End of violence first step to reconciliation: Egypt presidential media advisor
Osman Fekri, Al-Ahram Hebdo, Wednesday 9 Oct 2013
Presidential media advisor says first step toward reconciliation with the Brotherhood is the ceasing of violence and recognition of 30 June revolution


In an interview with Al-Ahram’s weekly French newspaper Ahram Hebdo, Egypt’s presidential media advisor Ahmed El-Muslimany said “the first step towards reconciliation [with the Muslim Brotherhood] should be the end of violence and the recognition of the 30 June revolution.”

Millions of Egyptians took the streets on the 30 June, calling on President Mohamed Morsi to step-down. The Islamist leader was ousted by the military on the 3 July after he refused to resign. Since then, the country has witnessed a volatile security situation, with street clashes between pro and anti-Morsi protesters leaving hundreds dead and resultant attacks against security forces and state institutions.

The Brotherhood refuses to acknowledge the roadmap announced by the army after president Morsi was toppled from his post, calling the ouster a 'coup.' International mediation and several local initiatives have been proposed to end Egypt's political deadlock and ensure the inclusion of the Brotherhood in the country's public life. They have been met with little enthusiasm by the Islamist group and their allies, as well as the interim-rulers of the country.

El-Muslimany also said he feared that the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails, were ready to ruin the nation in order to re-gain power. “Let me ask a question to the Brotherhood - ‘Do you want power even at the price of the Nation’s ruin?’ - I am afraid the answer is yes,” El-Muslimany said.

“There is no reconciliation possible with those who have committed murder and violent acts, and who are carrying out attacks on police stations and public institutions. They will be brought to justice,” he added.

El-Muslimany however acknowledged that some among the Brotherhood “were extending hands” towards national reconciliation. “The presidency… welcomes this gesture, because the state doesn’t want one political force to monopolise power,” he asserted.

Regarding meetings held last week with former members of the Brotherhood youth, El-Muslimany said the move aimed at giving “them a voice and listening to them.”

He said he met with Islam El-Katatni, a relative of Saad El-Katatni - a leading Brotherhood figure and former head of the People’s assembly - who presented to him an initiative “offering a critical review of the Brotherhood's practices and its Islamic allies, highlighting errors and inviting the youth to debate.” He also added that “the youth asked for the help of the state and its cooperation to make their initiative succeed.”

Concerning meetings El-Muslimany held with Egypt’s various political forces over the last few weeks, he said: “The aim was to get to know various point of view before making decisions,” adding that, “all political forces were unanimous in their rejection of violence and their will to institute a democratic regime” in Egypt.

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