Salafists in Egypt to ‘cooperate’ with Turkey

Salafists in Egypt to ‘cooperate’ with Turkey

Emad Eddin Abdul Gafur, Egypt’s ultraconservative Islamist Al-Nour Party leader and election runner-up with 24.4 percent of votes, said yesterday that his party desired stronger and more comprehensive cooperation with Turkey.

“We want to make use of Turkey’s experiences, and we are looking forward to speaking with Turkish officials. The contact with Turkey is crucial for us,” Gafur said. Touching on Egypt’s ties with Israel, Gafur said economically, politically, socially and militarily strong Egypt will bring down Israel’s role in the region.
“A strong Egypt will force Israel to reevaluate its position. The Camp David Accords signed by Egypt and Israel in 1979 gives the Palestinians the right to determine their own future and the right to return to their territories. If Egypt becomes strong, Israel would have to implement the articles of this treaty,” Gafur said.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest winner in the first round of Egypt’s elections, has threatened to take to the streets if there were any attempt to manipulate results. The group, a moderate Islamist movement banned for decades under the rule of deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak, gained 36.6 percent of votes ahead of the Al-Nour party. “We will take to the streets if there is any cheating in the elections or manipulation of the constitution,” its leader Mohammed Badei told Egyptian television in comments reported by the press yesterday.

There have been various problems with the election, the first since Mubarak was toppled in February. On Dec. 5, the election commission dramatically revised the turnout level from 62 percent to 52 percent and said results from several polling stations would be withheld because of violations.

Compiled from AA and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.