Transcript of Hamdeen Sabbahi interview with Sky News Arabia
Hamdeen Sabbahi - YOUM7 (Archive)
BY THE CAIRO POST

Sky News Arabia host Fadila al-Souissi interviewed presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi on Thursday. Below is a transcript of the entire interview.

 

Host: Why did you choose to run for president for the second time? Many people say it is a waste of time because of the great popularity of rival candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Sabbahi: The real waste of time is not to run for president, because our great revolution — with its two waves on January 25 and June 30 — must rule. It didn’t happen after ousting Hosni Mubarak or Mohamed Morsi, and it’s only way to rule is through democratic elections.

I will run for president to build a country equivalent to the size of its aspirations, goals, purity and the determination of the Egyptian people when they made their revolution, and I think we don’t have the luxury of giving up these goals after three years of recession and two revolutions. The real waste of time is to forget the last three years and stay at home, allowing the country to go back to tyranny and corrupt policies.

Host: There is an accusation against you that you participate in this presidential election only to give it the illusion of plurality and democracy, how do you respond to that?

Sabbahi: If my participation will make it a real democratic election, I’m glad to do so.

Egypt deserves to make its democratic way, and to prove that we can build a national democratic civil state with mechanisms of fair elections, and if we didn’t participate in this election, there would’ve been no pledge for a democratic competition, and it would be pitiful for Egypt after two revolutions if we could be led into what looks like a referendum. We have faith in God and in the Egyptian people that we can win the elections.

Host: You look satisfied now and in your previous interviews, what is behind that?

Sabbahi: I am reassured because we have moral legislation, we have a nation that gave so many martyrs and injured, and its youth have this legislated dream of being a part of their nation’s future, a nation worth its history and its people, active in its surroundings.

If these legislated dreams can’t find someone to express them, why did we have those revolutions? The people who succeeded in ousting two failed presidents can build a strong and successful country. The reason that I am satisfied is that we have a coherent moral position, noble dreams, legitimate goals, and we have a great power in the mainstream of the Egyptian people who led and achieved the January 25 and June 30 revolutions.

I am running for president to represent  this mainstream, and its dreams, goals, interests, and right to live a decent life.

Host: Right now, Egypt is fighting terrorism and some people say facing a foreign conspiracy. Wouldn’t it be better to maintain the June 30 coalition?

Sabbahi: The real coalition is “25-30” people’s coalition that sees January 25 as a revolution — not a relapse — and considers June 30 a revolution too — not a coup. This is the mainstream in Egypt that we are expressing.

I am running for president for the cohesion of the coalition that represents the mainstream in Egypt, not the other stream who uses June 30 as a tool to demolish the January 25 Revolution, to go back to the corrupt rule prior to January 25.

Our political position is clear: we represent the widest political and social coalition in Egypt, the new generation and the majority of the Egyptian youth who were the main spark of the two revolutions and who are a major part of this coalition and mainstream. They support me running for president with faith in God that we will win the elections.

Host: But a lot of people who participated in January 25 and June 30 are now supporting the other presidential candidate, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, does this bother you?

Sabbahi: I am reassured because we have a genuine, steady, clear position and we have had the same talking points since January 25 and June 30, this never changed. Some people may change their opinions due to their motives and we can understand that, but we still represent the right trend in this country.

Host: Your electoral program is filled with a lot of big projects and many promises; can you please clarify what kind of financial capability you have to fund these projects and to fulfill these promises?

Sabbahi: Our financial capacity will largely come from the new wealth that will be produced in this country. The core of our program is to focus on the human element, which Egypt is very rich with. We will focus on education, training and empowering the workforce. If both human and natural resources are made use of through a wise plan, we will produce a fortune and this is our main bet. We will see a massive increase in production. We will develop technological manufacturing, and the knowledge economy, to achieve growth and comprehensive development. We will also develop the agricultural sector, mining, and services economy, either through tourism, which is an ordinary source, or by exploiting our geographical location at the heart of the world where international trade passes. Egypt needs a strong political will and qualified management, free of corruption. Reconsidering the general budget, through our program, could save up to $166 billion. By confronting corruption we can improve both management and the economy and provide an excellent source of money.

It is estimated that Egypt loses 200 billion EGP from corruption, and in my opinion this might be less than the real number. We will also propose new measures, including maximum and minimum wages, as well as justice in pensions and progressive taxation to be used as tools to increase the general budget and encourage investment.

