Arab League chief: Goal in Libya is to protect civilians, not regime change
Amr Moussa – departing secretary general of the Arab League and Egyptian presidential candidate – discusses the no-fly zone intervention in Libya and Qaddafi's exit. He also touches on Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria and the future of Egypt's relationship with Israel and the Palestinians.
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Dergham: You are running for president of Egypt. Are you afraid that there is not enough time for preparation for parliamentary elections by others than the Muslim Brotherhood, who are better organized?Skip to next paragraph
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Moussa: We need all political forces to be ready at the same time to get a parliament that is representative of all parties of our society. Now, only one or two groups are ready, but the rest are not. The new parties have not been formed, and the old parties are not ready. So quick elections will not do. Be that as it may, now we have to make the best out of this election and respect the result of the referenda.
Egypt's treaty with Israel
Dergham: If you are president, will you amend or touch the treaty with Israel, or will you respect it fully?
Moussa: It is there to stay.
Support for the Palestinians, opening Gaza crossing
Dergham: How would you change toward Israel and Palestinians and Gaza?
Moussa: We are committed to the rights of Palestinians to have their own state. We are committed to that. We are committed to the issue of two states. But we are certainly against building settlements or against changing the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, and we disagree with many aspects of the Israeli policies towards the Palestinians.
Dergham: What would you do for the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt? Would you open it up?
Moussa: It has to be open so that people can move back and forth. We should not be part of the siege. We are against the siege.
Why blame Obama? It's out revolution.
Dergham: Some are criticizing US President Obama as being too slow in embracing the Arab revolutions. Do you agree?
Moussa: Arab revolution has happened because we revolted. We welcome any support today or tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. So why should we blame him? It is our revolution.
Worries, hopes for the future
Dergham: You have no worries whatsoever about the future of this revolution?
Moussa: We have to be concerned. The road is long and arduous, and there will be a lot of problems. We have a very difficult economic situation. There are still question marks on what kind of political structure we are going to build.
Dergham: What worries you most as a candidate for president in Egypt and on the level of the Arab world? As a man who is leaving the Arab League after a decade, what legacy do you hope for?
Moussa: In this drive toward freedom, these revolutions towards democracy, there are no U-turns. Whatever the result, I am really happy that our people – the people of the Arab world, Egypt and Tunisia and the rest – are revolting. They want a better future. I want to help in achieving this.