FP: The massacre that occurred in Port Said is currently under investigation, and there are a lot of conspiracy theories surrounding the events there. What are your initial impressions of what occurred in Port Said?
AM: What occurred is not normal. A city has a football team, and its team wins; why does this chaos occur? People should celebrate after winning, not kill each other.
Setting aside conspiracy theories, what happened was politically motivated and was intended to create chaos. When 74 people die and hundreds are injured in a sporting event, it simply doesn't add up. You can call it a conspiracy theory -- whatever you call it, it is clear that there is a group that encourages chaos in Egypt.
These violent incidents have occurred at the Balloon Theater, Maspero [the state television building], Mohamed Mahmoud Street, Parliament Street, Port Said -- then the most recent clashes on Mohammed Mahmoud Street again. Six incidents, no proper investigation with a clear outcome, no report. This attitude has to stop. The families demand answers, and we as citizens also demand to know what happened.
FP: As you note, there were more clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street following the Port Said massacre. How do you suggest that Egypt avoid such violence in the future?
AM: I believe that the revolutionaries of Jan. 25 are not the ones responsible for the latest clashes. There are forces of chaos that have infiltrated the lines of the revolutionary forces. When I watched on TV people climbing the tax department building and attempting to put it on fire -- this is not a revolution; this is chaos.
The people responsible for chaos should be dealt with using the full force of the law, and the state has to be present to prosecute them. It is unacceptable that the state use live rounds and victims fall, but nonetheless the state has to be forceful in bringing those responsible to justice through legal prosecution.
FP: You mention the revolutionaries. Are there tensions between yourself and the revolutionary forces?
AM: No. First of all, there are a lot of different revolutionary forces, and I have relations with several of them. Perhaps some of them have the point of view that I was a foreign minister during the previous regime, and so on, but that does not mean that all revolutionary forces perceive me this way. I have very good relations with several of these forces and we meet frequently.
FP: What do you think of U.S. President Barack Obama's first term in office?
AM: In all honesty, I am disappointed.
FP: If he is reelected, do you think that this would give the United States another opportunity to show renewed international leadership?
AM: Our previous experience shows that there are no differences, or only minor differences, between the first term of an American president and his second.
However, from what I know of other candidates, should I be eligible to vote in the United States, I would have voted for Obama. Some of the other candidates have really strange ideas about Arabs. For example, look at what Newt Gingrich said about Palestine, when he stated that there are no Palestinian people. These positions are unacceptable and cannot be reasoned with.