Commenting on Tuesday's protests against the ruing Egyptian regime, a spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said "the demonstrations taking place in Egypt at the moment are not a new phenomenon," in an interview with CNN on Tuesday night
Hossam Zaki downplayed international media coverage of the protests, saying that "looking at CNN's coverage, I would think there's a revolution in the streets of Cairo that I don't know about." He added that 10,000 people demonstrating in the streets "is not a historic fact." Protests have been ongoing in Egypt since 2004, the spokesman said.
Zaki argued that the demonstrations were actually a sign of the freedoms enjoyed by Egyptians: "All those people who took their demands to the streets today were actually protected by the police." In Egypt, he said, "they have the right to take their demands to the streets.
Responding to a question about whether the country will allow for democratic secession once the reign of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ends, the foreign ministry spokesman said, "In our country, the government knows exactly what the people want." He went on to claim that Egyptians enjoy far more freedom than citizens of other Arab countries in the region.
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