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Talks with President Morsi of Egypt

September 5, 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr with President Mohamed Morsi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Kamel Amr in Cairo on September 4, 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today welcomed Egyptian leadership on Syria and praised President Mohamed Morsi’s recent condemnation of the Assad regime.

Senator Carr was speaking following talks with the Egyptian President and with Foreign Minister Amr today in Cairo (overnight September 4-5 AEST).

In particular, Senator Carr applauded Egypt’s initiative to bring together Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia in a four-country proposal to break Syria’s political deadlock.

“Egypt’s new democracy is historic,” Senator Carr said.

“Australia was an early and strong supporter of Egypt’s democratic transition. And we’re supporting that transition with more than $20 million in assistance for agriculture, reducing youth unemployment and the elimination of land mines.”

Senator Carr and President Morsi also discussed strengthening the trade and investment relationship between Australia and Egypt.

“Australia has significant expertise in areas of importance for Egypt including mining, dry-land farming and education,” Senator Carr said.

President Morsi expressed a desire for increased tourism from Australia and further opportunities for Egyptians to undertake post-graduate studies in Australia.

On the Middle East peace process, Senator Carr said he and President Morsi discussed the need for a two-state solution.

Senator Carr also spoke of the large number of Egyptian Coptic Christians living in Australia, their continued links with Egypt and concern with violent incidents against Copts during Egypt’s revolution. President Morsi told Mr Carr he would be a President for all Egyptians and that he was looking forward to Coptic Christian participation in Egypt’s future Parliament.

One Comment
  1. September 5, 2012 2:16 pm

    Interestingly, Australia voted in the UN against a ‘two-state’ solution – which in a way is good, because the creation of an independent Palestinian state would have disenfranchised the 750,000 (now exceeding 12 million, by virtue of the inherited right of refugees) Palestinians who were forcibly removed during Al Nakba (the Catastrophe).

    Realistically, Israel will never allow the formation of a sovereign modern armed Palestinian state so close to itself. The best that would be permitted is a fully de-militarised territory called ‘Palestine’

    If Middle East peace really is our concern then there are many more cogent things that Australia might be doing.

    First and foremost it could be supporting Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, which urges the implementation of United Nations General Assembly Resolution Number 194, which grants Palestinians the unconditional right to negotiate their return.

    Second, Australia could be opposing the crippling blockade of Gaza by the Israel Defence Forces. Lifting the blockade would at least allow Gaza residents proper access to urgently-needed food and medicines.

    Thirdly, Australia could propose the resurrection of the Goldstone Report into war crimes committed by both sides during Operation Cast Lead. That alone would show the world that Australia believed in justice.

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