Egypt FM blasts US congressional hearing on alleged persecution of Mid-East Christians

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Sunday criticized a recent US congressional hearing that discussed the issue of  perceived "discrimination" faced by religious minorities in the Middle East, especially in Egypt and Iraq.

A ministry statement released on Sunday asserted that the discussions had included "a number of inaccuracies and inaccurate claims that have long been circulated by Egypt's enemies in the US."

During the hearing, several members of congress called for the adoption of a bill that would require the US administration to appoint "special envoys" to persecuted minorities in the Middle East. Under the proposed legislation, these envoys would be tasked with monitoring progress on "minority issues" as they related to Christians in Iraq, as well as Copts and Baha'is in Egypt.

At the hearing, held on Thursday morning, members of congress proposed the appointment of special representatives to US embassies in Egypt and Iraq whose sole mandate would be “to monitor human rights and religious persecution."

In the Foreign Ministry statement, ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki stated that the reaction of Egypt's Coptic Church to the hearing constituted the best possible reply to all foreign parties attempting to involve themselves in Egypt's internal affairs with a view to 'provoking conflict,” which, he said, “only serves personal interests and agendas."

Egypt's Coptic Church had earlier declared its refusal to discuss any issue pertaining to Copts abroad, stressing that the country’s internal problems should be dealt with and solved by Egyptians.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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