Liberal International (LI) President John Lord Alderdice warmly welcomed the release of Ayman Nour of the Egyptian liberal party El Ghad after more than three years of imprisonment, and announced that the next LI Congress will take place in Cairo, Egypt.
Speaking from Kampala, Uganda, where he is currently representing the Liberal International at a meeting of ALDEPAC, the group of liberal and democratic parliamentarians from the European Union, the Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean, Lord Alderdice commented: 'The release of Ayman Nour is fantastic news. First and foremost for his own freedom and well-being, but also as an inspiration for liberal and democratic forces in Egypt. Mr. Nour's courage and determination in speaking out for the freedom of speech, democracy and political freedoms in Egypt, even at the sacrifice of his own personal freedom, have been an inspiration to many. His intended return in politics is a particularly encouraging sign for liberals in the Middle East, who have so successfully established the Network of Arab Liberals (NAL) over the last few years in which Mr. Nour's party is an active member. As members of the Liberal International across the world, we will continue to actively support Mr. Nour and other liberals in the region. It therefore gives me much pleasure to publicly announce that the 56th Liberal International Congress will take place in Cairo, Egypt, from the 29th of October until the 1st of November 2009. “
The Egyptian liberal party the Democratic Front Party (DFP) has been a member party of LI since the 2007 Belfast Congress, while Mr. Nour's El Ghad party is LI's partner that has initiated the process of formal affiliation with Liberal International.