(MENAFN - Youm7) The number of tourists visiting Egypt is a miracle, especially considering recent events and the insecurity in Egypt, according to Egyptian Minister of Tourism Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour.
Abdel Nour said he predicts Islamists will sweep the next two phases of Egypt's parliamentary elections, as they did the first round. He said this is a result of media coverage, educational and cultural policies, and religious dialogue.
During an interview with broadcaster Tarek el-Shami yesterday, Abdel Nour also said the government will not interfere in political affairs and will respect majority opinions.
Abdel Nour also said he does not expect conflicts between recently appoint Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri and Egypt's Islamic movements. However, he refused to answer the question of whether there will be conflict between Egypt's ruling military council and the Islamic trends.
The minister discussed the earlier conflict over a document of proposed constitutional principles. He said there will likely be a conflict over Ganzouri's government once the new parliament is elected, because Islamists may ask to participate in the government.
Abdel Nour asked every trend to be wise because the coming phase in Egypt is very difficult and decisive.
He also predicted the Muslim Brotherhood and the liberals would become more cooperative and cohesive.
"The Muslim Brotherhood will be convinced, after a while, that liberalism is closer to them than the Salafi trend's sheikhs," he said.
Abdel Nour said the Brotherhood may surprise everyone by presenting wiser, fairer and cleverer policies than former governments. He also said the Brotherhood may be able to end sectarianism.
Asked about al-Wafd Party's poor performance in the first round of elections, Abdel Nour, formerly a leader of the party, said al-Wafd made many mistakes and must now pay the price.
After ending its alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Wafd should have changed its strategy and created a bigger liberal alliance, said Abdel Nour. The party thought it could win both liberal and Islamist votes, which was impossible, he added.
Asked about Islamist trends' disapproval of beach tourism " a major source of revenue in Egypt " Abdel Nour said it would be unbelievable if the Islamists stopped beach tourism.
"Beach tourism provides to foreign tourists warm water and sun, which they don't have in their countries," said Abdel Nour.
Abdel Nour said that despite recent events in Egypt, the number of tourists has reached 10 million, revealing a 35 percent drop in tourism. He called such numbers a "miracle."
He does, however, expect another decline in tourism during upcoming parliamentary elections.