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EU envoy Ashton meets Morsi, nears deal to end violence

Possible deal to end violence initiated at meeting between EU envoy Catherine Ashton and deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi

Dina Ezzat , Tuesday 30 Jul 2013
European Union Catherine Ahston during a meeting with ousted President Morsi last November(Photo: Egypt Presidency Facebook Page)
Views: 5985
Views: 5985

A 90-minute meeting between European Union envoy Catherine Ashton and ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi could lead to a deal between the Muslim Brotherhood and state authorities to end recent violence, sources say.

The meeting on Monday evening, which was granted upon Ashton's request, a presidential source said, offered an opportunity for the envoy to see first-hand that Morsi, who has been kept at an undisclosed location since his ouster on 3 July, "is in a good condition and is being well-treated."

Informed sources told Ahram Online that Ashton's message to Morsi and his fellow Muslim Brothers would be one of "concession."

"I think it is safe to say that she and the entire world is aware that we cannot reverse the course of developments and things have to go forward," an informed source said. "What she talked about was how to move things forward."

Ashton arrived in Cairo late on Sunday after preliminary talks with interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei. The talks came after close to 80 Morsi supporters were shot dead by police at their sit-in in Cairo's Nasr City on Saturday.

This is Ashton's second visit to Cairo in two weeks. But unlike last time, this time she made progress on two matters: meeting Morsi and extracting a commitment from the state authorities and the Brotherhood leadership that they would both act to avert more violence.

Prior to leaving Cairo on Tuesday, Ashton is expected to make a short statement about the killings and to call on all sides to refrain from violence and engage in a constructive political process to reinstate democracy.

"We are not sure what she will say exactly or whether she will speak in Cairo or after she leaves," a Cairo-based European diplomat said. "But yes, she will tell the world that Morsi is fine and that there is an awareness on the side of all concerned parties that peaceful engagement has to be the rule."

Ashton is in town, diplomats said, to represent both the EU and the US. "She reflected an awareness that she knows Morsi's ouster might not have met the exact democratic criteria, but it was a reflection of the will of the Egyptian people," a presidential source said.

Egyptian and European sources said it is clear that Morsi cannot be re-instated as president – not even in a symbolic fashion in which he would delegate his powers to a consensus prime minister as has been suggested by Islamist figure Selim El-Awa. Morsi, the same sources said, would not be able to leave custody before legal charges against him are dropped. This goes for the other arrested Brotherhood leaders, the same sources added.

"We believe these charges are for the most part politicised and Cathy Ashton made it clear that a transparent litigation process is in order here," said another Cairo-based European diplomat. He added that Egyptian authorities had promised to take steps in that direction "only after" the sit-ins are dispersed peacefully.

Ashton's visit, sources said, delayed the expected dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Nasr City.

The police have said there is enough public support for them to end the two major pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza despite Saturday's bloodshed.

European diplomats said further arrests of Brotherhood leaders would be reconsidered and strictly limited to those accused of inciting violence.

The same diplomats added that the Egyptian authorities had promised to revisit decisions to suspend the airing of Islamist TV channels and the freezing of the financial assets of some Islamist figures "after the sit-ins are peacefully dispersed" – and provided that neither the channels nor the assets are used to incite violence.

Meanwhile, Ashton received repeated commitments from Egyptian authorities that presidential elections would be held with one year with international monitoring.

Ashton is expected to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon with VP Mohamed El Baradie

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john dahodi
30-07-2013 06:37pm
Is it a dignified way for the European Union foreign Chief to visit the elected leader of Egypt in to his unknown captivity? and that too by the military goons? Really, they should be blamed for the current chaos and killings and destruction in Egypt. Rather than siding with the military and the defeated minority, they should have allowed the elected government to continue and helped the young democracy to take a right way to deal with their social, political and economical problems. Even today, it is not totally lost; the West and Obama should correct their mistake by forcing the military to install the legitimately elected government in power and help the young democracy to resolve their governing issues rather than allow the Arab Kings and dictators to take over the Country and cement their own iron power on their public for another decade. And the worst to hand over the large Arab nation in to the hands of Al-Qaeda.
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31-07-2013 06:29pm
Perspective is Subjective
Pretty sure those millions in the streets weren't "Arab kings and dictators." Fact is the Muslim Brotherhood does not have amjority support. Morsi barely squeeked into office, and he did so with rhetoric completely contrary to the actions he took once in office. He alienated the population so much that when the constitution came up on referendum for approval the turnout was so poor that barely 20% of elegible voters voted for it and it passed. Combine that with an attempt to give himself dictatorial impunity, and you have some clear indications of fascism.

