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No defections or talks with interim presidency, Brotherhood says

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood says alleged defectors who met presidential advisor were not members of Islamist group

Ahram Online , Wednesday 2 Oct 2013
Amr Darrag
Brotherhood negotiator Amr Darrag (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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The Muslim Brotherhood has denied defectors from the group met with government representatives.

"The Brotherhood is united and has no relationship with those invited to attend talks [with the interim presidency]," said the statement on Wednesday by the group's secretary general Mahmoud Ezzat.

"The conspiracies promoted by the military authority have not achieved their goals. They are rejected by the true youth of the Muslim Brotherhood."

On Tuesday, Ahmed El-Muslimany, the president's media advisor, met with Brotherhood defectors to discuss current state of affairs.

"The coup authority is making these claims [of defections] at the same time as [European Union foreign policy chief] Catherine Ashton's visit in order to show it is open to dialogue with different political forces."

"[Defections] is opposite to the reality of situation. There has been a continued campaign of arrests against the Brotherhood since the coup against the [legitimate president on 3 July]," the statement continued.

The Brotherhood reiterated that it would not withdraw its demand to end "the military coup" and for Mohamed Morsi to return to the presidency.

News reports on Tuesday said Ashton was working on a new reconciliation initiative with leading Brotherhood members Amr Darrag and Mohamed Ali Bashr.

According to Al-Ahram, the two senior figures will demand in a meeting with the EU official on Wednesday an end to the crackdown on its members and for those arrested to be released, in return for an end to protests.

However, the 'Muslim Brotherhood Without Violence' movement, a small opposition grouping in the Brotherhood, said the interim government had no intention of conducting serious talks with the Brotherhood, and described the meeting between Ahmed El-Muslimay and alleged Brotherhood defectors members as "comic."

"The group that met with El-Muslimany has no relationship whatsoever with the Muslim Brotherhood. These people belong to anonymous parties aiming to defame the reformist current within the Brotherhood," the movement said.

"There will be no serious dialogue with the current regime except after all Muslim Brotherhood members are released and the 50-member constitution-amending committee is reconstituted," the movement added.

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