Host: You mentioned the corruption more than once, what are the mechanisms that Hamdeen Sabbahi will use to eliminate corruption if he becomes president?

Sabbahi: There will be several comprehensive mechanisms. First is the president’s model that appears in his personal behavior and the expenses of the presidential institution and the government since we are suffering from corruption and waste due to irrational spending.

Second is choosing men immune to corruption with a new legislative frame, since much of the corruption in Egypt is protected by laws and regulations. All of Egypt’s legislation will be filtered to close the door to corruption.

Third will be establishing an Egyptian Commission for Transparency and Countering Corruption, and we will submit a draft law once the parliament is held.

There would be coordination between the corruption monitoring institutions in Egypt, empowering them to file lawsuits directly without having to return to the executive authority, such as what is happening now. Issuing legislation to protect whistleblowers, witnesses, and all substantial terms of international conventions that counter terrorism in Egyptian law, to put them in action. The corruption is due to great poverty, and social justice will help us minimize minor corruption.

A democratic country is one that has sovereignty of law, opportunities, a real transparency, and a government that is accountable to the parliament, public opinion, localities, and media.

Host: Social justice is a broad title. You have mentioned in different statements that you dream about achieving social justice and a democratic regime that protects the freedoms of Egyptians. Mr. Sabbahi, the Egyptians need someone who will achieve this justice for them and not someone who will dream about it with them.

Sabbahi: Of course, social justice can only be applied by those who dream about it because dreaming is the key to all achievement. We chanted for a great noble dream, along with bread and freedom, in the Egyptian squares and we will achieve it, God willing. What is important is that we do not enter a false barter, like relinquishing freedom while we are hungry or relinquishing social justice when we are banned from talking. Egyptians deserve both. I will not give the Egyptians anything, I do not give since I do not own the country, but instead I will empower the Egyptians to win their rights. Egyptians are able, but the problem is that the people’s dreams were directed toward justice while the rulers’ greediness dominated, with oppression, corruption, profiteering, plundering public money, and building fortunes.

We need a ruler who is only asked to be consistent with the people and we need a country that is on the same level with citizens, since Egyptians are a great people and the revolution is proof of that. If we find this government then we find the lost key to this marvelous box, which is called Egypt, so full of qualifications, humans and bounties bestowed to us by God.

Host: There are accusations of those in charge of Sabbahi’s presidential campaign, saying that they are focusing on the other candidate, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and criticizing him. Does Hamdeen Sabbahi fear losing the support of the people, especially amid the wide support that many say Sisi has?

Sabbahi: I am the son of the street and I run for elections as one of the people carrying their pains, dreams, and worries. And we absolutely do not criticize the other candidate, it is not true. We only criticize policies, thoughts, and opinions. The other candidate is for us an Egyptian who has all respect for his role in the June 30 demonstrations and we will not disrespect any of the Egyptians who participated in it. I am not running in these elections representing only those who are supporting me, but I also defend the interests of both those who are and who are not supporting me. And I will apply my platform, God willing, to all Egyptians. However, I do not accept some of the minor violations on the margins of our main campaign, and if there were some violations practiced by both sides, they should be overcome.

Host: I will open the Muslim Brotherhood issue; you said that you will face them with ideology and that you do not object to their existence in society. Do you think your statements are to win over their supporters and the Islamists?

Sabbahi: Our stance regarding the Brotherhood group is obvious. It made a mistake in power and in opposition. I do not think that the Brotherhood as a group or its party, according to the constitution, will exist in Egypt. The main currents in the Arab world – Islamist, liberalist, leftist, and nationalist – will not end with an administrative decision, but will fade away or rise according to the political, social, and cultural context. I confront the terrorism that the Brotherhood supported and practiced. There will be no reconciliation or tolerance with terrorism, which is the first enemy to a democratic infrastructure, society, and to a country ruled by law.

If the Brotherhood will be deprived from the right of organization, as a punishment for their mistake in committing violence against the opposition, then each person can express their thoughts peacefully and will be empowered to live safely in this country. There is no escape from punishment for those who promote terrorism, practice, or conceal it, and no prosecuting or aggression against the right to peaceful opinion, and no mass punishment.

Host: When you say mass punishment, you mean what is practiced now by the current regime or the transitional authority?

