Head of the Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate and General Coordinator of the National Political Dialogue (NPD) Diaa Rashwan said, "those who have planned, executed, or incited acts of terrorism," are excluded from the dialogue.
In addition to "those who have blood on their hands, topped by the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group, rejecters of Egypt's 2014 constitution are also excluded from the dialogue," Rashwan added during a news briefing at the National Training Academy, to mark the launch of the dialogue on Tuesday 5/7/2022.
He said 17 members of the NPD's board of trustees attended the dialogue's opening session, noting that their role is confined to moderating the dialogue without interfering into the issues under debate.
Rashwan noted that the dialogue had led to the adoption of a special bylaw regulating the board's operation before publishing it on NPD's official website, along with the dialogue's code of ethics.
Today's session was held in implementation of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's call upon the National Youth Conference management to carry out a comprehensive political dialogue to set priorities for a national plan of action.
The call, made at an annual “Egyptian Family Iftar” meeting during the holy month of Ramadan in late April, seeks an inclusive political dialogue engaging all national forces, with its findings to be submitted to the president.
Rashwan said "the first session of the National Political Dialogue set a living example of what a responsible national dialogue could be, in terms of seriousness and respect for diversity."
He added that the first session had identified the powers and responsibilities of NPD's board of trustees, which include moderating the dialogue's sessions, organizing its agenda and reviewing its outcomes before submitting them to the President of the Republic.
"Afterwards, the outcomes will be presented to the legislative bodies concerned," Rashwan pointed out, referring to the upper and lower chambers of the parliament and relevant executive bodies.
He stressed that the bylaw regulating the board's operation upholds the principle of consensus, and there is no room for the majority rule in this dialogue.
"In case of divergent views, they will be presented to the President of the Republic, accompanied with their supporting arguments, to decide upon them at his own discretion," Rashwan noted.
Rashwan said that all citizens, political parties, as well as student entities or trade associations are invited to participate in the dialogue, whether or not they have received an official invitation from the board.
The board's next meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 19, he added.
The Egyptian constitution is not a debatable issue at any stage of the National Political Dialogue, Rashwan told reporters during the press conference.
As for the dialogue's end date, Rashawn said, ''there is no specific timeline; however, we have strong willingness to cover as much of the principal issues as possible and announce the outcomes to the public soon."
Responding to a question about whether the dialogue has any red lines, Rashwan said, "all red lines have already been excluded."
He reiterated that those who kill, incite to violence, or reject the constitution are barred from the dialogue from the outset.
Rashwan concluded his remarks by asserting that the dialogue's administration is maintaining communication channels with a great number of Egyptian expats, who are also included in the dialogue.