s foreign policy were but I did not reach any conclusion.

But certain events did happen in the area of foreign policy, such as relations with Iran, visits made by the high-ranking officials of the two countries to the two capitals, a visit to Saudi Arabia, relations with Turkey, relations with Qatar, etc. It cannot be said that nothing happened in foreign policy.

Ok, but what were the results? What were the achievements of the one-year presence of Mohammad Morsi in power on the issue of foreign policy? Nothing. There was no agenda for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Diplomacy was totally shut down.

Can it be said that Morsi was the victim of his own actions?

A victim of what?

Shortcomings in foreign policy, as you mentioned, or appointments and resignations.

I am telling you that there was no foreign policy. He visited Iran once. Ahmadinejad, Iran’s former president, also came to Cairo. What happened afterwards? Nothing. No achievement was made on the smallest of issues, not only with regard to the issue of relations with Iran, but also in none of the foreign policy cases. Complete failure. Secondly, Morsi’s situation was like a glass in which people’s patience poured continuously. When this glass was full and the people’s patience overflowed, these events happened. This means that he made numerous mistakes and repeated them until people could no longer tolerate it. The strange thing is that this glass was filled in one year. This by itself is very strange that you would be able to damage your image as such in one year and make the people angry.

The question is why you and people like you who are skilled politicians and diplomats did not help Mohammad Morsi to bypass these crises and solve the problems? Why did you express your opposition from the first days of his presidency?

We did not disagree with him from the beginning. That is not the case at all. We made efforts. I personally made efforts to play an important role in reducing his problems. I met with Khairat el-Shater and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders and held meetings. I and some of the other political leaders personally met with Mr. Katatni and talked about the existing problems. We talked about all the issues, the non-solution of which led to the present situation. We warned them about their wrong behaviors and that they had to take certain measures to reduce the tensions and the problems. We explicitly told them that the continuation of the situation was not logical at ll. But they did not listen. They followed their own path which finally led to the present conditions.

But the Muslim Brotherhood has its own status and supporters.

Yes they do, but public anger is much higher than the number of their supporters. The reason is that they have changed the priorities of the country. We have a big enemy called poverty, an enemy called unemployment. There are tens of uncompleted files which have disrupted the political trend of the country. They have done nothing to close these cases. Secondly, how should these cases be solved? By the experts. None of us are experts in all matters. An economist is not necessarily an expert in communications. An expert in communication is not necessarily an expert in health. An expert in military affairs is not necessarily an expert in education. All experts must be utilized in their own fields. It is not right that since the Muslim Brotherhood was elected, we would have to trust them and not consider their expertise and experiences. This issue led to a process of anti-reform. We made a revolution to make reforms in the affairs which were done during the Mubarak era. But such reforms never happened. There was no single expert among the Muslim Brotherhood members.

Mr. Moussa, you talk about a popular revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood while immediately after the revolution, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf supported the new administration and sent huge amounts of money. This issue has raised the doubt that these countries cooperated in this revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood, about whom they were very concerned. Is this true? Is it possible that the Persian Gulf Arab littoral states gave this money to the new government without expecting anything in return?

No, there certainly is a significant political support. All Arab countries understand the dangers of Egypt’s absence in the international scene. The fact that Egypt had no presence in the international scene was proven. I don’t need to prove it. When the horizons returned to Egypt and the government of Morsi was changed, the aids returned as well; why? Because everyone wants Egypt to return to its main position. They want Egypt to stand on its own feet. They all want Egypt to play its main role in the developments of the Arab world, for only Egypt has this potential. That is why everyone helps us to return to that status.

Do you mean to say that the Arab world is concerned about Egypt?

Egypt is the axis of the developments of the Arab world. When a revolution or a development happens in Egypt, it will immediately affect other countries. When in Tunisia the Bouazizi incident took place, it immediately impacted Egypt and from Egypt to other Arab countries with an astonishingly high speed. Arabs fear this matter. The Arab states of the Persian Gulf comprehend the importance of Egypt in this area. That is why they have to help Egypt and its reconstruction. Denying this issue is wrong and anyone who intends to move in the opposite direction would be damaged.

How would you explain the support of Tunisia and Turkey for Morsi’s government which they consider as the legitimate government?

It is completely understandable, because they all come from one front. But they must understand that the people of Egypt have made their decision. I have listened to the positions taken by the Turkish government and know what they say but they must also comprehend that the people of Egypt have chosen their path.

Many say that with the second revolution in Egypt against the government of Mohammad Morsi, the ground is prepared for the return of the remnants of Mubarak’s regime. Is this true?

Yes I know. Tell me where the word “remnants” has come from? The Muslim Brotherhood has made up this word to be able to struggle against its political rivals, including me who they consider as their enemy and perhaps the leader of the enemies. If they intend to talk about the remnants, this word would include the Muslim Brotherhood as well. The reason is that there were people from among the Muslim Brotherhood who were also present in Mubarak’s administration and held positions. That is why the gates of Egypt must be open to everybody, from the old to the new. The gates of Egypt are, without exception, open to the people who are not accused of anything. There is no difference between Egyptians before 2011 and Egyptians after 2011. The only thing that can differentiate between Egyptians is the law. Anyone who has committed a crime and disobeyed the law is the exception. He must be tried. Otherwise, there is no difference between the normal Egyptian citizens, whether they are a member of the National Party led by Mubarak or a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

tags: egypt muslim brotherhood morsi