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Presidency welcomes talks with 'non-violent' Brotherhood members

Egypt presidency does not see victims of violence in terms of their affiliation, says media adviser Ahmed El-Muslimany

Ahram Online , Monday 29 Jul 2013
Ahmed El-Muslimany, Egyptian presidential media advisor
Ahmed El-Muslimany, Egyptian presidential media advisor (Photo: Ahram)
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Egypt's presidency said on Monday it welcomes Muslim Brotherhood members "whose hands are not smeared with blood" for reconciliation as a way out of the current political strife.

The presidency regrets the fall of victims in recent violence in Cairo's Nasr City district, Ahmed El-Muslimany, Egyptian presidential media adviser, said in a press conference, extending condolences to their families.

Since the army deposed president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July amid mass protests against him, the Brotherhood has been staging nationwide demonstrations calling for his reinstatement. Morsi's supporters and opponents have frequently faced off since his overthrow, leading to about 200 dead and hundreds injured in the past few weeks. Eighty civilians, mostly Morsi supporters, were killed and 299 injured when police and pro-Morsi demonstrators clashed at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier Saturday morning. in Nasr City, Cairo.

El-Muslimany added that the presidency does not view the victims of violence in terms of their affiliation, adding that an investigation by the prosecutor-general's office is in progress.

"We do not wish for anyone to drag the country into unfortunate situations," El-Muslimany said. "We assert that we want justice to take place."

In response to questions on whether police could be implicated in the deaths of protesters amid claims by the Brotherhood and online reports that police fired live bullets at Morsi supporters – a scenario the police denies – El-Muslimany said the issue rests with the judiciary.

"We do not protect anyone and do not cover any wrongdoing. We trust that our judiciary will be impartial and will take all necessary actions against anyone who committed a crime," El-Muslimany said.

The presidency hopes Egypt "overcomes these regrettable events to achieve economic and political progress," he added.

The presidential media adviser also denied that Morsi, who has been held incommunicado since the army deposed him amid mass nationwide protests, is a political prisoner.

"Morsi is not a political prisoner. He faces legal charges that will be looked into by the prosecution and the judiciary," he said.

"The presidency asserts that it does not take sides in a dispute."

On Friday, an Egyptian court ordered the detention of Morsi for 15 days pending investigations into suspected collaboration with the Palestinian militant group Hamas in escaping from Wadi El-Natroun Prison and of destroying prison records during the 2011 uprising.

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