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Middle East and Africa

Arab West Report Interviews Dr. Amr Darrag then and now

Dr. Amr Darrag, former Minister of International Cooperation and Planning during the Morsi administration and prominent member of the Freedom and Justice Party, spoke with AWR about the political developments in Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood position on negotiations with the current government for a political solution to the current crisis Egypt is in.



An Undemocratic Coup



Dr. Darrag argues that 30th of June demonstrations were followed by a coup d’etat orchestrated by the military. After the ongoing the mishaps of the military, he is convinced that Egyptians will continue to realize that that the removal of President Morsi is in fact a coup: “I am sure that one day the majority will join this in the same way that happened on January 25th.” The reason for Dr. Darrag’s faith that the people will side with the Muslim Brotherhood is, as he says, that the facts are piling up. Peaceful demonstrators, he says, are being shot at, innocent people are put in jail; one undemocratic step is taken after the other. As this pattern continues, Amr Darrag sees that every day more and more Egyptians are turning against the military and the current government to join the side of the protesters.



Possibility of Negotiations



Dr. Darrag said that reconciliation efforts between the Freedom and Justice Party and the military and the current government cannot bear fruit. He argues, in the current environment and distrust there can be no negotiations. In July he remarked on the same issue, saying that while Muhammad Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood leaders were in jail, invitations by the military for him to come and talk seemed “like pointing a gun at my head and saying: ‘Why don’t we discuss?’.” In October he insists on the same principles; arguing that the complete exclusion and demonization of the Muslim Brotherhood does not open up an environment for any serious negotiations.



Dr. Darrag stated that the Brotherhood is open for negotiations nevertheless, provided that several key demands are met. Among these key demands are what Dr. Darrag calls, “confidence-building measures”; meaning that some steps need to be taken towards the Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party in order to create an environment of mutual trust.




Dr. Darrag does not deny the fact that the Brotherhood has made mistakes. He denies the need to apologize unless the other parties also apologize for their mistakes: “This has to come through a process [in which] all political forces, if they want to learn from the past and [their] experiences, acknowledge their mistakes”... “It doesn’t make sense to ask one side to keep apologizing and apologizing and apologizing.”




The complete transcripts of the interviews are now accessible on Arab West Report website: July 22, 2013 and October 22, 2013.