Sabbahi: Of course there is a kind of mass punishment practiced now. If you consider the students’ conditions in Egypt, there are students who are burning their faculties and they should be tried, and there are peaceful students who are protesting, but there is means to imprison them. In order for the country to be able to reunite, it has to truly respect freedoms, since it is truly decisive against terrorism.

Host: Amid what is said about groups aiming to topple the country and not the regime, is not strictly applying the law here is absolutely necessary during this phase?

Sabbahi: Applying the law, not lawlessness. When I apply the law, I will take revenge on anyone who shoots a citizen, a police, or army officers. But when I arrest 100 people and only 10 of them are involved in terrorism or inciting violence and 90 are innocent, then I will keep all 100 to professionally investigate. Once I do that, the innocent will be freed and only the criminals will be tried. No one will escape after inciting or performing terrorism and no one with peaceful opinions will face injustice. This will establish a law to respect the state and will be applied to everyone.

The constitutional text – and we will by God’s establish an Egyptian Commission for Equal Opportunities and Confronting Discrimination – says there is no discrimination against Christians, women, or political opinion as long as they respect the state and express opinions peacefully. The state is not the enemy for anyone with an opinion as long as they respect the state and express their opinion peacefully. What we want to end now in Egypt is terrorism and injustice against freedom to create a balance between the security necessity to confront terrorism and those who incite violence. We want to give people with peaceful opinions the chance to express their opinions. Terrorism does not grow in democratic environments, it grows with injustice and the feeling of citizens not being able to restore their rights.

Host: Do you not justify terrorism here?

Sabbahi: I said terrorism is the enemy of democracy, freedom, and the civil state.

Host: When you say it is linked to injustice?

Sabbahi: Injustice is confronted with law, and when justice is absent, terrorism will increase. When there is poverty, terrorism increases. When religious speech slips away from the kind, the enlightened nature of religion that calls for equality and forgiveness, it also moves away from the core of Islam and the loving heart of Christianity. Hate speech becomes common, and religion is usually used as a tool of disbelief, as sometimes politics can be used as a tool for distrust. We want a country without expiation and distrust, we want it to celebrate different opinions in the framework of law. When this kind of environment exists, we can face terrorism without reconciliation.

Host: When you talked about canceling the protest law, you seemed to be trying to win over revolutionary forces, like some people say. Why do you, Hamdeen Sabbahi, not focus on amending the law instead of canceling it?

Sabbahi: That is what I focused on. I said I will amend the protest law since it must exist. A state means law, but laws must be constitutional and respects freedoms. My opinion of the protest law is clear – it is a law that restricts not organizes. I will amend this law and listen to the National Council for Human Rights’ notes and will pardon anyone with an opinion who was wrongly arrested due to this law. It is not the fault of the judiciary system judges who apply the law. When amended, everyone detained because of the law will be released, because prison is not a place for opinioned people in Egypt.

Host: These people were sentenced by the Egyptian judiciary system, on what basis will you acquit them?

Sabbahi: I will acquit them based on the basis that the law that they were detained upon, and in accordance with the fact that the president can pardon people. It is a constitutional right, and for the spirit of the law and in the interests of Egypt. I am not trying to win over revolutionary forces, I am one of them. I only need to respect the calls of people if they are legitimate. It is my responsibility to achieve these goals, especially since we have a constitution that it is excellent in the field of freedom but it is not applied. The role of executive authorities is to submit to the constitution and activate it, not to put it on the shelf.

Host: Allow me Mr. Sabbahi to remind you, lest you forgot, that ousted President Mohamed Morsi acquitted many prisoners and that was counted against him; are you not afraid of repeating the same scenario?

Sabbahi: I am not afraid at all because he acquitted people who belonged in institutions, who committed terrorist attacks. I however will acquit peaceful protestors, students, youths, and symbols of the 2011 revolution. How I can I allow them to be detained while former President Hosni Mubarak’s figures are free and talking to the media. It is an unacceptable situation.

Host: Let us talk about the stage after the presidential elections. In the case of Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi being elected, will Sabbahi agree to ally with him as vice president or prime minister?

Sabbahi: I am a part of a main current in Egypt that calls for freedom and social justice and the presidential candidates aim to reach revolution to the point of building a successful state. By God’s will, we will build it, not only with the president, but with local councils in next rounds with a broad national coalition. If I do not win, I have the same objectives to build an opposition to build a democratic country. That does not only mean only the ruling system, but also the opposition. If, however, Sisi becomes president and he is on a straight path and wants to achieve people’s calls by eliminating corruption, we will aid him as the opposition. In the case that he does not, we will confront him from the opposition front. We have stable positions either in power or opposition, and our battles will continue. What we do not achieve now, we will achieve in the future.

