Egyptian democracy conference in Washington ends in conflict

The final session of the conference, “The Future of Democracy in Egypt” convened in Washington DC on Wednesday to discuss the work of the Egyptian Association for Change, the organization supporting Mohamed ElBaradei’s nomination for the Egyptian presidency. The delegation participating in the conference also announced the beginning of judicial proceedings to allow Egyptian expatriates to vote in Egyptian elections.
The session broke down into a battle between the Kefaya movement and the Alliance of Egyptian Americans after George Ishaq, leader of Kefaya, left the conference. During the session, he announced that there were no ties between him and the Alliance of Egyptian Americans, and that he had traveled to the United States for reasons unrelated to the conference, which was organized by the alliance and held in New York last week.
Sabri el-Baga, coordinator of the alliance, argued that his organization paid for Ishaq’s roundtrip airfare from Egypt after Ishaq demanded that he be invited to the conference. Ishaq responded, “What if I tricked you? What are you going to do?”
Kefaya released a statement accusing Ishaq of “trying to gain influence and power by associating himself with groups and travelling with groups that consider themselves part of the opposition.” Ishaq refused to comment on the statement.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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