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El-Shater’s meeting with mediating ‘quartet’ offers avenue for deal: Sources

In fresh international efforts to end Egypt crisis, Cairo-based Western diplomats say jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader top pick for peace deal

Dina Ezzat , Monday 5 Aug 2013
El Shater
File photo: Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat El-Shater (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 7762

Khairat El-Shater, the jailed deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and four foreign mediators have offered a prospect for a deal that could "reduce political heat," "avert further violence and bloodshed" and "offer a possible exit from the current crisis," according to Egyptian political sources and foreign diplomats in Cairo.

According to a security source, the meeting began late Sunday evening, continuing overnight into early Monday, at the Tora Prison in southeast Cairo after El-Shater and the interior ministry showed reluctance following a leak that was made to Al-Jazeera.

In his meeting with the assistant secretary of state William Burns, the assistance to the EU envoy Bernadino Leon, and the foreign ministers of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates Khalid Al-Attiyah and Abdullah bin Zayed, El-Shater was abrupt, angry, sceptical and defensive, according to sources who spoke to Ahram Online.

According to the same sources, in the diplomatic talks with Brotherhood figures, including El-Shater, it has been stressed that there is no going back to the pre-30 June scene in Egypt and that eyes should be on the future.

On 30 June nation-wide demonstrations called for early presidential elections to prematurely terminate the four-year term of elected president Mohamed Morsi, only one year after he was inaugurated. Three days later, the armed forces removed Morsi from power, in cooperation with a wide range of political forces including a limited Islamist participation, in response to nationwide popular protests against him. The army also announced a roadmap for the future that should allow for a new president, new parliament and consensual constitution to be in place in about 9 months.

The Muslim Brotherhood was hoping that the international community would agree to qualify the change as an outright coup d’etat and thus enforce the re-instatement of Morsi.

EU foreign policy commissioner Catherine Ashton told Morsi in plain talk last week that it was too late to restore the pre-30 June setup. This point was reiterated to El-Shater by the mediating ‘quartet.'

"Yes, even the Qatari foreign minister is aware that there is no going back to the past," said an Egyptian official who asked to remain anonymous.

Qatar has been the closest supporter of the Morsi regime and was expected to continue its alliance with the Brotherhood following the consenting change at the top of the ruling regime in Doha. However, the change of positions in Washington brought about the new Qatari realisation of the facts on the ground.

The meeting between El-Shater and the negotiating ‘quartet’ was not just about the principles but also about the details of the deal that would allow for a peaceful end to two major sit-in protests that the Brotherhood have been staging in Cairo and Giza for several weeks. Security forces were planning to forcefully disperse the sit-ins, but the prime minister and military have both called for security to hold off on the operation that could cost hundreds of casualties.

Sources who have listened to the assessments of the negotiating 'quartet' said El-Shater was mostly reserved during his talks. However, the same sources said that the strong man of the oldest political Islam group is aware that he needs to make a deal.

In the assessment of the Cairo-based Western diplomats, if a deal is to be made with the Muslim Brotherhood it would be made through El-Shater. He would be the pick to reach an agreement not because he is the strongest man within reach – Mahmoud Ezzat the other strong man is not a deal maker and he is said by security sources to have fled to Gaza on 30 June – but because he is the most pragmatic. The Brotherhood leader would therefore be aware that he needs to "cut its losses." 

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Luay Saeid
06-08-2013 02:06pm
You MB and MB supporters are so productive
I like how the MB supporters do nothing but give any comments that have something against the MB a thumps down instead of just joining them in Rabaa El Adawea or in any street these people are demonstrating because they have nothing better to do and that is pretty pathetic The MB are just lairs who want nothing but power and money. but they keep lying to these MB supporters in the name of Islam, Saying they are Muslims and that they want democracy and the best for Egypt They brought nothing but more corruption, more crime, more poverty, more division between the Egyptians in Egypt. They also almost completely ruined the country's economy, tourism and the Egyptian pound. Also as soon as this tyrant called Morsi left, the Egyptian pound started going up and the electricity problem was solved, why? Because the MB were sending all the oil in Egypt to Gaza, so the MB criminals favored these people who let the Jews occupy them so easily over the Egyptians who they are supposed to protect, help and serve. Cairo was completely darkened while Gaza was very glowy because of that and yet after all of this, you MB still support these criminals. Why is it so hard for you to understand that the Muslim Brotherhood are not Muslims but they are just power hungry tyrants who lie in the name of Islam. Look at how Gaza is now, why? because it is ruled by the MB. Did you seriously want us to end like the Gaza? You MB treat supporters as if like he is the prophet Muhammad. But he nothing but a traitor who became a president for his brotherhood and not all Egyptians. I hope that you also realize that Ci Ci saved us from someone who did to Egypt in 1 year more than Mubarak did to Egypt in 30 years And also Ci Ci is not the military general who Mubarak elected. He cares about Egypt and Egyptians, unlike Morsi and the rest of the MB. Get it straight for once.
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Samantha Criscione
05-08-2013 10:45pm
The US & EU rush to protect their Brotherhood pets
If an American is jailed outside the U.S., the U.S. consul goes to see him or her, but does not interfere in the local judicial process. When Mubarak was jailed the U.S. and European leaders said, 'Good!" and let him rot. Now El Shater and Morsi are jailed, and Ashton sees Morsi while the U.S. deputy Secretary of State goes to see El Shater and comes up with a proposal to get these arch criminals freedom and cabinet posts and money (unfreezing of assets)! The intimacy of the relationship between the Brotherhood and the U.S. and EU leaders is revealed, if there was still any question. --Samantha Criscione
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Mark Wilson
06-08-2013 08:13am
No room for Brotherhood anymore in face of coming death penalty trials
The title says it all, face death or come to a extreme understanding the landscape changed in the last few days, someone said for the Brotherhood to swallow reality.

05-08-2013 10:22pm
a very good politician and honorable person
Shater is probably one of Egypt's best politicians. This is why he is so much hated by the anti-Islam secularist establishment in Eghypt.
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05-08-2013 08:45pm
He is maybe pragmatic, but I am sure that first of all he just wants to save his own a.. and money.
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05-08-2013 10:24pm
Khalid... Your comments make NO SENSE!! Your leader is making a deal to keep HIS money and to get HIS friends/himself released from prison! You talk about people being killed... how many people have died because of the MB at these demonstrations?? As for corrupt politicians, the MB are seriously corrupt.. and we will see this in the charges against them, if they are not corrupt, why did they accept so many BILLIONS OF DOLLARS from the USA?? The only Self Delusion is from you and your fellow MB supporters... Where is the deal for Morsi to come back?? Not happening! They have forgotten about him and moved on to protecting themselves and their money! All the people sitting in the streets in Rabaa and Giza, being lied to, being told they are sleeping in the streets to bring back Morsi... This was never about Morsi coming back to power... they knew it would never happen, This is what about it always is... MONEY AND POWER!
05-08-2013 09:49pm
Self Delusion
Only liberals and felools and corrupt politician power and govnement is their only goal can think like that. but one who are facing regime oppressions for decades,who spent years in prisons but never bowed. Coup suporters whol came to power from back doors on Army back,killed 100s of egyptains and injured 1000s should think about their crimes.They should for safe exit before peopel take justice in their own hands.

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