Dust Bunny
30-07-2013 02:38pm
Morsi did not do anything for Egypt, yet people cling to him like iron to magnet. He only got what he deserved by lying to every single Egyptian man, woman and child. Why always the bad guys get huge support? When did Morsi or MB hold fair trials to anyone? Never. When did Morsi or MB considered the interest of Egypt? Never. Who pushed the country to the edge? Morsi and MB. When did Morsi and MB protect any Egyptian? Never. Does he really seem a leader to YOU who deserves your support still? Would he fight over YOU even for a second?
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30-07-2013 01:44pm
"Informed sources" is the military regime
"Informed sources" told Ahram Online that Ashton's message to Morsi and his fellow Muslim Brothers would be one of "concession." "I think it is safe to say that she and the entire world is aware that we cannot reverse the course of developments and things have to go forward," an informed source said. "What she talked about was how to move things forward." This is not the stand of the European Union. Several leading politicians, among them the German and the Swedish foreign ministers have demanded that Morsi be reinstated. The "informed source" hopes Europe will help them pressure the brotherhood to give up any hope of democracy and rule of the majority in Egypt. This will not happen. Morsi is the legitimate leader of Egypt, elected in a free and open process. Europe will not condone the obvious military coup that has taken place.
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31-07-2013 02:43am
Propaganda and Disinformation Campaign
You are right. The news from the informed sources is propaganda and disinformation materials for the purpose of dividing the Brotherhood and the Egyptian people on the protest against the illegal coup regime. The coup leaders have been insulting the intelligence of the Egyptian public by their ruthless actions against the rights and freedom while at the same time telling a lot of lies. All Egyptians !!! Stand firm and fast. You will win and bring down all who usurped the rights of the Egyptian citizens.

Prof. Shamim Ahmad
30-07-2013 01:32pm
Ashton vsit left the impression that going back is not possible.But she and all those who support illegal coup should understand that there cant be peace if justice is denied.In case of Egypt the first and the top most requirement for peace is restoration of conditions prior to the overthrow of first Democratically elected President Morsi and punishment to the killers of the protestors. The most shocking part of the behavior of the dictator Al-Sisi is his claim of getting licence from the public to kill supportes of Morsi. So if West is really interested to bring peace in Egypt then as a first step it shuold restore Morsi position as a President
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Prof. Shamim Ahmad
30-07-2013 12:50pm
Mohamed Morsi was the first democratically elected President of Egypt.As lage number of Egypt population is corrupt while many of them are benificiary of the former Military dictator regimes, sot hey could not digest an honest President. The Army of Egypt which has enjoyed power for more than 60 years was waiting for opportune time to hit.Now they are busy in hate compain againt Morsi and his Party and dividing the society which adangerous move and may result in a situation like Iraq and Syria. The biggest gainer is Israil.NO DOUBT THE COUP HAS THE TACTICAL SUPPORT OF US AND SOME EUROPIAN COUNTRIES. The Egyptian Army should take a lesson from Pakistani Military which got many oppotunities during last 5 years to overthrow elected Government but did not.Now there is more awareness amon the public and it is difficult to suppress democracy. The Army General Sisi should be tried in International Court for treason as he has illegaly captured Power. Sisi should take a lesson from the fate of Mubarak who was much more stronger than him.
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30-07-2013 12:29pm
Timeline is already moving
"Meanwhile, Ashton received repeated commitments from Egyptian authorities that presidential elections would be held with one year with international monitoring." Weren't we promised elections early next year? Sounds like the coup leaders are already breaking that promise, just like SCAF did.
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30-07-2013 01:42pm
Morsi's example
Just following Morsi's example in timelines. "Parliamentary elections one month after the new consitution."....."Are we June already? Ok let's try and have them by next October. Meanwhile let's allow the Shura council to make laws, even though no body elected them for that purpose...""

30-07-2013 11:59am
God I hope this is true
I truly hope that this can be resolved soon. I truly hope that the MB realize that winning elections doesn't give the right of their leaders to do anything and be above the law. I hope they realize that dying for the sake of politics is wasted life. I hope they decide to join the new political process as equal partners. I hope the anti-MB side realize that demonizing MB supporters makes you as bad as those who called you infidel. I hope they realize that many in the MB camp are genuine in their desire to see Egypt prosperous. I hope they realize although the reasons to remove Morsi were valid, the military involvement was not ideal. I hope they realize that giving the army too much power will turn against everyone as by nature an army can't be democratic. I hope we realize that revenge is not the answer and that a fair trial to former MB official must be fair and they MUST be released if no definitive evidence is found. I hope, I can only hope.
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Fed Up
30-07-2013 01:46pm
I admire your optimism. Unfortunate I don't think Egyptians are mature enough. I had high hopes after 25 January. The world was proud of Egypt and Egyptians. Not anymore! Egypt seems to has lost it's way and the world is switching off. Really hope I'm wrong.

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