Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said Saturday that the transitional phase of the government in Egypt should end "by next spring," replacing leaders appointed after the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July.
The Egyptian army, headed by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Morsi – a Muslim Brotherhood leader – on July 3 after mass protests against Morsi's one-year rule.
An interim government was appointed and a roadmap for a transition to new elections was announced.
"Work is under way, in line with the roadmap, on several tracks. It has so far succeeded in establishing the principles of justice, freedom and democracy, as a basis for governance," Fahmy told the United Nations General Assembly.
"This will be followed by parliamentary elections, then presidential elections, so that the transitional phase ends by next spring," he said.
Egypt's interim government is working on amending a constitution that was drafted under Morsi by an Islamist-dominated assembly. It was seen by Morsi's opponents as failing to guarantee rights and reflect Egypt's diverse population.
Morsi's ouster has led to some of the worst violence in Egypt's modern history, in the form of protests by his supporters, a bloody police crackdown and militant attacks on the police and churches.
More than 1,000 people have been killed since security forces broke up two pro-Morsi camps in Cairo on Aug. 14. Egypt's new rulers announced a month-long emergency law, which was extended for two months in September, and imposed a curfew.
"We are determined to fully implement the roadmap. This requires us to give the utmost priority to the preservation of security and the enforcement of the law, and to counter any intimidation attempts aiming at hindering our efforts," Fahmy told the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders.
Egypt banned Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, whom the new rulers accuse of committing acts of "terrorism" and inciting violence. Fahmy said no Egyptians would be excluded from the democratic process as long as they are committed to peaceful means.
"All Egyptians are invited to participate in all phases of the political process, as long as they are committed to the renunciation of violence and terrorism, and of acts of incitement to them," he said.
Outside the U.N. building in New York hundreds of demonstrators, some waving Egyptian flags, gathered to express their support of the army and its crackdown on Islamists.
Some draped the Egyptian flag around their shoulders while others clapped to a nationalistic army song. One carried a sign that read: "We support our army in fighting terrorism – The Muslim Brotherhood."
Morsi supporters gathered nearby with a different message.
"I am here to let the world hear that these ministers, and the one who was just talking, are illegitimate," said Laila Abdulrahim, an Egyptian living in New Jersey. "We had chosen a president, but he and his ministers are all imprisoned."