Press release - 078(2011)

PACE and the emerging democracies in the Arab world: rapporteurs to visit Egypt

Strasbourg, 22.09.2011 – Jean-Charles Gardetto (Monaco, EPP/CD), rapporteur for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on co-operation with the emerging democracies in the Arab world, and Konstantinos Vrettos (Greece, SOC), rapporteur on the situation in the Middle East, will be visiting Egypt from 23 to 26 September 2011.

They will have talks with the Prime Minister, the Minister for Justice and the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs. Meetings are also scheduled with candidates for the presidential election and with representatives of various political parties: Al Wafd, Al Ghad, Freedom and Justice (Muslim Brotherhood) and the Coalition of Youth of the Revolution.

The rapporteurs will also meet representatives of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights, the Al Ahram Strategic Studies Centre and the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights, as well as media and diplomatic representatives.

The visit should be an opportunity for the rapporteurs to gather information about the political situation in Egypt in the run-up to the parliamentary elections with a view to intensifying and broadening co-operation between Egypt and the Council of Europe, including via the Partner for Democracy status created recently by the PACE for parliaments in neighbouring regions. The Moroccan Parliament has already been granted Partner for Democracy status and the Assembly is expected to take a decision on the award of this status to the Palestinian National Council on 4 October in Strasbourg.

Mr Gardetto will present his report on “Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the emerging democracies in the Arab world” to the Assembly during the autumn plenary session (3-7 October 2011).

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