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Egypt's FJP denies turning journalists away from Kerry meeting
Published in Bikya Masr on 11 - 12 - 2011

CAIRO: The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) denied reports it had turned away journalists from its headquarters on Saturday where a meeting between the chairman of the party Mohamed Morsy and John Kerry, head of the foreign relations committee in the US Congress and the American Ambassador in Cairo Ann Paterson.
Egyptian newspaper al-Youm al-Saba'a reported that several journalists were barred from entering the facility to cover the meeting, while the FJP says no journalists were invited to begin with and denied telling reporters “we are home and we don't want you to take pictures,” adding that this did not happen.
“We didn't send out invitations to the press and later released a statement about the meeting, so why would journalists show up if they are not invited,” Tareq Ahmed, media coordinator for FJP told via the phone on Sunday.
“No one showed up and was turned away,” Ahmed added.
The meeting comes after the first round of the Egyptian parliamentary elections and has the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the FJP, leading the polls and all eyes are on the results of the second and last stage, to begin on Monday.
The meeting was also attended by Essam al-Erian, FJP deputy, and Mohamed al-Katatny, the general coordinator of the political arm of the Brotherhood's party.
FJP said the meeting discussed current affairs in Egypt, the economic crisis and where the party stands on the agreements and treaties that Egypt had previously signed, most notably the peace treaty with Israel.
Morsy however, affirmed that the 1979 treaty previously signed will be respected for the greater good of the country.
FJP said that Morsy explained to Kerry how for the very first time the Egyptian people are on the path to democracy with elections “going well,” while Kerry was quoted saying that the early wins of the FJP were “not surprising,” noting his and the American administration's respect for the outcome of the elections.
The first round of elections saw 36 percent going to the FJP followed by the ultra-conservative al-Nour Salafist party.
On December 5, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on all Egyptian parties to push forward on democracy.
Clinton called on all parties, including the Islamists who appear to have taken the lion's share of votes, to push toward democratic principles.
The US has praised the Egypt voting process thus far as fair.
Clinton, however, addressed many of the rising fears among secular activists in the country that the revolutoin they participated in was being hijacked by the Islamist groups, who largely kept away from the 18 days of protests that led to the fall of Mubarak and paved the way for elections.
“Transitions require fair and inclusive elections, but they also demand the embrace of democratic norms and rules,” she said. “We expect all democratic actors to uphold universal human rights, including women's rights, to allow free religious practice.”
Tags: featured, FJP, John Kerry, Journalists
Section: Egypt, Latest News

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