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Egyptian vice president El-Baradei resigns - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Former vice-president Mohammed El-Baradei speaking during a visit to support artists staging a sit-in at the ministry of culture, in Cairo, Egypt in June 2013 (EPA/STR)

Former vice-president Mohammed El-Baradei speaking during a visit to support artists staging a sit-in at the ministry of culture, in Cairo, Egypt in June 2013 (EPA/STR)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egypt’s vice president for foreign affairs, Mohamed El-Baradei, resigned on Wednesday after only one month in office, in protest at the decision to use force to clear protest camps occupied by protesters demanding the reinstatement of ousted Muslim Brotherhood-backed president Mohamed Mursi.

In his resignation letter to interim president Adly Mansour, which was subsequently posted online, El-Baradei said: “It has become difficult for me to continue bearing responsibility for decisions that I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear. I cannot bear the responsibility for one drop of blood.”

“As you know,” it continued, “I saw that there were peaceful ways to end this clash in society, there were proposed and acceptable solutions for beginnings that would take us to national consensus.”

El-Baradei’s resignation followed the announcement that the official death toll of Wednesday’s violence in Egypt had reached 149, with hundreds more injured.

In response to the violence, the Egyptian government declared a month-long state of emergency. It also introduced a curfew in many areas, from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Foreign governments were quick to denounce the use of violence, including condemnations from the US, UK, Turkey and Qatar, among others.

In his letter, El-Baradei expressed his deep disappointment in the days events—and those that preceded them.

“I will remain faithful and loyal to this country, whose security, stability and progress I believe can only be achieved through national consensus and social peace,” he wrote.

He also said that he believed this in turn is only achievable through the establishment of a civil state and the separation of religion and politics.

Observers and analysts have commented over recent weeks on disagreements within the interim government, which failed to reach a consensus on how to approach the dissent from Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Mursi supporters.

“Within the government, there are two contradictory directions,” Rabab Al-Madi, professor of political science at the American University of Cairo told the AFP news agency.

The first camp, she explained, consisted of the interior ministry and military leaders.

“The other camp,” Mahdi continued, “represented by Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei and Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa Eldin, speak to a different constituency and have a more democratic approach.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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