Former Egyptian Vice President for Foreign Affairs Mohamed El Baradei was surprised by the arrest of former President Mohamed Morsi, which was executed by the Armed Forces without any knowledge of the national powers, El Baradei said in a statement on Tuesday.
“As I learned later, this decision was preceded by negotiations between the armed forced and the former president and this groups, without informing the civil powers who may have been able to reach a mutually acceptable solution,” El Baradei stated.
According to El Baradei, his statement that broke three years of silence came to present the facts and to void the “lies and moral degradation” he has been facing from some media outlets with regards to his participation in the “public service” during the transitional period between July 14 and August 14 2013.
The former VP started by clarifying that the intention of the meeting with the Armed Forces on July 3, 2013 was to discuss the ongoing political situation and the proposal of early elections. However, in light of the situation back then, “a president in jail and millions of protestors in the streets,” this option of settlement became no longer possible.
This meeting came on the fourth day of protests against Morsi that attracted up to 30 million protestors, calling for the ousting of the president. In a televised statement, then-defense minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi declared the removal of Morsi from office and that the Head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, as Egypt’s interim president.
According to El Baradei’s statement, he accepted to participate in this transitional period “as a representative of civil powers in order to help the country out of a critical juncture in as peaceful a manner as possible.”
“My priority had become to work on avoiding a civil strife and on maintaining the peace and the cohesion of the community,” El Baradei said in the statement, denouncing the road map at the time for being drafted in haste and built on completely different assumptions from the developments that followed.
Denouncing the use of force to break the sit-ins in Rabaa on August 13, El Baradei said that he had strictly objected to this plan, not only for ethical reasons but also due to the availability of other political solutions that could have saved the country from a vicious cycle of violence and division.
“In the light of the foregoing of violence and deception and deviation from the path of the revolution, it was impossible for me to continue to participate in a public work that completely contradicts with my convictions and principles,” ElBaradei said, explaining the reasons behind his resignation one day later.
In the second half of the statement, El Baradei responded to the attack he has been subjected to since 2009, when he started calling for “political change.”
The first act he referred to and condemned is recording and broadcasting his phone calls, claiming that this was committed by official sources.
El Baradei recalled the broadcasting of a phone call between himself and an American minister after the revolution, and claiming he was secretly in communication with the American Intelligence.
“This contact came after a meeting with the leaders of the SCAF [Supreme Council of Armed Forces] that exposed the critical economic situation of the country, which led me and other attendees who have foreign relations to express our readiness to connect with everyone we know in order to seek help,” El Baradei clarified.
The statement further denounced the media’s misrepresentation and distortion of the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency with respect to its work in the inspection of Iraq’s nuclear program under Security Council resolutions. El Baradei claimed that the orientation of the Egyptian media towards that issue completely changed after he had announced his call for political change.
“The disgraceful position of Egyptian media before and after 2009 can be revised,” ElBaradei said. “As is the case for the countless other lies about me, which continued since Mubarak’s regime and so far without interruption.”
The statement listed other “lies” that El Baradei seeks to revoke, such as claiming he had traveled abroad before June 30 to promote and prepare for the outset of the former president, claiming that he traveled to Israel, and that he was part of a plan by the European Union to isolate Mohamed Morsi, or that he had not objected to the violent dispersal of the sit-ins In Rabaa.
“There is a lot more I can add as examples of the method of deception and lies and the kidnapping of the revolution, which I witnessed it and which led us to where we are today,” El Baradei concluded, adding, “My opinion was and still is that the future of Egypt remains dependent on reaching a formula for transitional justice, peace and communal system of rule based on freedom, democracy and social justice, science and reason.”