Politics, Africa

Sisi rejects European criticisms of Egypt rights record

Egyptian president makes remarks at conclusion of first Arab-European Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh

Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg  | 25.02.2019 - Update : 26.02.2019
Sisi rejects European criticisms of Egypt rights record


President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has dismissed European calls to abolish -- or at least temporarily suspend -- capital punishment in Egypt, claiming the practice is “in line with the region’s laws and culture”.

He made the remarks in response to questions raised about Egypt’s human rights record at a press conference held at the conclusion of the first Arab-European Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.

“I have listened to a great debate from our European friends,” al-Sisi said, describing the summit as “a new platform for cooperation, consultation and dialogue between two different cultures and regions”.

“Europe’s priority is to achieve and preserve prosperity,” he added. “But our priority is to preserve our country and prevent it from collapsing, as has happened to several of our neighbors in the region.”

Dismissing recent European criticisms of Egypt’s rights record, he asserted: “You cannot teach us our humanity; we have our own values and ethics. Please don’t impose your views on us.”

The first EU-Arab Summit opened in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday. It was attended by numerous European officials despite the uproar caused by Egypt’s recent execution of nine youths in connection with the 2015 assassination of an Egyptian attorney-general.

The two-day summit saw generally weak representation from the Arab world, however, according to official statements and Arab media outlets.

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