World Bulletin / News Desk
The head of Egypt's military-led regime, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, has been given an official invitation to London on behalf of British Prime Minister David Cameron, an official spokeswoman of 10 Downing Street announced Friday.
According to local British media reports quoting the spokeswoman, Cameron invited el-Sisi for bilateral talks, who would be expected in the U.K. sometime later this year.
The news of the visit drew criticism from several non-governmental organizations and associations in the U.K. as it came shortly after the Egyptian military regime handed down death and life sentences to the first democratically-elected president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, Tuesday.
Muhammed Kozbar, vice president of the Muslim Association of Britain, told Anadolu Agency that the decision came as a surprise.
"Instead of putting pressure on Sisi and trying to boycott him, they invited him to come to the U.K.," Kozbar said.
"Unfortunately, this is again the hypocrisy of the West. Trade is more important than democracy and human rights in the U.K. now," he added.
Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui also expressed surprise over the invitation.
"We want to see David Cameron personally raise human rights issues in any face-to-face talks with President Sisi, and we also want to see these issues addressed in public," Sahraoui said.
Morsi was sentenced on charges of espionage as well as on charges related to a mass jailbreak incident in 2011 during demonstrations that removed then Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. Apart from the death penalty, Morsi was also given a life sentence. Five other Muslim Brotherhood officials were also given similar sentences.
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