World Bulletin/News Desk
The South African government has condemned the recent harsh tone used by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in criticizing South Africa’s classification of the unconstitutional change of government in Egypt as being a "military coup," insisting its position is founded on principles Egypt used to respect and support.
"We had deliberately avoided responding to the statements issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since the military coup in that country," Clayson Monyela, the spokesman for South African Department of International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO), told Anadolu Agency in a telephone interview Tuesday.
"But because they have singled out South Africa in their criticism this won’t go unchallenged."
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently criticized South Africa's position on the ongoing crisis in the North African country.
"The insistence on describing Egypt's popular revolution as an unconstitutional change of government, and the continued acknowledgment of the former president's legitimacy [...] is an insult to the will of millions of Egyptians," it said in a strongly-worded press statement.
It suggested South Africa should instead focus on its own domestic problems.
"The South African government should concentrate on restoring the rights of its protesting miners against whom the most brutal force was used rather than interfering in the internal affairs of an African country of the size and standing of Egypt."
Egypt's powerful army ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, on July 3 following mass protests against his regime.
It suspended the constitution and installed the head of the constitutional court as interim president.
The DIRCO issued earlier today a press statement challenging the Egyptian authorities to stop undermining democracy and the rule of law.
It maintained that the tone and spirit of Egyptian criticism would contribute little to the alleviation of what is increasingly becoming a political and security crisis in Egypt, initiated by the removal of a democratically elected president through a military coup.
"Most unfortunate is the seemingly visible attempts by the Egyptian authorities to single out South Africa in its criticism despite the overwhelming international condemnation of the recent brutal repression of demonstrations by the Egyptian security forces that led to a tragic loss of lives."
DIRCO further reminded the Egyptian authorities that South Africa’s principled position is based on the Constitutive Act of the African Union, which opposes any unconstitutional change of government – whatever the premise.
"Egypt, as a founding member of the OAU and the AU, should respect the integrity of the continental organization which it has been instrumental in developing over the years."
The AU suspended Egypt’s membership following the army's removal of elected Morsi, in an automatic measure taken by the pan-African body following any military interruption of constitutional rule in a member state.
DIRCO noted that Egypt has always voted in favor of suspending other AU members on the same basis of unconstitutional change of governments.
"The South African government has been consistent in its emphasis on the need to find indigenous solutions for domestic challenges. Contrary to the misplaced claims by the Egyptian authorities, South Africa has never sought to export nor impose its version of national reconciliation on Egypt or any other sovereign country."
DIRCO reiterated its condemnation of violence and the loss of lives, asserting that it is incumbent on those forces responsible for law and order to protect civilians and prevent further bloodshed in Egypt.
"South Africa remains concerned that the violence and tragic loss of Egyptian lives takes Egypt further away from the democratic aspirations as expressed by the millions of Egyptian voters last year."Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Ağustos 2013, 08:59