x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

FNC speaker emphasises UAE-Egyptian ties to delegation

A group of Egyptians visited the FNC to express their gratitude for the UAE's support during the June 30 revolution.

The Egyptian delegation taking a tour of the FNC headquarters in Abu Dhabi. for a talk and a tour. Hamdeen Sabahy (second from right), founder of the Egyptian Popular Current, thanked the speaker and the other FNC members present for their support of Egypt during the revolution. Fatima Al Marzooqi/ The National
The Egyptian delegation taking a tour of the FNC headquarters in Abu Dhabi. for a talk and a tour. Hamdeen Sabahy (second from right), founder of the Egyptian Popular Current, thanked the speaker and the other FNC members present for their support of Egypt during the revolution. Fatima Al Marzooqi/ The National

ABU DHABI // Political and economic ties with Egypt will soon see major developments, the Federal National Council speaker told a number of Egyptian public figures during a visit on Monday.

Speaker Mohammed Al Murr emphasised Egypt’s importance in the Arab world.

“Egypt is a main pillar for stability in the region,” Mr Al Murr told the group of Egyptian artists, diplomats and religious scholars. “We are sure that relations between the two countries will witness huge developments very soon – politically and economically – based on the demands of our societies and their goals in creating further cooperation.”

Relations between the countries went through a rough patch during the short reign of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government, but relations are now stronger than ever, said Tamer Mansour, former Egyptian ambassador to the UAE.

“We are happy with your visit, which reflects our deep-rooted relations,” Mr Al Murr said. “The history between the two countries is built by the hands of Sheikh Zayed. Sheikh Zayed was supportive of Egypt during different times and circumstances. His known statement was that the Arab world cannot have a presence without Egypt, as Egypt cannot make do without the Arab world.”

He said that the President, Sheikh Khalifa, also believes that a strong Egypt means a strong Arab world.

Hamdeen Sabahy, founder of the Egyptian Popular Current, thanked the speaker and the dozen other FNC members present.

He told them that the Egyptian people would not forget their support during a revolution that rid them of an oppressive government.

“The UAE stood by Egypt like a brother would stand next to his other brother,” he said. “A danger for Egypt is a danger for the UAE.”

Emad Gad Badrous, the deputy director of Egypt’s Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies and head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, said if it were not for the UAE’s support, both moral and financial, the June 30 revolution would have faced major difficulties.

Mr Al Murr cited several topics that he wanted the Egyptian government to address, including a national identity crisis. Mr Sabahy assured the council that the new government will ensure democracy and social justice. He also thanked Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which also have supported Egypt.

Mohammed Dawood, an Egyptian parliament member, said the sole purpose of their visit to the FNC was to extend the Egyptian people’s gratitude to UAE society.

He thanked the speaker for his stance a week ago at the international parliament meeting, where he defended Egypt’s right to membership. He also assured members that Egypt soon would have a constitution and parliamentary elections.

“We thank them first before they thank us,” Fujairah’s Sultan Al Sammahi said. “We asked them to make sure that the democratic changes protect the people of Egypt and that the constitution reflects the people’s revolution.”

After reminiscing about time spent in Egypt, FNC members took the opportunity to be photographed with Egyptian celebrities in attendance, including the actress Ilham Shaheen.

osalem@thenational.ae