By Lucky Gold, CNN
I take what Mr. Romney says as electoral rhetoric
With the first round of voting in Egypt a week away, presidential frontrunner Amr Moussa made an exclusive appearance on Amanpour Wednesday.
Speaking from his campaign headquarters in Cairo, Moussa took time to address another presidential election – this one in the United States – and the likely Republican candidate, Mitt Romney.
“Well, I take what Mr. Romney says as electoral rhetoric,” said Moussa. “And I hope that if elected he will reconsider such positions that if, really, he means what he says, will be detrimental to the interest and prestige and relations of the United States with the whole of this region.”
Specifically, Moussa challenged Romney’s position on Israel: “If his position is that aligned to the most fanatic Israeli current policies, Israeli current policy, it will be very negative I must say.”
Acquiescence is not a good policy
He also addressed President Obama’s foreign policy in the region: “What we need from the United States is leadership…including in particular a fair solution to the Palestinian problem…. We will be very categorical and honest in what we talk about with the American administration.”
It was pointed out that for sixty years U.S. policy had been based on acquiescence from leaders like the former president Hosni Mubarak. Would Egyptians in a new democracy with a new constitution have more influence on Egypt’s foreign policy?
“Christiane, acquiescence…in Egypt,” said Moussa, “was one of the reasons why the revolution erupted. Acquiescence is not a good policy…. Egypt is the largest Arab country and has a special responsibility in achieving a fair peace in the Middle East.”
Given that responsibility, he was asked if it would be dangerous for a Muslim Brotherhood candidate to be elected president.
“Well, I believe a statesman, a liberal nationalist Egyptian would be better for Egypt,” said Moussa. “It would create a balance between the majority in the parliament and the president in the executive…. There should be serious dialogue…the American way for the president to talk to the leaders of the opposition, the leaders of the majority party, and the other parties in order to create a consensus to rebuild the country.”
The principles of Sharia
Asked about the part Islam would play in his government, he said, “Islam will play a role as the constitution stipulates. Article Two of the last constitution…which I believe will be re-instituted in the coming constitution, refers to the principles of Sharia as the basic source of legislation…but has a space also according to the principles of Islam to other religions, in particular the Christian religion. “
Finally, he spoke of the need to modernize Egypt, including guaranteeing women’s rights: “I will certainly do my very, very best,”said Moussa, “supported by many Egyptians, if I’m elected. This will be our message and our mission…including rebuilding the country, including rebuilding relations with the rest of the world, including the United States.”
“We have a chance, Christiane,” he said, “we lost the chance offered by Nasser’s revolution back in 1952; we lost another chance after the October War and victory then. Now we don’t want to lose the opportunity raised by the revolution of the 25th of January.”
CNN’s Claire Calzonetti produced this piece for television.