11 February 2013, 10:11
Russian ambassador to Cairo denies total Islamization of Egypt
Moscow, February 11, Interfax - Egypt is undergoing complex historical transformations; one should be patient and hope for a positive outcome, Russian Ambassador to Cairo Sergey Kirpichenko said in an interview with Voice of Russia radio.
The scale of Egypt's Islamization should not be exaggerated, he said.
The country took the Islamization course back in the 1970s when Anwar El Sadat was the president, the diplomat recalled. It was when the authorities started flirting with the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic political forces, and the revolution of 2011 brought those forces to power.
"I do not think there is a threat of total Islamization of Egypt. Not everyone agrees with that course, so the authorities and the opposition may have to reach a compromise," Kirpichenko said.
The upcoming parliamentary election in Egypt will be an important stage in the establishment of new authority but the situation is not quite favorable for the ballot so far: "disturbances continue in the country and the society is divided," he said. Still, the ambassador hopes the Egyptian administration will find a solution and make sure the election brings stabilization and public consolidation.
Speaking of bilateral relations, Kirpichenko said Russia and Egypt had always had wide friendly contacts. "They remain such. There is a mutual interest and a wish of the new Egyptian administration. Russia is also interested to continue political contacts on all levels and to develop bilateral relations," he said.
Moscow and Cairo are actively cooperating in the search for settlement ways in Syria and the promotion of a national dialogue, Kirpichenko said.