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Mubarak: Egypt will not tolerate insult to its expats

By on November 22, 2009

Egypt will not allow its citizens living abroad to be humiliated, President Hosni Mubarak said in an address to parliament on Saturday, in an apparent reference to a spat with Algeria over a World Cup qualifier.

“We do not allow anyone to humiliate them (citizens abroad),” Mubarak said to applause from the assembly.

Egyptian media have said Algerian fans assaulted Egyptians after winning a tie-breaker match in the Sudanese capital to qualify for the World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010.

“Clearly, the dignity of the Egyptian people is the dignity of Egypt,” Mubarak said as at least two parliamentarians waved national flags. “And Egypt will not take it lightly when it comes to honouring the dignity of its people.”

Demonstrators gathered for a third day near the Algerian embassy in Cairo on Saturday, but numbers had declined from previous days amid a heavy security presence.

Mubarak was speaking to both houses of the Egyptian legislature at the opening of its fifth and final session ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for next year.

In the speech, he highlighted the achievements of the parliament since 2005 and proposed it focus on social and healthcare reform in the coming session.

Algeria has rejected Cairo’s charges it did not protect Egyptians there, though Algerian fans damaged the Algiers headquarters of Egypt-based Orascom Telecom’s mobile subsidiary between the Cairo game last Saturday and the Sudan playoff on Wednesday.

Before that, Egyptian fans pelted the Algerian team’s bus with stones, injuring players, and some fans were hurt in scuffles on the day of the Cairo qualifier.

World soccer body FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Egypt regarding the Cairo incidents.


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