On 27th of December 2017, the Council welcomed Mr. Matthew Lo, Deputy Counselor for Political Affairs at the American Embassy in Cairo, at the latter’s request, to discuss a number of current issues and developments in the region, in the presence of Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, Chair of the Council, and Dr. Osama al-Ghazali Harb member of the Council, and Mrs. Anisa Hassouna member of the Egyptian House of Representatives and Vice-President of the Council.
The meeting dealt with a number of issues, where the guest asked about the situation of civil society organizations in Egypt and the conditions of the detainees belonging to those organizations inside Egyptian prisons and the applicable provisions.
In response to the guest’s comments, it was confirmed that many of the detainees were released with a presidential pardon, where the names of the detainees are examined and lists of those who deserve amnesty are prepared. The standards shall apply to him and the President of the Republic shall be given the opportunity to issue amnesties.
As for the Muslim Brotherhood, it was stressed that the anti-terrorist stance is the result of the violence and terror committed against the Egyptian people, the communication with foreign parties to harm Egyptian national security, the promotion of false news and the use of religion for political purposes.
On the situation in the region and specifically the recent decision on the declaration of the US President Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the guest said that the US President consulted with leaders of the countries of the region before the decision. Ambassador Mounir Zahran commented that the resolution would fuel conflict and hostility between Muslims and Jews would not lead to a two-state solution and would not lead to the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict; but that it came without consultation with the leaders of the region. Trump contacted the leaders to inform them of his decision and not to consult with them. Dr. Mounir Zahran referred to the statement issued by the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs on the decision of the American president, who rejected President Trump’s decision, which would affect the credibility of the United States as an honest broker to settle the conflict in the Middle East.