Egypt's Nour Party calls on Islamists and opposition to hold talks

Ahram Online, Wednesday 12 Jun 2013

Salafist Nour Party is urging national dialogue between supporters of President Morsi and opponents, with both planning mass rallies this month

The Salafist-oriented Nour Party has warned that the anti-government protests against President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamist-led counter rallies in support of Morsi later this month will "cause everybody to lose," and called instead for a comprehensive and binding national dialogue to end the ongoing stalemate.

“The gathering, mobilisation and warnings from both sides indicate that we are in a state of war, and we are heading towards a deadlock. The biggest loser will be Egypt and the revolution," read a statement by the party released on Wednesday.

The party, however, stressed the importance of setting clear principles by which the dialogue should be conducted, saying the president must show willingness to accept the dialogue’s conclusions and act accordingly.

The 'Rebel' (‘Tamarod’) campaign, a signature drive launched in May with the intention of "withdrawing confidence" from Morsi by collecting 15 million citizens' endorsements, has called for mass protests on 30 June to demand Morsi's ouster.

Late in May, the campaign announced it had collected seven million signatures.       

Most Egyptian opposition parties and groups have endorsed the planned protests, including the main opposition umbrella group, the National Salvation Front, which is led by Mohamed ElBaradei, Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa.

On Wednesday, a joint press conference of a number of Islamist groups, including Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, the centrist Wasat Party, and the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), from which Morsi hails, said they would hold a rally to “renounce violence” on 21 June, warning that figures from the Mubarak regime plan to commit violence as part of the opposition protests.

The Nour Party urged all forces from across the political spectrum to accept the party's invitation for a national dialogue, and show flexibility for national reconciliation "in order to avoid bloodshed".

The statement explained: "We are not in need of a war or a battle between two camps, faith and blasphemy, [or] those who are with the Islamist project and those against it."

"Those who are opposing Dr. Mohamed Morsi are not opposing him implementing the Islamist project, since they were among those supporting him and the project; they are not against Islam or sharia."

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