Egypt’s top diplomat in South Korea said the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi last year on June 30 was necessary for the future of Egyptian democracy, as the envoy marked the 3rd anniversary of the Jan. 25th Revolution in 2011 at Hankook University of Foreign Studies in Seoul on Jan. 23.
Egyptian Ambassador to South Korea Hany Selim said the revolution that took place in 2011 was part of a wider push for democracy and human dignity across the Arab world, and that the Egyptian military’s overthrow of Morsi was a part of that popular movement’s rejection of extremism.
“The same people who revolted on the 25th of January 2011 and much more than those who consented to the rise of that regime to power went out in millions to the streets on the 30th of June, 2013, that was the 4th Egyptian revolution in two centuries and the second one in the 21st century,” Ambassador Selim said in a speech delivered at HUFS.
Egypt went to the polls to overwhelming approve of a new constitution in mid-January. Parliamentary elections are slated for later this year. Months of violence, however, have hobbled the country. Militant attacks have raised fears over the stability, which has a peace treaty with Israel and control over the strategic Suez Canal.
The United States provides Egypt with about $1.5 billion in aid annually, most of it military assistance. U.S. officials said last year in October, however, that the United States would withhold some of that assistance, including weapons and cash, pending progress on democracy and human rights.
“Little did the world know that the hope and despair, frustration and anger, purpose and destiny were all boiling in the pot together and that on the 25th of January the pot would boil over and spill out onto the streets for the whole world to see,” said Seilm during his speech.
Opponents of the current regime, and Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who is widely expected to run for president in an election this year, describe Morsi’s ouster as a military coup d’etat.
These critics say Al-Sisi effectively put the Egyptian government back under the domination of the military as it was before the Jan. 25 Revolution aborting any potential transition to democracy.
By Philip Iglauer (firstname.lastname@example.org)