Host: But politics is a game that keeps on changing; in 2010 your party joined forces with the Muslim Brotherhood, in 2014 with whom – the Popular Front and Karama Party will form alliances in the parliamentary elections?

Sabbahi: We have partners already; it is a battle of a current, not a battle for one individual. The Dostour Party and other political forces and movements, in addition to youths and others who want to live well, they are the people who led both revolutions. They are qualified to build a national alliance that will carry the burden to manage a successful country, if we get to power. In case we do not, we will help achieve the same target from the opposition that wants to build a democratic country that achieves justice and freedom.

Host: There are signs that there is a trend inside the Muslim Brotherhood group to not boycott the elections and to vote for Sabbahi in revenge of Sisi. The Muslim Brotherhood Without Violence Movement as well as media voices are calling not to boycott the elections. What do think of this matter?

Sabbahi: Today, the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy’s stance is published and clear. It said Hamdeen Sabahi is more dangerous than Sisi. This is its stance and it is right because I will not face Muslim Brotherhood only with guns, but I will confront, refute their ideology, reveal their policy vacuum, their disability to manage the state for the sake of the revolution, and their denial of the demands of the poor because they do not have a democratic political system or a fair social economic system. But all of this has already been revealed; the real confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood would be making a project to block doors on them in the future, not by creating a failed state to achieve the people’s demands.

Host: Do you think that the door is still open for the Muslim Brotherhood?

Sabbahi: There are no open doors for the Muslim Brotherhood as a party organization or a group, not in the constitution or by the predominant trend in the Egyptian streets, and this is fair in dealing with them because they took their chance and they broke themselves, and they reaped on themselves, and the Egyptian people judged on them a fair judgment…the peaceful individual citizens are Egyptians and have a legal state without discrimination.

Host: Will Hamdeen Sabahi head to the east if he is elected as president, or he will keep his relations with the West?

Sabbahi: He will keep the relations with the east and West, we do not need to be captives to a camp or a trend or a pole in a world heading toward multi-polarity. Egypt will not sit in the pocket of any international party and will not be affiliated with the American administration as has happened over 40 years, but this does not mean enter into hostility with the American administration. We appreciate that there are interests for America as a great power …if they respected our interests we would respect their interests. I need friendly relations with America, Russia, China, India, South Africa and Latin America, which would accomplish a wonderful experience for fighting poverty and achieving a clear development under a democratic system. Latin America became independent and no longer is the back garden of the White House, as it was.

We will diversify our foreign relations and this will provide the chance for Egypt to return as a key factor in a modern world that respects human rights systems, searches for humane globalization, not a brutal globalization, and helps in creating a fair peace on this planet and play the role befitting it as it the heart of the Arab world, and by virtue of what it has from a great heritage in history and a distinctive geographic location. We need relations to achieve the Egyptian people’s interests, and the most important is their interest in development and establishing a democratic system. Our national decision is to be independent not subject to anyone.

Host: Do you think it is in favor of Egypt to do without American aid as you say in your interviews and platform?

Sabbahi: Yes, I will do without economic aid and will not accept it.

Host: Why?

Sabbahi: Because it was used as a tool to impact Egyptian decisions, and because I do not need it. I want Egypt to be a country that depends on itself, its sister Arab countries, the South-South countries, its ability to form a new efficient and successful administration, and not depend on donations from a country; especially if this country shows arrogance toward us and thinks it control our decisions. Actually, we want to turn a new leaf in our relations with the United States, and refusing the economic aid will in particular be an indicator, and it is not much, by the way, because it is decreasing according to our agreements.

Host: Can you give headlines for the features of this new relation with the United States that you want to reformulate?

Sabbahi: Just two words, friendly and competitive. Neither hostile nor subordination.

Host: Do you not see now it as friendly and competitive after the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs’ visit?

Sabbahi: No, it is not good when a Minister of Foreign Affairs says, “What is between us and the United States is marriage.” We make our decisions not others.

Host: But he clarified later that it was a misunderstanding.

Sabbahi: it is no problem if he returns to the truth.

Host: You said that you can do without American aid, do you have the resources? When you are elected president, how can you do without such an amount of money that helps the army in one way or another?

Sabbahi: Military aid differs from the economic aid, by the way. The military aid achieves interests for both countries, and is not given to us as a donation. It is one of the necessities of protecting Israel’s security, according to the Camp David treaty. I believe that the Egyptian army should remain strong, advanced, ready for combat and vary its sources, and not be limited to one source. I do not intend to refuse the military aid in the frame of this viewpoint for the army. And because I believe that the army should protect and not rule, not interfere in the interior political conflict, remain at the same distance from all political points of view in political and electoral conflicts to maintain support, and this is its right, I think that our army in the next period will play this role efficiently. To be devoted to Egypt’s security and the Arab world’s security, and a partner in protecting the Gulf’s security, and a side in peacekeeping forces, especially in Africa. There is a big role that our army is qualified for and can play to support Egypt’s role and position in the world.

Host: You mentioned Israel a short while ago, and this makes me ask you about the amendment you want to make to the Camp David treaty. Can you clarify for us this situation?

Sabbahi: We need full jurisdiction in the Sinai and the ability to move the Armed Forces within it. We have a great project, which is of great economic and social value to develop the Sinai. It will integrate Sinai citizens and make them feel citizenship, in which they are equivalent, without any of the negative discrimination they were exposed to. They will be able to own land and we will build a new society in Sinai. This needs the agreements that restricted Egypt in moving its forces into the zones divided as A, B and C in the Sinai to be amended. I was never convinced by Camp David as an agreement, but God willing, I will respect the international law that Egypt respects, and I will protect the agreement and treaties signed by Egypt. The Camp David treaty will be reviewed according to the rules and procedures of international law.

Host: Will you put this amendment to a public referendum?

Sabbahi: At that time we will have all the mechanisms, and what serves Egypt’s interests and national security will happen, but it is not possible to keep Egypt without its full jurisdiction over Sinai, especially after the increase of terrorist dangers in it.

Host: How will you address the Renaissance Dam crisis?

Sabbahi: Firstly, we need a political solution. Secondly, the condition of the political solution is that we will not waive Egypt’s rights in Nile water. Thirdly, we want to share security, development, energy, and water with all Nile Basin countries and we will help to guarantee this. We will call for a summit for Nile Basin countries and propose forming a new regional organization for Nile Basin countries to do tasks like saving everybody’s right, support development and not limit Egyptians’ rights. This needs an amendment in the administration’s pattern to make decisions related to Nile waters the responsibility of the president to appoint a representative, so that we can reach a joint decision. We will link the frame agreement that Egypt did not sign until now and the Renaissance Dam. I think that this way we can guarantee our rights and will allow us to be a new side in joint and fair ambitions for all Nile Basin countries. And this is our entrance to Africa.

Host: As for Egypt-Qatar relations, how would you deal with them?

Sabbahi: Qatar wronged the Egyptian people and has to confess to this. And if it returns to the Gulf Cooperation Council, it would be because this situation is not limited to Egypt, we want all Arab countries to be side by side, not to fight each other or to be a tool to disturb national choices as the great choice of our people on June 30.

Host: Would Hamdeen Sabbahi encourage Egyptians to forget this period if Qatar returns to its natural context?

Sabbahi: I believe we do not want revenge or division in Egypt or in Arab relations. What we want to be clear is that we will be against anyone that is against Egypt’s security and who antagonizes the Egyptian people’s choices, which they expressed in the January 25 and June 30 revolutions, and we are open to forgiving and are able to tolerate under clear terms sincerely with whomever respects our choices, our security and our interests. We don’t want to fuel conflict that has the capacity to be extinguished. We do not want to enable anyone to be outside security and interests…theses rules are clear and any mature state uses them and we intend to apply them.

Host: The nature of the relationships that Hamdeen Sabahi would intend to take with Iran and Hezbollah?

Sabbahi: For a long time we see that Iran and Turkey are the two sides of a triangle, its base is the Arab nation. Arabian, Turkish and Iranian relations would remain useful when there is relations based on mutual respect, not interfering in the others’ affairs, and care for the security of each side. The relations would be harmful when they turn to conflict under the calls of sectarianism or employing foreign aspirations that make these sides fight.

If Erdogan’s administration does not have the ability to change its speech, which I think is bad speech that does not even benefit Turkey, and if Iran has the ability to respect the rights of the Arabian people, specifically in the Gulf, and does not interfere in their internal affairs, and is not a source of threat, not in security or by using sectarian speech…then Arabs and Egypt at the forefront would be ready to respect their interests and open positive relations on this basis.

Host: In your opinion, Hamas, the Palestinian movement, after conciliation with Fatah…Did it become more acceptable for Egyptians than before?

Sabbahi: Firstly, we are with the unity of the Palestinian decision and the Palestinian people, and we will totally support that. We are with the legitimate rights of our people in Palestine and we will totally stand with the rights of our people in Palestine. We are with the Palestinian people to continue demanding their rights, and to get them, and we will support them in this by all the possible means.

In this frame, our stance from any faction including Hamas will be measured by its response to the reasons for Palestinian unity and its respect, which should be announced, clear and conclusive to Egyptian security. Whoever will interfere in Egypt’s affairs and harm Egyptian security should expect from us a treatment that cuts the hand of any intruder to Egypt security…Hamas or other.

And whoever wants to practice his role as part of the Palestinian people must unite to demand their rights and strengthen their stance, and to realize that we will stand with the Palestinian people and all of their components.

Host: What is the mission of Hamdeen Sabahi in changing the West’s perspective of the June 30 revolution, from where would you start?

Sabbahi: I would start with my success in the elections, if I succeed in the elections, as we aspire to with God’s support and the people’s support.

Host: I mean what is your plan in this?

Sabbahi: This is the first plan because the current reservations about the June 30 revolution are the result of the promotion of the Muslim Brotherhood of the lie that it was a military coup, and eliminating this lie would be through Hamdeen Sabbahi’s winning of the elections, because I am from the heart of the revolution. If God wills this to happen, no one will claim that it is a military coup or it is going backwards… The revolution with its heart, its project and its dream will reach authority if God wills and I win the elections.

Secondly, we are partners with Europe, specifically in many values and interests, like the values of human rights and European and Arabian interests, including Egypt. For example, our platform includes an ambitious project for heavy production of electricity from solar power, as the relative increase that Egypt has from solar power shows that Egypt is one of the world’s countries with the most solar capability, and this is not a depleted source, it is renewable, and environmentally friendly. Europe has the same interest, and has readiness, and we conducted talks in this trend with European sides in Germany and the European Union has parties that are able to contribute with technology and financing to set up huge farms to produce electricity from solar power extending through all of Egypt’s upper governorates. We are partners in development and values and we are keen that our closeness from the Mediterranean Sea would make relations that could benefit both sides, Egypt and its Arabian homeland.

Host: Your opinion on Assad’s regime and the Syrian crisis?

Sabbahi: I am with Syria, with the unity of its people and territory, against toppling the regime by military methods from outside, against the bloodshed that Syria has witnessed in multiple sources of bloodshed, from the regime and from those who claim they are from the revolution and derailed its course as a popular expression into armed action financed from outside, and bringing in those who are settling their old accounts at the expense of Syrian blood. I will promote a political solution in Syria, keeping its unity as a state.

Host: With the survival of Assad?

Sabbahi: The survival of Assad does not concern me, what concerns me is to keep Syria unified, and not to fall under American and Zionist shelling through their funds or regional interests.

We need to enable the Syrian people to have a choice that allows them to establish a regime that protects their blood, territory and state, and builds a democratic regime that responds to the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and respects freedoms. This only comes through a political solution that enables the Syrian people to form this, and does not allow the falling of Syria into the hands of foreign forces.

Host: This is unlikely to happen at the moment. There was a possibility of that last summer, but the international community retreated from military action…Do you see a possibility for the Syrian regime and opposition to sit at one table since that did not happen in Geneva I and II ?

Sabbahi: I think we must push toward a political solution. It’s inevitable that there will be a political solution in Syria. Egypt will play a role in this and it will not be followed by great powers to formulate solutions… We have clear security interests for Syria, Libya and Sudan to be stable, this explosive belt could pose real threats on Egypt’s security and Arab security, and this is our priority for attention.

Host: In the past elections in 2012, Hamden was in the third place, and got approximately 5 million votes…what are your expectations in these elections?

Sabbahi: To win, God willing …through his support and the people’s votes.

Host: With numbers exceeding this number?

Sabbahi: Certainly, to win we should receive 50 percent + 1.

Translated by Sherif Magdy, Nourhan Magdi, Dalia Farouk, Muhammad Ghamrawy, and Nour Mohie Eddin.

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