Mr. Chair, one of the key things to look at for the protection of minorities is the constitution. Canada can play a role as can other nations as their constitution is written and things are put in place. We have a further role to play in helping Egypt rebuild. We should focus our resources on supporting civil society groups that will take the building of a democratic state forward in a positive way. I absolutely believe the will is there in Egypt.
When Mubarak was there, the Coptic Christians and Muslims stood side by side. They stood side by side right after. Maybe it is a case of the military having been there too long. The transition is taking a long time.
Right now there are groups within Egypt that are very upset by the persecution and attacks on the Coptic community. It is our responsibility as the outside world to speak in support of civil society groups to take on those issues. We do that by building capacity in Egypt. We do that by building capacity in women. We do that by building capacity in different ethnic groups.
When we are talking about our Coptic brothers and sisters, we are talking about a highly educated group of people: doctors, lawyers, nurses. We are not talking about people with a low level of literacy. They are very well educated and have run many institutions. Here in Canada they play a valuable role in our communities.
I believe the solution is there, but we have to put on some pressure. Our CIDA funding is one way to do it.