CAIRO: “The death penalty is an inhuman deterrent strongly rejected by not only the Austrian government but also by the European Union,” said Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz in a press conference held in Cairo Wednesday.
Kurz’s comment came days after former President Mohamed Morsi and 105 others were sentenced Saturday to death over charges of prison break during the January 25 Uprising.
“Egypt is entitled to deal with terrorism, not only against the Islamic State. We support the punishment of terrorists but in the framework of fair trials,” said Kurtz.
Egypt is not only a strategic player in the region but also a strong partner against the Islamic State group, said Kurz.
Kurz met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry Wednesday and discussed bilateral political and economic relations.
During the meeting, Kurz assured that the recovery of Egypt’s tourism sector is directly related to the country’s stability.
“Years ago, Austrian tourists visiting Egypt reached 200,000 tourists,” he said, adding that Egypt is a good place for investments and that the total number of Austrian companies investing in Egypt reached 750.
Kurtz will meet with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi Thursday Kurz, according to a Wednesday’s presidential statement.
Mass sentences against Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood defendants sparked international criticism of human rights organizations; an issue that was slammed by Egypt’s government.
German Bundestag President Norbert Lammert, who belongs to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU,) cancelled a meeting with Sisi in June, protesting the mass death sentences.