Portraying nation`s correct image is priority: Egypt`s FM

Egypt continues to explain the "recent events" in the country to the world community.

Updated: Jul 23, 2013, 08:50 AM IST

Cairo: As Egypt continues to explain the "recent events" in the country to the world community, its newly-appointed Foreign Minister has said that portraying the nation`s "correct and proper image" is his priority.

Nabil Fahmy, in his first press conference, outlined the objectives for the ministry in the coming months.

The ministry will work to "restore the role of Egypt" in the Arab world, Africa, the Mediterranean region and the international community, with particular focus on issues relating to Egypt`s national security.

The third objective is to outline a "comprehensive platform" for the future of foreign policy.

These objectives are to be achieved by restructuring the ministry, said Fahmy.

Portraying the nation`s "correct and proper image" is a priority, he said.

This will include the empowerment of young diplomats in active participation and decision making in the running of the ministry.

Fahmy also stressed that an `Egyptian jihad` in Syria is not an option and called for a political solution.

The minister announced the allocation of 6 million Egyptian pounds as part of an initiative to provide "legal protection for Egyptians abroad".

This includes providing lawyers to defend them in court if necessary.

The initiative will begin in Saudi Arabia which has the largest Egyptian expatriate population and will then spread to other embassies and consulates, a statement from the ministry said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an intensive round of meetings and communications with countries around the world following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on July 03.

Representatives of the ministry have been explaining the events that led to Morsi`s removal.

Fahmy had telephone conversations with US Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union foreign ministers on Friday.

A ministry statement said he spoke with ministers from Sweden, Greece, Spain, Italy, France and the national security advisor of Germany.

His conversations explained the current events and "stressed the commitment of the Egyptian government to establishing real democracy".

Ambassadors representing countries from the Americas were invited to the ministry earlier in July to hear an explanation of "the recent events in Egypt" and the road map for the country`s transition put forward by the armed forces.

The ministry announced last week that six senior envoys would be dispatched around Africa to explain recent events and the political road map.

The envoys would also express the government`s rejection of the African Union`s Peace and Security Council`s decision to suspend its membership.

Kerry and Fahmy also discussed regional issues, including efforts to resume peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis.