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Egypt's Nour Party to talk with all political parties 'without exception'

Country's largest Salafist party stresses readiness to negotiate with all Egyptian political parties after rejecting NSF's calls to hold talks in absence of Muslim Brotherhood

Ahram Online, Wednesday 3 Apr 2013
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Egypt's Salafist Nour Party will resume talks with all of Egypt's political forces "without exception," party secretary-general Galal Mora said Wednesday.

"This is why the party rejected negotiations proposed by [opposition umbrella group] the National Salvation Front (NSF)," Mora was quoted as saying by Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website.

He went on to explain that Egypt's largest Salafist party had declined to take part in the NSF's proposed 'roundtable discussions' because they had failed to include all of Egypt's main political parties.

Mora also dismissed recent statements by NSF Secretary-General Ahmed El-Boraie, in which the latter asserted that the Nour Party had agreed to participate in the proposed negotiations.

"We don't want to make coalitions with certain parties and disregard others," Mora said. "The Nour Party seeks to hold extensive dialogue with all political parties – without exception – in hopes of ending Egypt's ongoing political crisis."

In addition to Nour, the NSF’s invitation to dialogue was extended to three political parties: the Strong Egypt Party, the Misr Party, and the Reform and Development Party.

Along with the Nour Party, Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh's moderate-Islamist Strong Egypt Party also declined the NSF's invitation.

On 24 March, Nour Party Chairman Younis Makhioun confirmed that his party would not take part in the proposed dialogue, saying that he doubted the negotiations' efficacy given the limited number of participating parties.

Recent violence near the Muslim Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters also appears to have had an effect on the Nour Party's willingness to hold talks with Egypt's largest opposition bloc.

Some 200 people were injured last month when anti-Brotherhood activists clashed with Brotherhood members outside the Islamist group's headquarters and attempted to storm several of the group's regional offices.

"What has made the situation more complex is the involvement of NSF members in the latest violence, whether by calling for protests at the Brotherhood's headquarters, inciting violence or participating [in violence]," Makhioun said.

On 26 March, the NSF indefinitely suspended its dialogue sessions after the two parties – Nour and Strong Egypt – both announced that they would not take part.

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