An Egyptian diplomat has been summoned to a meeting in Canberra by officials who have expressed Australia’s anger at the jailing of Peter Greste.
A senior Egyptian diplomat has been hauled into a meeting with Australian officials over the jailing of Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste.
Egyptian charge d’affaires Sherif Abdelaziz Bedeir Hussein was summoned to a meeting on Tuesday with acting foreign affairs secretary Gillian Bird, who expressed Australia’s anger at the seven-year sentence.
Mr Hussein refused to speak to reporters while entering and leaving the half-hour talks in Canberra, which were called after the Cairo court’s shock decision on Monday.
The Australian government had sought to summon Egypt’s ambassador to the meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but discovered Hassan El-Laithy was actually in Cairo.
Earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was trying to get in touch with her Egyptian counterpart to register her shock and dismay at the Greste sentence.
“And we are going to register a formal diplomatic-level request with the new president of Egypt to see if he can intervene in the proceedings at this stage,” she told the Seven Network.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the sentence as bewildering.
“We’re obviously shocked, dismayed, really bewildered by the decision of the court in Egypt,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Canberra.