Egypt Needs Dialogue Now

Date of source:
29 Jan 2013
These events are profoundly sad. On the second anniversary of the empowering uprising that took place in Egypt, we are now witnessing the
tragic dispersal of the political and social forces that brought about a significant outcome, namely the removal of an authoritarian and corrupt
regime that had lasted many decades in Egypt. The promise that this revolution brought to Egypt two years ago is now on the threshold of
bringing about a profound disappointment — nay, disillusionment — as the people of Egypt witness not only the divisiveness within the regime of
President Mohammed Morsi, but also the dispersal of those forces and groups which could not bring themselves to transcend their narrow
loyalties and restore the unity that inspired the people of Egypt and also animated the potentialities of the Arab Spring. 
The National Salvation Front with Mohamed El-Baradei, Amr Moussa and Hamdeen Sabahi had a press
conference on Jan 28 in which they declined the dialogue proposed by the resident. This situation suggests that
the opposition — in the light of what has taken place in the last few days, especially in Port Said, Ismailai and
Suez — are seeking to determine terms of reference and to agree on a credible outcome before envisioning a
In other words, a dangerous polarization in Egypt’s political and popular scene has taken place. The crisis
between the presidency of Egypt and the National Salvation Front is an attempt by the Front to de-legitimize
the Morsi regime while acquiescing to its legality. This situation is dangerous because it carries within it the
potential for civil strife. Restructuring a purposeful dialogue and the terms of reference is a collective
responsibility which urgently requires action by both the president and the National Salvation Front and the
opposition in general.  Dialogue must be consequential.
Once again, it is sad to witness the events of the last few days — both the citizens that have been killed and President Morsi's resorting to the use
of curfews and the license to arrest and detain at will — as if the inspiring event of two years ago never happened. Egypt is crucial for the success
of the Arabs and in many ways, the international community. This crisis should be promptly resolved for the sake of Egyptians and for the sake of
the Arabs' collective future.