Egypt`s PM seeks talk to resolve political crisis
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2011, 22:24
  
Cairo: After weeks of anti-regime protests and violent clashes, Egyptian Premier Kamal Ganzoury on Thursday sought a national dialogue to resolve the political crisis and also warned that the country's economy was rapidly deteriorating.

78-year-old Ganzoury said that USD nine billion of investments were lost due to instability and insecurity in the country.

"USD 9 billion left Egypt in the past few months," the military-appointed Prime Minister told a press conference.

His remarks came as Field Marshal Muhammad Hussein Tantawy, head of Egypt's ruling military council, issued a decree for the new People's Assembly to hold its first session on January 23, two days before the first anniversary of the revolution that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Ganzoury also noted that the countries, which had promised aid, did not deliver because of internal differences. "Only a billion has arrived" out of USD 10.5 billion pledged by Arab countries, he said.

He also noted that the G-8 had promised USD 35 billion for Egypt and Tunisia. "Nothing has arrived yet.

Ganzoury called for dialogue among political parties as a means to achieve peace following weeks of protests against the military rule.

At least 100 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces and in sectarian violence since military took power in February after the ouster of Mubarak.

Ganzoury stressed on the importance of removing the barriers, which have become a mark of the downtown area, in order for people and the foreign media to sense that security has returned to the country.

The Premier said the ruling Generals want to hand over power to a civilian government. "They want to leave today, not tomorrow," he said, without elaborating.

The Prime Minister's press conference came a day after Egyptian Minister of Justice Adel abd-al-Hamid claimed that he had evidence that money was handed over to protesters for attacks on security personnel.

It also came amid calls for Egyptians to converge in the iconic Tahrir Square here tomorrow to mark a "Friday to retrieve honour".

Meanwhile, media reports said that efforts are being made for carrying out a second revolution on January 25 to complete the goals of the first one.

According to a highly-placed source, there have been contacts between some elements at home and abroad to carry out a second revolution, this time against the military rule, that could lead to bloody confrontations, MENA news agency reported.

Security departments have managed over the past few days to spot these movements and contacts that are meant to drag the country into chaos and civil war, the source said.

The government has taken all measures, including security ones, to foil the plot and protect installations and Egyptians, the report said.

Separately, spokesman for the ruling council Mohamed Khuli said that some members, who had quit in protest against the army crackdown on a sit-in outside Cabinet offices, have withdrawn their resignations, while five still insist on walking out.

Meanwhile, hundreds of students in the capital today marched against the military amid low turnout in the second day of voting in run-off elections.

A third round of voting will begin on January 3 for the polls that has till now been dominated by Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood, which has refused to openly join calls by secular and liberal activists for the ruling military to move up its handover of power to civilians.

At least 14 people have been killed in a week of clashes between Egyptian security forces and anti-military protesters.

Thousands of people, including women, took to the streets in the heart of the Egyptian capital on Tuesday against the brutal crackdown on female protesters by troops during the agitation seeking the end of military dominance in the governance of the country.

The international community, including the US has denounced the crackdown on Egyptian women as "shocking" and a "disgrace" to the state after troops were shown ripping off a female protester's clothes.

The latest round of flare up started a day after the second phase of parliamentary polls closed when soldiers stormed an anti-military protest outside the Cabinet building, a short distance from Tahrir last week.

Egypt's ruling military council, which is governing the country after President Mubarak was overthrown in February, has blamed the protesters for violence and accused them of plotting to burn down the Parliament.

PTI PTI


First Published: Thursday, December 22, 2011, 18:59


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