Need relationship advice? Ask Egypt's foreign minister why his country's bond with the U.S. isn't a "one night affair"

Published April 30th, 2014 - 04:10 GMT

Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy has described Egypt-U.S. relations as "a marriage," during an interview on Washington-based National Public Radio (NPR).

Fahmy is currently on a visit to the United States during which he has met a number of high-level officials, including members of the foreign affairs committee of the House of Representatives and Secretary of State John Kerry.

"It's like a marriage. It's not a fling; it's not a one-night affair. This is something, if you're going to invest in it, it's going to cost you a lot of money, it's going to take time, and you're going to have to make a lot of decisions... I think it's well-founded, but any marriage has its hiccups."

According to the NPR website, Fahmy spoke about a number of issues, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the trial of Al-Jazeera journalists, and espionage charges charged against political scientist Emad Shahin.

Asked how long the Brotherhood would remain banned, Fahmy said that he did not believe the Islamist organisation would be "back in the system during the next few years."

The Brotherhood was designated a terrorist group in December 2013 and all its activities were banned, making it subject to Article 86 of the Egyptian penal code, which defines terrorism and the penalties for engaging in it.

The group has been blamed by the authorities for a number of attacks on police and army targets.

"We need to ensure security, so there is calm and then there is more tolerance for political space — not between the government and the Brotherhood, but among society itself, because that's where we need to go and that's where we will go," Fahmy said.

He referred to the Brotherhood's "inability to change their own ideology," noting that it was "regrettably exclusive, rather than inclusive."


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