By Asma Alsharif
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 28 Egyptian Foreign
Minister Nabil Fahmy said on Saturday the transitional phase of
government in Egypt should end "by next spring," replacing
leaders appointed after the army ousted elected president
Mohamed Mursi in July.
The Egyptian army headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi,
ousted Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, on July 3 after mass
protests against his one-year rule.
An interim government was appointed and a roadmap for a
transition to new elections was announced.
"Work is under way, in line with the roadmap, on several
tracks. It has so far succeeded in establishing the principles
of justice, freedom and democracy, as a basis for governance,"
Fahmy told the U.N. General Assembly.
"This will be followed by parliamentary elections, then
presidential elections, so that the transitional phase ends by
next spring," he said.
Egypt's interim government is working on amending a
constitution that was drafted under Mursi by an
Islamist-dominated assembly. It was seen by Mursi's opponents as
failing to guarantee rights and reflect Egypt's diverse
Mursi's ouster has led to some of the worst violence in
Egypt's modern history, in the form of protests by his
supporters, a bloody police crackdown and militant attacks on
the police and churches.
More than 1,000 people have been killed since security
forces broke up two pro-Mursi camps in Cairo on Aug. 14.
Egypt's new rulers announced a month-long emergency law,
which was extended in September, and imposed a curfew.
"We are determined to fully implement the roadmap. This
requires us to give the utmost priority to the preservation of
security and the enforcement of the law, and to counter any
intimidation attempts aiming at hindering our efforts," Fahmy
told the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders.
Egypt banned Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, whom the new rulers
accuse of committing acts of "terrorism" and inciting violence.
Fahmy said no Egyptians will be excluded from the democratic
process as long as they are committed to peaceful means.
"All Egyptians are invited to participate in all phases of
the political process, as long as they are committed to the
renunciation of violence and terrorism, and of acts of
incitement to them," he said.
Outside the United Nations building in New York hundreds of
demonstrators, some waving Egyptian flags, gathered to express
their support of the army and its crackdown on Islamists.
Some draped the Egyptian flag around their shoulders while
others clapped to a nationalistic army song. One carried a sign
that read: "We support our army in fighting terrorism - The
Pro-Mursi supporters gathered nearby with a different
"I am here to let the world hear that these ministers, and
the one who was just talking, are illegitimate, said Laila
Abdulrahim, an Egyptian living in New Jersey. "We had chosen a
president, but he and his ministers are all imprisoned."