CAIRO (Update) - An Egyptian Foreign Ministry official has rejected as an 'interference' in local politics a meeting between senior US officials and a group of Americans entitled “Egypt Workgroup” to discuss Egyptian affairs.
"This move is pertaining to unacceptable US stances towards Egyptian reservations about interfering in its local affairs," the Foreign Ministry source said Thursday.
He added that the US positions towards Egypt's local affairs "were totally rejected, regardless of excuses that can be used by some".
"Egypt is proud of its national will, its sovereignty and independence. Any foreign power, including the US, is not allowed to poke a nose into its affairs," said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"It seems the US insists on violating the privacy of Egypt and irks Egyptians as if it were a guardian on the will of Egyptian people," he added.
Egypt is one of the key allies of the United States in the Middle East since the
1970s. "Egypt will continue to respect its ties with the US as long as the American
side is committed to the same principle," the official was quoted by the official
Middle East News Agency (MENA) as saying.
The country’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) Secretary- General Safwat el-Sherif told local newspapers that only local NGOs and civil society organisations would be allowed to work as observers during the legislative vote, due on November 28.
“Foreign monitoring is considered an interference in Egypt’s affairs,” Sherif
Earlier this week, US State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley said that the Obama administration was in support of free and fair elections in Egypt.
On open elections, Crowley said they “would include a credible and impartial
mechanism for reviewing election-related complaints, a domestic election observation effort according to international standards and the presence of international observers.”
Egypt has long refused to allow foreign vote monitors into the country, saying
it is capable of holding free and fair elections without international oversight.
Egypt was particularly upset over a meeting this month between US President Barack Obama's national security advisers and the alleged Egypt Workgroup, which comprises a handful of foreign policy analysts who are pushing for reforms in Egypt.
The bi-partisan group was described as "the same type of groups that want to
spread chaos in the Middle East".