Egypt Islamists reject military interference

Egypt Islamists reject military interference

CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
Egypt Islamists reject military interference

Supporters of the Egyptian military council are seen in this photo. Islamists rejected efforts by the ruling military council to undermine the authority of parliament. AFP photo

Egypt’s Islamists said Dec. 11 they would not accept any interference from the ruling military council over the future constitution amid uncertainty about the army’s role in the process.

“No one except the elected parliament has the right to draft legislation,” Khairat al-Shater, the number two in the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s biggest Islamist movement, said on Twitter. Major General Mukthar al-Mulla, a member of the ruling military council told reporters Dec. 7 that the army would have final say over those appointed to a 100-member panel tasked with writing the constitution next year. The statements prompted the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party to pull out of an advisory council,
which would have a supervisory role in drafting the constitution.

But on Dec. 10, another member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), General Mamduh Shahin, said the army would have “no opinion” regarding the members of the panel. The Muslim Brotherhood said it would stand firm in calling for a parliament with full powers and that the military should be judged by its actions. “Shahin’s statements were good. But it is not words that count, it is actions,” Mohamed al-Beltagui, a senior leader in the Muslim Brotherhood.

New Israeli ambassador to Egypt arrives

JERUSALEM - The Associated Press

Israel’s new ambassador to Egypt arived in Cairo yesterday, an official said, three months after rioters ransacked the Israeli Embassy there. Relations between the two countries have become strained since a popular uprising toppled Egypt’s longtime leader Hosni Mubarak in February. Still, both governments seem eager to preserve an alliance that is a cornerstone of Mideast stability.
Israeli Ambassador Yaakov Amitai will join a small number of embassy staffers still in Cairo, the official said. The previous ambassador, Yitzhak Levanon, most of the staff and their families were evacuated in an Israeli military plane in September after protesters tore down a security wall around the building housing the Israeli Embassy, then stormed embassy offices and trashed them. The violent protest followed the killing of six Egyptian soldiers by Israeli troops.