German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi not to carry out death sentences against the country’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi and opposition members in Egypt at a joint press conference held in Berlin on Wednesday, following her talks with Sisi.
“We have discussed the topic of death sentences. The high number of death sentences…from our point of view, this is something that one should prevent. Germany opposes the death penalty,” said Merkel at the press conference in Berlin.
However, Sisi said “On the death sentences…you have your own perspective that we are respecting. And you should also show respect to our perspective.’’
He argued that Egypt is a state of rule of law and defended that their courts aren’t revolutionary courts.
‘’I want to press that the death penalty [that was given to Mursi] was given by a first instance court. There are appeals courts. I don’t want to say what I can do in this issue. Let us wait for the end of the judicial procedures, let us see what comes then,’’ he added.
Merkel underscored that “relations with Egypt have a strategic importance,’’ and laid emphasis that Egypt could play an important role in Middle East peace process and for stability in Africa fighting against terrorism.
During the visit, a 8-billion-euro investment agreement was signed between Egypt and German Siemens company. There are approximately 4.4-billion-euro trade volume between the two countries.
She also asked the Egyptian leader to ensure religious freedoms for all minorities and to lift restrictions on German political foundations in the country.
Sisi tried to justify the military coup in Egypt alleging that it saved the country from ‘’religious fascism.’’
He said Germany is sought by Egyptians and they want to advance an esteem culture in Egypt.
‘’We have long discussed democracy. We Egyptians are also for democracy and freedoms. We share democratic principles and values. But we are going through a difficult period. Of course we have deficiencies in Egypt. We might have been unable to convey our message to Europe clearly. This is an opportunity for us now,’’ he said.
However, a 22-year-old Egyptian student and journalist assistant Fagr Aladly protested Sisi at the end of the joint press conference shooting slogans "He is a murderer."
In response to her, some Egyptian journalists backed Sisi and chanted slogans ‘’Long live el-Sisi, long live Egypt.’’
Earlier, Sisi is greeted by German President Joachim Gauck during a welcoming ceremony at Bellevue presidential palace in Berlin
Sisi came to office in June 2014 with a military coup overthrowing the country’s first democratically elected civilian president Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi has faced a trial to 20 years in jail for al “Itihadeya” case in which he and other 14 Muslim Brotherhood leaders were accused of killing 10 protesters and “exercising excessive power” outside Itihadeya Palace in December 2012 and that the recent verdict approved his death sentence which was postponed by a court in Cairo until June 16.
At least 2,600 people were killed and almost 41,000 people were arrested in violence and crackdown of the following 18 months after Morsi was deposed in July 2013.