- The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, could not swallow his government's fury over interference by the international community [even the United States of America] in its internal affairs.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister was reacting to mountains of pressures from the United States’ Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who faulted an Egyptian court for failing to release an outstanding opposition leader, Ayman Nur, from prison on health grounds.
The 43-year-old lawyer, who has been sent to jail for five years after he was convicted of forging affidavits to legalise Al-Ghad party, has been battling with severe diabetes. Until last month, he has been the head of the party. He emerged second behind President Hosni Mubarak in the country’s first multi-candidate presidential elections in 2005.
His supporters saw his conviction as politically-motivated, though the government kept denying the allegations.
Mr Gheit said though Egypt and America have had healthy diplomatic and bilateral relations, but the country would not allow the latter to interfere in its internal affairs, especially those that relate to legal matters.
In July, Cairo dismissed had similar beef with the United States, describing President Bush‘s call for the release of Mr Nur as "unacceptable."
The detained opposition leader’s wife, Gamila Ismail, protested that Mr Bush’s comments on democracy in Praque could be a blow to the legal appeal of her husband.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister blamed President Bush for uttering what he called “an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs.”
Trumpeting for “the immediate and unconditional release of Nur,” Mr Bush expressed Washington’s readiness to use its influence to urge Egypt to "to move toward freedom.”
Egypt’s parliamentary committee on foreign relations also launched scathing attacks on Mr Bush, asking him to “talk about prisoners of Guantanamo Bay who are deprived of the simplest of legal defence guaranteed by all human rights conventions.”
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