Gül urges Egypt to consider presidential elections a priority

March 07, 2011, Monday/ 17:49:00/ MUHLİS KAÇAR

During a day trip to Egypt Turkish President Abdullah Gül underlined the importance of making presidential elections a priority, during his meetings with Egyptian delegates and groups, stressing that such a move would give political parties enough time to get organized by the general elections.

Gül, who last week became the first head of state to visit Egypt since a massive 18-day popular uprising forced longtime leader Hosni Mubarak to resign, emphasized the importance of a constitutional democracy and shared ideas about the reform process and its challenges in Turkey with his Egyptian peers, diplomatic sources said.

Gül and the Turkish delegation held a variety of meetings with different officials and groups from all sides including the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Mr. Mohamad Hussein Tantawi, opposition leader Mohamed El-Baradei, leaders of youth groups and the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie. According to the same sources, who spoke under the customary condition of anonymity, the Turkish side established its approach not by imposing any ideas but rather by offering a hand whenever the Egyptian side needed it. This attitude by the Turkish side received a warm welcome by the Egyptians. During a meeting, one representative of the Kifayah movement told the Turkish side that they see Turkey as a role model although such a claim had not been voiced by the Turks. Gül expressed Turkey’s readiness to share its experiences during this transition period whenever such a request is made by the Egyptians. He also said a solid economy, political and judicial system would not be established without one another.

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