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Egypt: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Reform and Constitutional Issues), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit), DUP Westminster Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Egyptian counterpart on strengthening protections for the human rights of non-Muslims in that country.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We regularly raise with the Egyptian authorities the human rights of religious minorities, and make the case for them to be accorded the necessary protections under Egyptian law. President Sisi has called for peaceful co-existence between religious communities in Egypt, has licensed over one thousand churches under the Church Building Law, and has opened the largest cathedral in the Middle East and North Africa. During my visit to Cairo on 15 September, I met Pope Tawadros II, whose Coptic Orthodox Church plays such an important part in Egyptian society. The UK has always been clear that the rights of minorities, wherever they exist, should be protected in line with international standards. I look forward to discussing these issues with the Hon. Member for Gillingham and Rainham, whom the Prime Minister has appointed as his new Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief.

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