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Copts in Cairo Reject ‘Reconciliation Meeting’
ICC Note: A ‘reconciliation’ meeting was organized by the Egyptian government on April 13 after six Christians and one Muslim were killed in violence on April 4 – 7, the Assyrian International News Agency reports. Many Christians refused to attend the meeting, which is a traditional form of “conflict resolution” arranged by Egyptian authorities to ease tensions between Muslims and Christians following anti-Christian violence. The sessions are often held to bypass the judicial system and victims are at times compelled to abandon their claims to a legal remedy.
By Mary Abdelmassih
4/14/2013 Egypt (AINA) – A customary “reconciliation” meeting took place yesterday in Al-Khosous in Qaliubia after the sectarian violence which took place there on April 4 and 5 and 7, resulting in the death of six Christians and one Muslim (AINA 4-6-2013). The meeting was organized by the regime and was attended by the governor of Qaliubia, Mr. Abdel-Ghafour, the assistant to the Egyptian President for social outreach, top ranking security personnel, representatives from Al-Azhar and two priests from St. Georges church in Al-Khosous. The government delegation was met with anger and outright rejection from Copts, believing as they have learned from the past that such “reconciliation” meetings are useless in resolving problems. The Copts stressed the need to apply the rule of law to all — Christians or Muslims.
Medhat Kelada, head of the European Union of Coptic Organizations for Human Rights, accused the Copts who attended the meeting of being “traitors” and said “all who deal with this current regime and agree to be its tool have their hands stained with the blood of the Khosous Coptic victims.”
Dr. Emad Gad, a member of the Salvation Front and Coptic former MP, described the Khosous meeting as different from reality, and that these meetings were a part of the old regime, adding that the current regime uses the same technique to avoid enforcing the law and to enable criminals to escape justice. Gad stressed that the church has nothing to do with these meetings and the priests of the Church of St. George were pressured by the regime and the existing leadership in the area to participate.
Former Acting Patriarch, Bishop Pachomios of Beheira, said the reconciliation meeting is acceptable “provided the assailants are brought to justice and punished by the government” to ensure the safety and stability of the community. He said that “our Christian faith is based on peace and reconciliation.”

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