Egyptian opposition criticizes government position toward Iraqi crisis
Egypt, Politics, 12/26/1998
Egyptian political opposition parties and forces have escalated their campaign against the government and organized a massive conference on Wednesday that witnessed a confrontation between leaders of the opposition and the representative of the ruling national party who took part in the conference.
The opposition called upon President Mubarak to "make political reforms in the country and to take an open Egyptian decision to break the siege imposed on the people of Iraq as well as to exert efforts in international arenas to end the works of the UNSCOM in Iraq."
The opposition criticized the official Egyptian position concerning the air strikes against Iraq, saying, "It did not reflect the Egyptian public opinion" and that the gap was large between what was official and the people's feelings.
On the other side, the chairman of the foreign relations committee at the Egyptian Parliament, Muhammad Abdullah, defended the government. He stressed that President Mubarak "relentlessly tries to unify Arab ranks and to contain any crisis may emerge in the Arab arena."
He indicated in this respect the repeated travels made by President Mubarak to Syria and Turkey to settle the crisis that erupted between the two countries, adding that, "Egypt had never been late in declaring its stand in rejecting the US-British aggression against Iraq and that it supports and backs Iraq against the attack."
He described the position of the Egyptian opposition forces and parties during the crisis as "brave," stressing that such a stand is "a big support for the official political decision, because our peoples do not accept violation of the sovereignty of any Arab country and that the stand of the Egyptian people was a message from all public strata in Egypt to the US and Britain."
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