FM says he has not betrayed the revolution

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said accusations that his ministry is the chief traitor of the 25 January revolution, which ousted President Hosni Muabrak, are false.

In an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm, Aboul Gheit denied that he has taken any "extreme position" toward the 25 January youth. At the time, he said, nobody imagined things would turn out the way they are now.

The Foreign Ministry, like the Armed Forces and State Security, are part of the national security apparatus. These bodies, regardless of their members' feelings, are committed to certain positions adopted by the state.

The telegrams sent by the Foreign Minister to Egyptian embassies overseas concerning the 25 January protests were based on information received from Egyptian security, Aboul Gheit said, adding that his ministry is not responsible for the reports it receives.

Independent Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Shorouk had earlier published a telegram sent by the Foreign Minister's office claiming that protesters were receiving foreign funding.

According to the newspaper, the telegram, dated 3 February, was sent to diplomatic missions abroad and was signed by Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossam Zaki. In the telegram, Aboul Gheit called on Egypt's diplomatic missions to "inform foreign ministries that the ministry’s communications with the security services indicate the arrest of foreign elements among the protesters."

The telegram also said the ministry had "verified information on sums of money in foreign currencies being paid to the protesters to keep them where they were."

Aboul Gheit responded by saying it is slander against his reputation to leak a cable as evidence he was against the revolution: "In all telegrams to embassies, a foreign minister quotes security bodies or the Interior Ministry,” he said.

"The Foreign Ministry, as an  entity, has not  uttered a word that represents an objection to the revolution,” he said, calling anyone with evidence to the contrary to come forward.

Asked about claims that he had threatened that the army would use force against the protesters, Aboul Gheit said this was "irresponsible talk".

"I challenge anyone to cite one statement in which I said so."

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