Sign of Egypt’s new beginnings

Last July 17, The Japan Times published a balanced editorial, “When a coup is not a coup?,” highlighting reasons behind Egypt’s popular revolution on June 30, 2013, against the Muslim Brothers’ radicalism and despotic attempts to send Egypt back to the Middle Ages. However, last week’s editorial “Egypt’s new pharaoh” (June 12) was not objective.

It unfairly accused of corruption the millions who voted in a presidential election that was internationally recognized as free and transparent, including by Japanese observers. It also claimed that the winner’s sweeping victory does not confer legitimacy upon his presidency unless those extremists who terrorized the nation and killed hundreds, including army and security personnel, join the new government. Such a view means supporting the hands stained with Egyptian blood.

Objective observers and friends, including in Japan, wonder in admiration at how Egyptians managed to put an end to the most obscure period of their history; how their unity saved their state from disintegration; how their collective wisdom avoided a civil war planned and financed by outsiders; how they smoothly adopted a progressive constitution by world standards in a popular referendum; how they elected, with a sweeping majority, a former army chief and national hero — their nation’s savior — as their new president.

The answer is simple: Have a look at the region’s map. Observe the sad realities in great nations like Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia or Mali. Had it not been for the solidarity and alertness of the masses, Egypt would have joined that list.

Today, our proud people are determined to work hard to re-build the oldest nation on earth on principles of freedom, equality, social justice, human dignity and democracy. In his inauguration speech, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi invited all citizens committed to these principles to actively participate in erecting the future. Upon holding parliamentary elections in a few months, the road map will be accomplished.

Egyptians remain grateful to friends who have stood by their side during the past three thorny years. Similarly they will never forget those who stood by watching, in a wait-and- see mode, as Egypt fought the curse of terrorism from which no country is immune.

Having restored its historically moderate identity based on acceptance and coexistence, Egypt stands on solid ground, smoothly regaining stability, security, safety and normalcy. With the support of believers in true moderation and tolerance, the resilient will of Egyptians will continue to triumph.

hisham el-zimaity
egyptian ambassador to japan
tokyo

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.